Hundreds Left Adrift as Italy Hands Rescue Coordination to Libya
Rescue missions on the Mediterranean continue to be turned away from European ports after the recent diversion of NGO boat The Aquarius to Spain. Malta and Italy have refused port to German NGO rescue boat Mission Lifeline with 234 people onboard. Another 100 people rescued by Danish-flagged commercial ship Alexander Maersk were waiting for permission to dock in Sicily.
Italy said it was passing coordination of rescues to the Libyan coast guard, which intercepted hundreds of people trying to reach Europe this weekend. Italy claims the force is well-equipped to handle rescues after European training; a U.N. investigation, as well as reporting by Refugees Deeply and others, has documented ties between traffickers and coast-guard officials and the severe abuse of migrants inside Libya.
Meanwhile, leaders of 16 E.U. countries held an emergency meeting on its political crisis over migration ahead of a full E.U. summit on Thursday. “We don’t have any concrete consequences or conclusions,” Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez said after the meeting.
As South Syria Battle Looms, Jordan Says It Cannot Take More Refugees
Jordan cannot take in a new wave of refugees fleeing an offensive in southern Syria, Jordanian government spokesperson Jumana Ghanimat said. “Everyone should cooperate to deal with any new wave of displacement within Syria’s borders,” she said.
Syrians in Daraa are already fleeing toward the Jordanian border as Syrian government forces increase shelling of opposition-held areas. The U.N. warned it fears for the safety of 750,000 people in the area.
A Deeper Look
International Crisis Group: Keeping the Calm in Southern Syria
“There’s one threat [to Jordan], with several consequences: it’s that all hell breaks loose in the south and leads to an influx of refugees, radical groups playing a larger role and sectarian militias coming to the south.”
Trump: All Irregular Migrants Should Be Deported Without Due Process
U.S. president Donald Trump said all people entering the country irregularly should be immediately deported without due process, which legal experts warned would violate international law and the U.S. Constitution.
“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” Trump wrote on Twitter. The U.S. has already expedited removal proceedings for people caught within 100 miles (160km) of the border within 14 days of entry, but anyone seeking asylum must be given a court hearing.
- The Associated Press: Walk or Die: Algeria Abandons 13,000 Migrants in the Sahara
“From this isolated frontier post deep in the sands of the Sahara, the expelled migrants can be seen coming over the horizon by the hundreds. They look like specks in the distance, trudging miserably across some of the world’s most unforgiving terrain in the blistering sun. They are the ones who made it out alive.”
“As the United States and other countries around the world have worked to stiffen border enforcement, organized crime groups that thrive from it have gotten stronger. Human smuggling – once the purview of small-time, mostly family-run organizations – has become one of the most lucrative businesses in the underworld at an estimated $35 billion per year in earnings.”
- Narratively: Where LGBTQ War Refugees Finally Feel Safe
“Residents dance to Lady Gaga tunes, which battle the constant serenade of seagulls, call to prayer, and bread sellers yelling down below. Mary, a 20-year-old transgender refugee from Damascus, passes coffee around to her roommates followed by echoes of ‘Thanks, Mom.’ Each of these laughing residents has traveled long and far for this slice of peace. But they still face an uphill battle.”