The Weekly World of Migration is a weekly collection of articles, reports, and announcements related to migration and displacement around the world. We aim to present articles covering important current events alongside coverage of lesser known migration phenomena in order to provide a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in migration studies. Any views or opinions in the links below belong to their authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bosphorus Migration Studies.
An article outlining the growing presence of sidewalk vendors in Spain, many of whom are African migrants who are unable to secure regular work. As their presence grows, so have tensions with the authorities and local shopkeepers, who say they are losing customers. Earlier this year, Barcelona introduced a project aimed at getting vendors to sell at official handicraft markets, and eventually obtain work permits.
Finland has suspended asylum decisions for Afghan applicants in order to re-evaluate its policies following recent UNHCR guidelines which highlighted the risks to civilians and lack of internal relocation alternatives within Afghanistan. Finland has also suspended all repatriations to Afghanistan.
Migrants in Germany are encountering lengthy wait times on asylum applications and appeals due to a massive backlog in the legal system. Those who are awaiting decisions are granted temporary short term permits, however, these permits make it difficult for migrants to access basic eeds such as housing, as landlords want to see permits of at least a year.
This working paper by Detention Forum UK argues against the United Kingdom’s policy of detaining immigrants indefinitely. It is the only country in Europe to not have time limits on immigrant detention, and the amount of immigrants detained for longer than six months has increased since 2015. A proposed 28-day limit on immigrant detention would cut costs, improve decision making, and decrease the psychological damage caused by lengthy stays in detention. Moreover, the criminal justice system, anti-terrorism legislation, and public health system all put upper limits on the length of time someone can be detained without charge.
A series of interviews with Syrian refugees residing in Turkey, primarily focusing on their plans before the war, and how they compare with their current lives.
Kamal Kirişçi writes that an offensive in Idlib could cause 800,000 refugees to flee to Turkey. He offers four recommendations to prepare for such an influx: the Turkish government should maintain its open-door policy while engaging with international organizations alongside civil society groups and municipalities in order to provide assistance to refugees; heed standards of safe return as defined by the UNHCR; increase efforts to integrate Syrians already residing in the country and engage with the international community to secure more funds that would facilitate this integration; and contribute to an end to the conflict in Syria while ensuring that post-conflict conditions will be safe enough for returnees.
There is evidence to suggested to loosening immigration controls could help create jobs in South Africa. Research conducted in Gautang has shown that immigrants do not only fill employment gaps, but also that foreign entrepreneurs were more likely than local entrepreneurs to hire native-born employees.
Although much of the media’s focus on Trump’s immigration policies has focused on its effects on migrants from Latin America, this article reminds readers that the negative effects of these policies also extend to Africans. This is reflected in increasing deportations of African migrants, especially in the Midwest. In Ohio, ICE has been disproportionately targeting Mauritanians, leading one immigration attorney to state that the US is “essentially deporting them into slave trade.”
The smuggling business in Southern Libya is primarily ran by the Tebu, an ethnic minority that has grown even more marginalized since 2011. The economic situation in Libya is especially bad, causing those who can not find jobs to turn to smuggling in order to make ends meet. Locals say that if the international community truly wants to end smuggling in Libya, it should provide development aid to the south of the country so that people there have an alternative source of income.
An interview with Geoff Ramsay, assistant director for Venezuela at the Washington Office on Latin America, on the current spike in out-migration from Venezuela. He says that the migration is primarily motivated by the economic crisis, and that around half of the migrants are working in informal jobs at the border while sending money back home, while the other half is moving to larger cities in order to find work. He mentions that different host countries have had different responses, with the most striking being Brazil in that it has already set up refugee camps around the border.
An article by Adam Milsap about internal economic migration in the United States. He emphasizes that economic prosperity in the US varies widely across locations. Traditionally, those in less prosperous locations would move in search of better opportunities, but this has slowed in recent years, meaning that people in poor areas are more likely to remain that way. He recommends two solutions to this problem. The first is a twist on the traditional dichotomy between people-based or place-based assistance schemes: provide assistance directly to people, but vary it based on location, so that people in struggling areas receive more. The second is removing impediments to migration, especially regulations that increase the cost of housing.
The Trump administration has proposed withdrawing from the Flores Settlement Agreement, which limits the government’s ability to detain immigrant minors. The current upper limit for detention of minors is 20 days, and the US District Court has rejected efforts to extend this limit. The US Department of Homeland Security claims that limits on its ability to detain families are preventing it from effectively enforcing its immigration policies.
Last year, over 32,000 migrants crossed over unguarded land borders from the US to Canada, with many of them applying for asylum. Canada has so far only deported 398 of them, with the majority going back to the US, where 116 had citizenship.
A recent study on nearly 700 refugee children in Australia has shown them to have high levels of psychosocial well-being, in addition to being in good physical health and attending school regularly. Moreover, adolescent male refugees were found to experience fewer behavioral and social difficulties than their native counterparts.
A documentary telling the story of Ahsan Aslam, a Pakistani migrant to Norway who eventually realizes his dream of building a mansion back home, but not without encountering significant difficulties.
There are approximately 400,000 women who have migrated to Japan for the purpose of marriage, many of whom have been recruited by international marriage agencies. Although these migrants tend to be invisible to the rest of Japanese society, researchers have found that media recognition of migrant women living in disaster-hit regions had attracted the attention of aid organizations, leading to more aid being given to the entire community. This helped boost the status of migrant women in the eyes of locals, although in some cases, the increased attention also caused jealousy.
Although the process of repatriating Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh to Myanmar has been stalled since January, the Bangladeshi government has said that it will begin the repatriations soon. The International Criminal Court said on Thursday that it was within its jurisdiction to investigate Myanmar’s forced deportations of Rohingya to Bangladesh, as it constituted a cross border crime.
A UNHCR report on arrivals to Europe’s land and sea borders during the period of January-August 2018. Although arrivals to Italy have decreased by 81% compared to 2017, arrivals to Spain have increased by 130%, and arrivals to Greece have increased by 88%. The same pattern occurs for the number of dead and missing at sea: deaths en route to Italy have decreased by over half, deaths on the Eastern and Western Mediterranean routes have increased.
The Mixed Migration Centre has published its regional trends report for July of 2018, with updated information on the situations in Yemen, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Uganda, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, and South Sudan .