Immigrants and refugees

What is behind the electoral success of the Alternative for Germany?

By Peter Schwarz, 16 March 2016

The Left Party created the conditions that enabled the right-wing nationalist AfD to tap into social frustration and anger and channel it in a reactionary direction.

Europe’s attack on refugees produces humanitarian catastrophe

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 11 March 2016

With its agreement with Turkey to seal borders, the European Union is trampling elementary principles of international refugee law underfoot.

The refugee crisis and the polarization of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 11 March 2016

Large sections of the population look on the brutal conditions of refugees with horror and disgust, but the official political debate takes place within a narrow spectrum ranging from the right to the ultra-right.

Photo essay: Volunteer at French refugee camp speaks to the WSWS

By Jill Lux and Toby Reese, 10 March 2016

The camp at Grand-Synthe epitomizes the squalid conditions facing people who have fled their homes amid the greatest refugee crisis since World War II.

EU countries and Turkey move to seal refugee routes

By Peter Schwarz, 8 March 2016

The 28 EU member states worked out a deal Monday with Turkey that would make it even more difficult for the millions of people fleeing the wars in the Middle East to enter Europe.

Three men sentenced for petty crimes at New Year’s event in Cologne, Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 8 March 2016

Two months after the New Year’s Eve events in Cologne, allegations of mass sexual assaults that day are increasingly being exposed as groundless.

Refugees face disastrous conditions in Greece

By Katerina Selin, 7 March 2016

Tens of thousands of refugees fleeing to Europe are trapped in Greece, leading to a humanitarian catastrophe.

Leaked Australian document reveals plans for mass surveillance of immigrants

By Max Newman, 7 March 2016

The Australian government is preparing continuous monitoring of immigrants and more severe visa and citizenship tests to block access to permanent residence.

European Union threatens summary mass deportations of refugees

By Alex Lantier, 4 March 2016

As growing numbers of refugees flee imperialist wars in the Middle East, the EU is preparing draconian attacks on democratic rights to prevent them from coming to Europe.

German chancellor demands end to “waving refugees through the borders”

By Johannes Stern, 4 March 2016

At a press conference with the Croatian prime minister, Merkel attacked refugees with a brutality typically associated with her right-wing critics.

NATO commander calls refugees a weapon of ISIS, Russia and Syria

By Patrick Martin, 3 March 2016

US General Phillip Breedlove said that Russia, Syria and ISIS were using the refugees streaming out of Syria as weapons against Europe.

France attacks refugees, launches destruction of Calais camp

By Francis Dubois and Stéphane Hugues, 2 March 2016

The expulsion in the middle of winter of thousands of refugees fleeing war, including women and children, is part of the escalating persecution of refugees throughout Europe.

German parliament adopts anti-democratic “Asylum Package II”

By Verena Nees, 2 March 2016

The new package of measures agreed in Germany fundamentally restricts the right to asylum and robs a section of the population of democratic rights.

Macedonian police tear-gas refugees trying to cross Greek border

By Alex Lantier, 1 March 2016

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at hundreds of desperate Syrian and Iraqi refugees seeking to travel through the Balkans towards Germany.

Swiss voters reject xenophobic anti-refugee initiative

By Marianne Arens, 1 March 2016

The rejection of the initiative “to enforce the deportation of criminal foreigners” is largely due to the unusually high turnout.

NATO operation in Aegean heightens threat of war with Russia

By Johannes Stern, 29 February 2016

The dispatch of warships under German leadership to the strategic Aegean Sea to deter refugees heightens the risk of NATO intervention in Syria.

University of Leipzig students speak out against right-wing professor

By Christoph Vandreier, 27 February 2016

The xenophobic and militaristic tirades of University of Leipzig Professor Thomas Rauscher have met with opposition from both students and faculty.

Anti-refugee xenophobia and the danger of war

By Peter Schwarz, 27 February 2016

Tens of thousands of refugees who have escaped the hell of war in the Middle East are being deprived of all rights and used as pawns in conflicts between the European states.

Austrian-led conference closes Balkan route for refugees and divides Europe

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 26 February 2016

The move by West Balkan countries to block refugees from leaving Greece will unleash a humanitarian crisis and intensify tensions throughout Europe.

Germany: Racism in Saxony and political hypocrisy

By Ulrich Rippert, 24 February 2016

The racist attacks in Clausnitz and several other cities and communities in Germany are a direct result of the xenophobic policies of the federal government.

German historian calls for harsher measures against refugees

By Katerina Selin, 23 February 2016

Under the cover of scholarship, an increasing number of academics and intellectuals are using the media to propagate backward, right-wing ideas.

Hundreds demonstrate in Berlin against harsher asylum law

By our correspondents, 22 February 2016

Many young people and refugees joined a demonstration in Berlin last Tuesday to protest against the tightening up of asylum laws.

German Chancellor Merkel’s refugee policy and the growing danger of a war with Russia

By Ulrich Rippert, 19 February 2016

Merkel wants to expand Germany’s close collaboration with the Turkish government, which is pressing ahead with military confrontation with Russia in Syria.

Europe at the breaking point

By Alex Lantier, 17 February 2016

France's denunciations of Germany's policy of accepting Middle Eastern refugees fleeing to Europe have exposed deep divisions within the EU.

Closure of Balkan refugee route deepens rifts in the EU

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 16 February 2016

Diplomatic tensions between the EU member states are intensifying in the run-up to the meeting of heads of state and governments this week.

Australian government refuses to help children trapped in Syria

By Mike Head, 13 February 2016

The government’s reaction to the plight of these six Australian children displays its true contempt for the millions of victims of the predatory US-led war in Iraq and Syria.

NATO sends a flotilla to repulse refugees in the Aegean Sea

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 13 February 2016

The purpose of the NATO flotilla is to ensure that the escape routes to Europe via Turkey are blocked, stranding refugees fleeing regions destroyed by US and European imperialism.

Report: Berlin police delayed search for murdered refugee boy

By Sven Heymanns, 12 February 2016

Berlin police failed to carry out a thorough search for the missing four-year-old but instead placed the child’s entire family under suspicion

International Viewpoint joins in racist anti-refugee agitation

By Johannes Stern, 12 February 2016

While the hysterical campaign over the events of New Year’s Eve at Cologne’s main train station has subsided somewhat in the bourgeois media, it continues in pseudo-left circles undiminished.

Greek military to play main role in setting up refugee concentration camps

By John Vassilopoulos, 10 February 2016

Whether enforcing the EU’s reactionary refugee agenda or implementing austerity, the Syriza-led government relies heavily on the police and army to force through its measures.

Human Rights Watch underscores Australia’s abuses of refugees

By Max Newman, 10 February 2016

The report documents Australia’s stripping of asylum seekers of basic democratic rights and the build-up of repressive police powers.

Australia’s High Court backs indefinite offshore detention

By Mike Head, 9 February 2016

The ruling sets a new global benchmark for the incarceration of innocent and desperate people in what amounts to Guantanamo Bay-style legal black holes.

Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2016

In an article published in Der Spiegel, Slovenian academic Slavoj Žižek gives free rein to his hatred of the oppressed.

Pro-refugee organisation comes under political attack in Germany

By Verena Nees, 6 February 2016

A false report about the death of a refugee has served as the pretext for a right-wing campaign against volunteers assisting refugees in Berlin, Germany.

Australia: Thousands protest High Court ruling upholding offshore refugee detention

By our reporters, 6 February 2016

The demonstrations expressed widespread revulsion at the persecution of asylum seekers, but the organisers promoted Labor and the Greens.

German government steps up attacks on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 4 February 2016

Germany’s grand coalition government is adopting ever more drastic measures against refugees and paving the way for far-right forces in the process.

Australian High Court sanctions indefinite offshore detention of refugees

By Mike Head, 4 February 2016

The decision sets a new global benchmark for the incarceration of men, women and children in conditions that amount to torture.

Austrian municipalities impose ban on refugees using swimming pools

By Markus Salzmann, 2 February 2016

The ban on refugees in two Austrian cities, unless they are accompanied by an “escort,” recalls the darkest chapters in Austrian history.

Neo-Nazi mob assaults immigrants in Stockholm, Sweden

By Jordan Shilton, 1 February 2016

The emergence of a fascist movement on the streets of a major European city is a result of the anti-refugee hysteria being whipped up by the political establishment across the continent.

German government restricts right to asylum

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 30 January 2016

The new measures underscore the ruthlessness and brutality with which the government is acting against refugees, in the full knowledge that the provisions being adopted will result in the loss of life.

Greek Syriza government colludes with EU in refugee crackdown

By John Vassilopoulos, 30 January 2016

Syriza boasts that they have deported 130 people back to Turkey in the space of 15 days.

Sweden announces plans to deport up to 80,000 refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 29 January 2016

Sweden’s announcement came the same day as Human Rights Watch published a scathing indictment of the curtailment of democratic rights in Europe in response to the refugee crisis.

Cameron’s attack on migrants spearheads appeal to far right in the UK

By Julie Hyland, 29 January 2016

Comments this week by UK Prime Minister David Cameron make clear that anti-immigrant propaganda is an integral part of a pro-corporate agenda of austerity and war.

European governments step up offensive against refugees

By Marianne Arens, 28 January 2016

Proposals made at the EU meeting amount to the transformation of Greece into a giant concentration camp for refugees.

Austria closes its borders to refugees

By Marianne Arens, 26 January 2016

As Europe is firmly in the grip of winter, one government after another is closing its borders.

Berlin town hall meeting protests discrimination against refugees

By Verena Nees, 26 January 2016

Many of those attending the mass meeting were appalled at the treatment of refugees, confined in airport hangars and other mass accommodation.

The end of liberal Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 23 January 2016

The shift to the right by the European elites is rooted in explosive social, economic and political contradictions that have been building up since the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago.

New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany: Growing inconsistencies

By Ulrich Rippert, 23 January 2016

After three weeks of intense investigations, what really took place at the central train station in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve remains unclear.

Dozens of refugees drown near Greek island of Farmakonisi

By Thomas Gaist, 23 January 2016

The deaths come amid escalating state repression and military operations by the European powers targeting refugees.

Imprisonment periods lengthening in Australian immigration detention centres

By Max Newman, 22 January 2016

Detainees are now being incarcerated for an average 445 days, resulting in severe mental distress.

Supreme Court to rule on Obama immigration program

By Bill Van Auken, 20 January 2016

The court’s announcement came amid rising anger and fear over the roundup and deportation of Central American refugees.

Danish and Swedish governments step up attacks on refugees

By Jordan Shilton, 20 January 2016

Measures once associated with fascist regimes are again being employed against refugees fleeing war in the Middle East.

Berlin police raid: A civil war exercise

By Gustav Kemper, 19 January 2016

The illegal raid involving hundreds of police officers was intended to intimidate an entire neighbourhood.

German Left Party joins anti-refugee campaign

By Dietmar Henning, 15 January 2016

The parliamentary group leader of the Left Party, Sahra Wagenknecht, has joined in the far-right agitation against refugees and is calling for more police powers.

German government moves to loosen restrictions on refugee deportations

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 14 January 2016

Amid the racist hysteria whipped up by the media and politicians in the wake of alleged sexual assaults by refugees, the German government is moving to further restrict the right to asylum.

New Year’s message for refugees in Berlin: It will get worse!

By Verena Nees, 13 January 2016

The onset of winter has worsened conditions for the approximately 40,000 refugees in Berlin.

German media incites racist hysteria

By Peter Schwarz, 12 January 2016

Unsubstantiated and racist allegations of mass sexual harassment are being used to witch-hunt immigrants and legitimize German preparations for an expanded military intervention in the Middle East.

German media and politicians demand increased state powers in response to Cologne assaults

By Dietmar Henning, 11 January 2016

Alleged sexual assaults by refugees in Cologne are being used as a pretense for pumping out racist agitation and cracking down on refugees.

The refugee tragedy and the European Union: The balance sheet for 2015

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 January 2016

The mistreatment of refugees fleeing to Europe has assumed proportions that would have been unthinkable twelve months ago.

Obama administration rings in new year with deportation of children

By Andre Damon, 6 January 2016

More than 100 people were taken into custody over the weekend in a series of nationwide raids targeting refugees fleeing violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Large numbers of refugees brutally deported from Germany

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 4 January 2016

Since the tightening of restrictions on the right to asylum in October, the number of deportations has grown sharply, and inhumane treatment has reached a new level.

On the threshold of the New Year

By Joseph Kishore and David North, 31 December 2015

It is characteristic of a period of crisis that more and more the essential nature of capitalism—a system of exploitation, inequality, war and repression—comes into alignment with the everyday experiences of broad masses of people.

After Paris attacks, anti-Muslim riot erupts in Corsica

By Kumaran Ira, 30 December 2015

The anti-Muslim riots in Corsica are the product of the incitement of racial hatreds by the entire French political establishment.

German trade union chief agrees to €1 an hour jobs for refugees

By Dietmar Henning, 29 December 2015

The government, the corporations and the trade unions in Germany are collaborating to deport most refugees, while using those who remain for cheap labour.

Obama administration prepares raids on Central American immigrants

By Patrick Martin, 28 December 2015

Most of those targeted are women and children who have sought to escape gang attacks, drug-related violence and brutality by US-backed security services in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

The fracturing of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 28 December 2015

In the last century, great power aspirations, nationalism and fascism made the continent the focus of two world wars, which claimed nearly 100 million victims. Now, these same tendencies are spreading once again.

Refugees confront misery in Berlin

By Verena Nees, 28 December 2015

The terrible conditions facing newly arrived refugees in Berlin are deliberate and aimed at deterring other refugees from travelling to Germany.

One million people fled to Europe in 2015

By Andre Damon, 23 December 2015

The wars stoked by American and European imperialism in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have helped turn more than 60 million people worldwide into refugees.

Germany doubles number of deportations

By Marianne Arens, 23 December 2015

According to official figures from Germany’s interior ministry, 18,363 people were forcibly deported in the first 11 months of this year.

American Nazi web site acclaims Humboldt Professor Jörg Baberowski

By Johannes Stern, 19 December 2015

Professor of Eastern European History Jörg Baberowski is gaining growing recognition in international right-wing and fascist circles.

Conflicts over refugee policy dominate EU summit

By Peter Schwarz, 18 December 2015

As European governments move sharply to the right, deep-rooted conflicts of interests are threatening to tear the European Union apart.

Syriza government sends Greek riot police to attack refugee camp

By John Vassilopoulos, 16 December 2015

Prior to the raid, police moved all journalists, photographers and aid workers three kilometres from the camp.

Trudeau’s refugee “welcome” and the real agenda of Canada’s new government

By Roger Jordan, 15 December 2015

Trudeau is giving his government “progressive” and humanitarian hues to provide political cover for continuing the Canadian elite’s aggressive foreign policy agenda.

Violent attacks on refugees increase in Germany

By Philipp Frisch, 12 December 2015

Independent investigations by German media outlets suggest that the authorities probing right-wing anti-immigrant violence systematically downplay and even defend it.

Indonesian government discusses offering Australia an island to detain refugees

By Max Newman, 11 December 2015

As a result of Australia’s “turn back” policy, more than 13,000 asylum seekers are now living in some of Indonesia’s most impoverished provinces.

Dozens of refugees drowned last week in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas

By Stefan Steinberg, 10 December 2015

Even as they work to seal Europe’s borders, the EU powers are expanding the wars that have forced millions to flee.

EU Council president wants to seal off Europe from refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 5 December 2015

European Council President Donald Tusk wants to intern refugees for 18 months after their arrival and has pleaded for sealing off Europe’s foreign borders.

The European refugee crisis and international law

By Mike Head, 5 December 2015

The blatant abrogation of the 1951 international Refugee Convention, despite the terrible plight of asylum seekers, is an indictment of the capitalist nation-state system.

Berlin: Hundreds demonstrate against ill treatment of refugees

By Christoph Dreier, 4 December 2015

Hundreds of people demonstrated last weekend in Berlin to protest against the inhumane treatment of refugees.

EU-Turkey conference reaches deal at refugees’ expense

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 2 December 2015

Turkey has pledged to prevent refugees from entering the EU and in exchange will receive €3 billion and a commitment to speed up negotiations for EU membership.

Humanitarian disaster on the Balkan refugee route

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 30 November 2015

Germany and France are stepping up their efforts to prevent refugees arriving in the EU via the Balkan route.

Refugees rescued off West Timor after being dumped by Australia

By Max Newman, 30 November 2015

Asylum seekers who disappeared for a week after being intercepted by the Australian navy were found stricken in a small boat without fuel off the Indonesian coast.

Canada’s government rewrites refugee plan to appease right

By Roger Jordan, 28 November 2015

The Liberal government has reduced the numbers of refugees to be accepted by year’s end and imposed discriminatory restrictions on who will be allowed to find asylum in Canada.

Canada: Right seeks to whip up backlash against refugees

By Janet Browning and Roger Jordan, 24 November 2015

Declaring Syrian refugees a “security threat,” the Conservatives are demanding the government drop its plan to accept 25,000 refugees by the end of 2015.

Thousands of refugees stuck on the Balkan route

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 24 November 2015

Under pressure from France and Germany, the Balkan countries are refusing to allow those deemed “economic migrants” to cross their borders, a violation of international law.

Turkish video shows Greek coast guard trying to sink refugee raft

By Kate Randall, 23 November 2015

More than 600,000 refugees from the Middle East and Africa have made the treacherous journey to Greece by sea, and thousands have drowned making the attempt.

From Roma refugee to attorney in Germany: Nizaqete Bislimi’s Durch die Wand (“Through the Wall”)

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 18 November 2015

Roma author Nizaqete Bislimi describes how she overcame the obstacle of Germany’s inhumane immigration laws after her escape from Kosovo.

Thousands of refugees crammed into airport hangars in Berlin, Germany

By Verena Nees, 16 November 2015

The Berlin city government is housing refugees under insufferable conditions in an abandoned airport built under the Nazis.

EU Summit in Malta strikes dirty deal to keep refugees out of Europe

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 14 November 2015

African dictatorships are to be paid by EU member countries to act as Europe’s border guards and accelerate measures to take back deported migrants.

German Left Party leader rails against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 14 November 2015

Oskar Lafontaine’s right-wing slogans arise directly from the nationalist, pro-capitalist and imperialist orientation of the Left Party.

Australian government considers removing refugees to Kyrgyzstan

By Max Newman, 14 November 2015

Kyrgyzstan, one of a number of former Soviet Union countries being considered for transferring refugees, ranks among the 50 poorest countries in the world.

Germany moves to seal external borders against refugees

By Christoph Dreier, 13 November 2015

The announcement that Germany will deport refugees to the first EU country they entered will have catastrophic humanitarian consequences and further intensify tensions within Europe.

Refugees stranded at processing camp outside Heidelberg, Germany

“When will we finally be allowed to learn and to work?”

By Anna Rombach, Philipp Sonde and Marianne Arens, 12 November 2015

The refugee camp at Patrick Henry Village is expected to become one of the new rapid processing centres.

Right wing dictates German refugee policy

By Peter Schwarz, 11 November 2015

After days of public haggling, the German government agreed last Thursday on measures that effectively abolish the right to asylum for many refugees.

Syriza government in Greece backs EU attack on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 10 November 2015

The Syriza-led Greek government is a willing accomplice in the EU’s attempt to seal Europe’s borders to refugees fleeing war and violence.

Hunger strikes spread in immigrant jails in US Southwest

By Kevin Martinez, 10 November 2015

Protests against inhumane treatment have spread from California to Texas and other states.

German grand coalition axes the right to asylum

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 9 November 2015

Germany’s leading political parties have agreed on legislation that will deny hundreds of thousands of refugees their basic right to asylum and family reunification.

Left Party prepares mass deportations in German state of Thuringia

By Johannes Stern, 6 November 2015

The government of Thuringia has announced it will deport thousands of refugees and establish a hub for mass deportations from throughout Germany.

Germany’s Grand Coalition split over how to drive back refugees

By Peter Schwarz, 5 November 2015

The noisy debate over refugee policy conceals the fact that the differences between the CDU/CSU and the SPD are minimal.

Refugees protest being held at UK military base in Cyprus

By Chris Marsden, 5 November 2015

The United Nations’ refugee agency said the UK is legally responsible for resettling the refugees because the base at Akrotiri is UK sovereign territory.