• COVID-19: Policy responsesEU Closes External Border; Some EU Members Suspend Schengen Agreement

    EU leaders on Tuesday approved the closure of the EU external border for 30 days. Some member states, notably France, have closed their borders to entry from other EU members, in effect suspending the Schengen Agreement. In all, the new policy will affect 32 European states, including both Schengen and non-Schengen countries. Lines of trucks have been forming at border crossings across the continent, with the Brenner Pass, which connects Italy and Austria, seeing traffic jams extending more than 80 miles.

  • BorderCBP Chief Admits Agents Mistreated Iranian Americans at U.S.-Canada Border

    The acting head of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency acknowledged that agents were out of line last month when they detained dozens of Iranian-Americans and Iranians at a border crossing near Canada in Washington State. Mark Morgan, the agency’s acting commissioner, said agents behaved in a way “that was not in line with our direction,” when they held more than 60 U.S. citizens of Iranian heritage for up to 10 hours or more for questioning.

  • DeportationsForced Back into the Lion’s Den

    A disturbing new report from Human Rights Watch found that at least 138 people deported from the United States to El Salvador since 2013 have been killed. The 117-page report also says that researchers identified at least 70 deportees who were sexually assaulted, tortured, or kidnapped. Immigration advocates argue that it is not hard to guess what would be the fate of asylum seekers who offer details on their asylum application forms of specific acts of violence by specific criminal gangs – and then have to stay in El Salvador, exposed to these gangs’ revenge, while waiting for a decision in a U.S. court. Since September, the Trump administration has required the Central American country to keep asylum seekers in El Salvador while they await the results of their asylum claims.

  • Travel banThe 6 Countries in Trump’s New Travel Ban Pose Little Threat to U.S. National Security

    By Charles Kurzman

    Over the past two decades, how many people have been killed in the U.S. by extremists from the six countries on the Trump administration’s new travel ban list? The answer is zero, according to data from Department of Justice. The same is true for the original travel bans imposed in 2017. There were, and still are, zero fatalities in the United States caused by extremists from the countries on those lists, too.

  • SyriaTurkey Launches Attacks against Syria, Killing 35 Syrian Soldiers

    Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said that Turkish airstrikes in northwest Syria killed up to thirty-five Syrian soldiers. The Turkish strikes came in retaliation for airstrikes conducted by the Assad regime against Turkish troops deployed inside Syria in the Idlib province. The Assad regime has agreed to Turkish military operations on Syrian soil against the Syrian Kurds, but it is opposed to Turkey’s plan to settle one million Syrian Sunni refugees, now in tent cities in Turkey, in Idlib Province.

  • TunnelsLongest Drug-Smuggling Tunnel Discovered under U.S.-Mexico Border

    Last week the DEA announced the discovery of the longest drug-smuggling tunnel ever to be found on – or, rather, under — the U.S.-Mexican border. The tunnel was more than 1.3 kilometers long, and it was dug 21 meters below the surface. It is equipped with rail cart system, elevator, high voltage electrical cables, ventilation, and a drainage system.

  • PrivacyU.S. Plans to Collect DNA from Nearly a Million Immigrants Despite Charges It Violates Privacy

    By Alex Ellerbeck

    The Trump administration is pushing ahead with a project that could lead to the government collecting DNA from hundreds of thousands of detained immigrants, some as young as 14 years old, alarming civil rights advocates. Once fully underway, the DNA program could become the largest U.S. law enforcement effort to systemically collect genetic material from people not accused of a crime.

  • PerspectiveSupreme Court Allows Public Charge Clause that Kept Nazi-Era Refugees from the U.S.

    In the late 1930s, roughly 300,000 additional Jewish refugees could have gained entry to the U.S. without exceeding the nation’s existing quotas. The primary mechanism that kept them out: the immigration law’s “likely to become a public charge” clause. “Many – perhaps most – were forced into hiding, imprisoned in concentration camps and ghettos, and deported to extermination centers,” Laurel Leff writes. “As someone who has studied European Jews’ attempts to escape Nazi persecution and immigrate to the U.S., the administration’s evocation of the public charge clause is chilling.”

  • Border securityGreece to Deploy Floating Barrier to Stop Migrants in Aegean Sea

    The Greek government is considering installing a “floating protection system” to stop migrant arrivals from the Turkish coast. The system would involve setting up nets or barriers to stop boats making the crossing. The barrier would be put in place north of the island of Lesbos, where migrants often make the crossing over a relatively short stretch of water. The plan is one more indication that the conservative government, under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has taken a tougher stand on immigration since coming to power last year.

  • ImmigrationNumber of Illegal Immigrants in Europe Declines

    The number of illegal immigrants in Europe (EU states plus Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland), including asylum seekers, increased substantially between 2014 and 2016, reaching about 5 million, but has been declining since, and now stands at about 4.8 million. Pew Research Center notes that the number of illegal immigrants corresponds to less than 1 percent of the European population — compared to the United States, where illegal immigrants account for about 3.4 percent of the U.S. population.

  • Border securityDHS Begins MPP Returns at Nogales Port of Entry in Arizona

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that on Thursday it started processing migrants for return to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) at the Nogales Port of Entry south of Tucson, Arizona. This brings the total number of ports of entry where MPP returns will be made to seven.

  • Migrant childrenThe Trump Administration Knew Migrant Children Would Suffer from Family Separations. The Government Ramped Up the Practice Anyway.

    By Susan Ferriss

    Newly obtained government documents show how the Trump administration’s now-blocked policy to separate all migrant children from parents led social workers to frantically begin tracking thousands of children seized at the southern border and compile reports on cases of trauma.

  • Argument: Social media vettingSocial Media Vetting of Visa Applicants Violates the First Amendment

    Beginning in May, the State Department has required almost every applicant for a U.S. visa—more than fourteen million people each year—to register every social media handle they’ve used over the past five years on any of twenty platforms. “There is no evidence that the social media registration requirement serves the government’s professed goals” of “strengthen” the processes for “vetting applicants and confirming their identity,” Carrie DeCell and Harsha Panduranga write, adding: “The registration requirement chills the free speech of millions of prospective visitors to the United States, to their detriment and to ours,” they write.

  • Border wallAs Government Prepares to Seize More Land for a Border Wall, Some Texas Landowners Prepare to Fight

    By Julian Aguilar

    In Laredo, border landowners are receiving letters from the federal government, requesting permission to enter their land for surveying. “Hell no, we’re not signing anything,” one recipient said.

  • Argument: Ethnic enclavesDenmark Wants to Break Up Ethnic Enclaves. What Is Wrong with Them?

    In 2018, following a series of violent incidents in Mjolnerparken, a sprawling housing projects on the outskirts of Copemhagen which is home mostly to Muslim immigrants, the Danish government drafted, and the Danish parliament approved, a new “ghetto” law, aimed at dealing more effectively with the ills of ethnic enclaves. “Denmark’s ghetto law reflects growing European discomfort with districts dominated by ethnic-minority groups,” the Economist notes. “From Oslo to Milan, grumpy natives complain of districts that no longer feel like the country they grew up in.”