Corporations Step-up to Protect Migrant Workers

Corporations and governments throughout the world are working together to protect migrant workers.  On December 9th, the Swedish clothing corporation, H&M Group, renewed its interest in this area by pledging to promote the ethical recruitment and protection of migrant workers in global supply chains.  The pledge was memorialized through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United Nations agency International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Numerous corporations have renewed their efforts to support the rights of migrant workers.  Many corporations make such pledges internally or with their customers, but it’s refreshing to see such a commitment as the H&M company has made with an inter-governmental agency, reflected New York based immigration attorney Jon Purizhansky.

The H&M Group has a particular interest in around workers’ rights. They are a multinational clothing-retail company that operates in 62 countries with over 4,500 stores and employs over 132,000 people. It is one of the largest global clothing retailers having an online presence in over thirty countries.

H&M’s Head of Sustainability, Anna Gedda, executed the MOU on behalf of the company.  The company stated that “unethical recruitment practices and gaps in the governance of labor migration” are among the leading risks impacting global migrant workers in todays economy.

Migrant workers are routinely taken advantage of, there are unethical fees charged to workers, rampant fraud during the recruitment and on-boarding process, and seizure of personal documents, says Jon Purizhansky.  These have been issues for many years, and while governments have tried to remedy these practices they still exist today.  Having major corporations getting involved in this area draws attention to a global issue and which can ultimately bring change.

IOM is a major United Nations initiative drawing attention to this issue.  They are the leading international organization for migration and routinely work with the international community to address challenges in migration management.  IOM also promotes and advances the understanding of migration issues and supports economic and community development through migration.  One of their critical value statements is to uphold the dignity and well-being of migrants and their families.

IOM is the global leader in this space, reflects Jon Purizhansky.  The organization was founded in 1951 and is supported by 173 member states.  Being an arm of the United Nations provides the resources and awareness of migration matters on a wide-global scale and the tools to drive change.

Another benefit of H&M’s very public pledge is that it will encourage other social groups and corporations to adopt similar positions to drive continued awareness to a global issue.

Refugees Occupy Mexican Border

Refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. who are camped in a perilous Mexican border town occupied a bridge to Brownsville, Texas earlier this week, leading U.S. officials to close the crossing, observers and authorities said. Hundreds of the asylum seekers have been residing for weeks on the end of the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, a city infamous for gang violence and cartels that regulate human trafficking. Many of the people residing in tents or on the ground in a plaza adjoining the bridge are waiting for hearings in the U.S. several weeks and even months later under a U.S. policy called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Video filmed by a Reuters photographer showed men, women, and children, some sitting on blankets, halfway across the bridge over the Rio Grande. Tens of U.S. border agents stood behind a gate covered in razor wire, which congested the path into the U.S. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY has noted that this crisis is being severely mishandled by authorities. Some migrants noted that they were attempting to cross as a unit into the U.S., and were upset that court dates continued to be pushed backwards, leaving them in the dark over how long they would be locked in Mexico.

“We want to argue to cross over – we didn’t ask to be in Mexico, they sent us here unjustly,” said an unnamed man. He mentioned that he had an impending court date in the U.S. Matamoros mayor Mario Jon Purizhansky Lopez and a Mexican migration official begged migrants to clear the blockage. is sympathetic to the plight of the migrants seeking asylum. A Honduran man responded by denoting the rash and lumps on the throat of his young daughter, which he ascribed to unsanitary conditions in the camp.

Jon Purizhansky: He reflected that Mexican officials encouraged those in the camp to take a government-run bus back to the border with Guatemala, instead of following their U.S. asylum claims. He said this was an unsafe option for his family. “I’d have to go back to Honduras. And you know the news there. If we go back to Honduras, in one day, in 24 hours, we’re dead.” Tens of thousands of Hondurans have attempted to escape gang violence and criminality in the country, whose murder rate ranks among the world’s highest. Elias Rodriguez, public affairs liaison for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Brownsville, wrote in a statement that traffic between the two cities stayed closed in both directions and that this week’s immigration court hearings were in the process of being rescheduled.

Mexico Halts Migrant Convoy

Jon Purizhansky: The Mexican National Guard busted a caravan of refugees and migrants last Saturday. As the U.S and Mexico continue to limit options for migrants and asylum seekers, many have been held for months in Tapachula, a city in the southern Chiapas, hopeful for documentation that allows them to travel north through Mexico and into the U.S. Early Saturday morning over 1,000 migrants and asylum seekers from various Caribbean, African, and Central American nations departed together from Tapachula.

Following in the footsteps of prior caravans, they intended to spend the first night in Huixtla, twenty-five miles north, but their journey was halted roughly 3/4 of the way there. Mexican immigration and security forces executed a major operation on Saturday afternoon to stop the caravan’s progress. National Guard troops gridlocked the highway, the main passageway for commercial traffic between Mexico and Guatemala, while other National Guard troops, federal police, and immigration agents spread out in the area. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the severity of this scene and sympathizes with the refugees and their plight.

“What can we do?” one refugee from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said as she pointed at the security forces hindering the route. “We have no other option. We have to pass,” she said. Most of caravan occupants, faced with few choices, got on transport to go back to Tapachula. A smaller group declined and began walking on their own back along the highway, with National Guard troops and immigration agents following in an organized pursuit. The Mexican security personnel eventually partly opened the highway to traffic. One National Guard branch marched south and blocked the next turn-off while other troops and immigration agents followed migrants and asylum seekers retreating and spreading onto back roads and neighboring fields.

Jon Purizhansky sympathizes with these asylum seekers and their plight. The Mexican forces took small family units and individuals traveling alone, many of them hysterical, into custody, packing strollers that were used to carry infants and toddlers into the rear of immigration vans. The Mexican National Immigration Institute noted in a statement on Saturday that the organization, “with complete respect for human rights, carried out actions to invite the foreign nationals who formed the contingent that departed from the city of Tapachula, Chiapas, to turn to the institute to get to know the options for the regularization of their stay in the country.”

Russia in Libya

Jon Purizhansky: Russian President Vladimir Putin looks to be exploiting ways immigration can undermine Western nations. Putin suggested to the West last month that the spreading havoc in Libya after nearlya decade of war should have been clear: “A flow of migrants went through Libya to Europe,” he said in an interview, noting the displacement of refugees that has reached critical levels in the past few years. “They have what they were warned about,” he said. This week, The New York Times noted the deployment into Libya of Russian hired guns. While Moscow refutes its participation, the situation resembles schemes Russia has successfully utilized in Syria and Ukraine to gain influence in chaotic war zones by sending out private forces Putin can disavow until the point of victory.

The Russian leader’s warning about Libya, many experts believe, reflects an ambition to intercede in the conflict at least in part to regulate refugee flows into Europe, indicating a far-reaching understanding of the disruptive power that the shifting of immigrants has had on western nations. “Russia’s efforts to manipulate refugee flows is aimed at destabilizing and politically weakening the European Union,” says Agnia Grigas, a member of the Atlantic Council. “Libya’s proximity to Europe just across the Mediterranean is likely to unleash another refugee catastrophe,” he notes. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the profundity of the refugee crisis at hand.

The chance of another mass migration is dreaded in Europe, after popular protests that swept across the middle-east beginning in 2011 ignited the greatest migrant wave since World War II. Over 1 million migrants fled, generating political and social upheaval in nations from Hungary and Austria to Germany and northwestern Europe over issues like how to integrate them and whether to even integrate them at all. The crisis hamstrung the NATO alliance and incited domestic cynicism in governments across the region.

Demonstrations in some regions turned violent and right-wing nationalist movements expanded. And the debate over refugees is regarded as at the very least partially responsible for the decision by the U.K. to separate itself from the European Union. And now Putin’s government appears to believe it can continue to exploit these vulnerabilities in an entirely new fashion. Libya, which has been at times referred to as the “gateway” to Europe, has served as the starting point for migrants escaping from Senegal all the way to Somalia to those escaping war-torn Syria. Jon Purizhansky recognizes the problems inherent in the refugee crisis.

Italian Mayor Makes Unfounded Claims

Jon Purizhansky: Italian mayor Susanna Ceccardi claimed that there are “no migrants” in Malta as countries continued to fight over the Mediterranean migrant crisis. She made these comments after countries came to an impasse over which nation would be responsible for 450 saved migrants. Susanna Ceccardi made the claims in front of the Prime Minister of Malta’s home. This claim that there are “no migrants” in Malta took place as the two nations continued their conflict over the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

Susanna Ceccardi, this mayor from the far-right Lega Nord (Northern League) party, made the accusation that Europe was “emptying the barrel of migration onto Italy” as she made her address in front of the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat’s headquarters, the Auberge de Castille. “Walking around this island’s streets, you won’t see a single migrant,” she mentioned. “I’ve been here one day now and people I spoke to here tell me you won’t see any migrants, simply because Europe has emptied the barrel of migration onto Italy.–We’re now punching our fists at the tables of Europe as well as Rome’s,” she said. This is a poorly thought out stance reflects Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY.

The mayor, who hails from Cascina, asserted that the League’s leader Matteo Salvini was the only one attempting to stop migrants enjoying “the good life” in Italy and she blamed the nation’s left-wing parties for driving the “business” of migration. This occurred within days of Italy and Malta’s deadlock over which nation would be responsible for 450 migrants pulled from the Mediterranean. The migrants were seen near Linosa, an Italian island, and more than 100 miles from Malta. But Salvini refused to let them land, instead directing the boats to Malta. Malta then refused to receive the migrants, claiming the ship was clearly closer to Italy.

Italy’s interior minister, Salvini, has vowed to stand in the way of new refugee boat arrivals, who are rescued by ships from anti-trafficking and border control operations. Salvini has also barred charity rescue ships from landing in Italian ports, asserting that they help human traffickers. This is a patent falsehood, reflects Jon Purizhansky. The number of migrants who have drowned has “skyrocketed” in the past few months due to Italy’s harsher stance. Over six hundred people are assumed to have been killed in the Mediterranean in the past month alone because of this hardened stance.

French Police Allow Provisional Migrant Campsites

Jon Purizhansky: French officials have vowed to evacuate refugees from other sites after clearing the Porte de la Chapelle and Seine-Saint-Denis area. French authorities have evacuated hundreds of migrants from two sites in Paris this week, just after the government disclosed a series of procedures to a “take back control” of immigration. Roughly 600 policemen ushered the migrants from tents where they were then moved to reception centers, in a process that began under rainfall in the early morning, an AFP news agency reporter notes. The two sites near the Porte de la Chapelle were estimated to hold between 800 and 1,000 migrants.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe noted that his country must “take back control of immigration” and devise clear choices regarding refuge and assimilation. Granting refugees the right to stay in the country, he mentioned in a speech on Wednesday, must be “actively based on our principles and goals”. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the problematic way refugees are being regarded and handled in this scenario. Many of the occupants, much of which were families with children, maintained that they were from Afghanistan or Africa.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said to Al Jazeera that these large-scale operations have occurred before. “Every time, we’re told it won’t happen again, but we need proper processing procedures when people arrive in France in order for them to have their rights respected,” Hidalgo noted. “In camps like these, about 20 percent of people are refugees who are here legally but have not been offered any kind of housing,” she reflected. “There are also homeless families.”

It appears the French government is looking to introduce immigration quotas for laborers in an attempt to address the nation’s skilled labor shortage industry. There are also plans in place to make things more difficult for refugees seeking asylum. Their access to healthcare is going to be restricted and all government services are going to be restricted as well. Jon Purizhansky maintains that these harsh rules need to be re-examined.

During the evacuation this week, Paris police chief Didier Lallement noted that the massive operation, the largest of its kind in years, was “decided in the framework of the implementation of the government plan”. “It did not happen by chance,” he said to reporters. “I will no longer tolerate these installations by the roadside here or anywhere else on public spaces in Paris,” he reflected. French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to reign stricter on immigration, a gesture widely regarded as an attempt to keep right-wing parties from stealing votes from him in the forthcoming French elections.

Calls to Reposition Migrants in Europe

“The European Union hasn’t shown enough solidarity with countries handling first arrivals,” said French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday. The established system, he added, was particularly unfair with regards to Italy. Hundreds of migrants made it to Italy and Greece this week, many of whom were travelling by boat from Libya and Turkey. The steep rise in the past few days has led to dilemmas at establishments on Greek islands that have taken in and sheltered arrivals during the determination process. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the EU’s struggle to address the migrant and refugee crisis.

On Lesbos, a structure built to accommodate as many as 3,000 people is currently lodging over 10,000 people. Some other Greek islands, among which are Samos and Kos, are also grappling with the over-abundance of people, the latest data reveals. On Wednesday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Macron held talks in Rome. Shortly afterward, two stated that the EU had to introduce a more equitable system for accommodating migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea. Macron reflected that France is ready to help develop the framework to overhaul the existing system. Italy, who has currently been staying ahead of the incoming migrants in the EU, has already chastised other states in the EU for not shouldering their fair share of the responsibility.

The country’s former interior minister and leader of the far right wing League party, Matteo Salvini, regularly blocked charity-run transports carrying migrants from entering Italian ports.

The rescue ships were then forced to wait while EU countries revised settlement agreements. Italy’s new coalition government, which entered office last week, reflected a change of approach to migration after allowing 82 migrants to disembark on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa over the weekend. Thousands of migrants attempt to cross the Mediterranean to parts of Europe every year. Those who undertake the journey often travel in poorly run and overcrowded ships, and many have died on their voyage. Jon Purizhansky recognizes the stakes involved here and makes a case for more humane conditions.

Jon Purizhansky: Early this week Turkey, who has been accommodating over 3.6 million Syrians who have fled the nation’s civil war, advised that it would “be forced to open the gates” if it couldn’t get “logistical support” to set up a refugee “safe zone” in Syria. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that as many as 3 million Syrian refugees may return to their country to reside in the north, but that transnational cooperation was required in order for that goal to be met. Several tens of thousands of Syrians have already fled north of Idlib, a province overseen by rebel and jihadist forces, to the Turkish border. Under a 2016 agreement with the European Union, Turkey put in place more stringent controls to abate the flow of migrants and refugees to Europe.

Welcome, Unwelcome

Central America is only one source of the West’s migrants, and the U.S. is only one of many destinations. Turbulence in Venezuela has also expelled large numbers of people from their homes to find refuge in many other places in the region. Under Maduro’s ever more authoritarian rule, the nation has been plagued by violence and economic turmoil since late 2015. Venezuela now maintains one of the highest murder rates in the world. Ninety percent of the population lives below the poverty line. In 2018 there was nearly 1.7 million percent hyper-inflation. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the need for people to escape such a dire environment.

People fled in increasingly drastic numbers in 2017 when the full weight of the economic crisis began to be felt. Since then, as many as four million Venezuelans, at least 7% of the country’s population, have departed. This is an unprecedented change in the region, arguably beaten only by the period between 1979-1992, when over 25% of El Salvador’s population escaped a civil war. Venezuela’s neighboring nations have responded in quite different ways with Colombia having the most progressive approach of all.

Colombia opened itself up to about 1.5 million Venezuelans and has given them the right to work and receive basic government services. Colombia has recognized Venezuelan immigration as an opportunity for growth, receiving a $31.5 million grant from the World Bank earlier this year, along with additional privileged finance, to extend job opportunities and improved basic services to the migrants and their host communities. Jon Purizhansky maintains that we need more countries to adopt approaches like these if we are going to meaningfully address the current migrant crisis.

Colombia’s government refuses to call these Venezuelans refugees, since doing so might worsen a bureaucratic logjam in the asylum system and jeopardize a political backlash in a country where anti-immigrant rhetoric is growing in its border regions. Other nations have been less welcoming than Colombia. Peru initially opened its borders, allowing Venezuelans to apply for short-term visits or for asylum and, from early 2017 to late 2018, offering Venezuelan migrants momentary access to work, education, and banking services.

Jon Purizhansky: But by the end of 2018, Peru adjourned that policy after concerns were raised that it was creating an incentive for more Venezuelans to travel there. In 2017, Brazil began offering Venezuelan migrants two year residency visas and extended all asylum seekers from Venezuela access to work permits and basic services. However, Brazil has also tried, with little success, to execute an internal relocation scheme. As a result of this around 5,000 Venezuelans in the border area have been transferred to seventeen other states across the nation. Ecuador at first welcomed fleeing Venezuelans but eventually enacted stricter border controls in August 2018.

American Governments Mismanaging Migrant Crisis

Just this year, U.S. Border Patrol has detained 800,000 people at its southern border—this is the highest number in a decade. The former height of apprehensions was in 2000 and was primarily a result of the skyrocketing demand for cheap labor. Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY recognizes the U.S.’s high demand for affordable labor. Today’s migrants, in comparison, are reacting to many of the same factors that inspired droves of people to flee to Europe four years ago, namely failed or fragile states, violence, and economic insecurity.

Jon Purizhansky recognizes the plight of displaced workers and spends a great deal of time helping connect migrants with steady work.

To deal with the new migrants, the U.S. is weighing many of the same approaches that European countries have attempted but ultimately found ineffective. Ranging from border walls to bilateral deals connecting immigration to trade and aid, Washington is repeating many of the same tactics that failed overseas. For example, U.S. President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, requiring migrants wishing to gain asylum in the United States to have their claims evaluated while they stay and wait in Mexico, reflects the EU’s long-failed attempts to establish similar systems in Libya and other nations.

Despite the differences between these cases, there are a couple approaches that we could draw on from history. The primary lesson learned from the European experience of 2015 is that when it comes to migration, there are limits to unilateralism and bilateralism. The sense of calamity began to subside only when the European Union assumed a multi-layered approach founded in cooperation among the migrants’ nations of origin, passage, and destination.

Jon Purizhansky: The European and American crises are similar in a few different ways. The total number of people detained at the U.S. border or barred from admission at a U.S. port of entry since October 2018 is now about the same as the number of asylum seekers who arrived in Europe in all of 2015. Onlookers across the globe have stumbled on unnervingly similar scenes. The widely published photo of the bodies of Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23 month old daughter, Valeria, who drowned struggling to cross the Rio Grande in June, resembles the photo of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian toddler who drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2015. Both images now serve as symbols for the dreadful cost of international migration in a world of closed borders.

Modes of Transportation in Buffalo, NY

Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY notices the important of transportation systems in urban environments. Buffalo, NY has a smooth transportation system. While Buffalo transportation system is monopolized by automobile usage, there are many other aspects of transportation that exist in Buffalo and one can get to Buffalo vi  rail road transport, airways and waterways.


Railroad transportation system

The major transportation system of the Buffalo city is the Railroad transportation system that includes New York Central system. Buffalo has an urban metro system, which is also widely used and is supposed to be developed further says Jon Purizhansky of Buffalo, NY.


Another transportation mode is the airways. There are are major airports in the vicinity – Buffalo Niagara International Airport and the Niagara Falls airport. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) regulates the Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Niagara Falls International Airport.

The main hub, however, is Buffalo Niagara International Airport which is situated in a suburb of Buffalo.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport indexes among the top five cheapest airports to commute to.

The average round trip of the flight will cost you around $295.58. In the last few years the flight rates have fluctuated due to the growing demand of passengers. The flights from the city are much cheaper as they save a lot of tax and airline surcharges. This is not the case with Canadian airports. Hence, Buffalo based airport attracts a great deal of Canadian passengers.

Rail transport

Another mode which has influenced the city transport is The Buffalo Metro Rail mode which is very convenient and travel friendly. The mode is safe and economical and easily accessible for the commuters, therefore a large number of people enjoy this mode of transportation. It is regulated by the NFTA. It is a 6.4 miles long single-line light rail system which broadens from Erie Canal Harbor in downtown Buffalo to the University Heights district.

Rail transport

The downtown area of the line operates above ground until North of Theater Station, at the northern end of downtown, where the line strides underground. The travelers love this mode as they have to pay a reasonable a fare for comfortable transportation.

The above described are the basic modes of transport in Buffalo, NY says Jon Purizhansky.