Border/Immigration | Homeland Security Newswire

  • Border security
    Julián Aguilar

    The Department of Homeland Security said there was an unprecedented drop in illegal crossings at the country’s Southwest border since the president took office 20 January. The number of apprehensions fell about 40 percent from January to February, according to DHS statistics released Wednesday evening.

  • Border security

    A British academic who has extensively studied communities on the borderlands between the United States and Mexico, says these communities’ strong cross-border cultural identity and economic ties make them undaunted by the possibility of a physical wall.

  • Travel ban
    Steven Mulroy

    President Trump’s new executive order on immigration addresses some of the legal problems found by courts in the Jan. 27 original order, but is still vulnerable on some of the same legal grounds. As a constitutional law professor who has recently written on this topic, I’d contend that Trump’s lawyers are not out of the woods yet. Ultimately, the only way to know for sure the legal effect of this new executive order is to wait for a court ruling. Given that the American Civil Liberties Union has already pledged to challenge the new executive order in its ongoing litigation against the immigrant ban, we may not have to wait long.

  • Travel ban

    President Donald Trump has signed a revised travel ban which will go into effect on 16 March. The revised executive order will halt entry to the United States for ninety days for people from six Muslim-majority nations who are seeking new visas. Iraq has been removed from the list of travel ban countries, and Syrian refugees will now be treated as other refugees. Religious minorities will not be given preferential treatment.

  • Visas

    Member of the European Parliament have issued a deadline for Brussels to impose visa requirements for American citizens traveling to EU countries. The measure comes as European lawmakers have criticized a requirement by the United States that citizens of Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, and Poland – all EU members or associate members — apply for a U.S. visa if they want to enter the United States.

  • Border wall
    Kiah Collierand Neena Satija

    There’s been a lot of debate about how effective the Bush-era border barrier has been at keeping out illegal crossers and drug smugglers. Some data indicates the barriers have encouraged people to cross in places where there isn’t one, and handprints on the existing border wall show that a determined person can still easily scale it. What the border fence has kept out instead, according to environmentalists, scientists, and local officials, is wildlife. Experts say that if President Donald Trump makes good on his promise to turn the border fence into a continuous, 40-foot concrete wall, the situation for wildlife along the border — one of the most biodiverse areas in North America — will only get worse. A mix of vehicle barriers and pedestrian fencing currently covers only about one-third of the nearly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border – but even with all those gaps, the barriers have made it harder for animals to find food, water, and mates. Many of them are already endangered.

  • Border wall

    President Donald Trump’s pledge to use existing funds to launch the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border has run into an obstacle: There is only little money available to start the project. DHS has identified only $20 million that can be reallocated to the $21 billion project. DHS searched for available funds only within its $376 million budget for border security fencing, infrastructure and technology. Redirecting funds from other departmental accounts would require congressional approval. The funds currently available would cover 0.1 percent of the project’s cost — or pay to build 2.5 miles of border barrier.

  • Immigration
    Mariana Alfaro

    Two weeks ago, ICE arrested dozens of undocumented immigrants across the nation in what they said was a routine action. But the immigrant community was already on edge because of rising anti-immigrant rhetoric during the presidential campaign, and the ICE actions sent many undocumented families into a panic. Fearing deportation, immigrant families are crowding passport lines across Texas as undocumented parents seek U.S. passports for their American children.

  • Immigration
    Mark Humphery-Jenner

    President Donald Trump has pledged to deport several million undocumented immigrants and recently set a plan in motion targeting those with criminal records (of any kind). While the ethical issues with mass deportations have received lots of attention, the economics haven’t been explored as comprehensively. And the costs of mass deportations will likely be significant. Deportation-related economicfactors mean that the government must think carefully before aggressively pursuing undocumented immigrants. There are significant costs associated with deportations and the government should consider them carefully when weighing its policy objectives.

  • Deportations

    A key element in President Trump’s deportation scheme is the deportation to Mexico of everyone crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, regardless of the deportee’s nationality. The deportation scheme indicates that the United States expects Mexico to build detention facilities for the hundreds of thousands which will be deported. Mexican officials, in meetings with Rex Tillerson and John Kelly last Thursday, said that Mexico would not, under any circumstances, agree to accept and hold deportees who are not Mexican nationals.

  • Border wall

    Turkey has completed more than half of a planned 317-mile wall along its border with Syria. The wall is not built as a regular wall would: It consists of portable concrete blocks, each weighing seven tons, placed next to each other. The concrete blocks are 6.5-foot thick at the base and 10-foot high. Each block is topped with three feet of razor wire. The government says the wall will improve security, but human rights groups warn refugees fleeing war will be tapped on the Syrian side.

  • Privacy

    Earlier this week, the Center for Democracy & Technology announced the creation of a coalition of tech companies, NGOs, and privacy advocates to oppose efforts by DHS to collect social media passwords from individuals entering the United States. The coalition focuses on visa applicants who might be compelled to share their passwords under new DHS policies.

  • U.S.-Mexico

    There are growing worries in Mexico that Trump’s aggressive deportation scheme would lead to refugee camps popping up along the U.S.-Mexico border. Trumps plan called for an immediate start of deportation to Mexico not only of Mexicans – but of all Latin Americans and others who crossed into the United States illegally through Mexico. Earlier U.S. policy called for deportation to Mexico only of Mexican citizens, while “OTMs” – Other Than Mexicans – were flown back to their home countries.

  • Border security

    The Supreme Court appears to be evenly divided about the question of whether the Mexican parents of a teenager who was shot dead by a Border Patrol officer could use American courts to sue the Border Patrol agent who fired across the U.S.-Mexican border and killed their son. Lower courts dismissed the parents’ lawsuit – but the Supreme Court has taken up the case in order to determine whether non-citizens who are injured or killed outside the United States — by actions of an American from inside the United States — can pursue their case in American courts.

  • Immigration
    Julián Aguilar

    The Trump administration on Tuesday moved one step closer to implementing the president’s plans to aggressively rid the country of undocumented immigrants and expand local police-based enforcement of border security operations.

  • Deportations

    A couple of memos signed by DHS secretary John Kelly late last week offer details of the administration’s plans for what both current and former government officials describe as a massive roundup of undocumented immigrants. Immigration experts note that many of the ideas in Kelly’s two memos are already part of a bill passed by Congress in 1996 — but which policy makers from both parties, law enforcement agencies, and ICE officials disregarded because they considered these clauses in the bill as either unenforceable or absurd. The Kelly plan calls for hundreds of thousands of illegal border crossers who are not Mexicans  — they are Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Brazilians, Ecuadorans, and Haitians – to be forced back into Mexico, and those among them who wish to apply for asylum in the United States would do so via videoconference calls with U.S. immigration officials from facilities in Mexico.

  • Immigration

    A document obtained by the Associated Press show that the Trump administration is considering the option of mobilizing as many as 100,000 national guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living in states far from the U.S.-Mexico border. The AP reports that the 11-page memo, written by assistants to DHH secretary John Kelly, calls for the unprecedented use of national guard troops for immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. The document notes that most of the round up would take place in four states which border on Mexico – California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – but that round ups would also occur in seven states which are contiguous to those four: Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

  • Border security
    Jessica Trisko Darden and Stéfanie von Hlatky

    President Donald Trump has said little about the world’s longest undefended border – the one between the U.S. and Canada. The cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Canada is deeply institutionalized on both the economic and security fronts. But, while Canadians largely reject Trump’s rhetoric, the Canadian economy is heavily reliant on free trade with the U.S. This is a bargaining advantage that Trump is unlikely to ignore when he looks to renegotiate with his northern neighbor.

  • Immigration
    Jay Root

    U.S. and Mexican authorities are pushing back against reports of widespread raids that have sown panic in immigrant communities. But the “targeted operation” appears to be the largest of its kind since President Trump took office.

  • Immigration & crime

    Political discussions about immigrants often include the claim that there is a relationship between immigration patterns and increased crime. However, results of a new study find no links between the two. In fact, immigration actually appears to be linked to reductions in some types of crimes, according to the findings. “It’s important to base our public policies on facts and evidence rather than ideologies and baseless claims that demonize particular segments of the U.S. population without any facts to back them up,” says one of the researchers.