We are animals! Just say it! Where is our freedom? What do you want us to do to get the attention of the government?
LONDON, UK — “In the UK illegally?” the billboards read, over an image of handcuffs. “Go home or face arrest. 106 arrests last week in your area.”
For one week, vans carrying such signs drove around six London boroughs. They were part of a $15,000 pilot program from the Home Office — responsible for domestic security and immigration — to encourage illegal immigrants to self-deport.
A Home Office spokesman told Agence France-Presse that the campaign cost less that a single immigrant’s forcible removal. There were 15,000 such removals of migrants from Britain last year.
Not everyone was buying it. Business Secretary Vince Cable, a Liberal Democrat, called the campaign “stupid and offensive.”
Even Nigel Farange, the head of the anti-immigrant UK Independence Party, said the tone was “nasty.”
Unite, Britain’s largest union, is currently seeking legal advice about whether the vans violate the law by inciting racial hatred.
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
The US Senate passed a landmark immigration bill on Thursday, by a 68-32 vote margin.
The comprehensive immigration reform would grant immigrants a legal path to citizenship and increase security along the US-Mexico border.
Democrats in the Senate were joined by 14 Republicans who voted “yes” on the bill.
"It’s landmark legislation that will secure our borders and help 11 million people get right with the law," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
“Mexico is convinced that our public policies should be coordinated and should recognize the importance of the border for competitiveness, job creation and the social well being of both countries,” Mexican Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade said in a statement Tuesday.
"We are convinced that fences don’t unite,” Meade said, “they are not the solution to the immigration phenomenon and they don’t jibe with a modern and secure border. They don’t contribute to the development of the competitive region that both countries seek to promote."
Photo by AFP/Getty Images
[Image: James Plunket]
Europe’s unemployment numbers continue breaking records, and as the economy worsens, it’s seeing ugly side effects in society.
GlobalPost’s On Location video explores how immigrants and foreigners have come under attack in Greece over the last year.
“Some victims said they were attacked by groups of vigilantes dressed in black, patrolling the streets with large dogs. Others say their attackers wore the insignia of Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party that won 18 seats in Greece’s last election. Twenty-five victims said their attackers were on the police force and seven reported being attacked in immigration detention camps.”
LONDON — Tougher curbs on immigration, boosts to the private sector and further reforms to public benefits are all part of the legislative year ahead, Queen Elizabeth II announced at the official opening of Parliament today.
Of the many legislative bullet points laid out in the queen’s speech – an annual preview of the legislative agenda written by the government and read aloud by the monarch – the promised restrictions on migrants drew the most attention.
Following the elective success of the anti-immigration UK Independence Party in local polls last week, the speech was expected to allude to a forthcoming bill that “will ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deters those who will not.”
"Many families across South America also will likely welcome an easier path to US citizenship.
An estimated 500,000 Peruvians and a similar number of Brazilians live in the US without papers.
Brazil, which has the second-largest economy in the Americas, after the US, also has its own extensive experience of receiving immigrants, legal and illegal.”
The arrival of more than three million migrants in the last decade has led to a sharp rise in the number of foreign-born UK residents throughout the country. They now number 7.5 million, 13 percent of the overall population.
The news comes just as crisis-driven austerity is fuelling resentment of immigrants, who are accused of taking jobs and abusing welfare, and putting pressure on politicians to tighten immigration policies that have been credited with a radical shake up of Britain’s identity.
London, UK — It’s summer in the Mediterranean. Sunseeking holidaymakers lounge on sandy beaches, glittering yachts glide into and out of quaint old harbors and packed cruise ships hop between idyllic islands.
But it’s no holiday further out at sea, where migrants float crammed together in rickety boats or cling to sinking rafts, some choking on their final breaths as they and their dreams of finding a better life in Europe perish under the sparkling water.
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Top 5 worst countries to be an immigrant
The US Supreme Court voted Monday to uphold one of the most controversial parts of Arizona’s immigration law: the requirement that police check the status of someone suspected of being in the US illegally.
However, Arizona isn’t the only place that has clamped down unfavorably on its immigrant population. Here, we take a look at five of the world’s worst places to be a foreigner.
More from GlobalPost: Supreme Court strikes down parts of Arizona immigration law
According to the Migration Integration Policy Index (MIP), Latvia’s immigration policies are the worst of 31 countries surveyed worldwide.
Why? Well, the Eastern European country barely follows the EU’s standards for immigration, and “takes only the ‘minimum’ approach to fight discrimination” in terms of who it lets migrate, MIP reported. Latvia also does not give immigrants immediate rights to work. Because its immigration procedures are so loosely interpreted by officials, many immigrants remain “insecure” in their status, according to MIP.
Tokyo’s government officials will pay immigrants to get out of their country — literally.
Passed in the spring of 2009, the “Nikkei” Law (Nikkei refers to a Latin American immigrant of Japanese descent) offers unemployed Latin American immigrants $3,000 to leave Japan and return to their home country, Foreign Policy reported. Their family members also get $2,000 for the relocation. There’s just one catch: you only get the payment if you promise that you will never return to Japan to work. Not exactly the fairest trade we’ve ever heard.
Thailand and Arizona have more in common in terms of immigration law than one might think.
In March 2010, the Southeast Asian country passed a series of measures that required its roughly 1.5 million migrants to register their identities with Thai authorities, the Wall Street Journal reported. All immigrants must prove their nationalities and have them verified by their home countries, or else face deportation from Thailand.
A report by Human Rights Watch also found a pattern of arbitrary arrests, rapes, and forced bribing of migrants.
4. United Arab Emirates
The flood of immigrant workers from Southeast Asia and India have helped buoy the UAE to become one of the Middle East’s most successful economies, but its immigration laws have yet to catch up, according to Foreign Policy.
One of the country’s most controversial laws prohibits foreigners from participating in labor unions. This means that living conditions for migrants often include 80-hour work weeks, intense manual labor, and below-minimum-wage salaries, FP reported. The typical situation for immigrants in UAE? “Tiny pre-fabricated huts, 12 men to a room, forced to wash themselves in filthy brown water and cook in kitchens next to overflowing toilets,” The Guardian reported.
Australia may not come off as a harsh place for immigrants, but the country is still working off of its 1958 Migration Act, which mandates that non-citizens found to be in Australia without proper visas be detained. Furthermore, “unless they are granted permission to remain in Australia, they must be removed as soon as reasonably practicable,” according to the country’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
A report by Australia’s Human Rights commission found that the country’s child refugees were abused and mistreated while in detention.