Biden says he and Obama ‘made a mistake’ on immigration policy


Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said he and former President Barack Obama “made a mistake” by failing to achieve comprehensive immigration reform during their eight years in office. 

“It took too long to get right,” Biden said during the second and final presidential debate in Nashville. The former vice president also suggested that he would be more effective at addressing the issue than Obama, pledging to deliver an immigration overhaul that would create a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S. 

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“I’ll be president of the United States, not vice president of the United States,” Biden said. “The fact is I’ve made it very clear within 100 days, I’m going to send to the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people.”

Biden has released two immigration plans: The first would reverse the Trump administration’s policies, including stopping family separations and ending detention centers for children, while the second would create a pathway for citizenship.

“All of those so-called dreamers, those DACA kids, they’re going to be immediately certified again to be able to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship,” Biden said, referring to an Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that allowed undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children to become citizens.

BIDEN SLAMS TRUMP AS HE DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM PROGRESSIVES: ‘HE THINKS HE’S RUNNING AGAINST SOMEBODY ELSE’

The former vice president’s comment came as President Trump defended his administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, days after it was reported that the government had failed to locate the parents of more than 500 children. 

But Trump slammed Biden for creating detention facilities for undocumented immigrants. 

“Who made the cages, Joe?” Trump asked. 

More than 3 million undocumented immigrants were deported during the Obama administration. 

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Video Home Affairs didn’t want you to see leads to calls for immigration detention inquiry


The Australian government is facing fresh demands for an inquiry into immigration detention after trying to block the release of a video that a human rights watchdog says shows “excessive” use of force against a detainee.

CCTV footage, released under freedom of information laws, shows a man in the Christmas Island detention centre – known as Mr FE to protect his identity – being subdued by five guards and appearing to be punched before being wrestled to the ground.

Mr FE’s head is then turned to the side while a male guard appears to push it down on to the concrete floor, an action the Australian Human Rights Commission would later conclude “knocked loose” one of Mr FE’s teeth. 

“I am satisfied that Mr FE’s mouth was injured as a result of the use of force incident and that he was spitting out blood,” the commission concluded after investigating the incident. 

Mr FE had a tooth knocked loose as his head was forced on to the concrete floor.

Supplied.

The incident, which occurred in April 2015, was investigated by the AHRC last year. The footage has now been released by the commission after a freedom of information application by SBS News. 

The Department of Home Affairs told the commission the footage should be kept under wraps as it would have a “substantial adverse impact” on the operations of Serco, the multinational company that provides security in Australia’s immigration detention network.

“The release of this information could result in operational and administrative inefficiencies for Serco, and, ultimately, expose the Commonwealth to additional contractual burdens,” the department said in a consultation letter to the commission seen by SBS News. 

“Given the possible contractual impacts for the Commonwealth and the risks to the centres as a whole, this would be contrary to the public interest.”

The commission disagreed, saying the footage would inform the public about “the practices followed by the department and Serco, and its conduct of operations … in closed immigration settings”. 

“Disclosure of this type of information … goes towards increasing scrutiny, discussion, comment and review of the government’s activities,” the commission wrote in a consultation letter.

Use of force ‘unnecessary’ and ‘excessive’

Serco’s internal investigation found “poor operational decisions” were made in the lead-up to the use of force against Mr FE. The investigation also noted that use of force guidelines requiring de-escalation did not appear to have been followed. 

“It is the view of the investigator that there is no discernible attempt to de-escalate the situation,” a copy of the investigation provided to the AHRC noted. 

But in contrast to Serco’s internal findings, the Department of Home Affairs argued the use of force against Mr FE was both necessary and in line with policy.

“The department does not agree that the use of force examined in the incident was disproportionate with or contrary to the complainant’s human rights,” the department told SBS News in a statement. 

The AHRC had a starkly different assessment, finding it was “unnecessary”, “excessive” and in breach of both the department’s and Serco’s operational guidelines.

The commission said at least two parts of the use of force were excessive.

“The application of downward force to Mr FE’s head while it was in contact with the concrete floor [and] the forcing of Mr FE’s hands upwards with more force than necessary after he had been handcuffed behind his back,” the commission found. 

An excerpt from the Human Rights Commissioner's 2019 report.

An excerpt from the Human Rights Commissioner’s 2019 report.

Australian Human Rights Commission.

The incident occurred as Mr FE was returning to his accommodation block after picking up medication from the detention centre’s dispensary. There was a disagreement as guards went to open the door to the block and there are differing accounts as to what happened in the lead-up to the use of force.

Serco guards said Mr FE was threatening them and was “belligerent and argumentative”, while Mr FE said a guard elbowed him in the chest while waiting for the door to open.

“[Footage] shows that when Mr FE enters the accommodation block, he is wearing slippers. He is moving slowly and does not appear agitated,” the AHRC found.

The Human Rights Commission said Mr FE - in red - did not appear to be agitated in the seconds leading up to the incident.

The Human Rights Commission said Mr FE – in red – did not appear to be agitated in the seconds leading up to the incident.

Supplied.

As the guards move in to grapple with Mr FE, one of them appears to swing a straight arm towards his ribs.

“The quality of the video is low, but it appears that the officer may have used a closed fist,” the AHRC noted.

A Serco investigation report said the movement was a “thrusting motion with his right arm” that had “the appearance of a punch”.

The Serco guard in question later said he was trying to perform a wrist-lock.

The AHRC could not be certain it was a punch, but said the action “appeared to be a striking action rather than a grappling action”.

At the request of Mr FE, the incident was referred to the Australian Federal Police. The AFP found there was not enough evidence to proceed to prosecution for either common assault or assault causing bodily harm. 

Calls for an inquiry

The AHRC last year recommended the Department of Home Affairs conduct a public inquiry into the use of force inside immigration detention.

The department did not accept the recommendation, telling the commission immigration detention was already covered by departmental and parliamentary accountability measures. 

David Burke, the legal director at the Human Rights Legal Centre, said the use of force against Mr FE was “shocking”.

He said the government had a long history of smothering transparency around immigration detention and the treatment of asylum seekers.

“The government has tried to ban mobile phones, they have detained thousands of people on remote islands offshore, they have tried to ban access by journalists,” he told SBS News.

Mr Burke said there needed to be a public inquiry.

“As a first step to improving this system, the government must comply with the Human Rights Commissioner’s recommendations for a public inquiry into the use of force in immigration detention, so that we can see what is happening behind closed doors.”

The use of force inside immigration detention again came under the spotlight in a recent report by the Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe.

In his report, released in August, Mr Manthorpe said the detention system continues to be plagued by shortfalls in its handling of detainees.

“There appears to be an increasing tendency across the immigration detention network for force to be used to resolve conflict or non-compliant behaviour as the first rather than last choice,” he wrote. 

Public Interest Advocacy Centre senior lawyer Jane Leibowitz agreed there was a need for better oversight of the immigration detention system.

“It’s a very opaque system,” she told SBS News. “It’s hard to know who is doing what, and who is deciding on what. That is part of the difficulty and it causes a culture of fear.”

The Christmas Island immigration detention centre was closed in October 2018. It had been plagued by years of protests centred on the poor conditions inside the facility. 

In August of this year, the government said it would reopen the facility – at a cost of $55 million over six months – to relieve pressure on mainland detention centres that were struggling for space during the COVID-19 crisis. 

It was revealed in September that at least two refugees were among some 100 detainees transferred to Christmas Island. 

The Department of Home Affairs said in the statement provided to SBS News the use of force Mr FE experienced was neither disproportionate nor contrary to his human rights.

The department said it has undertaken a comprehensive review of its operational policy instructions covering the use of force within immigration detention. 

“Updated operational policy instructions, which came into effect in January 2019, already address those [Human Rights Commission] recommendations accepted by the department.”

The department did not address questions about why it did not agree with calls for a public inquiry.

Serco declined to comment on the matter. 



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Why immigration will be vital for Canada's economic recovery



Scotiabank Senior Economist Marc Desormeaux speaks with the Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about Scotiabank’s provincial outlook report.





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Supreme Court to Review 2 of Trump’s Major Immigration Policies


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review two major Trump administration immigration initiatives: a program that has forced at least 60,000 asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their requests are heard and the diversion of $2.5 billion in Pentagon money to build a barrier on the southwestern border.

Lower courts blocked both measures. But the Supreme Court, in earlier orders, allowed them to remain in effect while appeals moved forward.

The arguments in the two cases will not be heard until after the November election. Should President Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joseph R. Biden Jr., win, his administration could take steps to make the cases moot.

In the case on asylum seekers, an appeals court in February blocked the program, known as Remain in Mexico, saying it was at odds with both federal law and international treaties and was causing “extreme and irreversible harm.”

The program applies to people who leave a third country and travel through Mexico to reach the United States border. Since the policy was put in place at the beginning of last year, tens of thousands of people have waited for immigration hearings in unsanitary tent encampments exposed to the elements. There have been widespread reports of sexual assault, kidnapping and torture.

The coronavirus pandemic has also complicated matters. In its brief seeking Supreme Court review, filed in April, the administration acknowledged that “the public health emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus” prompted it to take additional measures making it even harder to seek asylum. “The government’s response to the emergency is fluid,” the brief said, “and measures attributable to the emergency are not at issue in this case.”

The brief said the program, formally called the Migrant Protection Protocols and administered by the Department of Homeland Security, has been successful.

“During the 14 months that M.P.P. has been in operation, it has been enormously effective: It has enabled D.H.S. to avoid detaining or releasing into the interior more than 60,000 migrants during removal proceedings, and has dramatically curtailed the number of aliens approaching or attempting to cross the Southwest border,” the brief said. “The program has been an indispensable tool in the United States’ efforts, working cooperatively with the governments of Mexico and other countries, to address the migration crisis by diminishing incentives for illegal immigration, weakening cartels and human smugglers, and enabling D.H.S. to better focus its resources on legitimate asylum claims.”

Asylum seekers and legal groups, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, responded in July that the dispute is for now academic, as the administration, citing the pandemic, has in effect closed the border to asylum seekers. They urged the court to deny review in the case, Wolf v. Innovation Law Lab, No. 19-1212.

In a second brief, the administration said the pandemic did not make the case less urgent.

“The current suspension on introducing certain aliens is a temporary response to the pandemic,” the brief said. “The decisions below impose severe constraints” on the government, the brief said, “and those constraints will endure long past the present emergency.”

After the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, Judy Rabinovitz, a lawyer with the A.C.L.U., said she hoped the justices would protect her clients.

“Asylum seekers face grave danger every day this illegal and depraved policy is in effect,” she said. “The courts have repeatedly ruled against it, and the Supreme Court should as well.”

In the border-wall case, a divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled against the administration in June, saying Congress had not authorized the spending. But the Supreme Court, in a pair of interim orders decided by 5-to-4 votes, had allowed construction to continue until it either denies the administration’s petition seeking review or agrees to hear the administration’s appeal and rules on it.

One of those orders, though it was unsigned and only a paragraph long, indicated that the groups challenging the administration may not have a legal right to do so. That suggested that the court’s conservative majority was likely to side with the administration in the end.

The case arose from Mr. Trump’s efforts to make good on a campaign promise to build the barrier. In early 2019, he declared a national emergency along the Mexican border. The declaration followed a two-month impasse with Congress over funding to build the wall, a standoff that gave rise to the longest partial government shutdown in the nation’s history.

After Congress appropriated only a fraction of what Mr. Trump had sought, he announced that he would act unilaterally to spend billions more.

Soon after, environmental groups sued to stop the president’s plan to use money meant for military programs to build barriers along the border in what he said was an effort to combat drug trafficking. California and New Mexico filed a similar suit.

Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr., of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, blocked the construction in a pair of decisions that said the statute the administration had relied on to justify the transfer did not authorize it.

“The case is not about whether the challenged border barrier construction plan is wise or unwise,” Judge Gilliam wrote. “It is not about whether the plan is the right or wrong policy response to existing conditions at the southern border of the United States. Instead, this case presents strictly legal questions regarding whether the proposed plan for funding border barrier construction exceeds the Executive Branch’s lawful authority.”

The Ninth Circuit affirmed Judge Gilliam’s injunction, saying that “the Constitution delegates exclusively to Congress the power of the purse.”

“The Executive Branch lacked independent constitutional authority to authorize the transfer of funds,” Judge Sidney R. Thomas wrote for the majority, concluding: “Therefore, the transfer of funds here was unlawful.”

In urging the Supreme Court to hear the case, Trump v. Sierra Club, No. 20-138, lawyers for the administration wrote that “the decisions below concern a matter of exceptional national importance.” The court routinely grants review in cases concerning judicial interference with the executive branch’s efforts to protect the nation’s security, the brief said.

“That standard is plainly met,” the brief said, “by this injunction against the transfer of military funds to assist in the construction of fences on the southern border to stanch the flow of illegal drugs.”

The environmental groups, represented by the A.C.L.U., responded that Mr. Trump should not be permitted to defy Congress.

It could not be plainer that Congress rejected President Trump’s funding request for the wall construction in dispute here,” the brief said. “The President himself conceded that Congress turned him down.”

On Monday, after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, Dror Ladin, a lawyer with the A.C.L.U., said his group would prevail before the justices.

“Everyone knows that Trump failed to get Congress to fund his xenophobic wall obsession, and every lower court that has considered the case has found that the president has no authority to waste billions of taxpayer dollars on construction,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to making the same case before the Supreme Court and finally putting a stop to the administration’s unconstitutional power grab.”



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On Trump’s Vicious Immigration Rhetoric and Policies


How do Mexicans protest? With humanitarian demonstrations, or law-and-order demonstrations? It is harder to offer human aid in Mexico than harsh cruelty. The government looks down on any extension of charity to migrants. Still, along the way, in many of the towns where the train stops, local people of little means gather along the tracks with tortillas and bread and fruit and water. American expats sometimes join them.

Some of the unwounded make it all the way to the border, where they are denied entry by the U.S. and pushed into Tijuana to live in COVID-breeding dumps—they can’t go home, or they will be killed. They can’t go forward, because they know what awaits their babies.

This is all in response to our administration’s actions and rhetoric. As are the Tijuana MAGA hats—MTGA, I suppose.

The Otero County Prison Facility in Chaparral, New Mexico
The private Otero County Prison Facility, in Chaparral, New Mexico, is one location where ICE detainees are incarcerated. (Philip Montgomery)

Meanwhile, the glorious Klondike of graft known as the border wall stumbles along, creating tens of miles of multimillion-dollar yard art. In the past few months, ICE and Border Patrol agents have been redeployed as Trump’s secret police, the shock troops sent to protests in American cities, driving unmarked vehicles to collect dissidents. Either the current government of the United States does not care about the “waves” of people invading the country, or the border may not be under siege after all.

Still, it is worth looking south as the U.S. presidential election nears—to those brown lands that have law-and-order forces even more ironfisted than our president dares to be. Yet.

The thunder lizards of any shithole country Trump has insulted have an equal lust for lucre and power. They too look south to conjure “others”—why do they always look south, at poorer, more tattered countries than their own? But they also look within, persecuting “others” in their own lands, even those who look just like them but are insufficiently subservient or merely inconvenient. Like we are starting to do with the antifa kids. Or with the Black Lives Matter protesters, those mothers who need to be pepper-sprayed for standing on the street.

Before he left Mexico, my father faced a crisis of political faith, and this led to his exile from Mexico’s power machine. He was given an order he could not, in good conscience, carry out. But he was still a conservative. He still believed in order. The San Diego suburbs where we finally landed made him comfortable and ruined him. He was now just a bowling-alley custodian, not a power broker with a black car and a Harley and a long military coat. He became the dad of a Bob Dylan fan. And he had to watch, in 1968, on our new color TV, how his beloved government massacred kids like me in Tlatelolco for protesting during the Olympics and embarrassing the mighty men in the presidential palace. He could no longer take refuge in the belief that the system was righteous, despite those leaders who strayed. He saw American conservatism as a last bastion of hope. But he would have finally lost that hope under Trump. He would have recognized the darkness too well.



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Abortion and immigration driving Florida Latino voters to the polls


As the 2020 presidential election approaches, Latino and evangelical voters in Florida are finding themselves pulled to the polls by issues related to the regulation of abortion and illegal immigration.

Residents have reportedly been torn between backing certain immigration policies that embrace identity politics and social justice versus elements of the pro-life movement, religious freedom and Christianity that are being championed by President Trump, according.to The Tampa Bay Times.

“It is our duty and job to defend the ethical and moral values that guide us,” Puerto Rican evangelical Pastor Angel Marcial said. “And that must be done by voting.”

Marcial, 30, leads a congregation of parishioners at the evangelical Vertical Church in Largo. He also serves as the youth director for the Southeastern Hispanic Region of the Tennessee-based Church of God and said he’s been working with Latinos who believe a wedge is being driven between them and traditional evangelicals.

He explained how important it is for both sides to see each other’s issues and recognize them, even if it may break from traditional norms.

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“That does not mean we do not think about our immigrant brothers who are suffering,” the pastor added.

Given Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and her strong faith in Catholicism and the pro-life movement, Christian Latino voters have found abortion has become central to their decision.

However, other pockets of voters have expressed fear about Trump’s policies with regard to the enforcement of federal immigration laws, which some fear could result in mass deportations.

Other pastors have taken a more apolitical approach in the hope that parishioners and voters will make up their own minds and decide for themselves.

Josué Carbajal, 34, is a Mexican-born pastor of the Living Grace Church in Plant City, who told The Times he encourages his flock to educate themselves with facts while using truth and prayer as their main guide.

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“I do not suggest candidates or parties,” he said. “There are Christian and biblical foundations to consider, but in the end, the decision is up to the individual and no one else.”

“I am analyzing everything because it is a difficult and contradictory choice,” Carbajal added. “There are immigration issues that concern us, but on the other hand, there are things that we cannot stop listening to, such as abortion and the decision between life and death.”



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Trump Weighs More Crackdowns on Welfare-Dependent Immigration


President Trump’s administration is weighing more crackdowns to ensure American taxpayers are not footing the bill for the cost of legal immigrant welfare dependents to the United States.

Last year, the Trump administration published a new regulation that made it more difficult for welfare-dependent legal immigrants seeking green cards to permanently resettle in the U.S. The regulation, previous estimates have stated, equates to a nearly $60 billion tax cut for American taxpayers.

A new regulation being weighed by the administration would make sure that American citizen sponsors of foreign nationals for green cards have the means to cover all the associated costs.

“Specifically, this proposed rule would require sponsors and household members who execute an Affidavit or Contract to provide Federal income tax returns for three years, credit reports, credit scores, and bank account information,” the proposed regulation states.

The regulation is designed to have citizens prove they can maintain the required income that it takes to sponsor a foreign national for a green card, whether that be a relative or a possible employee.

Also, the regulation would effectively prevent citizens who are dependent on welfare from sponsoring foreign nationals for green cards unless they have an additional sponsor who has not taken welfare.

“If your income is so low that you qualify for means-tested welfare programs, why should you be allowed to sponsor new immigrants?” Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan wrote in a post of the proposed regulation.

A CIS study has revealed about 63 percent of noncitizen households in the U.S. use at least one form of taxpayer-funded welfare, while only about 35 percent of native-born American households are on welfare. This means that noncitizen households use nearly twice as much welfare as native-born American households.

In California — with the largest noncitizen population in the country at almost 11 million, or nearly 30 percent of the state’s total population — more than seven-in-ten, or 72 percent, of households headed by noncitizens are on at least one form of welfare. Compare that to the findings that only about seven-in-twenty, or 35 percent, of native-born households in California are on welfare.

(Center for Immigration Studies)

Preventing Americans from being forced to foot the bill for welfare for newly arrived legal immigrants is hugely popular among U.S. voters. A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted in 2017 revealed that more than six-in-ten voters, or 62 percent, said they would support a plan that bans legal immigrants from receiving welfare for at least the first five years of their residency in the country. Roughly 67 percent of swing voters and nearly 60 percent of black Americans said they would support such a plan.

Another 76 percent of U.S. voters said welfare users should be mandated to prove that they are not in the country illegally before being allowed to obtain public benefits, including 74 percent of black Americans, 77 percent of swing voters, and 63 percent of Democrat voters.

Currently, there is an estimated record high of 44.5 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S. This is nearly quadruple the immigrant population in 2000. The vast majority of those arriving in the country every year are low-skilled legal immigrants who compete against working and middle-class Americans for jobs.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder





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Judge accuses Immigration Minister Alan Tudge of criminal conduct in immigration case



A Federal Court judge has labelled a Federal Cabinet Minister’s behaviour as “criminal” after he left a Hazara Afghan man languishing in an immigration detention centre despite a tribunal ordering he be granted a visa.

The scathing critique of Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge is the latest in a number of judgments on the issue from Justice Geoffrey Flick, who has also taken aim at Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s handling of visa matters in recent months.

Justice Flick said Mr Tudge had “intentionally and without lawful authority been responsible for depriving a person of his liberty”, and his “conduct exposes him to both civil and potentially criminal sanctions, not limited to a proceeding for contempt”.

The case relates to a man known as PDWL, who arrived in Australian in 2012. He applied for a temporary protection visa four years later, fearful for his safety should he be returned to Afghanistan.

The man had worked with the Afghan National Army and government, and he held serious concerns he could be targeted by the Taliban.

In December 2019, an official from the Home Affairs Department rejected the visa application on the basis he had pleaded guilty and been convicted of assault over a drunken fight with a friend over a mobile phone.

This was seen as a breach of the “character test”, which is used to measure the risk someone might present to the Australian community.

On 11 March 2020, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) overturned that decision and ordered the man be granted a visa — and that the process should be carried out quickly, given he was “understandably anxious to be reunited with his wife and children”.

The Minister immediately appealed the AAT judgment in the Federal Court, but PDWL remained in the Yongah Hill Detention Centre in Western Australia for another five days.

He was released after a judgment in the Federal Court on March 17, after Justice Michael Wigney said he had remained in detention “because the Minister did not like the Tribunal’s decision”.

In his judgment today, Justice Flick found the AAT had made an error of law in granting PDWL the visa, but he argued the Minister’s subsequent poor treatment of the man meant the visa should be granted.

“The Minister has acted unlawfully.

“In the absence of explanation, the Minister has engaged in conduct which can only be described as criminal.”

A spokeswoman for Mr Tudge told the ABC he “strongly rejects any suggestion of improper conduct”.

“The Minister is considering the reasons for the court’s decision and options for an appeal,” she said.

“Therefore, it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

Labor joined the criticism of Mr Tudge, demanding he take responsibility for his actions.

“This is this second time Alan Tudge is facing contempt of court, how many times will he be given a chance?” Opposition home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said.

“Scott Morrison needs to explain why he believes the law doesn’t apply to him or his ministers and why it seems there is one rule for his ministers and another rule for normal Australians.”



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Russia Plans Fingerprinting, eCards for Foreigners in Latest Immigration Reforms


Russia plans to require long-staying foreigners to submit fingerprints and carry electronic migration cards as part of the country’s wide-ranging immigration reforms, the Kommersant business daily reported Friday.

The Interior Ministry has drafted legislation requiring foreigners who intend to stay in Russia for more than 30 days to submit their fingerprints and other personal data, according to Kommersant. This data would be used to create ID cards containing the individuals’ information as well as their work permits.

The new rules will also allow foreigners to change their purpose of stay without crossing the border and will replace paper migration cards with electronic ones, the newspaper wrote. 

“Migration cards worked well, but they’re already outdated and it’s time to introduce digital technologies,” the deputy head of the Federal Migration Service (FMS) told Kommersant. 

The changes will affect foreign nationals that are required to obtain visas to travel to Russia as well as those with visa waivers.

It was not immediately clear how soon the proposed bill will be submitted into Russia’s parliament, which reconvenes after summer recess next week. Kommersant reported that the Interior Ministry submitted the new rules to the civic chamber, a consultative body that analyzes draft legislation. 

The planned reforms follow President Vladimir Putin’s instructions in 2018 to ease migration policy in order to offset Russia’s demographic slump. Russia has since adopted eight immigration reform laws, the head of the Interior Ministry’s migration department Valentina Kazakova told Kommersant.

The reforms have helped Russia to double naturalizations in early 2020.



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Immigration – Britain’s migrant invasion that wasn’t | Britain


AS BRITAIN SWELTERED in a heatwave—or, as most Europeans would describe it, summer—Priti Patel was far from the only Londoner to go southwards in search of sea air. But the home secretary’s outing, on August 10th, was hardly a jolly. Her day was full of pow-wows with border guards, not of ice cream and sandcastles. In Dover she clambered aboard a police vessel named Invicta and conferred with officials, a latter-day Boudicca inspecting her troops.

A steady trickle of migrants attempting to cross the English Channel in dinghies from camps in Calais has inspired a sea of tabloid headlines. Nigel Farage, a loudmouth Brexiteer, made hay. Tory MPs joined in, too: Natalie Elphicke, who represents Dover, accused incomers of “breaking into our country”; a group of 25 members of the parliamentary party saw not bedraggled groups of people desperate enough to risk drowning but hordes of “invading migrants”. Ms Patel’s trip to the seaside was an attempt to placate such critics. “Ministers want to get it off the front page of the Daily Mail,” says David Wood, a former head of immigration enforcement at the Home Office.

Populists in the media and Parliament make much of a steep rise in such crossings, from about 2,000 last year to 4,000 or so this year, according to an unofficial tally. Less remarked on is that this represents a small fraction of those who claim asylum in Britain: last year they numbered 36,000. And despite the myth that most migrants make a beeline for Britain, far more seek asylum in France (about 124,000 last year) or Germany (142,500). Photographs of the needy huddled in unseaworthy craft recall the migrant crisis of five years ago. But, says Laura Padoan of UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, “it’s really misleading to talk about a crisis. When I was in Greece in 2015, there were 11,000 people arriving on an island every day.”

Britain’s focus on the issue is regarded with some bemusement across the Channel. On August 11th Chris Philp, the immigration minister, was dispatched to Paris where, according to a press release, he held talks with “the French government”. Such circumlocution did not quite disguise the fact that his hastily-arranged meeting was with officials, not his opposite number: neither of the ministers concerned deigned to interrupt their summer break.

Still, hashing out a plan to stop the crossings—ideally by making it easier for migrants to apply to join relatives in Britain as well as by stepping up French intelligence-gathering and border patrols—is a good idea. That is not because this luckless flotilla poses a threat to Britain; rather that the Channel is the world’s busiest shipping lane. No route is safe—migrants who cross by lorry risk asphyxiation—but this one is particularly dangerous.

A crackdown would also deprive organised criminals of a lucrative revenue stream. Migrants pay smugglers between £1,000 ($1,300) and £5,000 for the 21-mile crossing, depending on the seaworthiness of the vessel, says Mr Wood. And it would deter potential migrants from making the long journey to France in the hope of crossing the Channel. “The black-market migration industry can adjust very quickly to how countries manage their borders,” says Henry Sherrell, an immigration wonk. “If you don’t get on top of it, something small can become something large.”

Any solution requires cross-Channel co-operation. When the Brexit transition period ends in December and, with it, Britain’s right to return incomers to the country where they first claimed asylum, ministers will become even more reliant on France. Hostile press briefings implying that the French government is holding Britain to ransom by “demanding” £30m for enhanced border measures are counter-productive. If this really is a crisis, it is an unusually cheap one to tackle.

This article appeared in the Britain section of the print edition under the headline “A rather small invasion”

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