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Executive Summary for August 16th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a Spanish NGO reporting threats from the Libyan coast guard, Angela Merkel’s opposition to E.U. sanctions over relocation quotas, and the closure of a U.S. immigration program for Central American youth.

Published on Aug. 16, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Spanish NGO Says Boats Intercepted by Libyan Coast Guard

Search-and-rescue vessels operated by the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms have been intercepted by the Libyan coast guard twice in two weeks.

The NGO said their ship Gulfo Azzurro was conducting training exercises in international waters when it was followed by a Libyan patrol boat.

“They said that if the crew did not comply with the order, they would shoot them. After an hour and forty minutes they told us to leave the area, and that we should not return again or otherwise they will shoot us,” Proactiva spokeswoman Laura Lanuza told Euronews.

Lanuza said that their other boat operating in the Mediterranean, Open Arms, was also intercepted by a Libyan patrol, which fired warning shots in the air last week.

Merkel: E.U. States Refusing Refugees Should Not Be Sanctioned

E.U. countries who refuse to take their share of refugees should not face E.U. budgetary sanctions, German chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters.

Merkel’s electoral opponent, Martin Shulz of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP), had called on the E.U. to halt funding to countries that refuse E.U. relocation quotas.

But Merkel is instead pushing for negotiations with countries rejecting quotas, including the Czech Republic and Hungary, adding that “to pay ransom, that won’t work in this context.”

U.S. Ends Program Allowing Legal Immigration of Central American Youth

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is shutting down a program that allows Central American youth to enter the U.S. legally on temporary parole.

The Central American Minors (CAM) program allows unmarried youths aged under 21 from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to apply for asylum from their home country if at least one parent is already legally in the U.S.

Youth who do not qualify as refugees are granted “humanitarian parole,” during which they can work and are protected from deportation. They can renew their parole every two years.

The DHS announced that it would stop automatically granting temporary parole but that youth can still apply for refugee status.

Former president Obama approved CAM in 2014 in an attempt to address the influx of unaccompanied minors from the three Central American countries attempting to enter the United States.

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