• Smuggling of people from Africa to Europe conducted by “independent traders,” not Mafia-like monopoly

    First study to model the organization behind trade in illegal border crossings shows no “Mafia-like” monopoly of routes from Africa into Europe via Mediterranean. Instead, myriad independent smugglers compete in open markets that have emerged at every stage of the journey.

  • Texas smugglers say Trump's border wall wouldn't stop immigrants, drugs from pouring across the border

    If the Trump administration follows through on the president’s promises to build a border wall, would it actually stop undocumented immigrants and illegal drugs? Two former smugglers explain how they’d work around it.

  • New algorithm to help resettle refugees, improve their integration

    In recent years, a record number of people have been displaced as a result of war, persecution, and other human rights violations, surpassing the numbers seen after the Second World War. In 2016 alone, about 65.6 million people were forced to flee their homes. Researchers have developed a new machine learning algorithm which could help governments and resettlement agencies find the best places for refugees to relocate, depending on their particular skills and backgrounds.

  • Administration waives more than 30 environmental laws for New Mexico section of border wall

    The Trump administration on Monday waived more than thirty environmental laws to speed construction of twenty miles of border wall in eastern New Mexico, the third time the waiver has been used by the Trump administration. The waiver is meant to allow construction of the New Mexico border wall section without having to comply with laws that protect clean air, clean water, public lands, or endangered wildlife.

  • Climate change will displace millions in coming decades. Nations should prepare now to help them

    By the middle of this century, experts estimate that climate change is likely to displace between 150 and 300 million people. If this group formed a country, it would be the fourth-largest in the world, with a population nearly as large as that of the United States. Yet neither individual countries nor the global community are completely prepared to support a whole new class of “climate migrants.” The scale of this challenge is unlike anything humanity has ever faced. By midcentury, climate change is likely to uproot far more people than the Second World War, which displaced some 60 million across Europe, or the Partition of India, which affected approximately 15 million. The migration crisis that has gripped Europe since 2015 has involved something over one million refugees and migrants. It is daunting to envision much larger flows of people, but that is why the global community should start doing so now.

  • Climate change will displace millions of people. Where will they go?

    The 1951 Refugee Convention defines a protected refugee as someone who leaves his or her home country due to racial, religious, or social persecution, or reasonable fear of such persecution. These refugees have the right to seek asylum and protection from participating members of the United Nations (though these countries are not obligated to take them in). However, people displaced by climate change do not fit this definition. At the international level, there is no legal mechanism in place to protect climate migrants’ rights and to ensure assistance from other countries. For climate relocation to work, governments need to care and commit to international responsibility and burden-sharing. However, in the current global political context of fear of terrorism, an increased refugee influx into Europe, and an overall rise of xenophobia, countries are more likely to opt for stricter policies on cross-border migration.

  • Trump’s “Muslim ban” produced rare shift in public opinion: Study

    President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13769 on 27 January 2017, effectively barring individuals from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States for ninety days. Within a day of his decree, thousands of protesters flooded airports around the country in opposition to what was quickly deemed a “Muslim ban,” and by 6 March, the order had been formally revoked. Researchers say that the profound response to the ban represents “one instance in which the priming of American identity shifted citizens’ opinions toward more inclusive, rather than restrictive, immigration-related policy stances.” Overall, the findings suggest that American identity can be “primed” to produce shifts in public opinion. It also demonstrates that public opinion may be more malleable than previously thought.

  • DHS’s airport biometric exit program faces budgetary, legal, technical, and privacy questions

    DHS has installed experimental face-recognition system in nine U.S. airports. If DHS’s current plans are executed, every traveler flying overseas, American and foreign national alike, will soon be subject to a face recognition scan as part of this “biometric exit” program. A new report notes that neither Congress nor DHS has ever justified the need for the program. Congress never provided a rationale for it. Congress never provided a rationale for it while DHS has repeatedly questioned “the additional value biometric air exit would provide.” The biometric exit program also stands on shaky legal ground, and to make matters worse, the face scanning technology used by DHS may make frequent mistakes. “The privacy concerns implicated by biometric exit are at least as troubling as the system’s legal and technical problems,” the report notes.

  • Hotter temperatures will accelerate asylum-seekers migration to Europe

    New research predicts that migrants applying for asylum in the European Union will nearly triple over the average of the last fifteen years by 2100 if carbon emissions continue on their current path. The study suggests that cutting emissions could partially stem the tide, but even under an optimistic scenario, Europe could see asylum applications rise by at least a quarter.

  • With border arrests down, some question Trump administration's push for more agents

    The Department of Homeland Security’s announced this week a near-record decline in the number of people caught trying to enter the country illegally. Yet the Trump administration still wants to hire thousands of more border agents.

  • Israel demolishes Gaza tunnel, killing 9 Palestinian militants

    The Israel military (IDF) on Monday morning destroyed a tunnel Hamas fighters were building under the Israel-Gaza Strip. The Hamas Health Ministry in Gaza said that nine Palestinians were killed and eight others were wounded when the IDF blew up the tunnel. Israel this summer began work on an underground barrier meant to counter attack tunnels.

  • Hundreds of U.S. citizens continue to be detained: Immigration data

    An analysis of U.S. government data shows that the U.S. government detained more than 260 U.S. citizens for weeks and even years, most in private prisons under contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). They were released after asserting their U.S. citizenship claims in immigration court. The average time of detention for U.S. citizens was 180 days. ICE acknowledges that it is unlawful for ICE to detain U.S. citizens under deportation laws.

  • EFF to court: Border agents need warrants to search contents of digital devices

    Searches of mobile phones, laptops, and other digital devices by federal agents at international airports and U.S. land borders are highly intrusive forays into travelers’ private information that require a warrant, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in a court filing Monday.

  • Border wall would put more than 100 endangered species at risk: Experts

    President Donald Trump’s desire for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border has elicited endless questions since it was introduced as a major theme in his campaign. Who will pay for it? How will it be constructed? Is it the most effective strategy? What is the timeline? Biologists are asking another question: What are the ecological and evolutionary consequences of the wall?

  • Construction of first border wall segment to begin sooner than expected along Rio Grande

    U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it has already received from Congress. This is what a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official recently told a nonprofit group that raises money to support two national wildlife refuges in South Texas, according to the group’s vice president.