Report: Sri Lanka holds six Catholic priests reports on their website that

Six Catholic priests are kept in isolation in the camps of Sri Lanka. The bishop of Jaffna has requested their release, but has not yet received any response from the Ministry of Defense.


A humanitarian worker working in the fields in which 300 thousand displaced persons live tells their story and denounces the disappearance of three government doctors who had circulated the figures of the dead during the last days of war between the army and Tamil Tigers.

Posted in News. Tags: . Leave a Comment »

HRW, WRC: immigration policy harms women, families

Human Rights Watch and the Women’s Refugee Commission say the U.S. government should reform immigration enforcement policies that inflict needless suffering on immigrant women and their families, a former immigration detention center nurse, a former detainee, and a group of leading human rights advocacy and research groups said last week at a Capitol Hill briefing.

Immigration detention is the fastest growing form of incarceration in the United States. On any given day, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds 33,000 immigrants in detention, about 10 percent of them women. Detainees include asylum seekers, victims of trafficking, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, pregnant women, and mothers of children who are U.S. citizens.
Read the rest of this entry »

Somalia: 160,000 internally displaced persons since May

Ongoing clashes between Government forces and insurgents have uprooted another 26,000 people from the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in the past five days, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that there are now 160,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) resulting from the fighting that has been taking place since early May between Government troops and the opposition Al-Shabaab and Hisb-ul-Islam groups.

The agency added that the worsening security situation is making it more difficult for aid agencies to reach and help those in need of urgent assistance.
Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. ordered to respond to immigration jails petition

The New York Times reports

Substandard and abusive conditions in immigration detention “are of the utmost importance,” a federal judge in Manhattan said Thursday, ruling that the Department of Homeland Security’s 2 ½-year delay in responding to a petition for legally enforceable regulations was “unreasonable as a matter of law.”

The judge … ordered the Obama administration to grant or deny the petition asking for detention rules within 30 days. He denied the government’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit, filed last year by two former immigration detainees and two advocacy agencies, seeking to force a response.

No enforceable standards now exist for the immigration detention system, a rapidly growing conglomeration of county jails, federal centers and privately run prisons across the country where problems of detainee mistreatment have been persistent and widespread. The lawsuit contends that the lack of regulations puts hundreds of thousands of people a year at risk of abuse and inadequate medical care while the government decides whether to deport them.

Rangel urges Obama to grant TPS to Haiti



House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Charles Rangel has written a letter to President Obama urging the President to promptly grant Haitians Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure.

Download a PDF of the letter here.

In December of 2008, the United States began forcibly deporting 30,000 Haitians back to their country, a country ravaged by consecutive natural disasters last September. The two hurricanes and two tropical storms that hit Haiti in devastating succession during harvest season last year killed nearly 1,000 people and left 800,000 of the country’s residents in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. The storms destroyed at least $180 million in crops, exacerbating an existing food shortage.

President's immigration meeting a 'good first step' says bishop

The Chairman of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) Board of Directors, Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, has made the following comments about President Obama’s meeting yesterday at the White House with Congressional leaders on the issue of immigration reform:

“The June 25 meeting between the president and congressional leaders is an applaudable first step towards fixing our broken immigration system. We are at a critical moment that demands the attention of the administration and Congress. Thousands of families are suffering and our economy is handicapped by the failures of outdated immigration laws and misguided enforcement policies.

This meeting is a good first step and sets the tone for the very important and necessary policy discussions to follow. We now urge the president and Congress not to slow down. Immigration reform is urgent and necessary. To delay immigration reform would be a mistake. It would unfairly prolong the suffering of so many, further undermine our economy and risk security of the nation.”

Ecuador seeks international help for 135,000 Colombian refugees

The Latin American Herald Tribune reports that a

top Ecuadorian official appealed on Thursday to the international community to acknowledge the humanitarian crisis generated by the presence of 135,000 Colombian refugees in his country as well as the financial effort Quito is making to attend to them.
Read the rest of this entry »