... 174 days of peaceful protest from #Manus Hell [East Lorengau]



Image: @sunosi3 [23/1/18]



So you are on Manus Island and you only found out an hour ago that the IOM are reportedly trafficking 58 men from Manus to the US today? Did any of them tell you they were going? ---> The second group of refugees have headed to US today,I’m really grateful and proud of the US govts, that you have offered to some us protection and allowed us to call America is our new home . Thanks to the people of US Have a safe and nice trip brothers  @sunosi3 [23/1/18]



Suspend your disbelief as Manus Island refugees tweet their delight in response to the IOM disappearing their friends --->  Wish you the best brother, a bright future ahead. Also our heartfelt gratitude to the USA Government for giving us the opportunity to start a new life. I'm very sure this young men will work hard for nation and be a great citizens. Wish you all the very best my brothers. @Shamindan1 [23/1/18]



The US "deal" and NZ "offer" are sadistic, diversionary delay tactics.

This is Australia's problem, and Australia has to fix it. ---> Not freedom, not protection and not resettlement: Second group of Manus Island and Nauru refugees reportedly trafficked to the US to live under house arrest and be pressured by the IOM into returning to their countries of origin [9 News - 23/1/18]:


A second group of refugees accepted for resettlement in the United States has departed Australia's offshore detention centres.

Fifty eight refugees will fly from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea to New York on Tuesday, joining 54 who have already arrived in the US from Manus Island and Nauru.

"I am very happy to be free of the hell that the Australian government made for us on Manus. But we are sad for those who are still waiting so long," one refugee said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.

"We can't stop thinking of everyone who are still on Manus. We all need freedom."

The group will fly to Manila before splitting into two groups, with one transiting through Los Angeles before rejoining the others in New York.

Photos circulated by the Refugee Action Coalition show refugees leaving a Port Moresby hotel, with others waiting in the airport's departure lounge.

Their departure comes a day after hundreds of detainees on Nauru signed a petition addressed to Australian Border Force, demanding more information and a timetable on the US deal. 

The signatories also demanded that separated families be reunited and that they be flown to Australia and New Zealand while their US applications are progressed.

The US resettlement deal is expected to offer up to 1250 places, however, Natasha Blucher from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre says 2000 people, including 150 children, remain in offshore detention with no prospect of freedom.

"The US deal cannot be the only solution here. It is moving too slowly and people's lives are being destroyed for every moment they are stuck in this crushing system," Ms Blucher said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's renewed offer to take in 150 refugees from Australia's offshore detention network is said to have increased people-smuggling attempts.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said a number of people-smuggling boats had recently been intercepted by Australian authorities, with their crews suggesting they were planning to go to New Zealand.

"The people smugglers are absolutely ruthless," Mr Turnbull told reporters in Brisbane.

"They use all of the social media we use and they use it very skilfully and market any scrap of information that they can and so they were very busy marketing and promoting New Zealand as a destination recently."

The offer was originally raised by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in 2013 and rejected by Australia's then Labor government, but pressed again multiple times last year by his successor Jacinda Ardern.

Labor leader Bill Shorten queried whether there was any difference between the lure of New Zealand versus the US.

"If the argument is that people may want to go to New Zealand, I'm sure that people might want to go to America," he told reporters in Cairns.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says the opposition leader is overlooking the fact that New Zealand is the only country whose citizens can fly to Australia and get a visa on arrival.

"That's the big difference," Mr Dutton told 2GB radio.



The first two paragraphs of Ben Doherty's report in the Guardian are self contradictory [23/1/18]:


The second group of refugees to be accepted for resettlement in the United States from Australia’s offshore immigration regime has left Papua New Guinea for America.

Fifty-eight refugees will fly from PNG on Tuesday – most after more than four years held on Manus Island.  They will fly to the US east coast, from where they will be resettled, individually and in groups, across the country. ...



@Aussie4Refugees [23/1/18]:  Has anything been heard from #Manus #Nauru refugees trafficked to US in September? Have they been freed from house arrest. and are they on a path to US citizenship? "Advocates" IOM and US State Dept actually believe this BS counters genuine resistence to Aus "deterrence" policy?



@Aussie4Refugees [23/1/18]:  Piracy: “I don’t know why [the Australians] stopped us. We didn’t enter Australian territory, we had enough fuel, food, and everything to reach New Zealand – the boat was in good condition.”



Catholic groups decry end of immigration protection for Salvadorans [CSF - January 2018]



On Thursday, January 11, 2018, Ravi Ragbir, Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC, was detained by ICE.

ICE is actively trying to deport him.

His wife, Amy Gottlieb, is a Rutgers Law alumna and Associate Regional Director of the northeast office of the American Friends Service Committee.

ICE’s actions are part of a larger, nationwide trend of targeting and intimidating immigrant rights activists.

Join us to hear about Ravi and Amy’s struggle, get inspired, and learn what you can do to FIGHT BACK! ... [Justice for Ravi]



@immcouncil [22/1/18]:  Since the last major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $263 billion on immigration enforcement. 



A federal judge on Wednesday likened a group of Indonesian Christians facing possible deportation by the Trump administration to Jewish refugees trying to escape the Nazis.


The case involves about 50 Indonesian Christians who have been living on the Seacoast of New Hampshire and the South Shore of Massachusetts, some for decades, despite not having the proper documentation.

Ranging in age from about 40 to 60, most are parents of US citizens and have worked in a variety of fields.

One is an administrative assistant. Another fixes trucks.

Most came in the late 1990s and early 2000s during a period of anti-Christian violence in Indonesia.

Many overstayed their visas and failed to seek asylum on time.

But since 2010, US immigration authorities allowed the otherwise law-abiding Indonesians to live and work here, provided they checked in regularly. ... [The Boston Globe - 18/1/18]



The other side of Roxham Road: Refugees crossing the border from the US into Canada [NCPR - 13/12/17]:


... More than 9000 people seeking refugee status entered the Province of Quebec alone between August and November 1.

By comparison, just over 2400 crossed by foot into all of Canada last year, something Janet McFetridge sees every day.

"I'm just overwhelmed by the numbers that are going through in little community up here in Champlain,” said Janet McFetridge.

People are crossing here and in Vermont because of a curious legal paradox known as the Safe Third Country Agreement.

It's a treaty with the U.S. that says if you make a claim for refugee status at a legal border crossing into Canada, you'll be sent back because the US is considered safe for refugees.

But if you can somehow cross into Canada illegally, the treaty doesn't apply and you can remain in Canada while your case is decided, a process that can take years.

"I'm not sure that going to Canada is the best decision for all of them,” said McFetridge.

"But I just think it's very, very unfortunate that people are leaving our country to go into a future (with) certainly no guarantees. And many of them are going to be deported into terrible situations. I just wish we could help them more here."

Canada has increased deportations of would-be refugees this year.

Ayotte is unwavering in her opposition to the Safe Third Country Agreement.

"We want the Safe Third Country suspended or annulled altogether because we don't think the States are safe for refugees anymore,” Ayotte stated. ...



@wikileaks [23/1/18]:  Oxford law prof to Reuters: UK must accept Assange has diplomatic status ...



@JulianAssange [23/1/18]: After pushing 'foreign interference' hysteria for more than a year, the Australian news media is shocked--shocked, that securocrats are headed for the open goal these same no strategy, no brains journalists created. 




23 January 2018