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Executive Summary for August 23rd

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including Iraqi and Syrian migrants intercepted in the Black Sea, a fall in the number crossing over the U.S.-Canada border, and the first employment office opening in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp.

Published on Aug. 23, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Romania Intercepts Refugee Boats in the Black Sea

The Romanian coast guard intercepted a boat carrying around 70 Iraqis and Syrians in the Black Sea, the Associated Press reported.

Passengers on the fishing boat included 12 women and 23 children. They were found off Romania’s Constanta port on August 20.

The coast guard intercepted 69 Iraqi migrants a week earlier, on August 13.

There has also been a rise in the number of migrants intercepted along the Romanian-Serbian border this year – 2,474 people in the first six months of 2017 compared to 1,624 migrants in all of 2016.

“Smuggler networks are testing new routes and one of them is the Black Sea and Romania,” an anonymous source in the Romanian Immigration Inspectorate told Balkan Insight. Frontex spokesperson Ewa Moncure said it is “too early” to “call it a trend.”

Migrant Crossings Fall Along U.S.-Canada Border

The number of people caught crossing the Quebec-U.S. border has fallen in recent days, Canadian authorities said.

An average of 140 people daily were intercepted over the weekend, immigration minister Ahmed Hussen announced on Monday, compared to 250 per day a week earlier.

Some 3,800 mostly Haitian asylum seekers arrived in Quebec between August 1 and 15. Many fear deportation from the U.S. after their “temporary protected status” expires in January 2018.

Canadian authorities have been targeting Haitian communities in the U.S. and online to “aggressively dispel the myths” that may have encouraged them to migrate north, such as easy entry and guaranteed residency.

“Trying to cross the border in an irregular fashion is not a free ticket to Canada,” public safety minister Ralph Goodale told CTV News. “We have been making that point over and over again.”

First Employment Office for Syrian Refugees Opens in Jordan’s Zaatari Camp

The U.N. opened the first employment office for Syrian refugees in Jordan’s Zaatari camp, the Associated Press reports.

Refugees can get employment advice, counseling and information from International Labor Organization (ILO) and U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) staff at the center, who will match job seekers with local employers according to their skills and organize job fairs for potential workers, said Maha Kattaa, ILO response coordinator in Jordan.

Only 3 percent of the 80,000 refugees inside Zaatari currently hold a work permit.

“I am confident that having an increased number of Syrians entering the labor market will positively impact the local economy and bring stability to refugee families,” said UNHCR official Stefano Severe.

The ILO, UNHCR and Jordan’s Ministry of Labor plan to open a network of employment offices throughout the country.

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