• European securityEU backs visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to EU zone

    The European Commission has recommended visa-free travel in Europe for Turkish citizens. Turkey still has to meet some of the seventy-two conditions set by the EU. The deal must be approved by the parliaments of all of the EU twenty-eight member states before the 30 June deadline. The lifting of visa requirements for Turkey’s eighty million citizens has been a subject of intense debate among EU member states. Turkey threatened that if the EU and its member states failed to approve the visa deal, Turkey would withdrew from the refugee agreement it had reached with the EU in March.

  • European securityEU cannot identify, track visa overstays

    Critics of the plan to give Turkish citizen visa-free access to the EU zone say the measure could allow these travelers to disappear because the European Union does not have a system to detect visitors who overstay their visas. The critics say that the problem is compounded by plans to grant vis-free travel to the fifty-two million people from Ukraine, Kosovo, and Georgia. In normal times, visa overstays account for the majority of illegal migrants in Europe.

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  • Refugee crisisDenmark extends checks along Danish-German border

    Denmark has extended until 2 June the checks along its border with Germany. The government described the extension as meant to have a “preventive effect.” Danish police on 4 January started to do spot checks at some of the country’s fifteen border crossings with Germany. The measure was supposed to be temporary, but has been extended five times now. The Danish decision followed the decision by Sweden to begin requiring rail, bus, and ferry companies to verify the identities of people travelling from Denmark.

  • Border securityIsraeli anti-tunnel tech could thwart U.S.-Mexico smugglers

    Smugglers of drugs and illegal migrants using tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border may want to keep an eye on Israel. The U.S. government is cosponsoring the tunnel-detection technology now being developed by Israeli engineers. This latest innovation hit world headlines upon the announcement that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uncovered a two-kilometer-long, concrete-lined tunnel on its Gaza border.

  • Refugee crisisNorway to offer asylum seekers money to leave the country

    Norway is offering people who seek asylum in Norway a £840 “bonus” in exchange for leaving the country voluntarily. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) said the measure is a cheaper alternative when compared to paying for refugees upkeep in the country’s immigration centers.

  • Border securityTighter U.S.-Mexico border enforcement has backfired: Study

    From 1986 to 2010, the United States spent $35 billion on border enforcement, but the net rate of undocumented population growth doubled. The rapid escalation of border enforcement over the past three decades has backfired as a strategy to control undocumented immigration between Mexico and the United States, according to new research that suggests further militarization of the border is a waste of money.

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  • Refugee crisisMuslim family's Swiss citizenship process halted after sons refused to shake hands with female teachers

    The Swiss immigration authorities have halted the citizenship process of a Muslim family after the family’s two teenage sons refused to shake hands with their female teachers. The refusal triggered an intense national debate over religious freedom in Switzerland. In Switzerland it is customary for pupils to shake teachers’ hands at the beginning of class.

  • Refugee crisisEurope is not the solution to the plight of millions of refugees: Helmut Kohl

    Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl has raised concerns about the number of refugees entering Europe. Kohl, who led Germany during the end of the cold war and the reunification of the country, and who was a strong was for greater integration of Europe, said the refugees issue is tied to the EU’s peace and freedom, and that the solution to the refugees’ plight is not in Europe.

  • RefugeesThe politics of asylum accommodation in the U.K.

    A new study offers a first examination of recent changes in the nature of asylum accommodation in the United Kingdom, arguing that in the model existing today, economic calculations make asylum-seeking a “market” in which neoliberal norms of market competition, economic efficiency, and dispersed responsibility are central.

  • ImmigrationEl Paso doesn't want ID as "sanctuary city"

    By Julián Aguilar

    An El Paso-based immigrant rights group could see its hopes for a municipal ID card dashed after leaders there determined that issuing the card might prompt immigration hardliners to label the town a “sanctuary city.”

  • Refugee crisisGermany to lift border controls by mid-May

    With the number of migrant arriving n Germany from Austria slowing down to a trickle, the German interior minister said border controls on the Austria-Germany border would be lifted by mid-May. Germany is facing a problem on another front, as more and more migrants are arriving from Italy, using the Brenner crossing, a major gateway for goods and people heading north from Italy.

  • Refugee crisisEU governments may have deliberately allowed migrants in to boost domestic economies

    Border controls which allow migrants to bypass them may have been part of a deliberate policy to boost domestic economies and garner party-political support, according to a new study. A study found that migrants have often been essential to domestic political and economic interests such as serving the needs of large informal labor markets that rely on cheap labor. As a result, policies and practices of border control which purport to exclude all migrants can in fact be imperfect by design.

  • European securityEU cities have 900 “no-go zones”: Hungary’s government

    Hungary’s right-wing government, ahead of a national referendum on the question of EU-mandated refugee quotas for EU member states, has claimed in a Web site post which supports the government’s anti-migration stance, that there are 900 “no-go zones” in London, Paris, Stockholm, and Berlin. The government Web page, entitled “We say no to mandatory migrant quotas,” defines the 900 “no-go zones” as “neighborhoods not under control, or hardly kept under control,” where “the norms of the host society … barely prevail.”

  • Refugee crisis2015 immigrant influx into Germany largest since WWII

    Germany’s Federal Office of Statistics (Destatis) has recorded the highest number of immigrants in post-Second World War history. Net immigration increased by 49 percent in 2015 and for the first time most of the arrivals were not from Europe. The office registered in 2015 under two million immigrants arriving in Germany, while 860,000 departed.

  • Border securityU.S.-Mexico border wall design competition announced

    Donald Trump has made the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a centerpiece of his campaign – and a recent poll found that slightly over half of Americans support the idea. Such a wall will cost much more than the $8 billion Trumps quotes, with engineering experts estimate the cost to range between $15 billion and $42 billion, depending on configuration – not including maintenance. A group of architects and designers has announced the Building the Border Wall competition, the goal of which is “To bring creativity and innovation to bear on the idea of a border barrier, and in so doing, expand the boundaries and re-conceptualize the current debate beyond soundbites, statistics, and unrealistic monetary figures.” The competition organizers stress that they are politically neutral on the subject, neither for, nor against, building a border wall.