Executive Summary for August 3rd

We review the latest issues relating to refugees, including Colombia granting hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan refugees residency, Germany lifting the family reunification block and Australia threatening to leave the Global Compact for Migration.

Published on Aug. 3, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Colombia Grants Nearly Half Million Venezuelans Residency

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos gave 440,000 undocumented Venezuelan refugees in his country two-year residency permits, allowing them to work, get health insurance and access education.

There are more than 1 million Venezuelans in neighboring Colombia. Santos, who leaves office next Tuesday after eight years, urged Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro to allow aid into the crisis-stricken country. “The entire world is increasingly terrified by what’s happening in Venezuela,” Santos said.

Germany Lifts Block on Family Reunification

The block on family reunification was lifted in Germany. Most Syrians who arrived in Germany in recent years received a lesser form of protection and were unable to bring their families to the country since 2016.

Under a compromise deal reached by German parties earlier this year, children will be able to rejoin their parents and spouses will be able to reunite under the new rules. However, the number of people arriving in Germany under family reunification is capped at 1,000 per month and 34,000 people have already applied.

Australia Minister Threatens to Quit Global Migration Compact

Australia’s home affairs minister threatened to join the Trump Administration and Hungary in pulling out of the Global Compact for Migration. The non-binding deal pledges better cooperation over migration.

“We’re not going to sign a deal that sacrifices anything in terms of our border protection policies,” Peter Dutton said, adding that Australia would not sign on to the Global Compact “if it’s not in our national interests.”

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“The men at one of the country’s three repatriation centers shook their heads when asked if they had peacefully come back to Myanmar from Bangladesh. They said they had not been repatriated at all.”

“These prickly ethical questions about ends and means are being debated nowhere more furiously than in the European country that takes pride most in its tradition of moral philosophy, from Immanuel Kant to Jürgen Habermas.”

“‘I thought I should give him some problem – if he solves it, then this will be his PhD. Typically a PhD lasts three or four years. I gave him a problem and he solved it in three months.’”

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