UN urges calm in wake of Southern Sudan election

(UNITED NATIONS)  January 31, 2011 — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged both parties to the peace agreement that ended Sudan’s North-South war to remain calm as the results of the referendum on the future of the south are finalized, commending the two sides for the peaceful conduct of the plebiscite.

The  referendum earlier this month on the self-determination of Southern Sudan was the culmination of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 to end two decades of civil war between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A).

Preliminary results indicate that the people of Southern Sudan voted overwhelming in favour of secession.

“Sudan has reached a historic point. All reports indicate a generally peaceful referendum process with a large turnout,” Mr. Ban said in an address to a high-level meeting on Sudan convened by the United Nations and the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on the sidelines of the AU’s annual summit.

“As the Sudanese people adjust to the new realities on the ground, the CPA parties must shift their attention to the key post-referendum arrangements that will sustain the North-South relationship in the long term,” Mr. Ban said.

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ICE Program Not Targeting Serious Offenders

ICE’s 287(g) Immigration Enforcement Program Is Not Targeted Primarily at Serious Offenders, New MPI Study Finds

WASHINGTON — The section 287(g) program, which delegates federal immigration enforcement powers to state and local officers in 72 U.S. jurisdictions, is not targeted primarily at serious offenders, a major new analysis of the program finds.

Despite public statements by Obama administration officials that the program is primarily targeted at identifying and removing “dangerous criminals,” Migration Policy Institute (MPI) researchers found that about half of 287(g) activity involves non-citizens (chiefly unauthorized immigrants but also removable legal immigrants) arrested for misdemeanor or traffic offenses.

The MPI report, Delegation and Divergence: A Study of 287(g) State and Local Immigration Enforcement, is based on in-depth, on-site interviews with federal, state and local law enforcement, elected officials, immigrant- and civil-rights groups and others in seven 287(g) jurisdictions (Los Angeles, CA; the state of Colorado; Cobb and Gwinnett counties in metro Atlanta, GA; Frederick County, MD; Las Vegas, NV; and Prince William County, VA). The report also analyzes 2010 data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the seriousness of criminal offenses committed by non-citizens detained through 287(g) activity nationwide; and provides data for each 287(g) jurisdiction.

The report assesses outcomes of the three different 287(g) models – screening of immigration status in jails, by task forces operating in the field and hybrid models that combine jail screening and field operations – as well as program costs and community impacts. It also examines the implementation of the Obama administration’s 2009 formal program changes emphasizing that 287(g) activities should focus first and foremost on non-citizens who have committed felonies and other serious crimes.

Among the report’s top findings: Read the rest of this entry »

Huge challenges remain for Haitian quake recovery

UNITED NATIONS  January 11, 2011 – On the eve of the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed 220,000 Haitians and made 1.5 million others homeless, United Nations humanitarian agencies today looked back at a year of achievements, albeit at times spotty, and forward to the enormous challenges still ahead.

“The task has been Herculean – a humanitarian worst case scenario in one of the world’s poorest countries, with massive casualties, multiple catastrophes, the decimation of the nation’s civil service, reams of critical records destroyed and staggering damage to the country’s critical infrastructure,” UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Executive Director Anthony Lake wrote in an opinion piece in the Miami Herald newspaper.

“Delays in pledged aid have further complicated the recovery effort,” he said, noting the added complication of the cholera epidemic that has claimed some 3,600 lives and infected almost 150,000 people so far even before cresting.

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Detention Chaplain position opening

The Religious Services Specialist provides spiritual and pastoral care to all detainees and also facilitates their opportunity to pursue their individual religious beliefs and practices in accordance with current law, Federal regulations, and the DHS Detention Standards.  The Religious Services Specialist primary duty is to provide counseling, spiritual direction, support and crisis intervention to the detainees.  The Religious Services Specialist role is to be a non-judgmental caring influence in the lives of all individuals, a visible model of respect and caring for each person in spiritual need.  Presence is the vital aspect of the Religious Services Specialist’s ministry throughout the facility.

For more information, please visit the announcement on the Church World Services website.

This position is located at the Krome Service Processing Center.  The Religious Services Specialist operates under the general direction of the Religious Services Coordinator.  The Religious Services Coordinator is responsible for implementing a multifaceted religious service program designed to serve a diverse religious, cultural, educational, and social population.  The Religious Services Specialist assists the Religious Services Coordinator in planning, directing, and supervising all aspects of the religious program and oversees the general running of the facility’s religious services program.