ILW.COM - the immigration portal Immigration Daily

Home Page

Immigration Daily


Processing times

Immigration forms

Discussion board



Twitter feed

Immigrant Nation


CLE Workshops

Immigration books

Advertise on ILW

VIP Network




Connect to us

Make us Homepage



The leading
immigration law
publisher - over
50000 pages of
free information!
© 1995-
Immigration LLC.

View RSS Feed

Jason Dzubow on Political Asylum

Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route

Rate this Entry

I've written a number of times about the route East African asylum seekers take to reach the United States.  The journey usually takes them through Africa to South Africa, and then to South America, Central America, and finally the U.S.  Along the way, the asylum seekers are passed from one smuggler to the next.  Because I deal with the people who make it here, I don't usually think about those who do not survive the trip.

Voice of America reports that on February 2, eight Ethiopian asylum seekers suffocated to death in a closed container truck while attempting to reach South Africa:

The UN refugee agency [UNHCR] said the Ethiopian asylum seekers had been living in the Maratane refugee camp in northern Mozambique, from where they embarked on their ill-fated journey.  The driver of the truck in which they were traveling reportedly only realized the eight had suffocated when he made a stop at Mocuba, after seven hours of driving from the camp.

Statistics on asylum seeker deaths are hard to come by, so the magnitude of the problem is not well known, but I'd venture to guess that the number of deaths is quite high.  I sometimes hear anecdotal evidence from my clients about this problem.  For example, an Eritrean client recently told me about two Eritrean women who drowned while crossing a swamp in Panama.  I could not find statistics for asylum seekers coming to the U.S., but I did find some information about Britain and Australia:

The New Statesman report that 77 asylum seekers died in Great Britain during the last four years: Of the deaths, more than a third (28) were suicides following rejected asylum claims. Seven people died after being denied healthcare for "preventable medical problems." Seven more died in police custody, while 15 lost their lives during "highly risky" attempts to enter the country. Seven were killed in racist street attacks, four after deportation to a country where they feared for their safety, two as a result of destitution, and four because they had been forced into dangerous work in the black economy. 

A website called Abolish Foreignness reports that between 2000 and 2010, 1,053 asylum seekers died in Australia or en route to that country.  The majority of the deaths were from people drowned at sea.

It is probably impossible to know how many asylum seekers die on the long and dangerous journey to the United States.  But it is clear that, despite the risk, many people are willing to make the trip.

Originally posted on the Asylumist:

Submit "Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route" to Facebook Submit "Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route" to Twitter Submit "Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route" to Google Submit "Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route" to StumbleUpon Submit "Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route" to Reddit Submit "Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route" to Digg Submit "Ethiopian Asylum Seekers Die Along the Smuggling Route" to

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags


Put Free Immigration Law Headlines On Your Website

Immigration Daily: the news source for legal professionals. Free! Join 35000+ readers Enter your email address here: