We're Going To Control The Insurance Com

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
We're Going To Control The Insurance Com
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 6:55pm

He forgot to mention that they also are going to control the student loan market if this passes.



iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 9:01pm
Did you ever doubt it, it is about control, no more no less.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-27-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 9:36pm
Oh no, I never doubted it. It's about control, it's about making more people than ever dependent on the government. It's very concerning. I do fear where this will take us if it passes.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 9:45pm
It's really sad actually, some think this is wonderful they will get things for free.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 9:53pm



Big rise in Afghan child migrants

By Imogen Foulkes
BBC News, Calais

United Nations aid agencies are increasingly concerned about the number of children from Afghanistan migrating across Europe alone.

Latest figures from the UN Refugee Agency show that the number of Afghan children under 18 who applied for asylum in Europe last year rose by 64%, from 3,800 to more than 6,000.

That figure is believed to represent only a fraction of child migrants, since many do not apply for asylum, either because they don't know they have a right to, or because they fear an application could lead to detention or deportation.

The journey across Europe typically begins in Greece, after an already hazardous trip from Afghanistan through Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

Seventeen-year-old Abdullah's decision to make such a dangerous journey began long ago, when he was 11. He is a member of the Hazara ethnic minority and, after both he and his father were threatened by the Taliban, Abdullah's parents decided to send him away.

"If I had stayed, I risked being killed," he said.

Dangerous journey

Abdullah spent some years working in Iran, earning money to fund the next stage of his trip. He then made his way to Turkey. From there he crossed to Greece in an inflatable dinghy. It took him four attempts before he succeeded.

I hid between the wheels of a lorry on a ferry to Italy. It took 40 hours, with no food and only one bottle of water
Afghan migrant

Greece has one of the lowest rates of asylum approval in Europe, however, and many Afghan boys, Abdullah among them, decide not to try to stay there.

"From Greece I hid between the wheels of a lorry on a ferry to Italy," he explained. "It took 40 hours, with no food and only one bottle of water. It was very difficult, and I was very scared."

Abdullah's fear is justified - in the past year, at least two Afghan boys, one only 13, have been killed trying to make the same journey.

Abdullah's home now is a disused army barracks just outside Venice. The buildings have been converted into a centre for migrant boys just like him. This one centre alone is receiving five new arrivals from Afghanistan every single week.

"We offer them a safe, warm place to sleep," explained social worker Paolo Sola. "We also offer them medical attention, and eventually lessons in Italian."

"But, especially the Afghan boys, they often stay just a few weeks," he continued. "They want to continue with their journey, many want to go to the UK or Scandinavia."

Benefit to smugglers

The reasons for the choice of destination are complex. Some of the boys in Paolo's care said they had heard the schools in Norway were good, others said they had friends or distant relatives in Britain, which has a long-standing Afghan community.

What this means is that Paolo often comes to work to find that some of his young charges have left.

Immigrants in Calais
In Calais, policies are designed to deter migrants

"We even had one little boy who was only seven," he recalled.

"He stayed three weeks and then he left. It was very difficult for us to accept, because we wanted to protect him, but we can't keep them here against their will. We can only advise them what they might experience on the journey, but mostly they don't believe us."

Many aid workers blame a lack of coherent policy within the European Union. They say it contributes to the dangers faced by young migrants, and benefits the smugglers.

"There are so many different standards within European countries," explained Laura Boldrini of the UN refugee agency. "In Greece, for example, you have basically zero chance of getting asylum, in other countries you might stand a 50% chance."

"The same applies to conditions of assistance," she continued. "There are no unified standards at all, and what happens is that in Greece, these boys are told it is better in Italy, in Italy they are told it is better in France, and so on. In the end it is the smugglers who make money out of this."

Calais misery

Certainly if young migrants believe conditions will be better in France, they will be disappointed when they get to Calais.

Since the closure of the so-called jungle, an unofficial migrants' camp, last September, the French authorities have been determined to prevent any more such camps springing up.

Graph showing numbers of child asylum seekers in EU in 2008

That means migrants are not offered any food or shelter, and are constantly being moved on by the police.

What's more, the French authorities have introduced a "crime of solidarity", under which local people who attempt to help migrants can be prosecuted.

Nevertheless, one or two local charities try to distribute at least some food every day, and every day a queue of migrants forms to receive it.

"Every day up to 300 people come here for food," said Maureen MacBrien, a UN field worker. "The youngest boy we have here is nine, and since I started work here in September I have seen the number of under-18s increase."

Child protection

The UN estimates that a quarter of all migrants in Calais are under 18 and, as such, are entitled to special protection under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The youngest boy we have here is nine, and since I started work here in September I have seen the number of under-18s increase
Maureen MacBrien, UN field worker

But here again the discrepancies in standards between different countries and even towns causes problems.

In Venice, young migrants are offered their own centre. It is basic, but at least they are kept with boys like themselves.

In Calais, the French authorities can also offer places, but these tend to be in homes for French boys who are disturbed, or who have drug problems.

Policies in Calais are designed to deter migrants from making the journey at all, but that is clearly not happening. Instead, they keep on arriving, and the boys gathered there are more determined than ever to make the last step of their journey to Britain.

"I'm going to London," said one 15-year-old. "I think life will be easier there. Where I come from there is bombing and killing, it's impossible to have a normal life."

"I want to go to England," said another, just 13. "It's a good country."

Everyone believes that somewhere in Europe, life must be better. So, as long as that belief remains so strong, young boys will continue to leave Afghanistan, and embark on the journey across Europe, despite the enormous dangers, and the difficult conditions.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 9:55pm


As thousands risk their lives at sea to reach Europe, UNHCR calls for a broad joint response to deal with the challenge

News Stories, 24 May 2006
© Spanish Agency for Maritime Rescue
Every year thousands of people risk their lives in small boats trying to cross from Africa to southern Europe. Many are economic migrants seeking a better life, but some are also refugees fleeing persecution and violence.

LAS PALMAS, Spain, May 24 (UNHCR) – The Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Erika Feller, is visiting the Canary Islands where in recent weeks, hundreds of people have arrived after undertaking a perilous sea journey from North Africa. Earlier in Madrid, she called for a broad, joint response to deal with the challenges of mixed, maritime, migratory flows.

"The rising death toll at sea has put the issue of irregular migration on the international agenda," Feller said Wednesday. "Thousands of lives have been lost over the last decade. But even as illegal migration has become more difficult, African migrants keep trying to reach Europe, taking greater risks."

Those landing in the Canary Islands archipelago are in various states of dehydration and hypothermia after surviving their hazardous journey. So far this year, 7,400 people have arrived by boat in the Canaries.

After meeting local authorities, Feller visited the Barranco Seco reception centre, which houses some 200 recent arrivals, and La Isleta military barracks, which is being used as emergency accommodation for 812 arrivals. Most of the arrivals are from Central and sub-Saharan Africa and made the dangerous 500 mile journey from the African coast crammed in tiny, open fishing boats known as cayucos.

The Spanish authorities had been responsive to the large, migratory inflow of people and had been efficient in ensuring those in need of protection had access to the asylum procedure, said Feller.

People trying to reach Europe are doing so for a variety of reasons. Although the majority tend to be economic migrants, a proportion of those travelling across the Mediterranean – and inevitably those dying in the attempt – are refugees.

Over the last decade, thousands of people, including migrants, asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking, have died attempting to reach southern Europe from North Africa.

On Tuesday, opening a conference in Madrid on maritime interception and rescue at sea in the Mediterranean, Feller called for a broad collaborative response to the challenges posed by mixed flows of migrants, refugees and other vulnerable groups.

"Rarely a week goes by without some news of an unseaworthy boat that has sunk with its passengers on board, dead bodies being washed ashore on the holiday beaches of southern Europe, and people who have paid huge sums of money to human smugglers whose last concern is the welfare of their clients," she said.

"We also know that some of the people in transit across the Mediterranean are the victims of human traffickers – women and children who, eve if they reach land safely, will be condemned to more exploitation and abuse," she added.

In any mixed movement, there are groups of people moving together but for quite different reasons. "UNHCR has a contribution to make to a better management of a problem where it involves persons within our mandate responsibilities," Feller said.

The Madrid conference, organised by UNHCR with funding from the European Union and the hospitality of the Spanish government, brought together representatives from Mediterranean states, the EU and partner organisations, in order to foster greater understanding of the dynamics of maritime movements and to promote practical and effective cooperation to respond to the humanitarian and protection dimensions of irregular migration.

Last week, Feller was in Mauritania, where she met the authorities, and separately, with UNHCR representatives of concerned offices in the region, to discuss how and where UNHCR can contribute to better management of the problem.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 10:24pm
Do you have any reports on how many people come here, probably not because we have lots of illegals.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 11:21pm

Do you have anything to say about the fact that your statement about people not risking their lives to get to Europe was false?


Is that question directed at me? If so, I'm not killing my country.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 11:25pm
Yes it is farther to get America, and yes why would you do that to your country, you certainly are
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 11:39pm


I'm not sure what you mean by this.


I'm not "killing my country" and I don't appreciate your statement that I am.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2010
Sat, 03-20-2010 - 11:48pm

That says The post World?