• Immigration

    President Donald Trump is scheduled to announce his long-awaited proposal on immigration Thursday, a plan that aims to move the immigration approval process away from family-ties and humanitarian needs. Administration official said the plan will bolster border security and create a merit-based system, insisting that it is a “competitiveness issue.”

  • Immigration & terrorism
    Alex Nowrasteh

    In the 43 years between 1975 and 2017, terrorists — foreign-born, native-born, and unknown – killed 3,518 Americans on U.S. soil (this includes the 9/11 attacks). During the same period, about 800,000 Americans were killed in homicides. Overall, the chance of being murdered by a foreign-born terrorist between 1975 and 2017 was about 1 in 3.8 million per year. The author of a new report says that the main lesson from the report is that there are very few terrorists of any ideology or origin who pose a threat to Americans on U.S. soil, and even fewer who manage to murder Americans. “The ideology, frequency, deadliness, and origins of terrorists are fascinating,” the author says, but these numbers are so small that it is difficult “to be overwhelmed by fear.”

  • Perspective

    A critical element of any future immigration reform will be the legalization of illegal immigrants. Previous immigration reform proposals have failed, largely because policymakers disagreed over whether and how to legalize illegal immigrants. Alex Nowrasteh and David Bier write in a Cato Institute policy brief that future immigration reform proposals must be different from previous proposals if there is any hope of them becoming law. Past legalization reforms introduced by members of Congress were too similar to one another. They all failed. Our proposals provide three new means for legalizing illegal immigrants that will overcome some of the main political objections in the past: 1) Legalizing immigrants through a tiered system, whereby illegal immigrants can choose to either be legalized quickly and cheaply without the ability to gain citizenship in the future or begin a lengthier and expensive path toward citizenship; 2) Rolling legalization by allowing long-term illegal immigrant residents to legalize their status on an ongoing basis without an application cutoff date; and 3) Slowing chain immigration by limiting legalized immigrants’ ability to sponsor family members from overseas for lawful permanent residency (LPR) or green cards.

  • Privacy

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the ACLU the other day asked a federal court to rule without trial that the Department of Homeland Security violates the First and Fourth Amendments by searching travelers’ smartphones and laptops at airports and other U.S. ports of entry without a warrant.

  • Migrant children

    DHS is considering housing migrant children at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay to help deal with a sharp increase in the number of immigrants crossing the U.S. southern border. The idea was first proposed earlier this year as DHS looked for military facilities in which to hold undocumented immigrants as they wait for their cases to be processed. There are no immediate plans to bring children to Guantanamo Bay, and officials admit that the optics of housing children next to terrorists would be problematic.

  • Human smuggling

    A new report estimates that the smuggling of unlawful migrants from the Northern Triangle region of Central America—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador—to the United States generated between $200 million and $2.3 billion for human smugglers in 2017.

  • Visas

    As the White House mulls new travel restrictions on countries with high visa overstay rates, activists say African asylum-seekers may feel the consequences.

  • Border closure
    Aileen Teague

    Just a week ago, President Donald Trump appeared poised to take the drastic step of closing the U.S.-Mexico border to both trade and travel. But on 4 April, the president backpedaled and instead gave Mexico a year to stop the flow of drugs across the border. If that didn’t happen, he threatened, auto tariffs would be imposed – and the president suggested he might still close the border if that didn’t work. If Trump ever follows through on his threat and puts up a closed sign at the southern border, it wouldn’t be the first time. Twice in the last half-century the U.S. has tried to use the border to force Mexico to bend to America’s will. The ruse failed both times.

  • Hemispheric security

    The various U.S. aid programs in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, programs funded to address the causes of mass migration to the United States, are “not doing enough,” President Donald Trump said Friday, announcing that the aid programs to these three countries was being cut off. The announcement came amid a surge of immigrants crossing the border, prompting Trump to announce and this he week he might close the entire U.S.-Mexico border if Mexico did not do more to stem the flow of immigrants.

  • Human trafficking

    Law enforcement organizations across the United States have recently arrested multiple people charged with various crimes that include organizing, operating or paying for services from human trafficking rings. “Human trafficking is not synonymous with human smuggling,” notes one expert.

  • Immigration

    An important issue in current American political discourse is the effect that immigrants have on the communities in which they settle. While this topic has received significant attention, the focus has generally been on the short-term effects of immigrants. A new study finds that U.S. counties with more historical immigration have higher incomes, less poverty, and lower unemployment today.

  • Border wall
    Kiah Collier and Arya Sundaram

    Even if President Donald Trump gets his way, eminent domain lawyers say a variety of legal issues would arise surrounding private land seizures that could delay wall construction for years — and even derail it entirely.

  • Border wall

    A group of 58 former senior U.S. national security officials will today (Monday) release a statement criticizing President Donald Trump’s for using, without factual justification, a national emergency declaration to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. “Under no plausible assessment of the evidence is there a national emergency today that entitles the president to tap into funds appropriated for other purposes to build a wall at the southern border,” the group of former senior officials said.

  • National Emergency
    Alex Nowrasteh

    President Trump [last week] declared a national emergency on the border to construct some portion of his promised border fence. “We’re talking about an invasion of our country with drugs, with human traffickers, with all types of criminals and gangs,” President Trump said during his remarks. Lawyers will spill much ink arguing about the legalities surrounding the law and whether President Trump can declare a national emergency. Regardless of what the law ultimately means, no reasonable person can look at the southern border and agree that it rises to the level of a national emergency.

  • National emergency

    President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency, bypassing Congress to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, and setting up a legal challenge that could help determine the limits of U.S. presidential power.

  • National emergency
    Chris Edelson

    President Donald Trump declared a national emergency to pay for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, after Congress, in its new spending bill, denied him the full money to build it. Presidents generally claim emergency power two ways: through inherent or implied authority under the U.S. Constitution or under statutory authority granted by Congress. The U.S. Constitution says nothing specific about presidential emergency power: Presidents can only claim such authority is implied or inherent. The emergency powers the Constitution does describe are actually assigned to Congress. Congress has delegated some emergency powers to the president through statutes, including the National Emergencies Act. But Congress retains the power to reject a president’s declaration of a national emergency. Now the question is: Will Congress use the power available to it, or will it play the role of passive spectator?

  • Skilled-work visas

    The Trump administration’s new rules for a U.S. visa program widely used for technology workers are getting cautious praise from Silicon Valley amid surging demand for high-skill employees. The H-1B visa program, which admits 85,000 foreign nationals each year, will give higher priority to people with postgraduate degrees from U.S. universities, under a final rule the Department of Homeland Security published in January.

  • Immigration

    Germany needs at least 260,000 new migrant workers per year until 2060 in order to meet growing labor shortages caused by demographic decline. Since migration to Germany from other EU countries is declining, at least 146,000 people each year would need to immigrate from non-EU member states.

  • Border barriers

    Israel on Sunday it had started to build a new barrier along the country’s border with the Gaza Strip in order to prevent terrorists from entering Israeli territory. The barrier will be 65 kilometers long and six meters high. The Defense Ministry said that the above-ground barrier would work in conjunction with an underground wall, currently under construction, which aims to neutralize the possibility of cross-border tunnels built by Hamas militants.

  • Human trafficking

    Worldwide, an estimated 20.9 million people are victims of sex trafficking, forced labor, and domestic servitude, collectively known as human trafficking. It is estimated that human trafficking generates billions of dollars in illegal profits annually, making it second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime. Human trafficking doesn’t only happen abroad; it occurs throughout the U.S., including in urban, suburban, and rural areas. DHS launches a campaign to combat human trafficking.