Over 120,000 Minors Crossed Perilous Darien Gap Jungle Last Year to Reach US Published 16 minutes ago

Posted By: Anita Mamgai Posted On: Jan 02, 2024

Record numbers of migrants crossing the hostile Darien gap jungle in 2023 included 120,000 minors, the Panama government said Monday.

The year ended with 520,085 people recorded as traversing the lawless, thick rainforest that straddles Panama and Colombia, Panama's public security ministry wrote on Twitter.

Most of those braving the crossing, which can take up to six days, were fleeing economic misery in Venezuela, with more than 320,000 risking it all in the jungle this year.

Ecuadorians and Haitians were the next biggest groups, while over 25,000 Chinese citizens also took on the trek.

Vietnamese, Afghans and citizens of Cameroon or Burkina Faso were also recorded.

The number of migrants crossing the Darien Gap has more than doubled since 2022, when 248,000 passed through.

Panama authorities in September announced a series of measures to try and contain the surge in migration, such as an increase in deportations of people who enter the country illegally.

Migrants face rivers, wild animals, and violent criminal gangs in the jungle.

Upon arrival in Panama, they head to Costa Rica, and then Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, before making their way to the United States border.

Source: News18
Related Posts: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION,PANAMA,US MIGRANT CRISIS

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How Britain plans to cut immigration

Posted By: Jaydatt Chaudhary Posted On: Feb 04, 2024
The overall package to restrict legal migration is likely to reduce economic growth, and Rishi Sunak?s promise to restore stability to government is foundering on the issue. Photo: AFP

When the Conservatives came to power in 2010 they promised to reduce net migration to below 100,000 a year. Since the Brexit vote in 2016, there has been much talk of “taking back control" of Britain’s borders. The 2019 Tory manifesto pledged to reduce immigration, though it did not give a number. Yet immigration has continued to climb, and the battle to rein it in continues to have wider consequences.

Illegal migration is the cause of bitter Tory infighting. On December 6th James Cleverly, the home secretary, unveiled new legislation designed to get round a ruling by the Supreme Court last month, which found that its cherished scheme to fly asylum-seekers to Rwanda was unlawful. The bill orders the courts to ignore bits of domestic and international human-rights law; a new treaty with Rwanda, unveiled by Mr Cleverly earlier in the week, is meant to reassure judges that asylum-seekers sent there would be safe. That is not enough for hardliners who want to see Britain override a host of legal obligations, including the European Convention on Human Rights, in order to get flights to Kigali under way; Robert Jenrick, the immigration minister, promptly resigned.

If the political costs of the immigration debate are mounting, so too are the economic ones. Mr Cleverly's busy week had started with the announcement of measures to cut net legal migration (immigration minus emigration) by 300,000 people. From next spring those hoping to get a work visa will have to earn at least £38,700 ($48,800) a year, up from £26,200; visa exemptions for sectors where there are labour shortages will be reviewed; and the rules on bringing in foreign spouses and dependants will be tightened.

These measures were prompted by the publication of official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), showing a net 672,000 people moving to Britain in the year to June. The figures for the full year of 2022 were revised up from 606,000 to 745,000—a record high.

Business has not welcomed the new measures. Although the number of unfilled job vacancies has fallen over the past year, it remains high: at 957,000 according to the ONS. Firms continue to report recruitment difficulties. While most of the Home Office's estimated 300,000 will reduce the number of dependants and students rather than workers it will tighten the labour market at the margins.

Businesses also fear that the higher salary requirements for a work visa will give an advantage to firms in London and the south-east of England. The £38,700 is 13% below the median full-time salary in the capital but 17% above the median earnings in the north-west and 22% higher than in the East Midlands. The abrupt shift in policy has also raised corporate eyebrows, with bosses comparing it to recent U-turns on the net-zero transition and the High Speed 2 rail network. A government that talks up the importance of long-term stability is increasingly making short-sighted and politically driven changes.

Health and social care, which have been major drivers of immigration for work reasons, are exempt from the new salary rules. Both sectors have faced especially acute recruitment challenges. Yet new rules mean workers will not be able to bring dependants. The Home Office say that 205,000 health and care visas were issued in the two years to September along with 236,000 visas granted to those workers dependants (see chart). This change will certainly lower net migration. It will also make it more difficult to attract workers to Britain.

Mr Cleverly also announced that the government will make it harder for Britons to get a visa for family members. The minimum income required to bring a foreign spouse into the country will rise from £18,600 to £38,700. Under the old threshold, more than nine in ten Britons in full-time work could do this; under the new rules more than half will not be able to. Marrying someone from overseas will be especially tricky for the poor, the young and those outside the south-east.

Immigration does matter to voters. According to polling from YouGov, a research firm, 40% of Britons consider immigration and asylum-seekers among the most important issues facing the country, up from under 20% in early 2021. But the new rules on dependants for health and social-care workers will make recruitment in hard-pressed sectors tougher. The overall package to restrict legal migration is likely to reduce economic growth. And Rishi Sunak's promise to restore stability to government is foundering on the issue. Even champions of a tougher line on migration should recoil at all that.

For more expert analysis of the biggest stories in Britain, sign up to Blighty, our weekly subscriber-only newsletter.

© 2023, The Economist Newspaper Limited. All rights reserved. From The Economist, published under licence. The original content can be found on www.economist.com

Milestone Alert! Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

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Related Posts: BRITAIN IMMIGRATION,UK IMMIGRATION,CONSERVATIVE PARTY,TORIES,ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION,JAMES CLEVERLY,ASYLUM SEEKERS,UK ASYLUM SEEKERS,RISHI SUNAK,BRITISH PRIME MINISTER,UK VISA

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UK House of Lords Votes to Delay Sunak Govt’s Rwanda Plan Published 33 minutes ago

Posted By: Preeti Dabar Posted On: Jan 23, 2024

Britain's unelected upper house of parliament inflicted a blow Monday to the government's controversial plan to send migrants to Rwanda, by voting to delay ratification of the treaty with Kigali.

The move is a blow for Prime Minister Rishi Runak, who had urged the House of Lords to pass the plan, saying it was the will of the people.

A majority of peers — 214 against 171 — voted to delay ratification of the treaty that London signed with Kigali until the British government has demonstrated that Rwanda is a safe country for migrants who would be deported there.

The treaty is central to the Conservative government's policy to combat illegal immigration by deporting asylum seekers to the East African country.

Sunak, an internal Tory appointment as prime minister after Liz Truss's short-lived tenure ended in disaster in October 2022, is under pressure to deliver on what he has made a flagship policy.

The prime minister survived a key test of his leadership last week by fending off right-wing rebels in his Conservative party to win a knife-edge parliamentary vote in the lower House of Commons on the so-called Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill.

He has staked his political future on the scheme, promising to “stop the boats” of migrants crossing the Channel from northern France.

The bill is Sunak's answer to a UK Supreme Court ruling late last year that deporting asylum seekers to Kigali is illegal under international law.

If passed, the legislation would compel judges to treat Rwanda as a safe third country.

It would also give UK ministers powers to disregard sections of international and British human rights legislation.

But critics dismiss it as an expensive gimmick that will not work, accusing the government of not doing enough to clear asylum backlogs.

Peers in the House of Lords, which include former senior judges, have expressed deep unease about the plan, particularly its calls to ignore international human rights and refugee law.

Unlike elected members of the House of Commons, the Lords do not have the power to block ratification of the treaty, which is central to the legislation. But the vote, to which the government will have to respond, suggests new difficulties for the controversial bill.

The bill itself, which defines Rwanda as a safe third country and prevents the return of migrants to their country of origin, is due to be debated in the upper house next week.

Sunak has vowed to cut regular and irregular immigration that has reached record levels despite promises to tighten UK borders after the country's departure from the European Union.

The issue — and his proposed solution, which was not Tory policy at the last election in 2019 — is likely to dominate the next nationwide vote later this year, which the opposition Labour Party is tipped to win.

Source: News18
Related Posts: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION,RISHI SUNAK,RWANDA

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US Supreme Court Allows Biden to Remove Concertina Wire Border Barriers Erected by Texas Govt Published 25 minutes ago

Posted By: Aditya Gogoi Posted On: Jan 23, 2024

The US Supreme Court voted Monday to let the Biden administration remove concertina wire border barriers that Texas erected to fight illegal immigration from Mexico — a hot button issue in this election year.

The barriers are the brainchild of Texas governor Greg Abbott, an outspoken supporter of former president Donald Trump, who is making immigration one of the key tools of his bid to retake the White House in November.

Abbott has accused Biden of “deliberate inaction” as record numbers of Central Americans and people of other nationalities have streamed across the US-Mexico border in recent months.

In December a federal appeals court barred the Biden government from removing the concertina wire barrier from the banks of the Rio Grande near the town of Eagle Pass, except in case of medical emergency.

This month the Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to remove this injunction in an emergency application while the court considers the full merits of the case.

The court voted 5-4 Monday, including the support of chief justice John Roberts, to side with the Biden administration.

Neither side gave reasons for their vote, which is common when the court decides on emergency petitions.

Abbott has made national headlines by bussing immigrants to cities seen as traditionally liberal, such as New York, as part of his campaign to draw attention to what he calls Biden's failed border policy.

The Texas National Guard seized control January 11 of a park in Eagle Pass that lies along the Rio Grande, a move that heightened tensions with the Biden administration.

The Justice Department has accused the governor of preventing federal border agents from doing their job by denying them access to the border, even in the event of emergency, along a 2.3 mile (3.7 kilometre) stretch of the river. But Texas authorities refute this allegation.

Source: News18
Related Posts: BORDER CRISIS,ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION,MIGRANT CRISIS

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