* Notas de prensa y boletín sobre migraciones y refugiados *

La aplicación de la Ley de Migración, “sin efecto positivo”

Por Fabiola Martínez

mié, 27 may 2015 08:24

ONG demandan subsanar fallas en la aplicación de la normatividad en materia migratoria. Foto Cuartoscuro

México, D.F. A cuatro años de la entrada en vigor de la Ley de Migración, organizaciones civiles afirmaron que la implementación de esta normatividad “ha carecido de efectos positivos en la vida de la población en tránsito”.

Aún no existe armonización de la ley con las normas en 32 entidades federativas, mientras que el control y verificación “siguen siendo arbitrarios”, incluso “contrarios a la Constitución”, afirma el Grupo de Trabajo sobre Política Migratoria.

· Envían al Senado propuestas para proteger a personas en tránsito

Demandan subsanar fallas en la aplicación de la normatividad en materia migratoria

Fabiola Martínez

Periódico La Jornada
Miércoles 27 de mayo de 2015, p. 11

A cuatro años de la entrada en vigor de la Ley de Migración, organizaciones civiles afirmaron que la implementación de esta normatividad ha carecido de efectos positivos en la vida de la población en tránsito.

Aún no existe armonización de la ley con las normas en 32 entidades federativas, mientras que el control y verificación siguen siendo arbitrarios, incluso contrarios a la Constitución, afirma el Grupo de Trabajo sobre Política Migratoria.

Este colectivo envió al Senado un paquete de propuestas de reformas a esta ley, con el propósito de conseguir reformas en artículos que, a su juicio, causan impacto de manera negativa en los derechos humanos de los extranjeros en esta condición.

La propuesta incluye cambios en favor del acceso a la justicia, las condiciones de detención y alternativas en el proceso administrativo migratorio, entre otros.

El objetivo del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Política Migratoria es asegurar que la privación de la libertad sea una excepción y no la regla para la población migrante, porque entrar al país de forma irregular representa una falta administrativa y no un delito, se advierte en el pronunciamiento de este grupo (www.gtpm.org.mx).

Sin embargo, lamenta que las reformas a ley y su reglamento, hacia una mayor protección de las personas migrantes, siguen sin ser discutidas en el Legislativo.

Crece flujo migratorio

Cifras oficiales del primer trimestre de este año muestran un aumento de 77.3 por ciento en la repatriación de extranjeros respecto del mismo periodo de 2014, al pasar de 22 mil 539 a 39 mil 960.

De este grupo, 85.1 por ciento de las personas volvió a su país con base en el programa de retorno asistido, operado por el Instituto Nacional de Migración (INM) de la Secretaría de Gobernación; 13.4 por ciento de los enviados eran menores de 18 años, y sólo 1.5 por ciento fue deportado, es decir, expulsado por violación a ciertos artículos de la ley en la materia.

Hay un ligero avance en las autorizaciones de refugio, pero continúan como un porcentaje ínfimo respecto del tamaño del flujo indocumentado.

Gobernación autorizó 60 casos de enero a marzo, 23 más que en el primer trimestre del año pasado; en este mismo comparativo, los casos de apoyo del Estado mexicano pasaron de 15 a 39, de nacionalidad salvadoreña; de 18 a 10, en el caso de procedentes de Honduras, y de 1 a 10 de guatemaltecos, pese a que este último es el principal grupo en tránsito.

Aunque no se detalla el número de solicitudes de refugio recibidas, el número sería mínimo si se considera que 43.9 por ciento de los extranjeros presentados ante el INM son guatemaltecos y 32.5 hondureños.

Como se informó en este diario, hay un repunte sin precedente en cuanto a extranjeros sin documentos llevados ante la autoridad. Igualmente, la mayoría fueron repatriados (14 mil 752 de los 16 mil 942 mencionados).

En marzo pasado se reportaron 16 mil 942, contra 10 mil 502 durante el mismo mes de 2014.

En tanto, el número de migrantes rescatados pasó de 805 a 622 en el trimestre aludido; es decir, 22.7 por ciento menos. La mayoría de los rescates (atendidos por los grupos Beta) ocurren en Sonora.

El Grupo de Trabajo sobre Política Migratoria pide también una restructuración del INM, en particular respecto de la operación de las estancias migratorias.

· Los jueces que fallaron contra el gobierno malinterpretan la ley, dice la Casa Blanca

Corte de Apelaciones de EU mantiene la suspensión de medidas migratorias de Obama

· Esto es sólo un retraso, no el fin de nuestras esperanzas: líder de indocumentados en Florida

Reuters y Notimex

Periódico La Jornada
Miércoles 27 de mayo de 2015, p. 21

Washington.

La Corte de Apelaciones del Quinto Circuito de Estados Unidos falló este martes a favor de los 26 estados que rechazan una medida ejecutiva del presidente Barack Obama sobre el sistema de inmigración del país, lo que podría llevar a que la Suprema Corte decida sobre el asunto.

El panel de tres magistrados dictaminó que el decreto, que inhabilita temporalmente las órdenes de deportación de unos 4.7 millones de indocumentados, debe permanecer suspendido mientras el gobierno apela de su decisión.

El decreto sobre inmigración fue suspendido inicialmente en febrero por el juez de Texas Andrew Hanen, después de que los estados, todos encabezados por gobernadores republicanos, argumentaron que recibir a los inmigrantes sería una carga excesiva.

El intento del presidente de eludir la voluntad del pueblo estadunidense fue controlado con éxito hoy nuevamente, dijo el gobernador de Texas, Greg Abbott, en un comunicado.

El caso se ha convertido en el centro de los esfuerzos de Obama por cambiar las políticas de inmigración de Estados Unidos.

Al no ver progresos en una ley de reforma inmigratoria en el Congreso, Obama anunció en noviembre un decreto para ayudar a los inmigrantes ilegales.

Desde entonces ha debido enfrentar críticas de los republicanos, que sostienen que el programa es realmente una amnistía para quienes violaron la ley.

La Casa Blanca dijo que los dos jueces que fallaron contra el gobierno el martes escogieron malinterpretar los hechos y la ley.

Las acciones del presidente están dentro de los límites de su autoridad y son lo correcto para el país, indicó la vocera de la Casa Blanca, Brandi Hoffine.

A su vez, María Rodríguez, directora de la coalición de Inmigrantes de Florida, calificó el fallo de insulto. Lo consideramos un retraso mas no el fin de nuestras esperanzas, sostuvo la dirigente.

El Departamento de Justicia evalúa el fallo y considera sus próximos pasos, según un funcionario estadunidense que pidió el anonimato.

El Quinto Circuito aún debe determinar si el gobierno de Obama puede apelar al bloqueo del decreto, lo que debería hacer en los próximos meses. La decisión podría ser adoptada por un nuevo panel de jueces que considerará más evidencia.

Lamenta SRE fallo sobre migración en EU

De la Redacción

Periódico La Jornada
Miércoles 27 de mayo de 2015, p. 16

El gobierno de México, por conducto de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (SRE), lamentó profundamente la decisión de la corte de apelaciones del quinto circuito, que mantiene suspendida la aplicación de los programas de Acción Diferida para los Llegados en la Infancia (DACA, por sus siglas en inglés) y de Acción Diferida para Padres de Ciudadanos Estadunidenses y Residentes Legales Permanentes (DAPA, por sus siglas en inglés).

DACA es un programa que impide por un periodo de dos años, sujeto a renovación, la deportación, y concede permiso a quienes tuvieran menos de 31 años al 15 de junio de 2012 o hubiesen llegado a Estados Unidos antes de los 16 años de edad, que hayan residido continuamente en ese país por un mínimo de cinco años a esa misma fecha. Que esté asistiendo a la escuela, se haya graduado de preparatoria, posea un certificado de educación general o haya servido honorablemente en la Guardia Costera o en las fuerzas armadas de Estados Unidos y no haya sido encontrado culpable de un delito grave.

DAPA también ofrece un alivio temporal a la deportación, en este caso para el padre o madre de un ciudadano o residente permanente de Estados Unidos nacido antes del 20 de noviembre de 2014 –fecha del anuncio presidencial–, que haya vivido continuamente en Estados Unidos desde antes del primero de enero de 2010. También, que haya estado físicamente en Estados Unidos el 20 de noviembre de 2014 y al momento de presentar la petición de DAPA no esté programado para deportación por algún delito o falta cometida.

La SRE señala en un comunicado que el fallo judicial negó la moción del Departamento de Justicia para dejar sin efecto la suspensión provisional de la aplicación de estos programas anunciados por el presidente Barack Obama en noviembre de 2014. En consecuencia, la aplicación de DACA ampliado y DAPA sigue pendiente en tanto no se resuelva la apelación presentada por el Departamento de Justicia.

· Senado de Texas aprueba asignar más de 300 mdd a reforzar la frontera con México

Obama no llevará a la SCJ el tema de los migrantes

Ap, Notimex y Dpa

Periódico La Jornada
Jueves 28 de mayo de 2015, p. 22

Washington.

El gobierno federal de Estados Unidos no someterá a revisión de la Suprema Corte de Justicia la decisión de un juez que suspendió la medida ejecutiva del presidente Barack Obama destinada a frenar la deportación de millones de migrantes indocumentados, se informó este miércoles.

La Corte de Apelaciones del quinto circuito de Estados Unidos falló este martes a favor de los 26 estados que rechazan una medida ejecutiva sobre el sistema de inmigración del país.

El vocero Patrick Rodenbush dijo que el Departamento de Justicia optó por concentrarse en la apelación que escuchará el 6 de julio la Corte Federal del 50 circuito.

El plan del presidente Obama pretende proteger de la deportación a 5 millones de inmigrantes en situación irregular.

La decisión del gobierno federal se conoció horas después de que el Senado de Texas aprobó la noche del martes una iniciativa que asignará 310 millones de dólares para reforzar la seguridad de la frontera con México durante los próximos dos años, lo que fue declarado prioridad por el gobernador texano, Greg Abbot.

Con la aprobación del presupuesto para la seguridad de la frontera con México durante 2016 y 2017 concluye un desacuerdo entre la Cámara de Representantes y el Senado sobre cómo distribuir el dinero destinado a este rubro.

En este contexto, 136 congresistas demócratas, entre ellos Nancy Pelosi, líder de la minoría en la Cámara de Representantes, enviaron una carta al secretario de Seguridad Nacional, Jeh Johnson, para pedir el cierre de los centros de detención familiar donde se encuentran madres y niños migrantes sin papeles provenientes de México y América Central.

Al exigir la liberación de los indocumentados, los congresistas aseveraron: los niños requieren protecciones especiales y no deberían estar recluidos en instalaciones similares a las cárceles.

El Departamento de Seguridad Nacional considera que la detención de mujeres y niños en dichos centros es necesaria para disuadir a otros inmigrantes de cruzar ilegalmente la frontera de Estados Unidos.

R E F O R M A

Reprochan poco avance de ley migratoria

Silvia Garduño

A cuatro años de la publicación de la Ley de Migración, especialistas advirtieron sobre las fallas en su implementación.

Karina Arias, secretaria técnica del Grupo de Trabajo de Política Migratoria que integran varias organizaciones civiles y activistas, advirtió que existe una incongruencia entre el espíritu de la ley y el Programa Frontera Sur.

"Se necesita una congruencia en todo el quehacer estatal. Tenemos una ley y su reglamento que podemos mejorar, y de repente, sacan el Plan para la Frontera Sur, el operativo en no sé dónde, y se violan derechos humanos", señaló en un foro convocado por el Consejo Ciudadano del Instituto Nacional de Migración.

René Zenteno, académico de la Universidad de Texas y ex subsecretario de Población, Migración y Asuntos Religiosos en el periodo en que se aprobó la ley, dijo que todavía existen retos para su plena implementación.

Indicó que, aunque un propósito de la ley es simplificar y ordenar los procedimientos para atender la movilidad intencional de las personas y fomentar el ingreso documentado al País, la movilidad de centroamericanos continúa siendo predominantemente de tipo irregular.

Asimismo, manifestó que México sigue teniendo una política y gestión migratoria unilateral hacia los países de Centroamérica, al establecer fuertes impedimentos a sus ciudadanos para ingresar al País de manera regular.

"Poner trabas al ingreso documentado de los nacionales de estos países cuando no se limita de facto su entrada irregular es un contrasentido. La prohibición no reduce la migración y alienta el tráfico humano y las violaciones a los derechos humanos", refirió.

En entrevista, dijo que política migratoria no es una prioridad para el actual gobierno.

"La migración en todas sus dimensiones no es una prioridad actualmente para el Estado mexicano. Estamos respondiendo con el día a día y con las coyunturas sin una visión de largo plazo", subrayó.

Señaló que según el espíritu de la Ley de Migración, el Programa Frontera Sur tendría que haber discutido con diversos sectores antes de haberse anunciado.

Lamentó que los derechos humanos se hayan convertido en un eufemismo en la política migratoria.

Vacíos

Rezagos de la Ley de Migración, según el Grupo de Trabajo sobre Política Migratoria:

· Aún no existe armonización de la ley con las legislaciones de los 32 estados.

· El control y la verificación migratoria siguen siendo arbitrarias y contrarias.

· La regulación y regularización migratoria no obedece a la realidad de la población migrante.

· El acceso a la justicia sigue siendo un pendiente.

Documentan vida de migrantes en basurero

La Oficina del Alto Comisionado de la ONU para los DH visitó a familias indocumentadas de Guatemala que viven en el basurero de Tapachula.

Édgar Hernández

La Oficina en México del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos constató las condiciones en las que viven cerca de 100 familias indocumentadas de Guatemala dedicadas a la recolección de desechos en el basurero municipal.

Dos funcionarios de la Unidad de Observación acudieron a la escuela primaria a la que acuden 13 hijos de los migrantes y ahí se encontraron con que ésta fue construida con palos, lámina, cartón y el piso es de tierra; las bancas son madera, no cuentan con pizarrón y para ir al baño habilitaron unas letrinas.

Posteriormente, se dirigieron al tiradero donde se dieron cuenta de las pésimas condiciones laborales de los recolectores.

Ramón Verdugo Sánchez, coordinador del albergue para migrantes Todo por Ellos y quien guió a los observadores, explicó que desde 2007 existe una recomendación de la Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos que pide atención para este grupo vulnerable, pero a la fecha las condiciones siguen iguales.

"Hay abandono total de servicios de asistencia básica para la comunidad", expresó.

El activista dijo que las dos colonias en las que habitan unas 100 familias no tienen servicios como agua potable, alimentación, salud, educación y otros.

Tras la recomendación de la CNDH, refirió, se debió haber construido una escuela con condiciones dignas, pero la actual fue edificada con el esfuerzo de los padres de familia.

"(Están en) extrema miseria, cuando una familia vive con un ingreso de menos de 4 dólares al día para toda una familia cuando los precios y la economía que vive nuestro país, creo que va más allá de la miseria extrema", resaltó.

Tras el recorrido, los observadores elaborarán un informe interno que podría derivar en medidas de protección para las familias.

Cruzar a GB: otro desafío para migrantes

Después de jugarse la vida cruzando el Mediterráneo, muchos migrantes afrontan otra travesía peligrosa para llegar a Gran Bretaña.

AFP

Después de jugarse la vida cruzando el Mediterráneo en unos barcos míseros, muchos inmigrantes de Europa afrontan otra travesía peligrosa ocultos en camiones para tratar de llegar a Gran Bretaña.

Meron, un refugiado de Eritrea, tenía sólo 15 años cuando pasó dos semanas en setiembre pasado en el puerto francés de Calais esperando cruzar el Canal hasta la localidad británica de Dover, que se ve perfectamente desde el continente en días claros.

Él y dos amigos intentaron hasta diez veces al día meterse en un camión. Finalmente, encontraron uno con espacio suficiente, pero sólo para una persona.

Como era el más joven, los amigos de Meron le hicieron entrar y le dijeron que le seguirían después.

Se quedó inmóvil durante horas en una brecha entre la carga y el techo del camión, conteniendo la respiración bajo un fuerte calor -era finales de verano-, mientras los guardias revisaban el vehículo.

"Mi corazón estaba a punto de estallar", dijo en un café en el sur de Londres, cerca de donde ahora está viviendo con una familia de acogida después de que le concedieran asilo.

"Tenía tanto calor, no había espacio para moverse, estaba acostado. No estaba seguro de llegar con vida a Gran Bretaña".

Cuando el camión se detuvo, salió y se dio cuenta de que estaba en Londres: "Me sentí como si hubiera nacido por segunda vez."

"Mi madre lloraría"

Hubo 30 mil intentos registrados de cruzar el Canal en los 10 meses anteriores a enero de 2015, unos 100 por día y casi el doble del año anterior, según datos oficiales.

Quince inmigrantes murieron tratando de hacer el viaje el año pasado, según el diario The Guardian.

Solidaridad con la emigración de Calais, una organización activista, tiene registradas 17 muertes, incluyendo la de un hombre sudanés que murió aplastado bajo las ruedas de un camión al que se aferraba por la autopista M25, cerca de Londres.

No está claro cuántos inmigrantes logran cruzar ilegalmente, pero Gran Bretaña deportó en 2013 a 935 a los países de la Unión Europea en los que habían presentado sus solicitudes de asilo.

Muchos de los que intentan el viaje son refugiados que buscan asilo en el Reino Unido, el quinto en número de solicitudes de la UE, con un reciente aumento de demandantes de Eritrea y Siria.

Los conductores de camiones se quejan de los enfrentamientos con los aspirantes a polizones. La Asociación de Transporte de Carga (FTA) dice que afrontan regularmente peleas, a veces graves.

"Entendemos completamente la frustración de los conductores que se sienten chivos expiatorios de una situación desesperada", dijo Natalie Chapman, de la FTA.

Los gobiernos británico y francés se han comprometido a reforzar la seguridad en Calais, pero el problema es parte de una cuestión más amplia: cómo responder a la oleada de inmigrantes que llegan a la UE a través del Mediterráneo.

El asunto crea tensiones políticas, y Gran Bretaña se resiste a recibir más refugiados.

El cruce del Canal de Meron fue la culminación de un viaje de cuatro meses que se inició cuando huyó de Eritrea ante la perspectiva de una vida de servicio militar.

Él y sus amigos pagaron a traficantes para que los llevaran a través del Sáhara a Libia, donde abordaron un barco lleno hacia Italia que estuvo a punto de naufragar y del que fueron rescatados.

En cada etapa, el único objetivo era seguir con vida, y decidió probar suerte en Gran Bretaña siguiendo el consejo de algunos compañeros eritreos en Italia.

"Si hubiera sabido que el viaje era así, no lo hubiera hecho", dijo Meron, indistinguible de cualquier adolescente normal con vaqueros negros, una camiseta de manga larga negra y calzado deportivo.

Le ocultó a su familia la dureza de la travesía: "mi madre lloraría", se justifica.

"La única opción"

Mohammed, de 33 años, profesor de inglés del norte de Siria, sabía que quería venir a Gran Bretaña cuando se fue de su país en junio pasado. No tenía ni idea de lo que le esperaba.

También cruzó el Mediterráneo en un barco peligrosamente abarrotado, antes de tomar el tren a Calais, donde pasó cuatro meses durmiendo a la intemperie y tratando todos los días de conseguir un camión, hasta que lo consiguió jugándose la vida en la travesía.

"Fue muy peligroso. Pero era la única opción", dijo por teléfono desde su casa en el centro de Inglaterra, donde espera una decisión sobre su solicitud de asilo.

Si se le concede el asilo, podrá empezar a trabajar como profesor y hacer venir a su esposa que se quedó en Siria.

"A nadie le gusta dejar su patria, su país. Pero a veces uno se ve obligado", lamentó.

Migrant Crisis in Southeast Asia Shows Signs of Ebbing

By MICHAEL FORSYTHE – MAY 26, 2015

Migrants at a temporary shelter in Indonesia. Search and rescue officials in the region say that patrols have spotted no migrant boats in recent days. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

HONG KONG — No boats of Southeast Asian migrants have landed since the last one washed ashore in Indonesia a week ago. Search and rescue vessels from Malaysia and Indonesia have found no more migrants at sea. Some refugees appear to be returning to Myanmar.

And American reconnaissance flights over the Andaman Sea the last two days spotted just one boat with about 11 people visible on the main deck.

While no one is willing to say definitively that there are no more boats out there, or to rule out a future exodus, the evidence suggests that the worst of the migration crisis that swept across Southeast Asia this month may have passed.

Just two weeks ago, thousands of migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar, abandoned by smugglers and turned away by several countries, faced the prospect of dying at sea for lack of food and water.

Aid groups estimated that from 6,000 to 20,000 migrants were stranded in the Andaman Sea or the Malacca Strait, trapped in decrepit boats after the Thai authorities closed the deadly jungle camps that smugglers had used to detain the migrants to extract further payments before taking them to Malaysia.

A Rohingya refugee slept at a shelter in Lhokseumawe. No migrant boats have landed in Southeast Asia since the last one washed ashore in Indonesia a week ago. Credit Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times

One prominent aid worker, Chris Lewa, whose reports first brought international attention to the crisis, now says the number of migrants trapped at sea may have been 7,000 to 8,000, at the low end of her initial estimate.

“Maybe I was not that far off, and maybe there are no more boats left,” she said this week. “People are asking me, how many are left at sea? I have no clue.”

About 3,500 migrants have arrived in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand in recent weeks, the International Organization for Migration says, with the last arriving last Wednesday.

Of those who did not reach those countries, many migrants from Myanmar — members of the Rohingya ethnic group who had been fleeing persecution — may have returned there.

Rohingya in Myanmar have told Ms. Lewa’s group that as many as 2,000 people who had been held in boats off the Myanmar coast have now gone back ashore, paying the smugglers as much as $300 to smuggle them back in so that they could avoid being arrested for illegally re-entering Myanmar.The Myanmar government does not consider them citizens, rendering them effectively stateless.

One Rohingya shopkeeper at a camp for displaced people in Sittwe, a coastal city that is the capital of Rakhine State, said he had counted about 50 neighbors returning home from ships in recent days. The shopkeeper, U Maung Maung Tin, said they decided to return after it became clear that their route to Malaysia had been cut off.

Graphic

Understanding Southeast Asia’s Migrant Crisis

About 25,000 migrants left Myanmar and Bangladesh on rickety smugglers’ boats in the first three months of 2015, according to a United Nations estimate.

OPEN Graphic

He said they had to pay the equivalent of $180 to $275 to the smugglers before being allowed to disembark. The smugglers sometimes kept people in boats just offshore for months while they filled their holds with as many people as possible before setting sail some 600 miles across the Andaman Sea to southern Thailand.

The Myanmar government seized a boat with 208 people on board last week. Bangladesh has agreed to accept 200 of them, whom the Myanmar government said were Bangladeshis, the Myanmar government reported on Tuesday.

On Monday, a United States Navy P-8A Poseidon plane spotted one possible migrant boat in good condition with about 11 people visible on deck, a Defense Department official said, declining to give specifics such as the location of the vessel. The aircraft, a modified version of a Boeing 737 jet, flew out of Subang, Malaysia, and had not spotted any migrant boats on an earlier flight on Sunday.

Ms. Lewa said her group had not received word of any departures from Myanmar since the beginning of May.

If the estimate of 7,000 to 8,000 was correct, that could still leave 2,000 or more migrants unaccounted for. But officials from the Malaysian and Indonesian offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees stress that no one knows how many migrants, if any, remain at sea.

“I’m a bit surprised that those numbers haven’t actually been found,” Richard Towle, the refugee agency’s representative in Malaysia, said in a telephone interview on Monday from Kuala Lumpur. “We estimate that there are still groups out there, but it’s difficult to hazard any guess on the numbers. That’s longhand for saying we don’t know.”

The numbers of migrants reported at sea have always been estimates, but they seem to have taken on a life of their own.

How Myanmar and Its Neighbors Are Responding to the Rohingya Crisis

Myanmar and its neighbors see the people of the Rohingya ethnic group and the seaborne trafficking of migrants in the region very differently, complicating the refugees’ plight.

When Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand agreed on May 20 that Indonesia and Malaysia would take in migrants for up to a year, the agreement referred to the “7,000 irregular migrants still at sea.”

That figure, however, was not based on intelligence that the three governments had collected.

Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman, speaking by telephone from Jidda, Saudi Arabia, said that the figure was based on news reports.

Journalists, in turn, based their reports on estimates from the migrant rights organizations and the governments.

Vice Adm. Jumpol Lumpiganoon of the Thai Navy said he did not know how the governments came up with the 7,000 figure, saying in a telephone interview that he guessed the number came from the United Nations.

But the United Nations refugee agency based its estimates for the size of the seaborne migrant population on the May 20 agreement. From that figure of 7,000, it subtracted the number of people who had landed in Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as what it estimated to be about 2,000 people in boats off the Myanmar and Bangladesh coasts, to say that there may be as many as 2,000 people still on the open sea.

Joe Lowry, the Asia-Pacific spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, said his organization tried to stay close to the estimates given by Ms. Lewa, though his group figured that the actual number who were at sea may have been closer to 8,000.

Even if the immediate crisis has subsided, the underlying problems that caused it have not. About one million Rohingya still live in Myanmar, where they face discrimination and marginalization. And the smugglers who abandoned their quarry at sea after Thailand cracked down on their operations are likely to return to their trade as long as there is demand, experts say.

Ms. Lewa, a native of Belgium who was speaking by telephone on Monday from the Indonesian province of Aceh, joked that if she had known that the governments would base their estimates on her figures, she might have altered the numbers.

“If it’s really based on my figures, then perhaps I should have said a higher number so that both countries would have accepted more refugees from Myanmar,” she said.

Reporting was contributed by Joe Cochrane from Langsa, Indonesia; Wai Moe from Yangon, Myanmar; Poypiti Amatatham from Bangkok; Austin Ramzy from Hong Kong; and Helene Cooper from Washington.

A version of this article appears in print on May 27, 2015, on page A8 of the New York edition with the headline: Signs, but No Certainty, That Asian Migration Crisis May Be Abating.

Jungle Camp in Malaysia Yields Graves and Signs of Migrant Abuse

By CHRIS BUCKLEY and THOMAS FULLER – MAY 26, 2015

A Malaysian police officer stood guard on Tuesday at a deserted camp in Bukit Wang Burma, where smugglers are believed to have held migrants. Credit Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

BUKIT WANG BURMA, Malaysia — Among the debris of wood, bamboo and plastic tarpaulin at an abandoned camp in the dense jungle here lies a coffin-size cage made from sticks tied together with rusted barbed wire. Next to it, an enclosure that could have held scores of people also bristles with barbed wire. And over a ridge, the police have started unearthing bodies from shallow graves.

The police in Malaysia have said little about the grim discoveries at desolate camps like this one on a hillside near the country’s border with Thailand. But what was left behind here suggests that the camps were busy holding stations for migrants under the control of ruthless, sophisticated human smuggling rings.

The Malaysian government on Tuesday took reporters on a two-hour trek through a buzzing jungle to view this camp in the state of Perlis, in the country’s far north. It is one of several where investigators say they have identified a total of 139 graves believed to hold the bodies of migrants, including members of the Rohingya minority fleeing religious persecution in Myanmar.

Not far across the border, in Thailand’s Songkhla Province, the Thai authorities have uncovered graves containing at least 36 more bodies.

A crackdown in southern Thailand on these smuggling networks is believed to have set off the regionwide crisis this month in which thousands of migrants were abandoned by smugglers and stranded at sea. More than 3,000 have landed in Malaysia and Indonesia in recent weeks, and the International Organization for Migration appealed on Tuesday for $26 million to help them.

Muhammad Bahar, a detective with the police in Perlis, said officers had exhumed a body on Tuesday from one of 37 primitive graves discovered near this camp in Bukit Wang Burma. He said it was too early to draw any conclusions about the identity of the dead person or the cause of death.

“Another forensic team will confirm later,” he said, standing near the exhumation site, where other officers worked with shovels and hoes. “We have to let forensic do their job.”

But the scene appeared to add weight to reports that migrants transported across Southeast Asia by smugglers had suffered extreme brutality. The lower part of the camp was dominated by what appeared to be a holding pen made from wooden poles crisscrossed by barbed wire. On higher ground, a dilapidated watchtower looked over the settlement, which also had a trash pit and a large water tank, suggesting that the site could have been used to hold hundreds of people.

Those who have studied human smuggling said the syndicates often supplemented their smuggling operations with ransom and extortion schemes. Relatives of those smuggled into Thailand are often called and ordered to transfer large sums in exchange for the freedom of their relatives, according to advocates for the migrants and the migrants themselves.

A Malaysian forensics team examining human remains from one of the 37 shallow graves discovered at the camp near the border with Thailand. Credit Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“They beat you and tell you to call home and come up with the money,” Jeffrey Labovitz, chief of mission at the International Organization for Migration in Thailand, said by telephone. “It’s a ruthless business mentality.”

The smuggling rings demand payments as high as $3,000 to release their clients, who are sometimes starved and abused to put pressure on relatives to come up with the money, according to Alistair D. B. Cook, a research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

“Extortion isn’t the word for it,” Mr. Cook said. “The alternative is death. It’s worse than extortion.”

The camps are out of the way, but they sit along a major trading route that links Singapore and the Malaysian peninsula with the rest of mainland Southeast Asia. The route is a hub of legitimate trade as well as a transit point for illicit drugs, smuggled fuel and Malaysians seeking libertine pleasures in freewheeling Thailand.

The Malaysian home minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, said on Tuesday that investigators were examining whether forestry rangers in the densely wooded border region had colluded with smugglers, according to Bernama, the Malaysian news agency. Some forestry officers have already been detained, he said.

Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector general of the police in Malaysia, said Monday that the camps were believed to have been occupied since 2013 and that two of them were abandoned only two to three weeks ago, according to Bernama. He said the public disclosure of the suspected graves “proves that the Malaysian government is transparent and not hiding any information involving human trafficking issues.”

Graphic

Understanding Southeast Asia’s Migrant Crisis

About 25,000 migrants left Myanmar and Bangladesh on rickety smugglers’ boats in the first three months of 2015, according to a United Nations estimate.

OPEN Graphic

But some advocates for Rohingya migrants said the abuses had been largely ignored.

“We hear about families waiting for people to come here who they never hear about again,” Zafar Ahmad bin Abdul Ghani, the president of the Myanmar Ethnic Rohingyas Human Rights Organization Malaysia, said in a telephone interview from Kuala Lumpur.

“Malaysia needs to investigate Rohingya who have died on the border with Thailand,” he added. “Maybe they also need to investigate the enforcement departments in Malaysia. Have they done enough to enforce and investigate? How can the traffickers cross the border in this area?”

In Wang Kelian, a nearby settlement of paddy fields, some residents said the migrants sometimes appeared and begged for food or cash before moving on by foot. “We know they come through to Malaysia for work, for safety, for family,” said a resident who gave only her family name, Halimah. “But it is shocking for us, too, to learn about how they are treated in the camps.”

Malaysian officials have said little about how these camps and smuggling networks could have existed, undisturbed, for years. But investigators on the Thai side of the border say the camps operated with the help of local officials, Thai law enforcement officers and residents. Nearly 70 Thai police officers have been transferred from their posts as part of the crackdown.

Last week, a former government official whom the authorities described as a kingpin in the smuggling operation surrendered to the Thai police. The former official, Patchuban Angchotipan, who had evaded capture for more than a week, is the former chairman of the provincial administration in Satun, a Thai province where smuggling camps were discovered this month.

A coffin-sized cage was found at the camp. Credit Mohd Rasfan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In what the police say is a measure of the money involved in smuggling, the authorities froze more than $2 million of Mr. Patchuban’s assets. Among other businesses, Mr. Patchuban owned companies that ran speedboat and ferry services in the Andaman Sea, which were believed to have been used to transport migrants.

Mr. Patchuban, who is known by his nickname, Ko Tong, has been charged with colluding in human smuggling, illegal detention and abduction for ransom.

In an interview on Tuesday, Police Gen. Aek Angsananont, the deputy commissioner of Thailand’s police force, said the smuggling rings generally smuggled Bangladeshi and ethnic Rohingya migrants on boats into Thailand and brought them over land to Malaysia.

General Aek, who is leading the investigation into the smuggling rings, said the police had obtained arrest warrants for 77 suspects. Of those, 46 have been arrested, he said, and the rest are “on the run.”

He added that the crackdown had the support of the highest levels of Thailand’s military government and that the police were “clearing the mountains” along the Malaysian border of smuggling operations.

The crackdown began this month when a Rohingya man filed a complaint at a police station in southern Thailand, saying his nephew was being held for ransom. The police investigating the case discovered the mass graves on the Thai side of the border.

The authorities have not disclosed how the people found in the graves died, and some bodies were so badly composed that the cause of death may never be known. A doctor at Songklanagarind Hospital in southern Thailand said that medical workers were close to completing autopsies and that the police would soon reveal the results.

Increasingly, the Rohingya leaving Myanmar have included women and children. And clues amassed by the Malaysian police from the border camps suggested that children had been among the inmates. Among photos of items recovered from the camps, one showed a pair of mildewed, pink children’s sandals.

Chris Buckley reported from Bukit Wang Burma, and Thomas Fuller from Bangkok. Poypiti Amatatham contributed reporting from Bangkok, and Austin Ramzy from Hong Kong.

A version of this article appears in print on May 27, 2015, on page A4 of the New York edition with the headline: Mass Graves Yield Signs of Smugglers’ Brutality.

Federal Panel Lets Injunction Against Obama’s Immigration Actions Stand

By JULIA PRESTON – MAY 26, 2015

A federal appeals court on Tuesday denied the Obama administration’s request to lift a hold on the president’s executive actions on immigration, which would have granted protection from deportation as well as work permits to millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

Two of three judges on a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, left in place an injunction by a Federal District Court judge in Brownsville, Tex. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by Texas and 25 other states against actions President Obama took in November. Many of the initiatives were scheduled to take effect this month.

The appeals court found that the states had sufficient legal grounds to bring the lawsuit and that the administration had not shown that it would be harmed if the injunction remained in place and the programs were further delayed.

Also denied was a request by the administration to limit the injunction to the states bringing the lawsuit. The ruling is a second setback for programs the president hoped would be a major piece of his legacy, raising new uncertainty about whether they will take effect before the end of his term and casting doubts on the confidence of administration lawyers that their case was very strong.

Demonstrators outside federal appeals court in New Orleans last month. A panel of the court decided Tuesday not to lift a hold on President Obama’s immigration executive actions. Credit Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The lawsuit was filed in December, and on Feb. 16, Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville ordered a preliminary injunction on the programs while he ruled on the constitutional issues in the suit.

In a statement, Ken Paxton, the attorney general of Texas, said Mr. Obama had tried to impose “a drastic change in immigration policy” without the consent of Congress. The appeals court decision is “a victory for those committed to preserving the rule of law in America,” Mr. Paxton said. “We will continue to fight the brazen lawlessness that has become a trademark of the Obama administration.”

White House officials said the ruling was not surprising, but they declined to discuss the next legal move for the administration.

“Today, two judges of the Fifth Circuit chose to misrepresent the facts and the law,” a White House spokeswoman, Brandi Hoffine, said. “The president’s actions were designed to bring greater accountability to our broken immigration system, grow the economy and keep our communities safe. They are squarely within the bounds of his authority, and they are the right thing to do for the country.”

The Justice Department could appeal the ruling on the emergency stay to the full appeals court, but legal experts said it was more likely that the administration would skip that conservative court and ask the Supreme Court to allow the programs to proceed.

Continue reading the main story

Graphic

Which States Make Life Easier or Harder for Illegal Immigrants

How different laws affect unauthorized immigrants in each state.

OPEN Graphic

The legal wrangling suggests that Mr. Obama and his aides may have underestimated the legal and political challenges to offering protections to more than four million illegal immigrants without a congressional vote.

In the 70-page opinion, two judges wrote that Texas had shown it would incur significant costs in issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants who would be allowed to stay in the country. The judges, Jerry E. Smith and Jennifer Elrod, also rejected the administration’s argument that the programs could not be reviewed by the courts because they stemmed from policy decisions by the president on how to enforce the immigration laws.

Judge Stephen A. Higginson disagreed. He wrote that the administration was “adhering to the law, not derogating from it.”

Immigrant advocates supporting the president worried that the longer the initiatives are held up, the harder it could be to persuade immigrants to come forward to sign up.

Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, said that part of the intent of the lawsuit was “to delay, to confuse and to instill fear” among immigrants. “The consequences are devastating,” she said. “Our communities suffer every single day.” She acknowledged that carrying out the programs would be “a harder challenge for our communities” after long delays.

OPEN Document

Document: Setback for President on Immigration

The decision by the Fifth Circuit to leave the Texas judge’s injunction in place does not necessarily mean the Obama administration will lose the larger case. Aside from the emergency stay, the Fifth Circuit is considering the administration’s appeal of the injunction, which takes more time. The Fifth Circuit tentatively scheduled oral arguments on the appeal the week of July 6.

Stephen H. Legomsky, a professor of immigration law at Washington University, said the appeals court panel had denied the administration’s request for an emergency stay “because it feels that a delay would cause no irreparable harm.” But he said, “The panel that ultimately decides the appeal could well agree with the government’s position and reverse Judge Hanen’s injunction.” Professor Legomsky, formerly the top lawyer for the federal immigration services agency, has submitted documents to the court supporting the administration.

In earlier opinions, Judge Hanen had been an unusually expressive critic of the Obama administration’s immigration policies. In his decision to impose the injunction, he said the president’s initiatives amounted to an abdication of immigration enforcement. The two appeals judges who upheld the injunction are also conservatives.

Judge Smith, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1987, sparred publicly with Mr. Obama over the scope of judicial review during a case involving the health care law in 2012. Judge Elrod was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2007. Judge Higginson was nominated by Mr. Obama in 2011.

Legal analysts point to two other recent federal court rulings in similar cases that favored the administration. In December, a federal judge in Washington dismissed a lawsuit against the president’s actions by Joe Arpaio, the outspoken sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz. The judge said the sheriff’s dispute with the administration was political, not legal.

A potentially more significant decision came on April 7 from judges on the Fifth Circuit. They dismissed a lawsuit by federal immigration agents against deportation protections Mr. Obama gave in 2012 to young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children. The president used the same legal justification for that program as he did for the recent initiatives.

The appeals court found that the state in that lawsuit, Mississippi, had failed to show that it would face any burdensome costs because of the 2012 program. The court also agreed with the administration’s argument that the secretary of Homeland Security has broad authority to decide how to enforce the immigration laws.

The Texas lawsuit has divided the country. While 26 states want to stop the president’s initiatives, 14 states and the District of Columbia filed papers in the appeals court saying Texas and its allies had failed to consider the benefits the programs would bring in increased tax revenues and economic growth.

Michael D. Shear contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on May 27, 2015, on page A11 of the New York edition with the headline: Federal Panel Lets Injunction Against Immigration Actions Stand

Obama Warns Senators on Lapse in Surveillance

By PETER BAKERMAY 26, 2015

Obama Urges Senate to Work During Recess

The president urged the Senate on Tuesday to pass legislation that would renew telephone surveillance programs before authorities from the Patriot Act expire on Sunday night.

By Reuters on Publish Date May 26, 2015. Photo by Zach Gibson/The New York Times.

WASHINGTON — With time running out, President Obama on Tuesday urged the Senate to pass legislation to renew surveillance programs that are scheduled to expire next weekend or risk endangering the American people.

“The problem we have now is that those authorities run out at midnight on Sunday,” Mr. Obama told reporters as he hosted NATO’s secretary general at the White House. “So I strongly urge the Senate to work through this recess and make sure that they identify a way to get this done.”

The president’s plea, though, fell on absent ears. With Congress on recess this week, the chances of the Senate’s passing the legislation before the Sunday night deadline are problematic at best even with senators called back for a rare Sunday session. And so the White House faces the prospect that its legal authority to carry out some of these programs will vanish at least for a few days until the political gridlock in the Senate is resolved.

At question are sections of the USA Patriot Act, which was initially passed after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Among the provisions scheduled to lapse this weekend is authority for the bulk collection of telephone data that has been so controversial since it was exposed by Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor. A federal appeals court has ruled the program illegal but did not shut it down pending further appeal.

With Mr. Obama’s support, the House has passed bipartisan legislation that would take the government out of the business of bulk collection while leaving the data in the hands of private telecommunications firms and available for searches in cases when a court approves. The Senate failed to overcome a filibuster against that bill, with Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, preferring to renew the law as it now stands.

Mr. Obama addressed the issue after meeting with Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO secretary general. The two discussed what Mr. Obama called “the increasingly aggressive posture that Russia has taken” in Ukraine as well as NATO efforts to help in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

In his remarks, Mr. Obama warned that the bulk collection program was not the only authority that would expire this weekend if the Senate did not act by Sunday.

“You have a whole range of authorities that are also embodied in the Patriot Act that are noncontroversial, that everybody agrees are necessary to keep us safe and secure,” Mr. Obama said. “Those also are at risk of lapsing. So this needs to get done.

“And I would urge folks to just work through whatever issues can still exist,” he added. “Make sure we don’t have on midnight Sunday night this task still undone, because it’s necessary to keep the American people safe and secure.”

A version of this article appears in print on May 27, 2015, on page A13 of the New York edition with the headline: Obama Warns Senators on Lapse in Surveillance

Yemeni-Americans, Thrust Into Limbo, Say U.S. Embassy Unfairly Revokes Passports

By LIZ ROBBINS – MAY 27, 2015

Mosed Shaye Omar, 64, a naturalized American citizen since 1978, sued the State Department and Secretary John Kerry, claiming he was coerced into acknowledging that he had a name different from what was on his passport. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

For nearly five hours on Jan. 21, 2013, in a windowless room at the United States Embassy in Sana, Yemen, an American citizen and Brooklyn grocery store owner held his crying infant daughter while insisting he was exactly who he said he was.

Embassy officials said otherwise and threatened him with imprisonment, according to legal documents. Desperate to leave, he signed a statement admitting that he had the name the officials claimed he did, without understanding the consequences, he said.

The passport of the man, who spoke on the condition that only his middle name, Mohammed, be used because of the shame he felt at being targeted by the United States government, was deemed fraudulent and taken away. He was stuck in Yemen for 13 months until he was granted a temporary passport valid only to return to the United States. But without his official passport, he cannot return to where he left his daughter. He is not alone.

At least 20 other Yemeni-Americans from New York to California have similar stories of having their passports revoked in Sana. Last month, Mosed Shaye Omar, 64, a naturalized American citizen since 1978 who lives in San Francisco, sued the State Department and Secretary John Kerry, claiming he was coerced into acknowledging that he had a name different from what was on his passport.

Ramzi Kassem, center, a CUNY law professor and the director of the Clear project, with Naz Ahmad left, a lawyer, and Nabila Taj, a law student. The group represented Mohammed, a man whose passport was taken away, at his hearing. Credit Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

Even for a federal agency with a reputation among critics as often being overly harsh in deciding who can enter the United States, lawyers say, what happened in Sana seems particularly egregious. American citizens, they say, are essentially rendered stateless for no apparent reason other than their Yemeni origin.

“I’ve never seen it happen in any other country,” said Jan Brown, an immigration lawyer in Manhattan who for decades has represented Yemeni-Americans, including five clients whose passports were taken away in Sana. “It became obvious to me years ago that the embassy was becoming, if not paranoid, much more hostile and suspicious of the people who were coming to apply for visas as relatives of citizens.”

Mr. Brown, a co-chairman of the immigration and nationality committee for the New York State Bar Association, said he believed that attitude was due, in part, to the rise of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. “Because you don’t see people from Sweden having the difficulties people in Yemen have,” he said.

The embassy in Sana was closed in February after Saudi Arabia launched attacks against Houthi rebels in Yemen, increasing civil unrest and posing security threats to American citizens. Now, those whose passports have been seized worry about relatives left behind in the path of war.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next,” Mr. Omar said in a telephone interview from San Francisco. He spoke in Arabic, translated by his lawyers from Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus.

“Without a passport, I am just an animal. I can’t leave the country.”

Mohammed, who had an administrative hearing in April at the State Department in Washington, said he was still hopeful.

“I feel good because this is a free country,” he said in English, adding in Arabic, “I still believe there is the law, there is freedom, human rights.”

Mohammed, 44, a father of seven whose wife is also an American citizen, spoke recently in the Queens offices of his lawyers at a free legal clinic known as Clear, which stands for Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility. The City University of New York School of Law operates it.

“There’s a degree of stigma that comes with these kinds of, there’s really no other way to call it, extrajudicial punishment,” said Ramzi Kassem, a CUNY law professor and the director of Clear.

“Now that he’s back in the United States without a valid U.S. passport, he is being deprived of the fundamental liberty to travel internationally,” Mr. Kassem said, adding, “So he is effectively a prisoner in his own country now.”

Mohammed, who became an American citizen in 2002, said he had a DNA test taken at the time of his application for a green card in 1995. According to the document, the test proves, within 99.98 percent, that he is the rightful son of his father, an American citizen. Mohammed showed The New York Times the printed results of the test, in addition to copies of his certificate of naturalization, with his full name.

He said he was disturbed by the stories circulating in New York, where other Yemeni-Americans had been stripped of their passports.

“I think something is very wrong when you have people who have been in this country for 30, 50 years and then all of a sudden, the government comes back and asks them what their name is,” Mohammed said, adding that he had gone to the embassy in 2013 to get a report of birth abroad for his daughter.

The federal government can revoke a passport if it believes it was obtained illegally or through fraud. It must provide a written explanation for the revocation and offer a prompt opportunity for an administrative hearing. Neither happened in the case of Mr. Omar or Mohammed, according to their lawyers.

Multiple requests sent to the State Department about the numbers of passport revocations in Sana and the reasons for them were answered with the same statement: “We cannot comment on matters that may be involved in any pending litigation. In general the Department of State revokes U.S. passports for reasons set forth in federal law and in federal regulations.”

Mr. Omar with his grandchildren in San Francisco. “Without a passport, I am just an animal,” he said. “I can’t leave the country.” Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The lawyers involved in those cases are themselves struggling to understand why this happened at this particular embassy and why naturalized citizens were seemingly singled out.

“I’ve never gotten a response to that question,” said Yaman Salahi, one of Mr. Omar’s lawyers who is a member of the Asian Law Caucus. “I think they would say ‘antifraud.’ I haven’t heard that straight up.”

Last summer, Clear and Mr. Salahi’s legal group were part of a coalition of nine civil rights organizations that sent a report to the United Nations detailing their concerns over what they believed was a systematic — and unjustified — pattern of passport confiscation at the embassy in Sana.

Immigration fraud is considered widespread in Yemen, officials say, for several reasons: the lack of centralized records, a frequent traveling pattern to and from the United States and the relatively unmonitored process of obtaining Yemeni passports — which could be used to obtain American visas. The embassy was especially attuned to preventing such fraud, documents show.

In 2009, the American Embassy sent a diplomatic cable in 2009, released by WikiLeaks, that warned other American consulates in Europe and the Middle East of fraudulent visa applicants. “Due to the pervasive fraud environment, all immigrant visa cases are considered fraudulent until proven otherwise,” the cable said.

The atmosphere of suspicion heightened after the attempted bombing on Christmas 2009 of a Northwest Airlines flight by a Nigerian man linked to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

“While the consular section in Sana is performing admirably, staffing shortages and backlogs increase the risk to U.S. homeland security caused by pervasive fraud and the threat of terrorism,” a report by the State Department’s inspector general said.

Lawyers for Mr. Omar and Mohammed said the embassy officials never accused their clients of being a threat to national security. Instead, they accused them of having entered a false name on their naturalization certificates that they repeated on their passports. Both men said they did not recognize the names that the embassy official claimed were really theirs. That was tantamount to a “collateral attack” on their clients’ citizenship, the lawyers said.

Mr. Omar immigrated to the United States in 1972, working at a Chrysler plant outside Detroit before opening small businesses in Northern California. He visited the embassy in Sana on Jan. 23, 2013, just two days after Mohammed, to try to obtain a passport for his oldest daughter. Instead, Mr. Omar said, he was interrogated aggressively by David W. Howell, an official with the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, along with an interpreter. Two other lawyers said Mr. Howell had also led the questioning of their clients that year.

When reached at the United States Embassy in Paris this month, Mr. Howell, who worked at the embassy in Yemen for two years, declined to comment and referred questions to the State Department.

Mr. Omar said: “I started asking myself, did I do anything wrong? I felt like something very bad was going to happen to me. I started thinking about the problems about Al Qaeda and Yemen.”

During the questioning, he said, he started feeling ill and signed the document just so he could leave. “I felt like my whole life had gone to waste, my whole life in America,” he said.

A year later, Mr. Omar got a temporary passport to return to the United States.

His daughter, Naeema Omar, 29, said her father filed his lawsuit so other families would not have to endure the same ordeal. “I don’t think there’s anything they can do or say just to erase all that,” she said.

In Brooklyn, Mohammed said he was working to repay debts from his period of exile in Yemen, when he started a New York-style bodega and drove a taxi to support his family back home.

He had to temporarily shut his store in the East New York neighborhood until he found people to run it. After he returned, he told his customers that he had been “on vacation.”

Today, he is too busy working to be bitter, still confident that his American dream will not turn into a nightmare.

“In this country now,” he said, “we’re like a mountain that’s part of the landscape, and there’s no way anyone can uproot us.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

A version of this article appears in print on May 28, 2015, on page A19 of the New York edition with the headline: Yemeni-Americans Sue Over Passport Woes

Immigration Overhaul May Be in Limbo Until Late in Obama’s Term

By MICHAEL D. SHEAR – MAY 27, 2015

President Obama boarded Air Force One for a trip to Miami on Wednesday. His ambitious immigration policy order remains on hold after a ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, which he announced in a prime-time speech to the nation last November, may remain under a cloud of legal uncertainty until months before he leaves office in 2017, legal experts and administration officials said Wednesday.

Officials from the Justice Department said in a statement that they would not ask the Supreme Court for permission to carry out the president’s immigration programs — which seek to provide work permits and deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants — while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts.

That legal battle may extend for a year or more, officials said, undermining any hope of putting the president’s plan into effect until right before the 2016 election.

“The timing is critical,” said Stephen H. Legomsky, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis. “If the process drags on until the summer of 2016, then implementation becomes very difficult.”

The inability to quickly put into effect the president’s reforms is another severe blow to Hispanic activists, who had successfully lobbied Mr. Obama to take bold executive action in the face of Republican opposition to comprehensive changes in immigration law.

The president vowed to act days before Thanksgiving last year, urging undocumented immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and declaring that his actions were “not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half-century.”

But administration officials on Wednesday said the decision not to ask the Supreme Court to allow the program to move forward immediately reflects a practical reality: Even if the justices had given the green light to begin implementing the program, the continuing legal fight would probably have scared away most of the undocumented immigrants who could apply for it.

In a statement, officials from the Justice Department said they disagreed with a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that continues to block the president’s immigration actions. But they said the government will fight on the merits of the program, rather than push for permission to carry it out immediately.

Officials said they were committed to defending the president’s actions and to eventually getting the immigration programs in place with certainty.

“The department believes the best way to achieve this goal is to focus on the ongoing appeal on the merits of the preliminary injunction itself,” said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the Justice Department.

The State of Texas last year filed a lawsuit against the president, accusing him of exceeding his authority and failing to follow the proper procedures for establishing new immigration rules. Twenty-five other states joined the lawsuit.

Administration officials had hoped to begin inviting millions of immigrants to sign up for the president’s new immigration program as early as this month. But that effort has been shelved since February, when a Texas judge ordered a halt, calling it an executive overreach and agreeing that officials had violated administrative procedures.

On Tuesday, the appeals court refused to overturn that order, saying that it believed Mr. Obama’s lawyers would ultimately lose in their efforts to defend the president’s actions.

Rather than continue to fight the judge’s initial order, administration officials said Wednesday that government lawyers would wait and make what they believe will be a stronger legal argument on the merits of the president’s immigration program.

Those oral arguments before the Fifth Circuit are scheduled to begin during the week of July 6, and administration officials expressed confidence that they would eventually prevail.

If the president were to win at the appeals court later this summer, legal experts said it was possible that Mr. Obama could order the program to begin later this year.

But administration officials said it was very likely that whoever lost at the appeals court would ask the Supreme Court to consider the full merits of the president’s actions. If the court agrees to hear the case, it would likely hear arguments during its term that begins in October and could issue a ruling the following June.

That would mean that the legal fate of the president’s immigration program would be decided just as the fall campaign for the 2016 presidential contest gets into full swing.

If Mr. Obama were to emerge victorious in the court in the summer of 2016, the timing would pose several problems for his immigration programs.

With only a few months to go before he leaves office, Mr. Obama’s administration would face the daunting task of quickly setting up a new bureaucracy that could process millions of applications from undocumented immigrants. Officials said they believe the administration could do that in a few months, if necessary.

But even as they would be seeking to get the program up and running, the issue could become a major part of the debate between the two presidential candidates.

By then, a Republican candidate might be vowing to repeal the president’s executive actions even as a Democratic candidate promises to keep them in place. Several Republican hopefuls have already made such a promise and Hillary Rodham Clinton has said she would expand Mr. Obama’s executive actions if she was elected president.

That political debate could make undocumented immigrants very nervous about revealing themselves before they knew who the next president was going to be.

“That might not be something they want to do,” Mr. Legomsky said.

Correction: May 28, 2015

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the title of the judge who ordered a halt to president Obama’s new immigration program in February. It was a Federal District Court judge in Texas, not a Texas District Court judge.

Julia Preston contributed reporting from New York.

A version of this article appears in print on May 28, 2015, on page A13 of the New York edition with the headline: Immigration Overhaul May Be in Limbo Until Late in Obama’s Term.

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Fecha: México, D. F.a 27 de mayo de 2015
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To English speakers: below you will find information in English published by American and Canadian press.

Bandera de México MEDIOS NACIONALES / ESTATALES – MÉXICO / MEDIA IN MÉXICO
Boletín PARTICIPAN NIÑOS EN CONCURSO “ESTE ES MI MÉXICO” / ZULEMA BÁEZ / EL NUEVO HERALDO
Una vez más el talento de la niñez de Brownsville sobresale a nivel internacional, en el calendario "Este de México". La convocatoria para el concurso internacional de dibujo infantil “Este es mi México” 2015, emitida por la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores designó a “Los derechos de las niñas y los niños” como el tema a desarrollar. (…) El martes 19 de mayo, el cónsul Rodolfo Quilantán Arenas reconoció el talento de 12 pequeños artistas.
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A LA CONQUISTA DEL ORO / SERGIO ARTURO DUARTE / EL DIARIO DE JUÁREZ
Por la revancha y, a la reconquista de la presea dorada que obtuvo en el 2011 y 2013, el taekwondoín mexicoamericano Bernardo Norzagaray competirá la semana próxima en la Olimpiada Nacional 2015, en Monterrey, Nuevo León. (…) “Tengo el bronce, ahorita voy por la de oro”, enfatizó. Con los colores del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME), el artemarcialista de 17 años y 1.70 metros, combatirá por segundo año consecutivo en la categoría para menores de 21 años.
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SRE LAMENTA REVÉS A MEDIDAS MIGRATORIAS DE OBAMA / EL FINANCIERO
La Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores dijo que elgobierno mexicano lamenta la decisión de la Corte de Apelaciones del Quinto Circuito para mantener la suspensión sobre las medidas migratorias impulsadas por el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barack Obama. (…) Además, dice el boletín, la SRE seguirá otorgando los documentos e identificaciones consulares y "redoblará sus esfuerzos para brindar información y asistencia oportuna a nuestros connacionales,
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PIDEN A OBAMA APELAR FALLO MIGRATORIO ANTE CORTE SUPREMA / EL INFORMADOR
El presidente Barack Obama debe apelar "tan pronto como sea posible" el fallo de la Corte de Apelaciones del Quinto Circuito, que mantuvo en suspenso la entrada en vigor de las acciones ejecutivas migratorias, coincidieron hoy abogados, expertos y activistas. Especialistas confiaron en que las acciones ejecutivas serán reivindicadas en los tribunales, por lo que hicieron un llamado a los inmigrantes potencialmente elegibles a la versión ampliada de DACA y DAPA a seguir compilando la documentación necesaria.
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FALLA CORTE FEDERAL DE EU CONTRA DECRETO MIGRATORIO DE OBAMA / EL DIARIO DE JUAREZ
El plan del presidente Barack Obama para evitar la deportación de 5 millones de inmigrantes indocumentados que viven en Estados Unidos, continúa suspendido. Un panel de la Corte de Apelaciones del Quinto Circuito –con sede en Nueva Orleans– falló en contra de permitir que entrara en efecto la propuesta presidencial en tanto que un juez federal con sede en Brownsville, Texas, analiza si es constitucional. (…) La situación generó malestar entre activistas de derechos de inmigrantes y abogados especialistas en inmigración de El Paso,
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CORTE DE EU DESCARTA LEVANTAR BLOQUEO A ACCIONES MIGRATORIAS / EL INFORMADOR
Un panel de tres jueces de la Corte de Apelaciones del Quinto Circuito de Apelaciones de Nueva Orleans mantuvo el bloqueo a las acciones ejecutivas migratorias del presidente Barack Obama. El Departamento de Justicia había solicitado al panel invalidar el fallo del juez Andrew Hanen, de Texas, que impidió iniciar la legalización de más de cuatro millones de inmigrantes indocumentados, la mayoría mexicanos. "Porque es improbable que el gobierno tenga éxito en los méritos de la apelación (de la decisión del juez Hanen),
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ACEPTAN YA SOLICITUDES DE TRABAJO PARA CÓNYUGES DE MIGRANTES CALIFICADOS / EL SOL DE MEXICO
Casi 180 mil cónyuges de inmigrantes calificados podrán solicitar permisos laborales a partir de ayer con el Servicio de Ciudadanía e Inmigración (USCIS), como parte de las acciones ejecutivas del presidente estadounidense Barack Obama. Los cónyuges de inmigrantes con visas H1-B para trabajadores altamente capacitados, recibirán el beneficio si han iniciado el trámite para obtener estatus de residente permanente.
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ACUDEN JORNALEROS MEXICANOS A RODEO DE BICIS EN TORONTO / LA JORNADA
Cientos de trabajadores agrícolas mexicanos acudieron al Rodeo de Bicicletas que se realizó en la zona de Niagara on the Lake, cerca de las cataratas, en la frontera de Canadá y Estados Unidos. Desde el mediodía del domingo comenzaron a llegar decenas de jornaleros mexicanos con gorras y playeras multicolores, la mayoría en bicicleta, al acto que cada año organizan asociaciones de apoyo a los trabajadores del campo como Enlace Community Link Inc, Niagara Migrant Workers Interest Group y Niagara Lion Club, así como la Policía Regional de Niágara, grupos artísticos, clubes de rotarios y empresarios locales.
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Bandera de Estados Unidos de América MEDIOS EN ESTADOS UNIDOS / MEDIA IN USA
Calendario de Eventos PRESENTAN PROYECTOS DE COOPERACIÓN AL IME / LUIS ÁNGEL GALVÁN / LA ESTRELLA DIGITAL
Hace apenas unos días a través de la página electrónica del consulado general de México en Dallas se dio a conocer la selección de los nuevos consejeros del Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior (IME). Esta nueva generación la integran Anael Luébanos, Claudia Herrmann, Darío José Villarreal Suárez, José de Jesús Monroy García, Ramiro Luna y Francisco Álvarez. La selección en el Norte de Texas se llevó a cabo bajo la presentación de proyectos de cooperación para integración local del Consejo del IME. José Octavio Tripp Villanueva, cónsul general de México en Dallas, consultado habló sobre esto:
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CORTE FEDERAL DE EU PARALIZA ACCIONES MIGRATORIAS DE BARACK OBAMA / ARIANE DE VOGUE / CNN
Una corte federal de apelaciones negó este martes una solicitud de los abogados del Departamento de Justicia que permitiría al presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, aplicar las acciones controversiales de alivio migratorio, en espera de una apelación. La decisión es una victoria para Texas y otras 25 entidades estadounidenses que han desafiado las acciones de la administración de Obama, bloqueadas por un juez de una Corte de Distrito en febrero. La decisión del martes significa que si bien el tema es apelable, los migrantes que aplicaban para recibir los beneficios de las acciones del plan de Obama, presentado en noviembre pasado,
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EL DRAMA LEGAL POR LOS ALIVIOS MIGRATORIOS AVANZA HACIA LA CORTE SUPREMA / MARÍA PEÑA / LA RAZA
Las continuas demoras en la puesta en marcha de los alivios migratorios no solo dejan la puerta abierta a un litigio ante el Tribunal Supremo sino que sirven como un renovado llamado a la acción del movimiento proinmigrante en Estados Unidos. El consenso entre activistas y observadores es que el fallo de este martes del quinto circuito de apelaciones no debe sorprender a nadie porque se trata de uno de los más conservadores en el país. El fallo de 2-1 estuvo liderado por dos jueces designados por presidentes republicanos, Jerry Smith y Jennifer Elrod, que desde la minoría también respaldaron una ley anti-inmigrante en 2013.
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GRUPOS PROINMIGRANTES DE LA REACCIONAN A BLOQUEO DE ALIVIOS MIGRATORIOS / MARVELIA ALPIZAR / LA OPINIÓN
La decisión de la Corte de Apelaciones del Quinto Distrito de mantener el bloqueo de la implementación de DAPA y la extensión de DACA causó frustración entre las distintas organizaciones de defensa de derechos civiles de Los Ángeles. “No estamos de acuerdo con la decisión miope de la corte y lamentamos la confusión, la ira y la decepción que reinara entre las millones de familias que han pasado gran parte de sus vidas subyugados por las leyes de inmigración injustas”, dijo Angélica Salas, directora ejecutiva de la Coalición por los Derechos Humanos de los Inmigrantes (CHIRLA).
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OBAMA’S IMMIGRATION ACTION ‘SQUARELY WITHIN THE BOUNDS’ OF POWERS: WHITE HOUSE / THE NEW YORK TIMES
President Barack Obama’s actions to give relief from deportation to certain undocumented immigrants were "squarely within the bounds of his authority," White House spokesman Brandi Hoffine said on Tuesday after a court ruled against the White House. "Today, two judges of the Fifth Circuit chose to misinterpret the facts and the law in denying the government’s request for a stay," Hoffine said in a statement. "As the powerful dissent from Judge Higginson recognizes, President Obama’s immigration executive actions are fully consistent with the law," she said.
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THE 5TH CIRCUIT’S IMMIGRATION DECISION, OR POLITICS IS A BAR FIGHT (OR A FIGHT AT THE BAR) / THE WASHINGTON POST
With Congress unable to agree on much of anything, opponents of the president’s agenda have largely turned to the judiciary in hopes of reining in what they claim is “the brazen lawlessness that has become a trademark of the Obama administration.” The phrase is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s, who clearly has excellent skills in brazen hyperbole. But there are some on the left who wouldn’t demur. Their concerns center on surveillance, detainee rights, asylum-seekers and the drone wars. From the right, where war is fine so long as it isn’t against coal, lawsuits have instead focused on environmental regulation,
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OBAMA IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL AND ‘DREAMERS’ HANDED ANOTHER LEGAL SETBACK / MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE AND CINDY CARCAMO / LOS ANGELES TIMES
A split federal appeals court on Tuesday let stand a lower court’s ruling that has stymied Obama administration plans to shield up to 5 million people – including young immigrants known as "Dreamers" – from deportation. At issue was President Obama’s proposed extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, created in 2012, and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Legal Permanent Residents, or DAPA, which was scheduled to start in May. Although the programs do not create a path to citizenship,
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SUPREME COURT REDISTRICTING CASE COULD REDUCE LATINOS’ POLITICAL CLOUT / DAVID G. SAVAGE AND DAVID LAUTER / LOS ANGELES TIMES
For 50 years the “one person, one vote” principle has been used to divvy up political power by counting all people in states and putting them into electoral districts of roughly equal size. But the mathematics of power may be about to change in a way that could shift political clout away from fast-growing Latino communities in states such as California, Texas and Florida and move it to the suburbs and rural areas. The Supreme Court surprised election-law experts Tuesday and said it would hear arguments this fall about whether voting districts should continue to be drawn by using census population data,
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ABBOTT AND OBAMA: CHUMS ON DISASTER, ADVERSARIES ON IMMIGRATION / TODD J. GILLMAN / THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
Hours after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and the president spoke about the storm damage in Texas –both focused on the needs of flood ravaged Americans — a federal appeals court put a quick end to the truce. Texas has led a 26-state court fight against President Barack Obama’s immigration policies. And on Tuesday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court order putting Obama’s actions on hold. Abbott was quick to gloat about the victory over Obama’s “unlawful action.” “President Obama abdicated his responsibility to preserve and protect the United States Constitution when he issued this executive action,
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ABBOTT: TEXAS PREVAILED IN IMMIGRATION RULING / AARON NELSEN / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
A federal appeals court in New Orleans has denied a request to lift an injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s executive action to protect millions of immigrants from deportation. In a split decision, two of three judges on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled to leave the injunction in place, finding that Justice Department attorneys had not done enough to disprove that Texas and 25 other states suing the government lack standing. The Texas-led lawsuit argues that Obama unconstitutionally sidestepped Congress in his November 20 plan on immigration to shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation.
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TEXAS’ FIRST LADY TO SPEAK AT HISPANIC WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP LUNCHEON / CARISSA D. LAMKAHOUAN / SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
Cecilia Abbott, the first Hispanic women to serve as Texas’ first lady, will address the Hispanic Women in Leadership as its keynote speaker for its "Excellence in Education Scholarship Luncheon" fundraiser set for June 4 at 11:15 a.m. at the HESS Club, 5430 Westheimer Road. The group is a nonprofit organization that has been serving the Houston community for more than 27 years. Other speakers include Sylvia Garcia, a Texas state senator, and Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman. For ticket information email hwil-org or call 281-724-8495 or visit www.hwil.org.
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SURGE NUEVA AMENAZA PARA EL VOTO LATINO / LA OPINIÓN
La Suprema Corte escuchará un caso que daría luz verde a los estados para crear distritos legislativos, no con base en el total de población, sino en el número de electores, lo cual significaría un fuerte golpe al voto latino, aún en desarrollo como una fuerza política en el país. El máximo tribunal de la nación anunció este martes que revisará la apelación en el caso de Evenwel v. Abbott que ha sido una larga disputa política y legal entre el estado de Texas y grupos de defensa del derecho al voto. Esta demanda cuestiona la práctica de Texas de contabilizar a los no ciudadanos en su plan de redistribución de distritos electorales, la cual también ha sido utilizada durante mucho tiempo por otros estados.
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SUPREME COURT TO HEAR TEXAS CASE THAT COULD CHANGE HOW VOTING MAPS DRAWN / MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER AND SYLVAN LANE / THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that it will hear a case next year brought by two Texans that takes aim at perhaps the court’s most important voting rights doctrine — the principle of one person, one vote. If successful, the case would radically change the way lawmakers draw voting maps every 10 years and could require every voting map in the country to be redrawn, from Congress to city council.
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INDOCUMENTADOS QUEDAN EN MEDIO DEL FUEGO POLÍTICO CRUZADO / MARÍA PEÑA / LA OPINIÓN
El fallo del Quinto Circuito de Apelaciones en Louisiana, que mantiene indefinidamente en el congelador los alivios migratorios, enfrentó este martes a grupos proreforma que lo ven como un ataque más contra las familias inmigrantes y conservadores que acusan a la Casa Blanca de abuso de poder. El dictamen de 2-1, que dio la razón a los 26 estados que han demandado a la Administración Obama para frenar para siempre los alivios migratorios, suscitó la “decepción” y el rechazo de la mayoría de los grupos proinmigrantes en todo Estados Unidos.
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LAWSUIT: OFFICIALS DELAY IMMIGRANTS’ WORK AUTHORIZATION / THE NEW YORK TIMES
A new lawsuit alleges federal immigration officials routinely delay issuing employment authorization documents to eligible immigrants and fail to issue interim documents, thwarting their ability to work legally. According to the suit, immigrants who are renewing their work authorization are also at risk: They can lose their jobs, benefits and, in some states, their driver’s licenses. As a result, immigrants can’t support themselves and their families while their immigration applications are pending. The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle. It seeks class action status.
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DEMÓCRATAS EXIGEN CIERRE DE CENTROS DE DETENCIÓN PARA FAMILIAS / MARÍA PEÑA / LA RAZA
Un grupo de 136 legisladores demócratas exigió este miércoles el cierre inmediato de los centros de detención para familias, al señalar que éstos no frenan la inmigración ilegal y sólo perjudican más a quienes han sido víctimas de la violencia en Centroamérica. Como parte de una campaña de presión política, los líderes demócratas de la Cámara de Representantes señalaron en una carta enviada este miércoles al secretario de Seguridad Nacional, Jeh Johnson, que los centros de detención, dos en Texas y uno en Pensilvania, no son un sitio ideal para menores que han sido víctimas de todo tipo de abusos.
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A NEW WAY TO EXPLOIT THE CALIFORNIA DROUGHT: IMMIGRANT BASHING / LOS ANGELES TIMES
Last year, a study of water rights by scholars at UC Davis and Merced warned that the long-term decline in California’s water supply portended a new era of "social conflict." Anti-immigrant activists seem to have taken that as a challenge. They’re meeting it with flying colors. To hear the people at Californians for Population Stabilization talk, the drought is all about California population growth–specifically, immigrants.
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Bandera de Canadá MEDIOS EN CANADÁ / MEDIA IN CANADA
NATIONAL POST VIEW: SLAMMING THE DOOR ON REFUGEES? HARDLY / NATIONAL POST
In the Mediterranean, Africans cram themselves aboard rickety boats in hopes of a better life in Europe. Hundreds have drowned. In the Andaman Sea and Malacca Strait, Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar seek asylum in Malaysia and Indonesia in similarly desperate situations. Only last week did those countries finally agree to do more than feed and water them and send them on their way.
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CANADA SLIPS OUT OF TOP-FIVE COUNTRIES IN INTEGRATING IMMIGRANTS / NICHOLAS KEUNG / TORONTO STAR
Canada has dropped out of the top five nations when it comes to integrating immigrants, due to policy changes by Ottawa that restrict family reunification and citizenship. According to the latest world ranking by a Brussels-based think tank, Canada has slipped from third to sixth place among 38 developed countries in providing migrants access to equal rights, support and opportunity.
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mundo.png MEDIOS RESTO DEL MUNDO / RESTO DEL MUNDO
EUROPEAN UNION ASKS MEMBER COUNTRIES TO ACCEPT QUOTAS OF MIGRANTS / JAMES KANTER / THE NEW YORK TIMES
The European Union authorities appealed to the bloc’s member states on Wednesday to accept quotas of migrants to relieve the burden on southern states like Italy and Greece that are the main landing points for the surging numbers of people crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The proposal by the European Commission, the Brussels-based executive arm of the European Union, is a response to concerns that the bloc’s southern coastal states could become overwhelmed by the inflow of migrants making the dangerous crossing in often rickety and unseaworthy vessels.
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Lazos es un servicio informativo del IME, se distribuye de lunes a viernes, y contiene información sobre notas periodísticas publicadas en México, EE.UU., y Canadá sobre la población de origen mexicano y latino en EE.UU. y Canadá.

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La política migratoria de la UE: la insolidaridad como lema

Javier Doz*

¡Vergogna!, pronunció el Papa Francisco, contundente y sintético, al referirse a las muertes de miles de refugiados y emigrantes en las aguas del Mediterráneo y a la insensibilidad de los gobiernos europeos, incapaces de encontrar una solución racional y solidaria a la matanza. ¿Qué podemos decir ahora al constatar que la principal solución encontrada por los responsables políticos de la UE y de los gobiernos europeos es la de atacar militarmente a las bandas de traficantes de personas y procurar hundir, si se puede, los barcos que utilizan? Aunque con gestos de esta naturaleza quieran aparentar energía de cara a una parte de las opiniones públicas, sensibles a los postulados de las derechas nacionalistas y xenófobas, los líderes políticos europeos saben que la etapa final de su acción militar –la actuación de buques de guerra europeos contra las embarcaciones de los traficantes en aguas territoriales libias- difícilmente contaría con la aprobación del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU. ¿O es que no se acuerdan de las repercusiones geopolíticas que tuvo la ampliación unilateral del mandato de la ONU de proteger a la población de la Cirenaica de las amenazas de Gadafi al objetivo de facto de derribar su régimen, con las consecuencias que todos conocemos? ¿Es que piensan que Rusia no ejercería su derecho de veto? ¿O se volvería a actuar al margen de Naciones Unidas?

En todo caso, esa aparente contundencia contra uno de los actores malos de esta dramática película no oculta el escandaloso hecho de que fuese la única medida supuestamente aprobada en la reunión de ministros de exteriores y defensa de la UE, el pasado 18 de mayo; y que estuviese acompañada de un bochornoso debate acerca del modo de repartir entre sus países la ridícula cifra de 20.000 refugiados anuales. Sobre este punto no se llegó a ningún acuerdo por la negativa de bastantes países europeos a aceptar las cifras propuestas por la Comisión Europea, o el hecho mismo de que la Comisión les dijera algo al respecto. El contraste entre lo acordado y lo rechazado lo dice todo acerca de los bajísimos niveles de sensibilidad política y moral que tienen quienes hoy gobiernan Europa, máxime si se tiene en cuenta quienes son las naciones que están realmente cargando con el dramático problema de los refugiados y cuales ha sido la responsabilidades políticas de los gobiernos europeos –y de los EE UU, por supuesto- en la génesis o/y gestión de los conflictos bélicos del Norte de África y el Oriente Próximo que están produciendo buena parte de esos refugiados.

Según los últimos datos publicados por ACNUR, correspondientes a 2014, los refugiados en el mundo han alcanzado la cifra de 51,2 millones de personas, cifra record desde el fin de la 2ª Guerra Mundial. De ellos, 33,3 millones son desplazados internos en sus propios países. El 86% de los mismos malviven en los países más pobres del mundo, los denominados en la jerga actual “países en vías de desarrollo”. Las naciones desarrolladas y emergentes, juntas, apenas acogen a 7,2 millones del total. En toda la UE hay actualmente 435.000 refugiados, de los que sólo tienen reconocido el estatuto de refugiado 185.000. Estas cifras suponen apenas el 0,85% y el 0,36%, respectivamente, del total de refugiados. Aún si comparamos las cifras europeas sólo con el total de refugiados que viven fuera de sus países de origen, 18 millones, todos los Estados miembros de la UE estarían acogiendo, de hecho, apenas el 2,42% del total de refugiados expatriados, y habrían reconocido jurídicamente su estatuto de refugiado a sólo el 1.02% de ese total. Sólo la Guerra Civil de Siria, ahora ya superpuesta a la guerra yihadista promovida por Estado Islámico en Siria e Iraq, ha producido ya 3,5 millones de refugiados expatriados y 6,5 millones de desplazados internos. Al lado de todas estas cifras ¿Qué se puede decir de la pelea de los gobiernos europeos por la distribución de la ridícula cifra de 20.000 refugiados al año en toda la UE? ¿Y qué más del hecho de que tampoco se atienden los angustiosos llamamientos de ayuda financiera de ACNUR para atender a millones de personas en unos campos de refugiados sobresaturados? No cabe sino decir bien alto: ¡es una vergüenza! Todo un monumento al egoísmo y la insolidaridad, que lo dice todo acerca de una UE desnortada en casi todas sus señas de identidad durante la última década.

El severo juicio que merecen los responsables políticos de la UE y los gobiernos europeos por actuar así, se ve agravado por la responsabilidad política que tienen algunos de los gobiernos de nuestro continente –aquí sí que hay que individualizar las responsabilidades- en la generación de algunos de los conflictos político militares -o en los errores en la intervención en ellos-, que están provocando los refugiados que ahora se rechazan. El principal ejemplo es el surgimiento del Estado Islámico. Es inseparable de la desastrosa intervención militar de los Estados Unidos y el Reino Unido y otras naciones europeas en Iraq (2003), y de la posterior disolución del ejército y del Estado del régimen baasista. No hay más que repasar el estado mayor y la nómina de dirigentes militares de la organización terrorista/Estado que preside Abubaker al Bagdadi para encontrarse con muchos destacados oficiales del Ejército y de los servicios secretos de Sadam Hussein. Si desastrosa ha sido, sin duda, la guerra de Iraq desde un punto de vista geoestratégico, desde un punto de vista político y moral habría que calificarla de ilegítima e ilegal. Y en la nómina de los políticos irresponsables que acompañaron a George W. Bush, en las Islas Azores, a dictar el ultimátum que la desencadenó -aduciendo motivos que ya entonces eran manifiestamente falsos-, estaban –nunca nos olvidaremos- los primeros ministros del Reino Unido (Blair) y España (Aznar).

Hoy, las consecuencias de la Guerra de Iraq complican el ya de por sí difícil final de la Guerra Civil Siria. Si en los orígenes de la misma, al igual que en las demás rebeliones de la Primavera Árabe, están el rechazo de la tiranía por el pueblo y la resistencia del régimen dictatorial a aceptarlo, la pronta intromisión del yihadismo en el conflicto, con fines bien diferentes, provocó una cadena de vacilaciones, contradicciones y errores (involuntarios y voluntarios) por parte de los enemigos del Gobierno de al-Asad: las naciones occidentales, los Estados del Golfo y Turquía. Inicialmente, sus armas y pertrechos llegaron también a la oposición islamista, la mayor parte de cuyos combatientes se integraron finalmente en el Frente Al Nusra (Al Qaeda) y el Estado Islámico de Iraq y el Levante. Las monarquías (teocráticas y suníes) del Golfo y Turquía continuaron estos suministros bastante tiempo más allá que los EE UU. Incluso, una vez que el Estado Islámico proclamó el Califato en amplias porciones del territorio de Iraq y Siria, Turquía siguió permitiendo el contrabando de petróleo a través de su frontera con Siria, su principal fuente de financiación. Y Turquía es miembro de la OTAN.

Y para terminar: Libia. De este país parten la mayoría de los barcos repletos de refugiados (la mayoría) y emigrantes económicos. La destrucción del frágil Estado libio ha llevado al país al caos, a una nueva guerra civil y a la condición –no se sabe si temporal- de Estado fallido, en el que Estado Islámico está construyendo su base territorial más cercana a Europa. Pues bien, nadie duda que a esta situación contribuyó la violación del mandato del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU, y la ampliación de los bombardeos intensivos hasta que el régimen de Gadafi fue destruido (y su líder asesinado por linchamiento). Los bombardeos, ejecutados por Estados Unidos, Francia y el Reino Unido, fueron apoyados militarmente por otras naciones europeas, entre ellas España, y políticamente por la UE.

Y ahora, la UE, presos muchos de sus líderes por el ascenso de corrientes nacionalistas y xenófobas en sus opiniones públicas o en el interior de sus propios partidos, mira para otro lado sobre el drama de los refugiados, en otro alarde de insolidaridad y egoísmo –y ceguera estratégica- hacia sus vecinos del Sur.

En los últimos tiempos, son ya demasiadas las equivocaciones, malas orientaciones e insuficiencias acumuladas por las políticas exteriores, de seguridad y de migraciones de la UE, o de uno o varios de sus principales Estados. Entre ellas: promover o participar en intervenciones militares y desentenderse de las consecuencias geoestratégicas, políticas y sociales posteriores de las mismas; hacerlo, en ocasiones, al margen de la legalidad internacional; volver a apoyar a las dictaduras –como la egipcia de Al-Sisi- como remedio frente al ascenso del islamismo, al tiempo que se racanea la ayuda económica al único país democrático, Túnez, que queda de la Primavera Árabe; etc. Y en el tema que nos ocupa: primacía absoluta de un enfoque de seguridad interna, insolidario y egoísta, sobre los de política migratoria común europea, cooperación para el desarrollo económico y social y la democracia política de los vecinos del Sur, y cumplimiento de las obligaciones de los convenios internacionales sobre los refugiados de la ONU.

Algunos dirán, con razón, que no se puede esperar que los responsables políticos de la austeridad, de los recortes salariales y laborales y de la devaluación de rentas de los europeos (de trabajadores y clases medias, no de los más ricos, por supuesto), y del acoso que sufre el gobierno griego de Syriza, se aparten de los rumbos de insolidaridad, egoísmo nacional y ceguera estratégica que caracterizan hoy su falta de proyecto europeo de futuro, para ser generosos con los que vienen de fuera.

Yo sólo añadiré que ambas conductas son las dos caras de la misma mala moneda política, que lo que decidieron y lo que no fueron capaces de decidir los ministros de exteriores y de defensa el 18 de mayo es una vergüenza, y que todo ello apuntala mi convicción de que la UE sólo tiene salvación si se produce un profundo cambio político –una refundación política de Europa- basada en la democracia, la igualdad y el progreso social, y la solidaridad. Todo un programa de cambio para realizar en Europa que requiere que sus Estados miembros avancen en la misma dirección. Difícil pero necesario.

*Presidente de la Fundación 1º de Mayo, España. En Público.es, 26.05.15

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