• Perspective

    Since the first Democratic presidential debates at the end of June, candidates, pundits and former government officials have discussed whether provisions of law that turn unauthorized border crossing into the federal crime of “improper entry” – in addition to a civil immigration law violation – should be repealed. Over the last three years, researchers at Human Rights First have conducted extensive research and observed countless entry and re-entry prosecutions in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. These prosecutions, as we have detailed in a series of reports, violate U.S. refugee treaty obligations, impinge on due process, separate children from their parents, waste government funds, and divert prosecutorial resources from serious criminal and security threats.

  • Perspective

    News reports that the United States seeks to sign “Safe Third Country” agreements with Mexico and Guatemala – possibly as soon as today – mark the latest phase in the Trump Administration’s efforts to keep Central American asylum seekers from reaching the country. Such agreements would bar asylum applications in the United States from thousands fleeing El Salvador and Honduras, as well as claimants from other world regions who transit Central America and Mexico to reach our border. And they would be contrary to both U.S. and international law on the protection of asylum seekers.

  • Migrant children

    Between April 2018 and June 2018, the Trump administration separated at least 2,800 children from their parents under the “zero tolerance” policy. Among other disturbing things, a new staff report by the Committee on Oversight and Reform found that at least 18 infants and toddlers under two years old were taken away from their parents at the border and kept apart for 20 days to half a year; at least 241separated children were kept in Border Patrol facilities longer than the 72 hours permitted by law; and that the administration separated children unnecessarily—even under its own rationale.

  • Migrant children

    A new report highlights the need for better data on migrant deaths and disappearances, particularly those of missing migrant children. The report says that nearly 1,600 children have been reported dead or missing since 2014, though many more go unrecorded.

  • Considered opinion: Migrant children
    Ryan Vogel

    The stories of mistreatment, neglect, and abuse of migrant children held in U.S. government detention proliferate. Ryan Vogel writes that “the standards for treatment of detained persons in wartime are not the same as those required in peacetime immigration situations” – in fact: “in most instances, if not all, migrant children held in temporary government custody should be detained in conditions superior to those of enemy fighters detained during wartime.” He adds: “It is a moral issue. As a nation, we decided that the United States would meet and surpass all legal requirements for our wartime detainees. We determined that even though al Qaeda and other terrorist groups would never reciprocate, we would treat them humanely and with dignity. That we would go above and beyond the minimal standards of the Geneva Conventions and hold ourselves to a higher standard. And that we would hold our people accountable for any and all violations of these standards. We have done that with wartime detention. It is time we did that, and much more, for our detention of migrant children.”

  • Immigration

    U.S. officials reportedly plan to start immigration raids on Sunday and are expected to target at least 2,000 undocumented people for whom deportation orders have been issued, some as a result of their failure to appear in court for immigration proceedings.

  • Immigration
    Julián Aguilar

    El Paso’s backlogged immigration court recently halted programs designed to aid asylum seekers as they navigate a complicated legal system. “The confusion in the courtroom is palpable,” says one advocate.

  • Perspective

    The growing number of Central American refugees reaching the U.S. southern border adds to the unfathomable record of 70.8 million people counted globally as of December who had fled their homes as a result of war, persecution, and other conflict, according to a new report from the United Nations.

  • Perspective: Borders

    The growing number of Central American refugees reaching the U.S. southern border adds to the unfathomable recordof 70.8 million people counted globally as of December who had fled their homes as a result of war, persecution, and other conflict, according to a new report from the United Nations. The figure represented an increase of 2.3 million from a year earlier. More than 41 million sought sanctuary within their own countries. And almost 26 million had crossed borders and were officially classified as refugees, half of them children. The remaining 3.5 million of the total were awaiting decisions on applications for asylum to find refuge abroad. Viola Gienger writes in Just Security that the report by the U.N. refugee agency on 19 June drew wide attentionfrom news media. But, as has been the case for years, most of the talk of possible solutions — including for the current migration crisis at the southern border of the United States – focuses on how to handle the never-ending flow of people: how to resettle them, how to secure their rights, whether to build a wall or send them back. “What oddly gets short shrift is the most durable solution of all: resolving the violent conflicts and persecution that are driving people from their homes in the first place,” Gienger writes.

  • Border security

    DHS secretary on Wednesday ordered an immediate investigation into a report that current and former U.S. Border Patrol agents are part of a Facebook group that posts racist, sexist and violent comments about migrants and Latin American lawmakers.

  • Immigration
    David FitzGerald, Angela Y. McClean, and Gustavo López

    Officially, the Constitution of the United States gives everyone on U.S. soil equal protection under the law – regardless of nationality or legal status. But, as recent stories of the neglectful treatment of migrant children in government detention centers demonstrate, these civil rights are not always granted to immigrants.

  • Immigration
    Alex Samuels

    The substandard living conditions in Border Patrol facilities holding migrant children have been described in great detail over the past few weeks. Last week, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice argued in court that the government shouldn’t be required to give migrant children inside Border Patrol detention facilities toothbrushes, soap, towels, wipes, diapers, blankets, or showers. A Border Patrol official told a Texas state lawmaker that the agency doesn’t accept donations for facilities where children are reportedly being held in substandard conditions.

     

  • Migration

    A European Commission-IIASA flagship report has found that an increase in the EU population aged 65+ is certain – regardless of higher fertility or migration. However, raising labor force participation (particularly for women) and improved education of natives and migrants have the power to nullify aging-related worries.

  • Prisons

    Private prisons hold more than 120,000 inmates, about 8 percent of all prisoners, for 29 states and the federal government. The two largest private prison companies also operate more than 13,000 beds for immigrant detention. Private prisons play a political role in immigration and incarceration issues in the United States and the industry may face obstacles as well as opportunities in the current political landscape, new research finds.

  • Visas & social media
    Todd Prince

    Foreigners who decry American imperialism while seeking to relax on Miami’s sandy beaches or play poker at Las Vegas’s casinos may seek to soften their tone on Twitter. The reason? The U.S. State Department is now demanding visa applicants provide their social-media profiles on nearly two dozen platforms, including Facebook and Twitter.

  • Immigration

    On Monday, President Trump tweeted that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States” next week. Can this really happen? How soon? And what would that look like?

  • Immigration
    Carmen Monico

    The United States is now stepping up its pressure on the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to take steps to curtail the migration of their own citizens by constricting U.S. aid. About $370 million in aid money for the three countries included in the 2018 budget will be spent on other projects, the State Department said on 17 June. Like many experts, I argue that slashing aid is counterproductive because foreign assistance can address the root causes of migration, such as violence and poverty.

  • Refugees

    The number of people fleeing war, persecution and conflict exceeded 70 million in 2018. This is the highest level that UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has seen in its almost 70 years. The UN Refugee Agencysays that the number of people displaced – 70.8 million — is double the level of 20 years ago.

  • Surveillance

    Lawmakers last week sent a letter to acting DHS secretary, sounding the alarm over reports that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is using facial recognition technology to scan American citizens — raising concerns over privacy and potential misuse of the American people’s biometric data.

  • Immigration

    The United States is reportedly sending dozens of Department of Homeland (DHS) security agents and investigators to Guatemala to help stem the flow of unauthorized migration from Central America to the U.S. Anonymous U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation said DHS personnel will advise Guatemalan police and migration authorities on how to halt human smuggling.