Immigration and Refugee Policy from South Africa to Canada
The United States is not alone in wrestling with immigration and refugee policy. This part of the program explores lessons learned from South Africa and Canada and how they relate to cases in the United States.
South Africa is the top destination for asylum seekers in the world. Like the U.S.-Mexican border, African migrants cross the border through informal channels, crossing rivers and fences on their way to Johannesburg and Cape Town. Many of these migrants come from Zimbabwe -- there are between 2 and 3 million Zimbabweans in South Africa. Givemore Gift Nhidza is a Zimbabwean political refugee living in South Africa. Like many, he’s slept on the floor of Johannesburg’s Central Methodist Church, where around 2,000 African migrants seek refuge every night. Bishop Paul Verryn manages the Central Methodist Church.
The South African government has responded with some new immigration initiatives, including an amnesty for Zimbabwean refugees who registered by the end of 2010. Reporter Miriam Mokoena spoke with an advocacy officer at the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, Duncan Breen. Breen shares some possible solutions.