Category Archives: Refugee Issues

In ‘Massive Escalation’, Texas Sues to Shut Down Faith-Based Shelter for Helping Migrants

“If the work that Annunciation House conducts is illegal—so too is the work of our local hospitals, schools, and food banks,” said the nonprofit organization.

By Julia Conley. Published 2-21-2024 by Common Dreams

Annunciation House volunteers calling upon local and national leaders to welcome asylum-seekers with dignity. Photo: Annunciation House/Facebook

A faith-based migrant aid organization that’s operated in El Paso, Texas for nearly five decades said Wednesday that Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered it to turn over documents about its work earlier this month—but that a lawsuit filed by Paxton has now made clear that his true goal is to shut down the group’s network of shelters.

Annunciation House, which provides food and housing for refugees and undocumented immigrants, received an order from the Consumer Protection Division of Paxton’s office on February 7, demanding that it turn over documents including legal service referrals, identifying information about asylum-seekers and migrants the group helped, and applications for federal funding. The organization was given one day to turn over the documents, and Paxton provided no explanation for the demand.

Continue reading
Share Button

Record 50 Million Children Now Displaced as Wars, Climate Crisis Rage

“When children lose their homes, they lose almost everything: their access to healthcare, education, food, and safety,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 2-20-2024 by Common Dreams

Children in the area of Shangil Tobaya, Sudan. Photo: United Nations Photo/flickr/CC

The 10 biggest global crises—including Israel’s war on Gaza—forced more than 10 million children to flee their homes in 2023.

That figure likely puts the total number of displaced children at more than 50 million, a new record, Save the Children said in an analysis published Tuesday. The number of children displaced worldwide has also more than doubled from around 20.6 million in 2010. While the number of displaced people overall reached a record 114 million in October 2023, children are being pushed from their homes at an even faster rate than adults and face unique vulnerabilities.

Continue reading
Share Button

Yes, Republican states are now starting to emulate the Civil War-era south

The Texas governor rejecting federal immigration laws has echoes of the Confederate states

By Chrissy Stroop. Published 2-1-2024 by openDemocracy

A “border security” rally in Eagle Pass, Texas on February 3, 2024. Screenshot: KENS5

We’re not even a full month into a crucial election year in the United States, and it already feels like the country is coming apart at the seams.

In a standoff that has dragged on for weeks now, Texas governor Greg Abbott, a right-wing Catholic, has refused to allow federal Border Patrol agents to enter a public park along the Rio Grande where refugees and asylum seekers are known to cross. As summarised by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, reporting for CBS: “Federal law requires Border Patrol to process migrants who enter the US illegally to determine whether they should be deported, transferred to another federal agency, sent to a long-term immigration detention centre or released pending a review of their asylum claims.”

Continue reading
Share Button

GOP Congressman Suggests ‘Pinochet Air’ Death Flights for Migrants

“We wonder why the right-wingers aren’t freaking out about Trump’s dictator talk but we shouldn’t,” said one local Democratic leader in Georgia.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-2-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.) is seen here in a December 6, 2023 photo. 
(Photo: Mike Collins/Facebook)

A Republican congressman from Georgia on Thursday suggested a novel way to stem the influx of migrants at the southern border: throw them from helicopters into the sea.

Responding to a photo showing a migrant flipping off the camera following his release without bail from a New York City court, Rep. Mike Collins took to social media to reply to a post by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.) advising the young man to “holla at the cartels and have them escort you back.”

Continue reading
Share Button

20+ NGOs Condemn ‘Reckless’ Decision to Cut Off UNRWA Aid

“Countries must reverse these funding suspensions, uphold their duties towards the Palestinian people, and scale up humanitarian assistance for civilians in dire need in Gaza and the region.”

By Brett Wilkins. Published 1-29-2024 by Common Dreams

UNRWA school in Rafah, Gaza in 2009. Photo: ISM Palestine/flickr/CC

More than 20 humanitarian aid organizations on Monday condemned the decision by the United States and a growing list of nations to suspend funding for the United Nations agency that provides vital services to Palestinians suffering through a genocidal Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

Following Israeli claims—reportedly extracted from Palestinian prisoners in an interrogation regime rife with torture and abuse—that 12 of the more than 13,000 United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) workers in Gaza were involved in the October 7 Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel, the United States and nine other nations cut off funding to the largest humanitarian aid organization operating in the besieged coastal enclave.

Continue reading
Share Button

‘Dear Children of Gaza,’ Says Viral Letter, ‘I Am Sorry’

“You may ask the world why there was swift action when trade routes and economic interests were at risk but deafening silence when 10,000 children were killed,” wrote a British lawmaker. “The world might not like your questions, but you deserve your answers.”

By Julia Conley. Published 1=27-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Libertinus/CC

In a viral video released Friday, British member of Parliament Naz Shah, who represents the Labour Party, issued an apology to the roughly 1 million children of Gaza on behalf of world leaders who—despite Palestinian journalists’ live-streaming of Israel’s assault on the enclave and an international court’s finding that Israel is plausibly committing genocidal acts—refuse to see the impact the bombardment is having on civilians, including its youngest residents.

The video shows Shah writing a letter addressed to the “children of Gaza,” along with images of children being treated in hospitals, buried under rubble, and living in shelters since Israel began bombarding the enclave in retaliation for Hamas’ attack on October 7. Children are also seen gathered on a playground prior to the air and ground assaults that have so far killed more than 13,000 children.

Continue reading
Share Button

Biden Urged to Take ‘Control of the Texas National Guard’ as State Defies Supreme Court

Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat, accused Gov. Greg Abbott of “using the Texas National Guard to obstruct and create chaos at the border.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-24-2024 by Common Dreams

Members of the Texas National Guard patrol the U.S. border with razor wire. (Photo: Greg Abbott/X)

Texas officials are defying a Monday Supreme Court ruling prohibiting them from blocking the federal government from removing razor wire installed by the state along the U.S. border with Mexico, prompting calls for the Biden administration to respond.

The Texas National Guard is barring the federal government from entering an area in Eagle Pass where it has installed the wire, as CBS’ Camilo Montoya-Galvez reported Tuesday.

Continue reading
Share Button

Human Rights Watch to Mexico: Don’t Help US ‘Tear Apart’ Its Asylum System

The group sent a letter to the Mexican president Thursday asking him not to agree to any deal that would see more asylum seekers expelled to Mexico without having their cases considered.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 1-19-2024 by Common Dreams

Asylum seekers arrive in Tijuana, Mexico in 2018. Photo: Daniel Arauz/flickr/CC

Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Thursday asking him not to broker any deal with the United States that would allow more asylum seekers to be sent to Mexico without due process.

The letter, also addressed to Secretary of Foreign Relations of Mexico Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, was sent one day before the pair were set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, D.C.

Continue reading
Share Button

Drowning of Women, Two Children Intensify Disgust Over Illegal Border Operations by Texas National Guard

“Gov. Abbott’s inhumanity has no limit. Everyone who enables his cruelty has blood on their hands.”

By Jon Queally. Published 1-14-2024 by Common Dreams

U.S. Border Patrol agents perform a water rescue and assist a migrant family in distress near Eagle Pass, Texas, August 20, 2019, CBP photo by Jaime Rodriguez Sr.

The drowning of a woman and two young children along the U.S.-Mexico border have sparked outrage and rebuke over the weekend after it was reported that U.S. Border Patrol agents attempting a rescue operation were denied access to the area by Texas security officials operating under the direction of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

According to Texas Public Radio:

Continue reading
Share Button

Millions Set to March for Gaza Cease-Fire as Threat of Regional War Surges

“It will send a powerful message not just to the Israelis but to the Western powers who are backing them that the public say, ‘Not in our name.'”

By Jake Johnson. Published 1-12-2024 by Common Dreams

Rally For Palestine, Dunedin, NZ, Sat. 11-4-2023. Photo: Mark McGuire/CC

Millions of people are expected to take to the streets worldwide on Saturday to demand a permanent cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and denounce the U.S.-led bombing of Yemen, which pushed the Middle East even closer to a full-scale regional war.

Organizers said people in over 120 cities across 45 countries are planning to join the Gaza Global Day of Action, a mass demonstration that will begin days after South Africa presented evidence before the International Court of Justice that Israel is committing genocide in the Palestinian enclave.

Continue reading
Share Button