• ImmigrationReport: DHS agents heading to Guatemala

    The United States is reportedly sending dozens of Department of Homeland (DHS) security agents and investigators to Guatemala to help stem the flow of unauthorized migration from Central America to the U.S. Anonymous U.S. officials with knowledge of the situation said DHS personnel will advise Guatemalan police and migration authorities on how to halt human smuggling.

  • Hemispheric securityDeath threats and disease drive more Venezuelans to flee

    By Paola Sarta

    There are currently some 3.7 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide, the vast majority in Latin America and the Caribbean. Given the worsening political, economic, human rights and humanitarian situation in Venezuela, the UN Refugee Agency, now considers that the majority of those fleeing the country are in need of international refugee protection.

  • Hemispheric securityIsraelis rush to aid Venezuelan refugees in Colombia

    By Abigail Klein Leichman

    Israeli NGO begins relief distributions in Colombia as thousands escape worsening conditions across the border daily.

  • PerspectiveThe “smarter” wall: how drones, sensors, and AI are patrolling the border

    In an era of increasingly polarized politics, there are few issues as divisive as President Trump’s proposal to build a physical wall across part of the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border. Shirin Ghaffary writes in Vox that there is another kind of border wall increasingly being talked about — one that proponents pitch as being less costly, less disruptive, and less politically controversial than a physical barrier: a so-called “smart wall.”

  • ImmigrationAdministration’s immigration plan prioritizes skills, merit over family

    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 & terrorismNew research on immigration, terrorism, and ideology

    By 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.”

  • PerspectiveThree new ways for Congress to legalize illegal immigrants

    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.

  • PrivacyDHS’ assertion of broad authority to search travelers’ phones, laptops challenged

    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 childrenICE looking at housing migrant children at Guantánamo Bay: Report

    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 smugglingLucrative human smuggling business via Central America benefits many

    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.

  • VisasAfrican asylum-seekers may bear brunt of proposed travel curbs

    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 closureNixon and Reagan tried closing the border to pressure Mexico – here’s what happened

    By 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 securityU.S. cuts aid to Central American countries over migration

    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.

  • ImmigrationImmigration is beneficial to local economies, even after 100 years

    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 wall58 former national security officials challenge national emergency declaration

    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.