UNHCR concerned about safety of displaced people in Sri Lanka

The United Nations refugee agency said it is deeply concerned about the safety of the more than 250,000 displaced people in northern Sri Lanka after reports of security incidents inside the camps where they are taking shelter.

The most recent incident took place on September 26, in the Menik Farm camp, in the district of Vavuniya, when security forces reportedly attempted to stop a group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) from moving between two zones of the camp.

This angered the IDPs who subsequently attacked the sentries, according to a news release issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Security personnel then reportedly opened fire to disperse the mob. Several people are said to have been injured, including a child who was hit by a stray bullet and is now paralyzed. There are also reports of several people being detained following the disturbance.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bill Clinton pushes support of Temporary Protected Status for Haitians

Speaking Tuesday at the Americas Conference in Coral Gables, Fla., Bill Clinton again pushed the case to provide Temporary Protected Status for Haitians in the U.S., the Miami Herald reports.

Clinton also said that his wife, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, shares his opinion.

“Not a week goes by that I don’t push for this,” Bill Clinton said. “All I can say is that it’s not a State Department decision or it would have been done. Hillary strongly supports this.”

Clinton said the decision on whether to prevent the wholesale deportation of an estimated 30,000 Haitians ultimately was “a decision for the secretary of Homeland Security.”

Full story and video here.

Temporary Protected Status would stop the deportation proceedings against about 30,000 Haitians in the United States, and allow them to apply for work permits and send desperately needed remittances back to Haiti. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA supports the Haitians and believe that TPS should be granted immediately.

Video: Combined impact of negative forces poses challenge to refugees

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres kicks off a meeting of the UNHCR executive committee by highlighting upcoming challenges.

The combined impact of the economic downturn with the global trends of climate change, urbanization, increased population and food insecurity on human displacement were on the agenda of the annual meeting of UNHCR’s governing Executive Committee.

Video calls for due process and fairness in immigration system

The Restore Fairness campaign presents Restore Fairness,a video produced by Breakthrough in association with 26 leading organizations, calling for the U.S. government to restore due process and fairness to the immigration system.

Restore Fairness: bring back due process to the immigration system from Breakthrough on Vimeo.

The video features the powerful voices of Congresswomen Zoe Lofgren and Lucille Roybal-Allard, Judges Dana Marks, Bruce Einhorn, civil society leaders Anthony Romero, Donald Kerwin, Karen Narasaki and Mallika Dutt as well as three very compelling personal stories with Jean-Pierre Kamwa, an asylum seeker from Cameroon; June Everett, who lost her sister to immigration detention; and Walter Chavez and Ana Galindo, legal permanent residents who were victims of a warrant-less home raid. Watch this story and take action to ensure that the U.S. government restores due process and fairness to our immigration system. Visit their website here

Studio 360 presents Theater of the Undocumented

After the largest immigration raid in history at a meat-packing plant in Iowa last year, several undocumented workers await deportation. While in limbo these men are reenacting their stories on stage. The story was produced by Andrew Stelzer for Studio 360.

Please visit the Studio 360 website for more great stories, and learn more about the Postville raid here.

Bhutan refugees find a home in the Bronx

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA is helping to repatriate and resettle tens of thousands of Bhutanese refugees from camps in Nepal, some of whom have been living in the refugee camps for 15 years or more. JRS/USA has been instrumental in making it possible for Bhutanese refugee teenagers to pursue higher secondary education in local schools in Nepal and nearby India; this education will allow them to adjust to a new life more easily when they leave the refugee camps and return home or settle in new countries.

Recent arrivals to the U.S. have made a home in New York.

Nearly every immigrant group in New York City has a neighborhood, or at least a street, to call its own. But for refugees from the tiny South Asian nation of Bhutan, the closest thing to a home base is a single building in the Bronx — a red-brick five-story walk-up, with a weed-choked front courtyard and grimy staircases.

Read the New York Times story here.

See a multimedia presentation here.

Immigrants face death, fear closing of Atlanta dialysis clinic

The plan to close a medical clinic in Atlanta could have dire consequences for poor immigrants who rely on services there to sustain their lives, reports the New York Times.

If Grady Memorial Hospital succeeds in closing its outpatient dialysis clinic, Tadesse A. Amdago, a 69-year-old immigrant from Ethiopia, said he would begin “counting the days until I die.” Rosa Lira, 78, a permanent resident from Mexico, said she also assumed she “would just die.” Another woman, a 32-year-old illegal immigrant from Honduras, said she could only hope to make it “back to my country to die.”

The patients, who have relied for years on Grady’s free provision of dialysis to people without means, said they had no other options to obtain the care that is essential to their survival. But the safety-net hospital, after years of failed efforts to drain its red ink, is not backing away from what its chairman, A. D. Correll, calls a “gut-wrenching decision”: closing the clinic this month.

Click here to read the full story.