FSRN Weekly Edition – May 15, 2015
- SE Asian nations “push back” boats crowded with migrants, leaving thousands stranded at sea
- EU calls for migrant resettlement quotas and maritime military action
- Millions in limbo as DACA/DAPA case winds through courts
- Striking Mexican farmworkers score tentative victory in San Quintin
- Madison #BlackSpring protests; no charges in police shooting of Tony Robinson
- U.S. Interior Department gives Shell green light to drill in Arctic waters
- S. African Jews apologize to Palestinians displaced from their village by the Nakba
Thousands of Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshis are stranded at sea, as a result of a new policy in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to refuse port or “push back” boats filled with migrants and asylum-seekers. The Southeast Asian countries argue the policy is a way to fight human smuggling, but human rights groups say it jeopardizes the lives of already desperate refugees. Ron Corben reports from Bangkok.
The European Union is mulling a different set of strategies to respond to an increase in migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. EU leaders hinted at a policy shift last month after about 800 people died in a single shipwreck while attempting to cross from Libya. FSRN’s Nell Abram has more.
An estimated five million unauthorized immigrants in the United States who qualify for the expanded deferred action program are still living in a legal limbo. President Obama created the program through executive action last fall, but legal challenges to the immigration policy continue to wend through the federal court system. The deferred action program would give parents of U.S.-born children, and other members of mixed-status families, temporary relief from deportation. A federal judge in Texas blocked the initiatives from taking effect earlier this year. The Obama administration appealed the injunction before the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans last month. Attorneys on both sides are gearing up for the next round of oral arguments while families with mixed immigration status watch closely from the sidelines. Saadia Malik reports from Berkeley.
Farm workers at export-oriented megafarms in northwestern Mexico have secured a tentative victory in their two-month-long strike. Shannon Young has more.
Madison, Wisconsin is the latest U.S. city to clear one of its police officers in the shooting death of an unarmed black man. The district attorney announced the decision Tuesday. The next day, demonstrators held a mock trial in front of the Dane County Courthouse, followed by a march. Police arrested 28 demonstrators for obstructing a roadway near the state capitol; most were fined and released. Molly Stentz has more.
The Obama Administration moved this week to allow Shell Oil company to drill in the Arctic off the coast of Alaska. The company must secure additional permits before it can proceed, but the green light from the Interior Department toppled a hurdle preventing drilling in what has long been a de facto no-go zone. Conservationists and some Alaskan tribal leaders say it’s only a matter of time before an oil spill happens in the remote and environmentally sensitive region, altering a way of life in the Arctic that’s survived for centuries. Anthony J. Rivera has the story from Washington, D.C.
Each May 15th, about five million Palestinian refugees worldwide commemorate the ‘Nakba’ (Arabic for ‘the Catastrophe’), when nearly half of the Arab population within the borders of what used to be the British Mandate of Palestine was displaced in the war following Israel’s independence. The refugees still demand the right to return but most have nothing to return to as almost 400 villages were destroyed. FSRN’s Lena Odgaard joined a small group of Palestinian refugees who were invited back to the ruins of their village, Lubya, in northern Israel — where they received an unexpected apology.