‘Irregular’ migration…

May 28, 2018

Global TV News – Monique Scotti
‘We do not appreciate or welcome irregular migration’: Hussen

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen has delivered his strongest words yet on the border crossings prompted by the loss of permits in the US.  Fearful of repatriation to countries like Haiti, the immigrants are simply walking across the border into the custody of RCMP.  Hussen calls the activity “irregular migration.”  The 12,000 to date, 17,000 expected this year, are also prompting activists to demand the end of the safe third country provisions. https://globalnews.ca/news/4231071/asylum-seekers-canada-ahmed-hussen-not-welcome/  (Link is a 7 minute video report.)   Related article: Toronto Star – Tim Harper Liberals are courting a major problem with influx of asylum-seekers   https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2018/05/24/liberals-are-courting-a-major-problem-with-influx-of-asylum-seekers.html   Related article:  Toronto Star Editorial (May 24, 2018)   Indefinite detention of migrants is indefensible      https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2018/05/24/indefinite-detention-of-migrants-is-indefensible.html   Related article: 570 News / Peter Cameron – Canadian Press  Toronto asks Ottawa, province for help to deal with influx of refugee claimants   http://www.570news.com/2018/05/18/toronto-asks-ottawa-province-for-help-to-deal-with-influx-of-refugees/

Toronto Star – Anne-Rachelle Boulanger and Tanzeel Hakak
 Canada’s failed commitment to international human rights law in the Abdoul Abdi case

Abdoul Abdi is a Somali born in Saudi Arabian refugee camp where his mother died.  He has never been to Somalia but has spent most of his life in Canada, at first with an aunt but later as a ward of Children’s Aid.  Non-Canadian wards do not automatically become citizens but the agency must apply for citizenship on behalf of the ward.  When he was arrested and imprisoned, Abdoul discovered he was not a citizen and was subject to deportation to an unknown country.  The circumstances, not unique in Canada, are a violation of International Human Rights.   A previous case – that of Jama Warsame –  led to this conclusion:  “Siding with Warsame, the Human Rights Committee determined that deportation to Somalia would be a violation of Canada’s human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Though the UN Committee found that Warsame’s deportation would violate his right to freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, nevertheless, in 2012, under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Canada deported Warsame.”  The second case is now prompting debate on the gaps in the protection of Canada’s immigrants.  https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/05/28/canadas-failed-commitment-to-international-human-rights-law-in-the-abdoul-abdi-case.html

Canadian Families and Corrections Network
Resources – Reintegration

Here are some new resources from a much needed but often ignored service to families struggling with imprisonment of a loved one and the secondary victimization that occurs with families, especially on release.  “Reintegration is not easy.  It’s a time of happiness and change. Your returning family member needs a place to stay, a job, and social connections that are positive and will assist in their success.  A plan is the best way to get ready so here’s some information to assist your family.”  https://www.cfcn-rcafd.org/resources-reintegration

Chalkbeat (Denver, CO) – Melanie Asmar
The Denver school district is exploring the idea of creating its own police officers

The school district here has embraced RJ practices and seeks to better align the presence of police in the schools by creating their own police force with additional training in the restorative justice model used in the schools.  The police, who are currently school safety officers, would be authorized to arrest students and give tickets.  The school district is 77% students of colour and 67% from low income families.  The proposal was prompted by a gun-drawing incident by local police with a teacher and resistance is based on the notion that armed police don’t belong in a school at all, a position itself under controversy.   https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/co/2018/05/18/the-denver-school-district-is-exploring-the-idea-of-creating-its-own-police-officers/

N.Y. Times (US) – Maria Engels as told to Perry Garfinkle
Teaching Gandhi’s Nonviolent Principles in a Violent Time

Maria Engels, 27, is a youth educator at the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence in Rochester, N.Y.   Her personal story traces her adoption from the untouchable class in Bangladesh where she was adopted at age 18 months.  This year through the Institute, “I am working with a granting program called Youth Healing Hate; we’ve funded 15 projects that use creative educational techniques to find alternatives to fear, hostility and divisiveness.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/business/teacher-gandhi-institute-nonviolence.html

Nebraska Public Broadcast System – Bill Kelly
Fast moving developments on Nebraska’s death penalty

Nebraska has an expiry date on one of the drugs in its four drug cocktail used for executions and a number of condemned men, one of whom is Carey Dean Moore now 38 years on death row and first to be subjected to the rush to execute.  The link includes a history of the state’s executions and the mixture in the cocktail.  Moore appears to have made it easy for the state officials by dismissing his attorneys after a failed effort to obtain a pardon. http://netnebraska.org/article/news/1131326/fast-moving-developments-nebraskas-death-penalty

Texas Tribune –   Aliyya Swaby
Twice a week, these Texas students circle up and talk about their feelings. It’s lowering suspensions and preventing violence.

How do you reduce the number of school wide 3 day suspensions by one half?  Carve out 35 minutes twice a week for students to come together and talk about their feelings.  “Principal La’Quesha Grigsby attributes the improvement to a simple schedule change at the beginning of this academic year: a carve-out of 35 minutes twice a week for teachers and students to circle up and talk about their feelings. Bammel Middle School is one of a growing number of Texas schools that have adopted “restorative justice,” which encourages students and teachers to talk through their problems and build stronger relationships in order to prevent conflict and violence before it happens.”    https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/29/texas-schools-restorative-justice-violence-suspensions/

 New Orleans Louisiana (NOLA) – Flozell Daniels Jr
A simple mistake and a lack of money shouldn’t put you in jail

With prison reform in the air, this opinion piece highlights the connection between the poverty and the criminal justice system and the default setting of jail as sentencing.   These are sometimes called secondary punishments.  Nicole was driving without her seatbelt buckled in New Orleans, the city which leads all US cities for jailing people who are poor. “After she received a ticket for the seatbelt violation, she forgot to pay it…A year later, Nicole was pulled over in a routine traffic stop and taken to jail for driving on a suspended license, something she didn’t realize could happen just from not paying one ticket. Her penalty? Bail, fees and fines that were too high to pay on her $26,500 per-year salary, the median income for black women working full-time in Louisiana. In this system that effectively treats poverty as a crime, neither Nicole nor her family could buy her freedom.”  The eventual cost?  A month in Orleans Parish jail, the loss of her job, a missed family holiday, several missed parent teacher conferences, and thousands of dollars in taxpayer money.   https://articles.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2018/05/bail_reform.amp?__twitter_impression=true   Related article:  CBC News – Cameron MacLean   ‘Miscarriage of justice’ after man serves 6 months for crime he couldn’t have committed   https://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4681737?__twitter_impression=true