... And we are moving to a lighthouse, you and I

Our beams will burn the clouds to beacons in the sky

And though our doors may knock and rattle in the wind

The wind...

I'll just hold you tight and we'll not let those fuckers in


'The Lighthouse Song', Josh Pyke [2008]



A group of Cubans who were refused asylum after landing at an abandoned Florida Keys lighthouse asked the Eleventh Circuit on Friday to reverse the lower court's decision that the lighthouse does not count as U.S. soil.

In an opening brief filed with the federal appeals court, the migrants said they were denied their constitutional rights by the U.S. Coast Guard's refusal to process them as refugees under the Cuban Adjustment Act. ... [LAW360 - 24/3/17]



Lighthouse Cuban migrants in legal limbo after months of imprisonment at Guantánamo [Miami Herald - 9/1/17]:


... “We are very grateful for all the help they have given us, but we do not understand why we are not allowed to talk to lawyers or work,” the Cuban migrant said.

Initially, a total of 20 migrants were transported to the base, but three of them returned to Cuban soil — two of them returned voluntarily and a third was repatriated after authorities discovered that he once worked for the government’s Ministry of the Interior.

 “We are forbidden to speak to the press about our situation,” said the rafter, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation by the authorities at the base.

Of the group of 17 men who remain at Guantánamo Bay, 10 are unemployed, said a second Cuban rafter who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We can call our family once a week, but nobody tells us how much longer we have to be here,” he said.

“Some of us work in manual jobs and get paid $4.97 an hour.”

According to the migrant, a high-ranking official at the base, Commander Dennis Mojica, has told them twice that anyone who does not accept their current situation “has the door open to return to Cuba,” a phrase which they consider a pressure tactic to get them to return to the island.  ...



Massachusetts' top court hears arguments in immigrant detention issue [WCVB 5 - 4/4/17]:


... The case before the state Supreme Judicial Court centers around Sreynuon Lunn of Cambodia, who was arrested by Boston police on unarmed robbery charges.

The charges against him were dismissed in Boston Municipal Court on Feb. 6 after Suffolk County prosecutors elected not to prosecute him.

But he was kept in custody until ICE picked him up several hours later, according to court records.

His attorney, joined by a lawyer for the state attorney general’s office, argued in court today that state officials can’t detain someone on an immigration charge, which is a civil offense, without a criminal warrant.

“Our state law has throughout the long history of this Commonwealth limited the warrantless arrest authority of our law enforcement agents,” said Jessica Barnett, deputy chief of the Criminal Appeals Division for Attorney General Maura Healey. ...



Millions of children, citizens impacted by US immigration enforcement [American Immigration Council - 3/4/17]



... The GEO Group, the private prison company that operates Aurora, allegedly forced more than 50,000 immigrants like Ortiz to work without pay or for $1 a day since 2004, according to a lawsuit that nine detainees brought against the company in 2014.

On February 27, a federal judge ruled that their case could proceed as a class action, breathing new life into a suit that exposes the extent to which the for-profit company relied on cheap or unpaid detainee labor to minimize costs at the Aurora facility. ... [Mother Jones - 3/4/17]



Immigrants deported under Obama share stories of terror and rights violations [The Conversation - 23/3/17]



Your fears are not credible:  Obama's brutal family deportation system [The Intercept - 14/12/16]:


... Aside from his infamously hardline positions on Syrian refugees, Trump has been characteristically vague on what exactly he would do with people who come to the U.S. fleeing danger in their home countries, though on the campaign trail, he at one point called for an increase in “standards for the admission of refugees and asylum seekers to crack down on abuses,” and his talk has consistently reflected a vision of zero tolerance for anyone who comes to the U.S. without papers. 

All of this, attorneys worry, points to a world in which the very worst elements of the Obama administration’s immigration legacy are taken to new levels and the problems inherent in the current family detention apparatus become further entrenched.

“That’s the whole thing,” Donohoe said.

“For the past year everybody has been saying, ‘Oh, god, what would Trump do to immigrants? What would Trump do?’ It’s like, if you care about what Trump would do to immigrants, Obama is paving the way.”

“He has paved the way for everything that Donald Trump says he is going to do,” she said.

“It’s his Department of Justice that argued that kids in family detention aren’t covered under Flores. It’s his Department of Justice that is arguing that these habeas moms don’t deserve a day in court.”

“I say if you are afraid of Donald Trump, then you tell Obama,” Donohoe said.

“This is all Obama. He can end it. He can shut it down.”



@carolrosenberg [3/4/17]:  Updated: Guantanamo by the Numbers with dedicated prison staff at 1,550 troops, civilians for current 41 captives.



An Iraq combat veteran serving on the staff of the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, drowned off a beach in a death that is under investigation, the military said Friday.

Army Col. Lisa Garcia, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Southern Command, said it was not immediately known what military entity was handling the investigation into the death of Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose Eduardo Lopez-Cobena, 40, a New Yorker.

Lopez-Cobena died Thursday off Cable Beach, a popular swimming spot in “a non-combat alleged drowning incident while deployed in support of detainee operations,” Garcia said.

His family has been notified, Garcia said.

His home base was the 2nd Infantry Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado. ... [Miami Herald - 31/3/17]







Political prisoners display the faces of their friends who the Australian government and opposition have tortured, killed or disappeared - Nauru, May 2016



ABC continues presenting bogus Obama-Australia refugee "deal" as genuine. That's not journalism, it's stenography [5/4/17]



@BehrouzBoochani [5/4/17]:  The Lebanese guy they want to deport will go to court today. He twice resisted physically in airport. A lot happening in #Manus these days



It is newsworthy that the phony Obama-Australia refugee "deal" sideshow coincides with brutal deportation theatre --> Why did Obama deport 85 Muslim asylum seekers to Bangladesh, India and Nepal? [Democracy Now - 8/4/16]



Calling for anything less than the release and GENUINE resettlement of men, women and children on Manus and Nauru is nothing but damage control and spin --> Amnesty states the bleeding obvious to cover up their inaction on current deportations [ABC - 5/4/17]



Something to bear in mind when Australian human rights bobbleheads emerge to engage in partisan point scoring/policyreinforcement [offGuardian - 17/3/17]:


 ... While Amnesty International poses as a leader in human rights advocacy, in reality, it is one of the largest and most destructive threats undermining genuine and legitimate human rights advocacy.

Because of the systematic. politically-motivated deceit employed by Amnesty International and others, genuine advocates are finding it more difficult to engage an increasingly jaded and sceptical public when real abuse is taking place. ...



Amnesty bizarrely praises the sham Bali Process forum - which has condemned 1,000s of refugees across South East Asia [15/3/17]




5 April 2017