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Drug Use In the US Explodes

Drug abuse explodes in US

Drug use in the U.S.

There are over 320 million people in the United States. An estimated 25 million of those people are addicted to drugs.

That means that almost 13% of the people in the United States are addicted to drugs.

Effects of Drug Abuse on the Population

The use and abuse of drugs, both prescription and illicit, are a significant health factor in health and disease issues, incarceration rates, vehicle accidents, employment and financial burden.

You’ve likely heard of “Just Say No” or D.A.R.E. These programs, along with other governmental focus on regulating drug use and sales, have managed to keep the number of drug users stable over the last 25 years. However, they have not been able to successfully lower the number of drug users.  

Drugs are extremely harmful to society in many ways, including family breakdowns, domestic violence, child abuse, vehicle accidents, education problems and loss of employment.

Types of Drugs Abused in the US

Marijuana, the most commonly abused drug in the U.S. has recently become legalized in many states. However, more “hard” drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, hallucinogens, inhalants, and more are still illegal but commonly used.

An estimated 7 million people abuse prescription drugs. Prescription drugs, usually those used to treat depression, severe pain, sleep issues, coughs, or mental problems like ADD and ADHD, are also very commonly abused for non-medical reasons and illegally sold.  We have seen a tremendous use in people seeking help for Adderall addiction in recent years.  In addition, the recent explosion in opiod abuse in the US can be at least partly attributed to people becoming addicted to pain medication while recovering from surgery.

More people die from drug overdoses that the deaths that are attributed to vehicle accidents, homicides, and suicides.  

Insurance and Drug Treatment

One of the biggest issues with those addicted to drugs was that many people can not afford going to a treatment center because their medical insurance doesn’t cover drug rehab.  However, with new laws and changes in healthcare policies, there might be a change to come. Health insurance companies are now required to offer coverage for behavioral health conditions, mental health and substance abuse treatment benefits that are comparable to medical care benefits.

What does this mean for you? This means that all public and private insurance policies have to cover substance abuse treatment to the same extent that they cover other medical conditions. This means that if you have health insurance, it may be significantly less out of pocket expense to get clean.

Drug Abuse Does Not Discriminate

Addiction to drugs affects people from all cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The addictions often set in before the person even realizes that they have a dependency. But there are patterns to addictions, symptoms that can be noticeable. It is important to help your loved ones—if you think that someone you know may have a drug problem, let them know that you will support them through treatment to get clean.

 

Veterans 100% Home Loan Basics

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American flag

VA 100% Home Loans

Benefits of a VA Loan

Nothing feels better than putting a Veteran into a home. The men and women who have served our country, I’m sure you will agree are one of the most deserving group of home buyers out there. Veterans, with the assistance of a private lender, have many benefits afforded to them that they may not even be aware of. The VA will stand behind, and guarantee the loan.  It is a type of “insurance” for the loan. What does this mean for you? Well, to start the lender can offer more to you because they are “insured” by the VA in case you cannot make your payments, the lender will be paid.Paper with VA loan on a table

Many Veterans are not aware of how easy it is to apply for and use their benefit in the home loan process.

Advantages of a VA Loan to You

  • You do not have to be a First Time Home Buyer
  • You can reuse your benefit
  • VA loans are assumable, if the person assuming the loan qualifies
  • No down payment, as long as the appraised home value is not less than the sales price.
  • The VA limits what you can be required to pay in closing costs
  • The closing costs MAY be fully paid by the seller
  • No penalty for paying your loan off early
  • Assistance if you run into difficulty making your payments
  • Many states offer resources like property tax reductions to certain Veterans also

 The Eligibility Requirements

The amount of service time or commitment, status and character of service are used to determine your eligibility for specific home loans. You will need to get your Certificate of Eligibility from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  You can ask your Realtor or you Lender how to go about this. It is a very simple, online process, but you must have your COE to close your home loan.

The VA loan does not dismiss you from having adequate credit, and the ability to make the payments on your mortgage.  .

How Much Home Can You Buy

For a Single Family Residence, that you will occupy, the maximum is $424,100 that can be insured by the VA.  In most areas of our country, that can buy you a lot of house!  You will still go through the customary appraisal process, inspections and anything required by the private lender.

Your loan to value ratios (LTV) are still considered a determining factor on how much home you can be approved for.

Mike Anderson, CRMS and Vice President of AMERICA’S MORTGAGE RESOURCE in Baton Rouge, LA has put together this video that is a valuable watch for anyone who is a Veteran, Spouse of a Veteran, Realtor or Lender, that can help explain the process.

The Magical World Inside Your Recycling Bin

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shadow fire press

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

The Best Car Purchase to Help the Environment?

0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

Conserving Nature Keeps People Healthier

0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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0

Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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Migrants and refugees flooding into Europe have presented European leaders and policymakers with their greatest challenge since the debt crisis. The International Organization for Migration calls Europe the most dangerous destination for irregular migration in the world, and the Mediterranean the world’s most dangerous border crossing.

Distinguishing migrants from asylum seekers and refugees is not always a clear-cut process, yet it is a crucial designation because these groups are entitled to different levels of assistance and protection under international law.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees; a refugee is an asylum seeker whose claim has been approved. However, the UN considers migrants fleeing war or persecution to be refugees, even before they officially receive asylum. (Syrian and Eritrean nationals, for example, enjoy prima facie refugee status.) An economic migrant, by contrast, is person whose primary motivation for leaving his or her home country is economic gain. The term migrant is seen as an umbrella term for all three groups. Said another way: all refugees are migrants, but not all migrants are refugees.

Both the burden and the sharing are in the eye of the beholder. I don’t know if any EU country will ever find the equity that is being sought

Migrant detention centers across the continent, including in France, Greece, and Italy have all invited charges of abuse and neglect over the years. Many rights groups contend that a number of these detention centers violate Article III (PDF) of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits inhuman or degrading treatment.

In contrast, migrants in the richer north and west find comparatively well-run asylum centers and generous resettlement policies. But these harder-to-reach countries often cater to migrants who have the wherewithal to navigate entry-point states with safe air passage with the assistance of smugglers.

These countries still remain inaccessible to many migrants seeking international protection. As with the sovereign debt crisis, national interests have consistently trumped a common European response to this migrant influx.

Some experts say the block’s increasingly polarized political climate, in which many nationalist, anti-immigrant parties are gaining traction, is partially to blame for the muted humanitarian response from some states. France and Denmark have also cited security concerns as justification for their reluctance in accepting migrants from the Middle East and North Africa, particularly in the wake of the Paris and Copenhagen terrorist shootings.

The backdrop is the difficulty that many European countries have in integrating minorities into the social mainstream”

Underscoring this point, leaders of eastern European states like Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have all recently expressed a strong preference for non-Muslim migrants. In August 2015, Slovakia announced that it would only accept Christian refugees from Syria. While selecting migrants based on religion is in clear violation of the EU’s non-discrimination laws, these leaders have defended their policies by pointing to their own constituencies discomfort with growing Muslim communities.

The recent economic crisis has also spurred a demographic shift across the continent, with citizens of crisis-hit member states migrating to the north and west in record numbers in search of work. Some experts say Germany and Sweden’s open immigration policies also make economic sense, given Europe’s demographic trajectory (PDF) of declining birth rates and ageing populations. Migrants, they argue, could boost Europe’s economies as workers, taxpayers, and consumers, and help shore up its famed social safety nets.

In August 2015, Germany announced that it was suspending Dublin for Syrian asylum seekers, which effectively stopped deportations of Syrians back to their European country of entry. This move by the block’s largest and wealthiest member country was seen as an important gesture of solidarity with entry-point states. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned that the future of Schengen was at risk unless all EU member states did their part to find a more equitable distribution of migrants.

Germany reinstated temporary border controls along its border with Austria in September 2015, after receiving an estimated forty thousand migrants over one weekend. Implemented on the eve of an emergency migration summit, this move was seen by many experts as a signal to other member states about the pressing need for an EU-wide quota system. Austria, the Netherlands, and Slovakia soon followed with their own border controls. These developments have been called the greatest blow to Schengen in its twenty-year existence.

In September 2015, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker announced plans to revisit a migrant quota system for the block’s twenty-two participating members.

Some policymakers have called for asylum centers to be built in North Africa and the Middle East to enable refugees to apply for asylum without undertaking perilous journeys across the Mediterranean, as well as cutting down on the number of irregular migrants arriving on European shores. However, critics of this plan argue that the sheer number of applicants expected at such hot spots could further destabilize already fragile states.

Other policies floated by the European Commission include drawing up a common safe-countries list that would help countries expedite asylum applications and, where needed, deportations. Most vulnerable to this procedural change are migrants from the Balkans, which lodged 40 percent of the total asylum applications received by Germany in the first six months of 2015. However, some human rights groups have questioned the methodology used by several countries in drawing up these lists and, more critically, cautioned that such lists could violate asylum seekers rights.

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