• Border fences

    In a controversial move, Denmark, hoping to stop the crossing of disease-carrying German swine into the hog farming region on Denmark, has begun building a border fence along its 40-mile border with Germany. Denmark says the fence is essential for saving the Danish hog farming industry from collapsing. Denmark is the only European country where pigs outnumber people. The country exports about €4 billion of pork each year.

  • Age verification

    Age considerations play an important role in considering an asylum-seeker’s application in Germany. German law, with few exeptions, prohibits the deportation of unaccompanied minors — under the age of 18 and without family. Calls for mandatory X-ray age tests on unaccompanied minor refugees were rejected last year by German doctors. As an alternative, the Health Ministry is now launching a €1-million study into using ultrasound age testing.

  • Age verification

    Human trafficking is a worldwide problem, and a serious crime. Researchers have developed a portable, non-invasive, ultrasound scanning device to identify underage victims trying to cross borders illegally. It was specifically designed as a means of uncovering, fighting and preventing human trafficking, but the German government is now exploring the use of the scanner to identify the age of asylum seekers.

  • Migrants & health

    A new report by the World Health Organization disputes a belief that refugees and migrants bring exotic communicable diseases into the European region. The report is based on evidence from more than 13,000 documents. It provides a snapshot of the health of refugees and migrants who comprise about 10 percent of the nearly 1 billion population in 53 European countries.

  • MS-13

    This past week saw a horrific MS-13 gang knife attack against a 16-year-old Huntington High School student at the Burger King on New York Avenue in Huntington.  The student was eating after class with several classmates when they noticed three gang members glaring at them.  When they tried to leave, the gang attacked, stabbing the 16 year old in the back. The police and the high school need to protect our children. We need a “zero tolerance” policy and to expel and - if illegal deport - anyone involved with MS-13.  The high school and the police have a lot of explaining to do.

  • Border security

    During a visit to the southern border Thursday, President Donald Trump again threatened to use emergency powers to bypass Congress and get billions of dollars to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as a partial U.S. government shutdown over the issue stretched into its 20th day. What does such a declaration mean?

  • Considered opinion: Border security
    Nicholas Rasmussen

    Taken at face value, rhetoric from the White House and DHS would lead Americans to believe that the United States is facing a terrorism crisis at our southern border. The situation being described is one in which thousands of terrorists have been stopped crossing our southern border to infiltrate the Homeland. If that were true, that would indeed be a crisis. Nicholas Rasmussen, who served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) under Presidents Obama and Trump, writes that “In reality, no such crisis exists. U.S. federal courthouses and prisons are not filled with terrorists captured at the border. There is no wave of terrorist operatives waiting to cross overland into the United States. It simply isn’t true. Anyone in authority using this argument to bolster support for building the wall or any other physical barrier along the southern border is most likely guilty of fear mongering and willfully misleading the American people.”

  • Migration

    Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban hopes that a populist, right-wing alliance can gain an anti-migrant majority in the European Parliament. The formation of the alliance was announced by Italy’s Matteo Salvini. Divisions over Russia and Vladimir Putin, however, may see some prospective members decline to join.

  • Border security
    Jeff Seldin

    U.S. counterterrorism officials are sticking by their assessment that terror groups like Islamic State and al-Qaeda are not actively trying to sneak operatives into the country from Mexico, despite claims by the White House and Homeland Security officials that “the threat is real.” “We do not see any evidence that ISIS or other Sunni terrorist groups are trying to infiltrate the southern U.S. border,” a senior counterterrorism official first told VOA in November, while acknowledging the existence of “vulnerabilities at both our northern and southern borders.”

  • Migrants & health

    Public health protection and cost savings are often used as reasons to restrict migrants’ access to healthcare or to deny them entry. Yet, as the new report lays out, the most common myths about migration and health are not supported by the available evidence and ignore the important contribution of migration to global economies.

  • Border security

    As the partial government shutdown stretches into the third week, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would consider declaring a state of emergency in order to achieve his goal of building a wall along the southern border with Mexico. What would such a declaration mean?

  • Migration

    On today’s increasingly crowded globe, human migration can strain infrastructure and resources. Accurate data on migration flows could help governments plan for and respond to immigrants. Yet these figures, when available, tend to be spotty and error-ridden, even in the developed world. Researchers have developed approaches to estimate migration rates, but even the best of these rely on unrealistic assumptions about the mass movement of people and yield migration rates that can fall far below reality.

  • Migration

    Immigrating to a new country brings many challenges, including figuring out how to be part of a new community. For some people, voluntarily adopting a name similar to where someone is living, rather than keeping an original name, is one part of trying to assimilate or fit in with the new community. According to a new study focused on the United States, where anglicized names are more typical, anglicizing ethnic names may reduce bias towards immigrants.

  • Immigration

    Extreme anti-immigrant views have gained legitimacy and become part of the mainstream political debate over the past ten years through a concerted push by anti-immigrant groups and political figures using stereotypes and outright bigotry to blame immigrants for various problems in America. A new ADL report examines how extreme views on immigrants and refugees have moved from the margins to being a centerpiece of the U.S. political debate.

  • Border security

    In a briefing with reporters Tuesday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said what happened Sunday — when suffocating tear gas was fired by CBP officials against Central American migrants — was a “routine border protection mission against a violent mob of 1,000 people” (the Mexican government puts the number at 500). But the choking tear gas, known as CS gas, is considered to be a chemical weapon that was outlawed on the battlefield by the United States and other nations in a 1993 agreement.

  • Just the facts: Kids as policy pawns
    Beth Van Schaack

    Just-releases government documents reveal that the underlying intent of the Trump administration’s brutal practice of separating migrant families at the border was, in fact, to deter additional immigration and asylum petitions. Beth Van Schaack writes in Just Security that this is significant, because Trump administration officials have earlier claimed that the forcible separations were mandated by law (thus necessitating congressional action to end the policy) or compelled by “national security” concerns. “We now know neither of these purported justifications is true—this was nothing short of a deliberate policy choice to brutalize parents and their children in order to stop others from seeking refuge in the United States,” Van Schaack writes. “This strengthens the argument I made in an earlier post that the family separation policy is a form of torture for both parents and their children.”

  • Kids as policy pawns
    David Rosenberg

    As a society, we often wax eloquent about how important it is to nurture, support and protect our children. The sad reality, however, is that all too often major, life-changing decisions are made without any consideration of their potential lifelong and devastating impact on kids. Case in point: children separated from their parents at borders as new immigration policies are debated. Separation from parents for even short periods can cause anxiety disorders that can last a long time.

  • Border security

    The government pf Mexico has said that anyone approaching the border in a “violent way” will not be allowed to stay in Mexico. Forty-two refugees have been arrested on U.S. soil after running for the border.

  • Border wall

    Researchers find the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which built a partial wall across the U.S.-Mexico border, had a negative economic impact on U.S. citizens. From 2007 to 2010, the United States built an additional 548 miles of fencing across the U.S.-Mexico border. The fence came at a high cost to American taxpayers and only minimally reduced unauthorized Mexican migration, according to the new research.

  • Asylum

    A U.S. federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Trump administration from carrying out new immigration rules that would block asylum status for people who did not enter the United States at a designated port of entry. President Donald Trump issued the rule in a November 9 proclamation, saying it was necessary to deal with the expected arrival of thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border who he said “appear to have no lawful basis for admission into our country.”