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Executive Summary for August 17th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including Peru and Ecuador tightening entry rules for Venezuelans, Merkel saying Germany will step up deportations and U.S. refugee vetting under attack after an ISIS suspect is arrested.

Published on Aug. 17, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Peru and Ecuador Tighten Rules for Venezuelan Arrivals

Ecuador and Peru will soon require Venezuelans entering their countries to show a passport. Previously entrants needed only a national ID card.

The move comes amid concerns over a possible influx of economic migrants. Some 7 percent of Venezuela’s total population has left the country, according to the United Nations, putting a strain on the open borders response in the region.

On Aug. 8, Ecuador declared a state of emergency in three provinces after a spike in the number of Venezuelans crossing its border with Colombia high in the Andes. Peru estimates that it is hosting nearly 400,000 Venezuelans.

Merkel Says Germany Will Step up Deportation of Failed Asylum Seekers

Germany’s chancellor said she will step up deportations of failed asylum seekers. Angela Merkel made the comments after far-right protesters rallied in Dresden to picket her visit.

Local authorities in Germany complain that they are unable to deport rejected asylum seekers because of a lack of travel documents. “I made clear that we have a situation now where not all problems have been solved, especially deportations are still a big problem,” Merkel told a news conference. “The federal government will assume more responsibility here, especially by helping to procure the needed documents.”

Refugee Arrested in U.S. Over Alleged ISIS Links, Stirs Controversy

An Iraqi man given refugee status in the United States has been arrested and accused of being linked to the so-called Islamic State. The case appears to be a gift to supporters of President Trump’s hard-line agenda on Muslim refugees.

Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, 45, was arrested in California and will be extradited to Iraq. He is accused of killing an Iraqi police officer in a town controlled by ISIS. Seamus Hughes, of George Washington University, said the case should be considered rare, but it indicated there are holes in the system: “There was clearly a number of tripwires that didn’t go off in this vetting process,” he said.

Recommended #MustReads:

“Decades of working with dictators had not created a stable, prosperous Arab world. From now on, democracy and human rights would be the cornerstones of the European Union’s Middle East policy, they vowed. But the high-mindedness was short-lived. Driven by a fear of migrants, European governments have once again embraced strongmen.”

“‘The vast majority have been robbed or had their phones damaged, and between 60 and 70 percent of them report police violence,’ she said. In recent weeks, the NGO has documented multiple cases of serious injuries that appear to have been inflicted with police batons.”

“We went family by family, name by name,” he added. “Most information came from the affected family, a few dozen cases came from a neighbor, and a few came from people from other villages when we couldn’t find the relatives.”




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