Refugees motivated but needs higher than thought: report

Posted by admin on Feb 4th, 2016

By Joanna Frketich

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/6255805-refugees-motivated-but-needs-higher-than-thought-report/
Syrian refugees have higher needs than originally expected, states a federal government report.

More than half of those applying to be government assisted are children.

About three-quarters speak no English or French.

The refugees are resourceful and highly motivated to work to the point that they’ve risked arrest in Jordan.

But only the men have experience and mostly in “low-skilled” jobs.
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39 Refugees, Including 5 Children, Drown At Sea

Posted by admin on Feb 4th, 2016

It comes just days after 26 other refugees drowned trying to make the same journey from Turkey to Greece.

Ema O’Connor BuzzFeed News Reporter

http://www.buzzfeed.com/emaoconnor/hundreds-refugees-drown-at-ses-in-2016#.gpNW00pA3k

At least 39 migrants from the Middle East, including at least five children, drowned Saturday trying to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece, Turkish coastguard officials said. More than 60 others were rescued from the seas.

Officials told the local Andalou news agency that they expected the death toll to rise as they continued to search the capsized boat and nearby shores.

The boat was headed for Lesbos, a Greek island close to Turkey’s coastline.

Pictures from the scene showed the bodies of children and adults lying motionless on the rocky Turkish coastline, as officials worked to load them into bags.

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Aegean Sea refugee crossings rise 35 fold year-on-year in January – watchdog

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

by Damien Gayle

More than 52,000 crossed in January, says IOM, as Merkel defends open-door policy and says most refugees will eventually return home

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/30/refugee-arrivals-greece-exceed-52000-january

More than 52,000 refugees and migrants crossed the eastern Mediterranean to reach Europe in the first four weeks of January, more than 35 times as many as attempted the crossing in the same period last year.

The daily average number of people making the crossing is nearly equivalent to the total number for the whole month of January as recently as two years ago, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

More than 250 people have died attempting to make the crossing this month, including at least 39 who drowned in the Aegean Sea on Saturday morning after their boat capsized between Turkey and Greece.

Turkish coastguards rescued 75 others from the sea near the resort of Ayvacik on Saturday, according to the Anadolou news agency. They had been trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.
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Syrian refugees waiting in GTA hotels face hurdle in cost of housing

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

Many Syrians look for homes in Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/programs/metromorning/syrian-refugees-waiting-in-gta-hotels-face-hurdle-in-cost-of-housing-1.3425407

When Maher Azem went to meet government-assisted Syrian refugees at a hotel in Toronto’s west end, he expected to be helping out with translation or transportation.

He certainly didn’t expect that it would become his job to find them housing.

But today, Azem is spending almost every spare hour he has helping find housing for dozens of government-assisted refugee families. He heads up a volunteer housing committee for the newly formed Syrian Canadian Foundation.

It’s a frustrating task made harder by the fact that the families are often large and landlords aren’t always too keen on housing people with no credit history.

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Metro Vancouver hospitals refer hundreds of immigration cases to border police

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

From January 2014 to October 2015, Fraser Health referred approximately 500 patients to the federal police force tasked with immigration enforcement.

by Travis Lupick on December 9th, 2015

http://www.straight.com/news/593441/metro-vancouver-hospitals-refer-hundreds-immigration-cases-border-police

Byron Cruz has encountered the sorts of situations that arise when someone is afraid a trip to a hospital could end with them being deported from the country.
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He once helped a man injured on a construction site connect with a veterinarian who stitched closed a deep cut, for example. And Cruz says it’s common for pregnant women to seek his network’s help for deliveries.

“My number works as a 911 number for undocumented people,” he said, interviewed at his office in the Downtown Eastside. “We never announced our services, but my number has been given to people as the number they can call. That is very scary, because 911 is for emergencies.”

Cruz is an organizer with Sanctuary Health, a group that promises people can access care without fear of any complication that might arise from their immigration status.

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Undocumented immigrants raise alarm as border cops appear to up enforcement towards year’s end

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

by Travis Lupick on December 16th, 2015

http://www.straight.com/news/598146/undocumented-immigrants-raise-alarm-border-cops-appear-enforcement-towards-years-end

A sizable community of Metro Vancouver residents is on alert this holiday season, fearing raids by the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA).

In a telephone interview, Harsha Walia, an organizer with No One Is Illegal (NOII), reported that the organization has seen a sharp spike in calls from undocumented immigrants asking for assistance.

“We usually get three to five calls a week, and the last month we got probably close to double,” she said. “We are getting more calls from people who are in detention, more calls from people who had just been visited at their homes or workplaces with deportation orders.”

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CBSA enforcement against immigrants on the rise in B.C.

Posted by admin on Feb 2nd, 2016

by Travis Lupick

http://www.straight.com/news/614931/cbsa-enforcement-against-immigrants-rise-bc

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) immigration-enforcement activities conducted in B.C. have intensified this year, an analysis of regional department data suggests.

CBSA recently supplied the Straight with statistics for the last two fiscal years (which run from April to March) plus the last nine months of 2015. Based on that data, the Straight estimates that CBSA Pacific region officers will have initiated 2,210 immigration investigations by March 31, 2016. That’s up from 1,843 during the previous fiscal year and 2,060 for 2013-14.

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Tears of joy greet little Daksh Sood as he is finally reunited with parents in Ottawa

Posted by admin on Feb 2nd, 2016

Hugh Adami – Ottawa Citizen

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/tears-of-joy-greet-little-daksh-sood-as-he-is-finally-reunited-with-parents-in-ottawa

Bhavna Bajaj waited three years for the moment, and when it finally arrived Thursday afternoon at Ottawa International Airport, the sheer joy of having her little boy in her arms brought the perfect ending to a long heartbreak.

Bajaj says there were tears, laughter, hugs and kisses after she was taken from the general arrivals area to the closed-off Customs section to greet her four-year-old son, Daksh Sood, who had just stepped off a plane with his father, Aman Sood. Sood travelled to India in early December to visit his son, whom he had not seen since they were separated. While in India, Sood could not have imagined the developments that would come just before Christmas, involving Immigration Minister John McCallum, that allowed the boy to be reunited with his parents in Canada.

What was a long, unnecessary and inhumane separation, first reported by The Public Citizen on Dec. 26, 2014, stemmed from the couple’s failure to disclose they had a son before they landed in Montreal on Jan. 28, 2013. Daksh was born before their initial application for permanent residency. The couple, approved as permanent residents under the skilled workers category after the boy was born, had left Daksh behind in India with his paternal grandparents and had planned to sponsor him once they were settled here. It turned into a nightmare.

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Indigenous groups in Winnipeg helping Syrian refugees learn culture

Posted by admin on Feb 2nd, 2016

Link to video

Shaneen Robinson
APTN National News
Thousands of more Syrian refugees will soon be calling Manitoba their new home.

With one of the highest Indigenous populations in Canada, Winnipeg groups have partnered with refugee organizations to learn about each other.

 

Response to Open Letter and Further Apology

Posted by admin on Dec 16th, 2015

Dear Marie-Jolie Rwigema, Diana Uwase Sauter, concerned members of Vancouver’s Rwandan community, as well as Elleni Centime Zeleke, Delice Mugabo and Hawa Y. Mire,

As indicated in our last email, we were in the process of writing a further apology. Since then we have also received the additional open letter. This is our further apology to our first and also a response to the open letter from December 15th addressed to NOII and supporters. » click here to continue reading

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