Far-Right Nationalist Victory In French Polls Leads To Violent Clashes

NF France ProtestsAs we noted last night, French President Hollande’s first election since his gaining power was not going well for the ruling Socialist people. The municipal elections, especially in the South of the country, saw victories for the far-right National Front (FN) party (which is specifically anti-immigration and anti-Europe and often accused of being racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim) as widespread disappointment with the Socialist Party was clear. However, as The Mail reports, riot police were called in several towns on the south coast to guard the winning right-wing party’s offices as “demonstrators are trying to get at the Front representatives and starting fights.” Riot police were also out in force in other parts of the country as anti-fascist demonstrators threatened FN candidates with violence.

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‘Medieval Exile’: The 42 Britons stripped of their citizenship

The government has used little-known powers to strip at least 42 people of their British nationality since 2002, a Bureau investigation has found. Thirty-seven of these cases have occurred under the Coalition government.  The Home Secretary can use powers in the British Nationality Act to remove the citizenship of an individual if she believes their presence in the UK is ‘not conducive to the public good’, or if they have acquired their citizenship by fraud.  The Bureau has identified 18 individuals, of whom 17 were stripped on national security grounds. These cases are often based on evidence which remains secret. Leading immigration lawyer Gareth Peirce has described the process as akin to ‘medieval exile.’  Changes to the law in 2002 allowed Britain’s Home Secretary to deprive dual-nationality Britons of their citizenship on national security grounds, without any prior approval from the courts. This doesn’t just affect people originally born outside Britain. The Bureau has identified five cases so far where British-born people have lost their UK nationality.

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Arizona border town sits atop 100 narco-tunnels

The Border Patrol keeps watch on this Arizona town with cameras, patrol cars and agents on foot in order to prevent the illegal entry of undocumented immigrants and drugs, so that traffickers have switched to sending their goods underground. Their 100 underground crossings make Nogales the narco-tunnel capital of the world.  In a town of almost 21,000 inhabitants, there are abandoned stores and houses very close to the border wall, which facilitates illegal excavations to bring drugs from the neighboring town of Nogales, Mexico.  ”What happens is that there are underground drainage systems in both of the Nogales cities, so trafficking organizations smuggle drugs through those drains to bring their contraband” into the U.S., Border Patrol spokesman Andres Adame said.  Authorities have found narco-tunnels under residential and commercial neighborhoods and public parking, which forced the city to remove all the parking meters that were on International street beside the border wall.  ”What they were doing was to park a car with no floor over an entry to the drains, crossed the packages over the border, put the cement cover back in place, and – you won’t believe this – they had a hydraulic jack,” Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino told Efe.

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Swiss Immigration Vote Raises Alarm Across Europe

BERLIN — Swiss and European leaders reacted warily on Monday to Swiss voters’ narrow approval of a proposal to limit the number of foreigners allowed to live and work in Switzerland.  A bare majority voted in a referendum on Sunday to cut immigration quotas and require that Swiss nationals be given priority in hiring. The result could have far-reaching implications for relations between Switzerland and the 28-member European Union, of which it is not a member.  Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister, said Monday that the European Union would have to reconsider its relationship with Switzerland.  “It is a vote that causes concern because it means that Switzerland wants to withdraw into itself,” Mr. Fabius told RTL radio.

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Moscow riots follow ‘migrant’ murder

Police in Russia have arrested at least 400 people after a protest against a murder blamed on a migrant from the North Caucasus turned violent.  The protest in southern Moscow was against the killing of a young ethnic Russian stabbed to death on Thursday.  Protesters stormed a shopping centre, smashing windows, and then overran a vegetable warehouse searching for migrant workers.  There were chants of “Russia for the Russians” and “White Power”.

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Migrant-Spotting: EU Plans Big Brother System in Mediterranean

In May 2011, two SPIEGEL reporters described a brief moment of happiness on a deadly voyage undertaken by dozens of refugees in the Mediterranean. Seventy-two people had crowded onto an open boat — only seven meters (23 feet) long — that was to take them from Tripoli, Libya, to Europe. Two days after leaving Libya, they were already in trouble at sea.But then came hope: Survivors described feeling relieved when a helicopter flew over the boat and hovered just above it. Water bottles and packages of cookies were lowered from the aircraft. One of the men in the helicopter, they claim, appeared to have waved. But then the helicopter flew away — and help never came.

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House immigration group collapses

WASHINGTON – The road to overhauling the nation’s immigration laws became even more difficult Friday when two Republicans abandoned a bipartisan group that had been working to craft a solution in the House of Representatives.  Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, and Rep. Sam Jonhson, R-Texas, put the blame for their decision to leave the House working group on President Obama.  They said the bill they were developing put a lot of responsibility in the hands of the executive branch to enforce immigration law, and they couldn’t trust him to follow through.

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Companies lay off thousands, then demand immigration reform for new labor

On Tuesday, the chief human resources officers of more than 100 large corporations sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi urging quick passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  The officials represent companies with a vast array of business interests: General Electric, The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, McDonald’s Corporation, The Wendy’s Company, Coca-Cola, The Cheesecake Factory, Johnson & Johnson, Verizon Communications, Hewlett-Packard, General Mills, and many more. All want to see increases in immigration levels for low-skill as well as high-skill workers, in addition to a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally.  A new immigration law, the corporate officers say, “would be a long overdue step toward aligning our nation’s immigration policies with its workforce needs at all skill levels to ensure U.S. global competitiveness.” The officials cite a publication of their trade group, the HR Policy Association, which calls for immigration reform to “address the reality that there is a global war for talent.” The way for the United States to win that war for talent, they say, is more immigration.  Of course, the U.S. unemployment rate is at 7.3 percent, with millions of American workers at all skill levels out of work, and millions more so discouraged that they have left the work force altogether.

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Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg aims to add immigration reform to his long list of accomplishments.

Since forming a public interest group with other leading tech CEOs back in April, he has intensified lobbying efforts for comprehensive immigration reform.  When asked why would he get involved with such a controversial matter, Zuckerberg said during an exclusive TV interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” that it was an “important” issue for the country.”  He admitted that not everyone at Facebook was happy about his involvement. “When we were first talking about doing this, a lot of people actually were worried that it was going to be a problem for Facebook.”  He decided to tackle the issue regardless. “There are 11 million undocumented people who came here to work hard and contribute to the country, and I don’t think it’s quite as polarized as people always say.”

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What Could Happen If Border Asylum Claims Keep Rising

The number of people seeking asylum at the Southwest border has doubled since 2011, according to statistics released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  There have been 14,610 asylum claims along the border with Mexico during the first three-quarters of the 2013 fiscal year. In 2011, there were 6,824.  These numbers represent only “defensive” asylum claims — those that are made at the ports of entry into the U.S. They don’t include asylum claims made by people who are already living in the country without authorization.  While asylum requests have certainly increased, it’s important to keep these figures in perspective.  A Fox news station reported just over a week ago that hundreds of migrants were using asylum claims as a “loophole” to cross the U.S. border and remain in the country.  In the report, an anonymous source said that a border crossing near San Diego was being “overwhelmed” by asylum seekers, and that nearly 200 people entered asylum claims on a single day several weeks ago.

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The $46 Billion Immigration Question

The “border surge” provisions in a recently passed Senate immigration bill are shocking, in a bad way—and a little awesome, in a good way. That’s by design.  They are Republican vote bait, yes, and they reek of tough-guy talking points. Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., crafted an amendment that tried to respond to conservative cries for stronger border security. It greased the skids for the massive immigration bill to glide through the Senate on a smooth, bipartisan 68-32 vote. Like it or not, it will be a major part of any negotiations with the House.

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