• Family separation
    Marilyn Haigh

    The attention of the nation has turned to Texas and its border with Mexico after the Trump administration enacted the “zero tolerance” policy, resulting, so far, in about 2,000 children being separated from their parents at the border. Here’s what we know.

  • Family separation
    Kevin Johnson

    Only Congress can provide the comprehensive immigration reform that would address the fundamental problems plaguing the American immigration system, including the statuses of undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. However, current immigration laws give the executive branch considerable discretion in deciding which immigrants to detain and release from custody. President Donald Trump has at his disposal a variety of alternatives – other than separating families – that would promote his stated goal of deterring migration from Central America. Those alternatives could avoid violating international human rights norms.

  • Immigration

    Lat Thursday, thousands of medical experts and mental health professionals and researchers sent a letter to DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for an immediate end to forced family separation at the border, citing concerns from the medical community over the trauma and potentially long-lasting damage it has on children’s health and well-being. “The United States should follow the “best interests of the child” standard and immediately stop the practice of forced separation. It should not be U.S. policy to traumatize children, especially not as a form of indirect punishment of their parents,” the mental health professionals wrote.

  • Immigration
    Dyana Mason

    The U.S. is taking immigrant children away from their parents when foreign families are either caught crossing the border without documents, or if they turn themselves in to seek refugee status. Many of these children are under the age of 4, and some are infants, according to media reports and rights advocates. The administration’s assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, this is a new interpretation of federal immigration law. Family separations like these did occur during the Bush and Obama administrations but were rare. DHS reports that between 19 April and 31 May 2018, 1,995 children were separated from their families. Between October 2016 and February 2018, 1,800 children were separated from their families. As of late May, nearly 11,000 migrant children were in government custody.

  • Immigration

    The current political environment has led to an increased focus on the issue of unauthorized migration from Mexico and Central America, with proposals ranging from reforming the U.S. immigration system to building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. A new study used data from a Mexican identification-card program to find that a relatively low-cost employment-focused system can reduce unauthorized migration.

  • Border control
    Katy Hayward

    How might the U.K.“take back control” of its borders without making the border in Ireland any harder? One proposal on the table is maximum facilitation (max fac). This approach does not avoid the creation of a customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but rather aims to make the border as invisible and frictionless as possible through the use of technology.

  • Superbugs

    A new review of research on migrant populations in Europe has found that more than a quarter are infected or colonized with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, with evidence suggesting that the pathogens are being acquired along the migration route or in host countries. The findings come amid a recent wave of immigration that has brought more than two million migrants to Europe since 2015, an influx that’s been driven in part by conflicts and instability in the Middle East and Africa.

  • Privacy at the border

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an amicus brief Tuesday, along with the ACLU and NYCLU, urging a New York State appellate court to rule that border agents need a probable cause warrant to search the electronic devices of people at international airports and other border crossings. EFF notes that recent weeks saw court victories for travelers’ digital privacy.

  • Privacy at the border

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will appear in federal court in Boston Monday, fighting the U.S. government’s attempts to block their lawsuit over illegal laptop and smartphone searches at the country’s borders.

  • Migration

    A new global analysis of intentions to migrate suggests that individuals preparing to move abroad are more likely to do so out of aspiration for a better life, economic opportunities and development of skills, rather than sheer desperation.

  • Extreme vetting

    In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has tightened the vetting of immigrants and foreign travelers. The post-9/11 system has worked: From 2002 to 2016, the vetting system failed and permitted the entry of 1 radicalized terrorist for every 29 million visa or status approvals. Only 1 of the 13 post-9/11 vetting failures resulted in a deadly attack in the United States. Thus, the rate for deadly terrorists was 1 for every 379 million visa or status approvals from 2002 through 2016. During this same period, the chance of an American being killed in an attack committed by a terrorist who entered as a result of a vetting failure was 1 in 328 million per year.

  • Border security
    Lee Maril

    Rather than send the National Guard to bolster security along the U.S.-Mexico border, it would have been better, and more cost-effective, to send more Customs and Border Patrol agents, whose training makes them more suitable for border security-related missions. But the problem is that the hiring process of CBP agents is broken and unnecessarily lengthy, requiring a thoroughgoing reform.

  • IDs

    The EU Commission on Tuesday will propose a law aims at increasing security within the bloc’s borders, including fingerprinting in ID cards. The Commission said that compulsory fingerprinting in ID cards are necessary to countering terrorism in Europe. Fingerprints are already required for EU passports, along with biometric pictures.

  • Immigration & mortality

    One of the defining elements of the 2016 election cycle was its focus on immigration. One aspect of immigration did not figure in the discussion: When it comes to mortality, U.S.-born individuals of immigrant descent fare much worse than their foreign-born counterparts — but why?

  • Border wall

    In the latest publication on the potential impacts of a border wall on plants and animals, conservation biologists say that border walls threaten to harm endangered Texas plants and animals and cause trouble for the region’s growing ecotourism industry.

  • Safe skies

    Extended stretches of U.S. land borders invite illegal entry on the ground, and U.S. coastlines are often used for unauthorized seaborne entry. New, creative attempts at illegal activity in these domains are a daily occurrence. Aerial threats pose a different challenge as they have no natural barriers restricting them — land or coastal. Commercialization of drone technology, for all the beneficial opportunities it provides, also enables a new medium for criminal activity and other homeland security threats.

  • Census
    Ross Ramsey

    A census question on citizenship could undercount populations in states with large numbers of poor and/or Hispanic residents — states like Texas. And an undercount would cut into the state’s representation, and its federal services.

  • Street gangs
    Steven S. Dudley

    I spent three years at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies chronicling the MS-13’s criminal exploits for the National Institute of Justice. Our study proves that MS-13 is neither a drug cartel nor was it born of illegal immigration. That misconception is fueling failed U.S. policies that, in my assessment, will do little to deter MS-13.

  • Climate migration
    Alex de Sherbinin

    Migration in response to climate change is a big topic in the media. But the focus is all too often on either international cross-boundary movements or short-term population displacement from major floods or droughts. While these forms of population movement are important, they are by no means the whole story. A new report is the first to focus on longer-term climate impacts on crop and water resources and the ways in which they may influence internal migration.

  • Privacy at the border

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in U.S. v. Molina-Isidoro recently issued an encouraging opinion related to the digital privacy of travelers crossing the U.S. border. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed an amicus brief last year in the case, arguing that the Supreme Court’s decision in Riley v. California (2014) supports the conclusion that border agents need a probable cause warrant before searching electronic devices because of the unprecedented and significant privacy interests travelers have in their digital data. In Riley, the Supreme Court followed similar reasoning and held that police must obtain a warrant to search the cell phone of an arrestee.