Executive Summary for September 30th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including Germany’s revision of its count of asylum seekers in 2015, Orban’s anti-migrant rhetoric as Hungary’s referendum nears and Haitian families separated by new U.S. immigration policies.

Published on Sep. 30, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Revised Count Shows 200,000 Fewer Refugees in Germany in 2015

Germany announced a revised count of the number of asylum seekers who entered the country last year, from 1.1 million to 890,000.

The original figure was amended because some were counted twice and others were only transiting through the country.

German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere said the figure was “still very high,” and praised the government’s efforts to reduce the number of arrivals this year.

The number of people seeking refuge in Germany has dropped since E.U. members tightened their borders and made a deal with Turkey to curb the number of migrants using sea routes earlier this year.

Some 210,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Germany so far in 2016.

Hungary’s Orban Links Migrants to Terrorism as Referendum Nears

As Hungary’s referendum nears, the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orban, has stepped up his appeal for the public to vote against refugee quotas.

“The more migrants there are, the greater the risk of terror,” Orban told Hungarian TV. “We would like to preserve Hungary a safe country like it is now.”

The country will vote on Sunday on whether to accept European Union quotas on the number of asylum seekers each member country should take in.

Orban virulently opposes accepting more refugees and called the referendum an effort to undermine the E.U. plan, analysts say.

His government has mounted a massive media campaign warning of the dangers of migration, while several opposition parties have urged people to boycott the vote.

Opinion polls show around 80 percent of voters plan to vote against the quotas, but turnout may not reach the 50 percent mark necessary for the referendum to be valid, Reuters reports.

Haitian Families Separated by Border After U.S. Policy Shift

Dozens of families have found themselves divided by the U.S.-Mexican border, following last week’s abrupt change in U.S. policy towards Haitian migrants, the New York Times reports.

U.S. authorities had allowed Haitians, displaced by the 2010 earthquake and traveling through Mexico from Brazil in order to reach the U.S., to enter the country without visas, but said last week it would resume the deportation of undocumented Haitians arriving at the southern border from September 23 onwards.

U.S. border officials had granted priority to women and children arriving on the border, while men traveling with their families often had to remain in Mexico and wait their turn. That has left a number of men stranded in Mexico while their families had already entered the U.S. before the policy shift.

Migrant groups told the New York Times that more than 50 families in San Diego have now found themselves separated, with at least a dozen pregnant women among their number.

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