• Immigration

    The Obama administration has decided to end a 20-year-old preferential treatment of Cuban immigrants – a policy known as Wet Foot, Dry Foot – which allowed most Cuban migrants who reached the United States – typically on boats – to receive a Green Card after one year. Ending the policy means that undocumented Cuban immigrants will from now be treated the same way as migrants from all other countries who enter the United States without proper papers.

  • Immigration

    The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency reported that nearly half million immigrants were deported in 2016. The agency did not offer details about the nationalities of the deported immigrants. In all., 530,250 individuals were apprehended across the United States in 2016 – of which 450,954 were removed.

  • Immigration
    Kevin Johnson

    In 2017, the Trump administration will likely continue and expand the Obama administration’s focus on removing immigrants convicted of crimes. Whether Trump will break ground for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico is far less certain. To increase crime-based removals, the Trump administration will probably seek greater state and local assistance in federal immigration enforcement, but Trump is likely to encounter the same resistance that Obama did in working with state and local governments on immigration enforcement.

  • Border security

    When you engage in international travel, you may one day find yourself face-to-face with border security that is polite, bilingual and responsive — and robotic. The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time (AVATAR) is currently being tested in conjunction with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to help border security agents determine whether travelers coming into Canada may have undisclosed motives for entering the country.

  • Terrorism

    Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, warned that ISIS may be trying to manipulate refugees into carrying out terrorist attacks in Europe. The border agency said that its officials were also worried about ISIS sneaking in trained fighters among the mass movements of people fleeing war, hunger, and extreme poverty. Europol, the EU law enforcement agency,  noted that as of April 2016, there have been approximately 300 cases in which ISIS tried to recruit refugees entering Europe.

  • Tourism

    The Mail Online, the Web site of the British newspaper Daily Mail, has issued an apology for running stories depicting a Muslim family as extremists, after family members were denied entry to the United States last year for a vacation in Disneyland. Two articles by Mail reporter Katie Hopkins suggested that Mohammed Tariq Mahmood and his brother, Mohammed Zahid Mahmood, were extremists with links to al Qaeda.The Mail Online has agreed to pay “substantial damages” totaling £150,000 to the Mahmood family. Hopkins also tweeted an apology on Monday.

  • Border security
    Abby Livingston

    None of the thirty-eight Texans in Congress offered a full-throated endorsement of a complete border wall, a position popular with President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters. Instead, several members of the Texas delegation called for new policies on the border, including fencing and walls in some places, and beefing up security in other ways such as employing new surveillance technology and adding more federal agents.

  • Undocumented immigrants
    Travis Putnam Hill

    This is the economic and social reality in which millions of unauthorized immigrants find themselves: a country so reliant on cheap labor that substantial portions of the economy are built largely on the backs of immigrants willing to do work most Americans won’t, and for lower pay. An underground labor market provides abundant employment opportunities for undocumented immigrants in the United States. But working in the shadows often means accepting exploitation.

  • Border-crossers

    No More Deaths, an immigration advocacy group, says that there is a crisis of death and disappearance happening at the U.S.–Mexico border. On Tuesday, the Tucson, Arizona-based group released Part 1 of a three-part report series aiming to bring this crisis to light. “Mass death and disappearance are the inevitable outcomes of a border enforcement plan that uses the wilderness as a weapon,” the report says.

  • Migration & business

    EU migration to the United Kingdom could fall by well over half over the period from now to 2020, resulting in net EU migration falling by more than 100,000, a new study estimates. According to the research the fall in migration would also lead to a significant reduction in GDP per capita – up to 3.4 percent over the period to 2030 — whilst providing a modest boost (less than 1 percent) to low paid Brits in the most directly affected sectors.

  • Border security
    Jay Root, Jolie McCullough, and Julián Aguilar

    A fundamental truth underlies the nation’s collective failure to stop illegal immigration and smuggling over the southern border: The United States demands the cheap labor and drugs. The Texas Legislature’s almost $800 million border security apparatus relies on stopping the supply of uninspected people and drugs. It’s all about boots on the ground, assets in the air, boats in the water. But addressing the country’s demand for cheap labor and drugs? Or its role in supplying the weapons drug cartels and smugglers use to protect their loads? Not so much.

  • Border security
    Cathal McCall

    The key objective of Brexiteers – those at the forefront of the political campaign to extract the UK from the European Union – is to control, and preferably prevent, the movement of “outsiders” to Britain, including those from mainland Europe. State borders are where that control can be asserted, so the key question is: where to establish this Brexit bordering regime? The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is the state in question, so it is logical to assume that we’re talking about its borders. But this assumption is problematic because of the border that meanders for 500km across the island of Ireland.

  • Immigration
    Justine Vanden Heuvel and Mary Jo Dudley

    Mass deportations of up to three million undocumented immigrants are expected to begin in January, when President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office and begins to turn his campaign promises into government policy. While Trump claims criminals are his primary target, reports suggest there aren’t enough of them to actually reach his goal. A prominent migration think tank estimates that only 820,000 undocumented immigrants have been convicted of a crime. So that means Trump would have to deport several million immigrants without criminal records to reach his goal. These people work in a range of industries, accounting for about 16 percent of those employed in agriculture, 12 percent in construction, 9 percent in hospitality, and 6 percent in manufacturing. So while kicking felons out of the country is justifiable, it seems to us that deporting the law-abiding undocumented workers who help drive our economy by undertaking jobs that Americans refuse to do is not.

  • Sanctuary campuses
    Patrick Svitek

    Rebuking a growing movement aimed at protecting undocumented students under incoming President Donald Trump, Gov. Greg Abbott vowed Thursday to cut funding for any Texas school that declares itself a “sanctuary campus.” The definition of a “sanctuary campus” is murky, but Abbott  made it clear they are not welcome in Texas.

  • Refugees

    A new study found that people who hold more conservative beliefs are more likely to perceive foreigners such as Syrian refugees as threatening, yet visualize them as physically smaller. Conservatives appear to imagine Syrian refugees as smaller because they believe forceful military action against terrorism will prevail. The researchers call this a “Gulliver effect,” inspired by the Jonathan Swift novel. “Comparatively, we find liberals more hesitant to endorse military action, not just from a moral perspective, but because they lack confidence that fighting will work,’” one researcher says. “Liberals in our sample tend to say that it will take years or decades for military action to be effective, if ever.” The study upheld previous research that revealed differences in how political orientation predicts the way people perceive threatening situations or individuals.

  • Immigration
    Jeffrey H. Cohen and Bernardo Ramirez Rios

    Mexican migration to the U.S. is in decline. The Pew Hispanic Research Center has found that since 2009, more than one million native-born Mexicans living in the U.S. returned to Mexico. But many other Mexicans never crossed the U.S.-Mexican border in the first place. Why are some Mexican migrants choosing to stay home? What does it mean for the U.S. border with Mexico? The decline in migration to the U.S. is not simply linked to building more barriers at the border. Changing demography, economy, the difficulties of living in the U.S., and a growing sense of opportunity at home, among many other factors, are shifting Mexican migration to the U.S. Migrants balance risk and opportunity as they decide to move. Fostering the continued growth of those possibilities within Mexico, and the continued strengthening of the Mexican economy can help build a future without building a wall.

  • Immigration & business
    Julián Aguilar

    The federal E-Verify system, operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, screens for undocumented workers by comparing the information that job applicants submit to an employer with records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. A measure filed Monday in the Texas Senate would beef up punishment for employers that hire undocumented workers and seek to do business with the state.

  • Green cards

    A new DHS OIG reports says that the problems USCIS experienced in properly issuing Green Cards are worse than originally thought. USCIS produced at least 19,000 cards that included incorrect information or were issued in duplicate. Additional mistakes included over 2,400 immigrants approved for 2-year conditional residence status being inadvertently issued cards with 10-year expiration dates. The agency also received over 200,000 reports of cards potentially misdelivered, or not being delivered to approved applicants.

  • Immigration & the economy
    Peter Dixon and Maureen Rimmer

    U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has proposed deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, and many voters appear to believe that deporting illegal immigrants would boost job opportunities and wages for U.S. workers. But our economic modelling suggests different conclusions. The eight million illegal workers currently in the U.S. workforce contribute to U.S. output. If all the illegal workers left the United States, our modelling found, then the U.S. economy would be 3 percent to 6 percent smaller. A smaller U.S. economy would need fewer workers in all occupations. The exception is farm laborers and construction workers: there would be fewer jobs overall in these occupations, but there would be more jobs for legal U.S. residents. This is because deporting illegal workers would open up vacancies. Moreover, in general terms, eliminating illegal workers from the U.S. workforce would change the structure of employment for legal workers away from skilled occupations towards low-skilled, low-wage occupations.

  • Hezbollah

    The Israeli army is bolstering the country’s northern defenses in anticipation of future attacks from the Iran-backed terror group Hezbollah. The Israel Defense Forces changed its doctrine towards the terror group following threats by its leader Hassan Nasrallah, who claimed that Hezbollah sought to “enter into the Galilee.”