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Executive Summary for May 4th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a German police raid on a migrant shelter, more uncertainty over aid access to Myanmar’s Kachin state and Canada’s cooperation with U.S. to curb Nigerian asylum claims.

Published on May 4, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

German Police Raid Migrant Shelter After Deportation Protest

Hundreds of German police officers stormed a migrant shelter after protesters blocked the deportation of a Togolese migrant earlier this week.

About 150 people prevented police detaining the 23-year-old, identified as Yussif O., on April 30. Under the European Union’s Dublin regulation, Yussif must be deported to Italy, the E.U. country in which he first arrived.

So on May 3 police returned in force to the shelter in Ellwangen, southern Germany, which houses 500 asylum seekers. The raid prompted clashes with residents, and one police officer and three migrants were admitted to hospital with injuries.

German interior minister Horst Seehofer called the clashes a “slap in the face of the law-abiding population.”

Seehofer is rolling out a new immigration policy that will place asylum seekers in several large centers rather than distributing them at smaller shelters around the country. The aim is to increase deportations.

Myanmar Will Screen Before Allowing Aid to Displaced in Kachin

Myanmar’s government said it would need to screen displaced civilians before allowing for the distribution of aid in conflict-torn Kachin state.

Thousands of people protested in Kachin this week, calling for aid to around 5,000 people displaced and others trapped amid renewed fighting between Myanmar’s military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

“We got information that shows KIA members might be among the refugees for humanitarian aid … we need to scrutinize whether members of the armed force are among them,” government spokesman Zaw Htay said.

He said the government should not be compelled to provide unconditional aid to around 2,000 people trapped in a remote forest. “The security forces have concerns,” he added.

Canadian Officials Working With U.S. to Curb Nigerian Asylum Claims

Canadian officials are working with their United States counterparts to prevent Nigerians using U.S. visas traveling on to Canada to claim asylum, Reuters reports.

Two Canadian officials have been sent to Lagos, Nigeria, to work with U.S. visa officers on the issue. “It is apparent that they obtained those visas with the express intent to actually go to Canada … We’ve been sharing that information with the U.S. with the view of preventing the abuse of U.S. visas,” a Canadian immigration department spokeswoman told Reuters.

More than 7,600 Nigerian asylum seekers have arrived in Canada since June, 81 percent of whom had a U.S. visa, she said.

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