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Fast for Families to cross U.S. for immigration reform

Washington, Jan 27 (EFE).- The activists who went without food for a month to demand that Congress act on immigration reform, announced Monday that they are taking the Fast for Families protest on the road. The campaign will go on until April 9, organizers told a press conference in Washington.

Italy moves towards decriminalizing clandestine immigration

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's Senate voted on Tuesday to scrap a law that makes entering the country without the proper paperwork a criminal offence and means migrants can be tried and fined up to 5,000 euros ($6,800) before being deported. The lower house of parliament must also now approve the change for it to take effect.

U.S. Catholic bishops urge immigration reform

Denver, Jan 7 (EFE).- The Catholic Church of the United States launched Tuesday a campaign of contacts with federal lawmakers urging them to pass immigration reform, as part of its annual observance of National Migration Week. The U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference considers that migrants, especially children, the undocumented, political refugees and victims of human trafficking, "often find themselves existing in a kind of figurative darkness where their options remain limited."

Four immigrants sew mouths shut in protest at Italy detention

Four North Africans held in a migrant centre on the outskirts of Rome have sewn their lips together in protest at their lengthy detention, Italian news agency ANSA reported Sunday. The men, aged between 20 and 30, used a thread from a blanket and a small needle to sew their mouths shut at the Ponte Galeria facility on Saturday. They are receiving medical care, ANSA said. One of the four was due to be repatriated to his home country on Monday.

Israel sends 150 protesting African runaways back to jail

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli police on Tuesday sent back to custody about 150 African migrants who had abandoned a desert detention center in protest against a new law allowing them to be kept there indefinitely. Aided by rights groups, the migrants had travelled to Jerusalem to demonstrate outside the Israeli parliament, which last week passed a law allowing authorities to hold illegal migrants in an "open facility" until they leave the country.

Activists infiltrate another migrant detention center

Charlotte, North Carolina, Dec 10 (EFE).- An activist with the National Immigrant Youth Alliance infiltrated the El Paso Detention Center in Texas to get to know the situation in which the undocumented migrants being held there are living. Santiago Garcia telephoned Efe from inside the detention center and said that he had been there since Nov. 22, when he voluntarily turned himself in to immigration authorities.

French footballer quits Qatar after 17-month ban

French footballer Zahir Belounis left Qatar on Thursday after being stuck in the 2022 World Cup host country for 17 months over a pay dispute with his club, an aviation source said. Al-Jaish player left with his wife and two daughters onboard a Qatar Airways flight that departed at 1.40 pm (1040 GMT), the source said. Belounis had finally obtained an exit visa, which is usually controlled by employers in the Gulf state under its controversial "kafala", or sponsorship system, French Ambassador Jean-Christophe Peaucelle said on Wednesday.

Qatar allows French player to leave after 17-month ban

Qatar, the 2022 World Cup host, has finally allowed a French footballer to leave after being stuck for 17 months due to a pay dispute with his club, France's ambassador said Wednesday. Al-Jaish player Zahir Belounis has obtained an exit visa, which is usually controlled by employers in the Gulf state under its controversial "kafala", or sponsorship system, Ambassador Jean-Christophe Peaucelle said. "I confirm that Mr. Belounis has received his exit visa and that he will leave Qatar tomorrow to France," Peaucelle said.

63 Pct of Americans back path to citizenship for undocumented

Washington, Nov 25 (EFE).- Sixty-three percent of Americans are in favor of creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S., according to a poll released Monday. The survey by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute reveals that 73 percent of Democrats favor a path to citizenship for the 11.7 million undocumented immigrants, compared with 60 percent of Republicans and 57 percent among independents. The report is based on surveys taken in the states of Arizona, Florida and Ohio between Nov. 6-10.

"Alarming exploitation" of workers in Qatar: Amnesty

By Amena Bakr and Brian Homewood (Reuters) - Qatar's construction industry is rife with abuse of migrant workers who are "treated like cattle" and live in squalid accommodation, Amnesty International said on Sunday, calling on world soccer's governing body to help address the situation. Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup, and the human rights organization asked FIFA to work with the Qatari authorities to stamp out abuses of workers who mainly come from South Asia.
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