A new migrant caravan is making its way through southern Mexico

Mexico. A new migrant caravan of about 2,500 people is making its way through southern Mexico, headed for the US border, facing greater heat – and a much cooler welcome – than last year’s caravans.

The caravan walked past the city of Huixtla in the southern state of Chiapas on Monday, but police were lined up to keep them moving along a highway outside the town, and did not let them enter – a contrast to last year, when caravans were allowed to stay in the city center.

The city said in a statement that it offered water and medical help to the caravan of 2,466 people, mainly from Nicaragua, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. It said the caravan included many children, and some were suffering in the area’s near-100F (39C) heat.

Such caravans aren’t getting as a warm a welcome as they did last fall, when local governments and church groups handed out food, water and clothing, and police sometimes helped the migrants get rides.

Activists said that the Mexican government was trying to wear the caravans out, or stop them from trying to reach the United States.

This year, the Mexican government abruptly stopped issuing “humanitarian” visas at the border with Guatemala. The visas had given migrants legal status while they made their way to the US border.

Migrant children receive medical attention

The results of the medical checks on most of the detained migrant children have not yet been made public. Border Protection Custody is seeking the additional help of other Government Agencies to provide adequate cover. They say that in just the month of November 5,283 accompanied or lone children have been detained.

The number for December is expected to appreciably exceed this. Most children and adults only remain a few days with this sector, and are then sent to longer term immigration service holding areas. The issue of suffer the little children, is turning into a major crisis amidst the migration exodus.

Another migrant child dies in US custody

Another boy, who’s not being named, was taken to hospital in New Mexico after falling ill. He was treated and released, but later his condition deteriorated, he was re-admitted but died on Christmas day.

An investigation has been launched into these two tragedies amidst this humanitarian exodus.

This follows the death several days ago of a seven year old Guatemalan girl, who collapsed from dehydration and shock.

Hundreds of children many of whom are very young, are accompanying their parents, desperate to escape the ravages of poverty and the threat of organized crime.

Now a fourth Central American Caravan has started its journey from Honduras. But representatives say it`s planned destination is Chiapas in Southern Mexico and NOT the United States.

 

Source: Vatican News

At USCCB conference, advocate explains immigrant recruitment fraud

It is fairly common for migrant workers to be charged a fee by a recruiter to be matched with a job in the United States. But some migrants have reported paying the fee for a promised job that does not really exist. In other scams, a job is real, but the work is very different than the initial job description.

Rachel Micah-Jones, founder and executive director of Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc.  poke Dec. 6 on a panel at the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services “Justice for Immigrants” conference held in Arlington, Va.

While similar bills have been proposed in California and New Jersey, Micah-Jones highlighted the importance of this legislation for the Old Line State. Maryland is “a big destination state” for international workers, she explained, and has “the full alphabet soup” of visa holders who work in industries across the state.

“This bill is really important because it would prohibit the charging of fees for workers who are recruited to work in the state of Maryland,” she said. These recruitment fees make migrant workers more vulnerable to abuse, as they are indebted to their employer. Other times, these workers may be discouraged or afraid to speak out about abuse on the job due to fear of losing their visa.

“Many workers are recruited for jobs that oftentimes that don’t exist, (even) after paying for those jobs,” she added.

 

Source: The CNA has this News

Pastoral agents welcome and needed in Uganda

There are more than a million refugees currently live in Bishop Odoki’s diocese in Uganda. Most of the refugees come from South Sudan and a small portion from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The first groups arrived in late 2013 after civil war broke out in South Sudan.

Due to short supply of priest, “a pastoral and spiritual care is much needed to meet the needs of refugees.  Bishop Odoki said his diocese even lacks the financial support to provide shelter for the pastoral agents. So the bishop is appealing to religious congregations to send priests and sisters to help meet the refugees’ spiritual needs. “They are welcome,” he said.

Migrants: 60 lives saved after a vessel with about 180 migrants

Miraculously, 68 others were rescued off Tunisia’s southern coast, but the death toll is expected to rise, as authorities suspect many bodies have been washed away.

Most of those onboard were Tunisian. Some survived by clinging to debris for over 10-hours, others were lucky enough to be wearing flimsy life jackets.

So far this year, around 660 people have died or gone missing whist attempting to reach Europe in un-seaworthy boats.

Migrants, EU Commission funds Greece project

It is with 180 million euros that the European Commission has financed new aid projects for migrants in Greece. This is an activity that is part of the strengthening of the ‘Emergency support for integration and housing arrangements’ program (Estia).

“Our humanitarian refugee programs in Greece are a clear and strong sign of European solidarity. We continue to maintain our strong commitment to helping refugees in Greece to lead more secure, normal and dignified lives and to facilitate their integration into the local economy and society, “said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Christos Stylianides.

Brazil, racist attacks against Venezuelan migrants

“The racist attacks on Venezuelan migrants in Roraima, Brazil, require special attention from the institutions and the international community. Every frontier of the world, in fact, is turning into a delicate place where instead of confrontation and acceptance, the inter-ethnic hatred wants to be master “.

This is said by Sister Neusa de Fatima Mariano, superior general of the Scalabrinian Missionary Sisters, a Congregation that since its foundation deals with welcoming migrants.

“On 8 February an arson attack struck a Venezuelan family, including a 4-year-old boy,” he added. “It seems like a similar story that happened a few days earlier in Boa Vista. In recent months, many Venezuelan families are trying to escape from a harsh political, economic and humanitarian crisis. The response of the Brazilian institutions is not yet sufficient and fears are unfounded in the community of Roraima, the border town where they come to ask for help. We need coordinated interventions related to the integration and analysis of the greatest vulnerabilities, as well as to accept the exhortation of Pope Francis not to be afraid, to open up to the other, refining the look that makes me see the other not as an invader, but as a person “.

Several communities (from the academic ones, to the Caritas, to the pastoral activities) have signed a document where they repudiate these xenophobic acts. Among them, the Institute of Migration and Human Rights, of the Scalabrinian nuns based in Brasilia

CdE: Common Political Needed

“States need to have a common policy to manage migratory flows and to do so by respecting the standards dictated by the Council of Europe and seeking solutions that last”.

This is what was said by the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe for Migration and Refugees, Thomas Bocek.

Mattarella: EU faces migrants theme

“The slowing down of these weeks of flows requires Europe to tackle the issue of migration in a structural way”.

This was stated by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella at the end of a meeting with the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. “The European Union can do much more than individual countries can do,” he added.