Tag Archives: undocumented

Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Discrimination and Disparity in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Covering the nearly two-year span of the COVID–19 pandemic to date, this roundup is a collection of reporting and research on communities around the world that have experienced the dual perils of discrimination and disparity. In addition to bearing the brunt of the disease, marginalized communities around the world have become the pandemic’s scapegoats and the targets of rumor, distrust, and disinformation campaigns, resulting in the “racialization” of the virus and creating further insecurities during the crisis. Beyond local inequalities, the coupling of discrimination and disparity has generated transnational inequities such as the outbreak of anti-Asian racism, the targeting and marginalization of migrants and refugees, and the disproportionately worse illness outcomes of Indigenous and Black people.

The situation has created obstacles to protecting communities against the ongoing effects of COVID–19. Among historically persecuted communities, longstanding distrust of government brought about by historical injustices has cultivated resistance to state-driven medical interventions such as vaccine campaigns. And local inequalities have been exacerbated by structural inequalities at the international level, with the wealthy West accused of hoarding health resources such as vaccines.

This collection contains more than 160 news reports, research articles, and data sources covering conditions and developments at the global, regional, and national levels. Data and information in older items are likely outdated and should be treated as historical records, reflecting emergent problems and understandings that have produced the current social, political, and economic landscape of the pandemic. However, the unfolding of coverage reveals how knowledge of the differential impact of the pandemic has shifted, from early awareness of racial and ethnic mortality disparities and reports of discrimination to recent concerns about vaccine nationalism and the long-term economic impacts of the pandemic.

Continue reading Global Event: The Covid-19 Pandemic

Malaysia Feature | Refugees

The Hardships of Refugees in Malaysia

Although Malaysia has long offered refuge to persecuted Muslim populations, Malaysian law does not distinguish between asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants. As a consequence, refugees experience high levels of legal precarity, severely limiting access to healthcare, employment, and educational opportunities. Immigration police frequently raid businesses in search of undocumented workers, and children are frequently pushed into work because of an educational system with limited resources to accommodate them. While more than 164,000 refugees in Malaysia are officially registered with the UN Refugee Agency, many more languish in the long registration queue. Today, activists are working to pressure the recently installed government to become a signatory to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol to improve protections and access to opportunity for those seeking life and livelihood in the wake of war and persecution.

Read

‘We have nothing’: A life in limbo for Malaysia’s Yemeni refugees” (Al Jazeera | March 2019)

Inside Malaysia’s ‘Living Hell’ for Refugee Children” (NewsDeeply | February 2018)

Study

UNHCR Figures at a Glance in Malaysia

Hungary News | Asylum-Seekers, Undocumented Migrants & Advocates

Hungary passes laws criminalizing support of asylum-seekers and undocumented migrants
  • The Hungarian parliament passed legislation criminalizing the “organization of illegal immigration,” prohibiting individuals and organizations from providing aid to undocumented immigrants including support in asylum petitioning.
  • Framed as retaliation against the pro-immigrant efforts of billionaire Hungarian-American philanthropist George Soros, the laws could subject those found guilty of providing support to asylum-seekers to imprisonment for up to a year.
  • The passage comes amidst a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the country, spearheaded by recently reelected Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Read

Hungary passes anti-immigrant ‘Stop Soros’ laws” (The Guardian | June 2018)

Hungary to criminalise migrant helpers in crackdown” (BBC News | June 2018)

Hungary aims to criminalize aiding illegal migration in ‘Stop Soros’ bill” (Reuters | May 2018)

Lebanon Feature | Syrian Refugees

The Administrative Precarity of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Syrians who have fled to Lebanon to escape the violence that has embroiled their home nation have begun putting down new roots while waiting for the conflict to end. However, cultural and administrative differences have left many Syrians in limbo as practices surrounding institutions like marriage remain unrecognized in their new, if temporary, home. Lebanon’s complex and financially taxing requirements of civil registration (including residency, marriage, and births) has disenfranchised many Syrians, leaving them in legally precarious situations even as the government works to lessen the burdens.

Undocumented children are denied access to IDs and passports, and parents and other couples lacking official work permits find themselves trapped in exploitative labor conditions to support their families. The financial vulnerability of Syrian families is driving intergenerational insecurity, particularly as it has led to an increase in child marriage rates in the country. Reuters examines the complex bureaucratic and cultural conditions shaping the marginalization of Syrian families in Lebanon.

Read

As Syrian couples say ‘I do,’ Lebanon says ‘No, not quite’” (Reuters | December 2017)

Additional

For Syrian refugees, child marriage robs a generation of its future” (The Globe and Mail | March 2017)

 

U.S. Feature | Black Immigrants

Integrating Blackness into U.S. Immigration Justice

The surge in the visibility of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S. following the election of Donald Trump has increased the workload of immigration activists, particularly those fighting for justice for Afro-Latinx and black Muslim immigrants. In addition to broader xenophobia, black immigrant communities have been subject to broader anti-black racism that has compounded their insecurity, including disproportionate profiling and deportation, high unemployment rates, and marginalization by other immigrant communities. Recent media coverage has examined the challenges that arise at the intersection of being black and immigrant in a hostile political climate.

Read

Meet the Afro-Latinx Activists Empowering Black Immigrants” (teleSUR English | February 2017)

Black immigrants in U.S. fear profiling may drive up deportation rates” (Free Speech Radio News | February 2017)

Black Muslims Face Double Jeopardy, Anxiety In The Heartland” (NPR | February 2017)

Black and Muslim, some African immigrants feel the brunt of Trump’s immigration plans” (PRI | January 2017)

Study

The State of Black Immigrants (Black Alliance for Just Immigration + NYU School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic | 2016)

Connect & Support

Black Alliance for Just Immigration
African Communities Together
Black Immigrant Network
UndocuBlack

(Image Credit: Erik McGregor/Getty Images, via NPR)

 

India Feature | Bengali Muslims

The Poetics of Protest for Bengali Muslims in India

Named for the pejorative term used to describe Muslims presumed to be undocumented immigrants, Miyah poetry has emerged as a cultural protest against the marginalization and scapegoating faced by the Bengali Muslim community in the northeastern state of Assam. Its dissemination through social media channels has made it distinctly public and communal as opposed to more academic forms of cultural protest, bringing together the voices of the trained and untrained alike. Al Jazeera highlights the origins of the form and the social and political conditions that have shaped its evolution.

Read:
Protest poetry: Assam’s Bengali Muslims take a stand” (Al Jazeera | December 2016)

Related reads:
For better or verse: Miyah poetry is now a symbol of empowerment for Muslims in Assam” (Firstpost | September 2016)
A state on edge” (India Today | October 2016)

Additional:
Itamugur (Facebook)
#MiyahPoetry (The Sunflower Collective)

(Image Credit: Kazi Neel/Al Jazeera)

Costa Rica News | Haitian Migrants

Haitian migrants in Costa Rica seeking passage to U.S. pose as West African to avoid deportation
  • The ongoing migration bottleneck in Costa Rica continues to pile up, with 100 to 150 new arrivals each day adding to the 2,500 already stranded in the overwhelmed country.
  • The majority of undocumented migrants are Haitian, many coming from Brazil with some posing as West African in an attempt to avoid deportation, deprioritized for those from distant countries because of the high cost.
  • Haitians point to ongoing economic destitution in their home country, poor prospects in host countries like Brazil and Ecuador, and what they perceive as a double standard of preferential treatment for certain migrants as motivation for migrating and the tactical deception.

Read more:
IOM Reports Growing Number of Irregular Migrants Stranded in Costa Rica” (International Organization for Migration, via ReliefWeb)
95% de los migrantes irregulares son haitianos ‘disfrazados’ de africanos” (La Nación, in Spanish)
Flood of ‘Muhammad Alis’ Highlights New Migration Toward U.S.” (Bloomberg)

(Image Credit: José Cordero/La Nación)

U.S. News | Undocumented Immigrants

U.S. Supreme Court tie upholds lower court decision against blocking deportation of undocumented parents
  • A 4-4 decision left in place an appeals court ruling blocking President Obama’s executive order shielding the undocumented parents of Americans and permanent residents from deportation.
  • The program, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), would have protected more than 4 million from deportation but never went into effect after 26 states immediately challenged the 2014 order.
  • The plaintiff states argued that President Obama had overstepped his authority with the executive order, while the White House pointed out the President’s constitutional authority to issue it.

Read more:
Supreme Court Deadlocks on Obama Immigration Plan. It Remains Blocked.” (The New York Times)
Supreme Court, split 4-4, blocks Obama immigration plan” (Reuters)
Obama’s huge new immigration plan, explained” (Vox, November 2014)

(Image Credit: Michael Reynolds/EPA, via The New York Times)

Myanmar News | Muslims

Anti-Muslim protests in Myanmar increase following new government installation
  • Hundreds of Buddhist nationalists staged anti-Muslim protests ahead of a visit from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who took up the issue of the persecution of Myanmar’s Muslim minority with state counselor Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • “No Muslims allowed” signs and anti-Muslim patrols have popped up in villages like Thaungtan, with those even suspected of being Muslim harassed and assaulted.
  • State counselor Aung San Suu Kyi reportedly instructed U.S. diplomats not to use the term “Rohingya,” echoing Buddhist nationalists who consider the Rohingya to be illegal immigrants and Muslims and Hindus “associate citizens.”

Read more:
‘No Muslims allowed’: how nationalism is rising in Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar” (The Guardian)
Myanmar Nationalists Stage Protest in Mandalay Against Use of Term ‘Rohingya’ by U.S.” (Radio Free Asia)
‘No Rohingya’: Behind the US Embassy Protest in Myanmar” (The Diplomat)

(Image Credit: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters, via The Guardian)

U.S. News | Undocumented Immigrants

New Mexico university recruits undocumented students as student activists continue to fight for reform
  • Silver City–based Western New Mexico University has begun an outreach program to recruit undocumented students, a group known as DREAMers after the proposed legislation providing a path to citizenship through higher education or military service.
  • Undocumented students face uncertain prospects for higher education because of their status, with financial aid restrictions and legal precarity constraining their prospects.
  • As colleges face declining enrollments, undocumented students have seen their appeal to admissions offices increase, while students across the country fight for visibility and legal reform.

Read more:
New Mexico College Seeks Immigrant Students in US Illegally” (AP via ABC News)
Undocumented students come out of the shadows” (USA Today)
The Folly of Under-Educating the Undocumented” (The Atlantic)

Thailand Feature | Migrant Burmese Women

Working Under Threat

As Burmese women have crossed Myanmar’s southeastern border to pursue undocumented domestic work in Thailand, the attractiveness of relatively high wages has been offset by the threat of exploitation at the hands of their employers. The lack of legislation protecting foreign domestic workers has left them vulnerable to mobility restrictions, overworking, and isolation. Migrant advocacy groups struggle to connect with the women, who are housed in private homes and prevented from participating in the public sphere. Voice of America provides a brief look at some of the challenges the women face while seeking opportunity across the border.

View the video on VOA News’s YouTube channel.

U.S. Feature | Undocumented Asian Immigrants

Undocumented Silence

Image Credit: Jill Stephenson/Alamy, via the Guardian
Image Credit: Jill Stephenson/Alamy, via the Guardian

With only 21% of the estimated 87,000 undocumented Asian immigrants having applied for deportation relief under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the U.S.’s undocumented Asian community has largely existed in the shadow of the more politically vocal Latino community in immigration activism. The Guardian profiles Jong-Min You, one of the few public faces of the undocumented Asian community, about the causes of this silence and his hopes for his own future.

Read the full feature at the Guardian.

U.S. News | Immigrant Women & Children

U.S. federal judge rules mothers and children held in immigration detention centers must be released
  • The judge cited poor detention conditions and failure to comply with a 1997 ruling on the detention of migrant children as grounds for release.
  • Border officials resorted to the detention centers during the surge of undocumented migrant arrivals in 2014, many of whom were unaccompanied children.
  • The Department of Homeland Security will have to develop a release strategy by August 3, according to the ruling.

“It is astonishing that Defendants have enacted a policy requiring such expensive infrastructure without more evidence to show that it would be compliant with an Agreement that has been in effect for nearly 20 years. … It is even more shocking that after nearly two decades Defendants have not implemented appropriate regulations to deal with this complicated area of immigration law.”

Read the full story at BuzzFeed News.

U.S. Feature | Garifuna Immigrants

From Honduras to the Bronx: The Garifuna of New York

Spanish photographer Elena Hermosa has trained her camera lens on the lives and culture of Garifuna immigrants in New York City. A genetic mix of African and indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, the Garifuna community has been pushed from Honduras by ongoing violence, with many having settled in the South Bronx of New York. From the precarity of the undocumented to endangered cultural traditions, the New York Times explores the subject and implication of Hermosa’s work.

View the full feature at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Elena Hermosa, via the New York Times)

U.S. News | Undocumented Immigrants

Immigrants file suit against Texas for denying birth certificates to their U.S.-born children
  • Texas has cracked down on the documentation required to obtain a birth certificate for U.S.-born children, accepting only a U.S. driver’s license, visa, or home-country voter identification.
  • State registrars are no longer allowed to accept the popularly held matriculas, or consular-issued identification cards, because of alleged verification concerns.
  • The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees citizenship to children born on U.S. soil, which has formed the basis of the legal claim by immigrant parents.

“It says we need a U.S. license we don’t have; a [Mexican] passport we have, but with a visa we don’t have; voter ID card I have, but it expired. … It’s not fair. She has a right to her birth certificate. What are we supposed to do?”

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.

(Image Credit: Molly Hennessy-Fiske/Los Angeles Times)