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Executive Summary for April 30th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the British home secretary’s resignation over deportation targets, a deadly shipwreck off the coast of Algeria and Germany speaking out over the Assad regime’s planned confiscation of refugees’ homes.

Published on April 30, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

British Home Secretary Resigns Over Deportation Targets

The British home secretary resigned after misleading the U.K. parliament over whether her ministry had migrant deportation targets.

Amber Rudd was replaced by communities secretary Sajid Javid, who is the first politician with a migration background to hold the government position, which oversees policing as well as immigration.

Rudd faced outcry in recent weeks over her ministry’s treatment of the “Windrush generation,” people who came to the U.K. from the Caribbean to fill labor shortfalls between 1948 and 1971. After decades in the U.K., some were denied medical treatment or ordered to leave the country, according to extensive reporting by the Guardian.

British prime minister Theresa May, who led the Home Office before Rudd, has since apologized and promised to regularize their status.

The episode brought scrutiny to bear on the U.K.’s harsh treatment of migrants. After Rudd told the U.K. parliament last week that the Home Office did not have targets for deporting immigrants, documents leaked to the Guardian appeared to show there were targets in place. In her resignation letter, Rudd said she “inadvertently misled” parliament.

Fifteen Drown Off Coast of Algeria

At least 15 people are believed to have drowned when a boat carrying dozens of African migrants capsized off the coast of Algeria.

The boat departed from Morocco and was carrying at least 34 passengers hoping to reach Europe, according to Algerian officials. The Algerian coast guard rescued 19 people.

The number of boats departing from north Africa toward Spain has grown sharply over the past year. More than 21,600 people sought refuge via the western Mediterranean route in 2017, more than double the number in 2016.

Germany Slams Syrian Regime’s ‘Cynical Plan’ to Take Refugees’ Homes

The German government called the Syrian regime’s new property ownership law a “cynical plan” to confiscate the homes of refugees.

Earlier this month, the regime issued a decree called “Law No. 10,” which gives Syrians in parts of the country until May 10 to prove property ownership or their homes will be auctioned off, promising a windfall for regime-allied developers.

It is unlikely many of Syria’s 6 million refugees or 7 million internally displaced people will be able to register their properties, due to lack of documents or their inability to either return to the country or register security agencies.

German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Germany is “extremely concerned” by the decree, which “will make the return of refugees harder.”

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