• Security facts about the border wall

    During this 2016 election year, there are basic security facts about the wall between Mexico and the United States that every American should clearly understand before he or she considers the merits of the policy solutions offered by our political parties. Security facts about the border wall are not always intuitive, based upon what passes for common sense, or even easily available to the general public. In contrast, abundant myths and falsehoods, regardless of how often they are repeated, are rarely based upon documented evidence produced by serious researchers. Instead, these assertions may be of part of election motives and agendas throughout the ballot from top to bottom. Americans should continue to learn more about our entire border security system in this region. These facts about our border security matter, and will continue to matter, long after this election day.

  • Rich nations’ self-interest means refugee crisis will get worse, not better: Amnesty

    Wealthy countries have shown a complete absence of leadership and responsibility, leaving just ten countries, which account for less than 2.5 percent of world GDP, to take in 56 percent of the world’s refugees, said Amnesty International in a comprehensive assessment of the global refugee crisis published today. Amnesty says that the report sets out a fair and practical solution to the crisis based on a system that uses relevant, objective criteria to show the fair share every state in the world should take in in order to find a home for 10 percent of the world’s refugees every year.

  • Obama’s immigration action defeat: Supreme Court declines to re-hear case

    The Supreme Court handed to Obama administration a major defeat, saying the court will not reconsider President Barack Obama’s plan to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Back in June, the court deadlocked over whether or not to revive the Obama administration’s plan to protect about four million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowing them to work legally while they pursue a path to legalization in the United States.

  • Despite advances, Black immigrants in U.S. still suffer racial disparities

    A two-part report on the experience of Black immigrants in the United States — The State of Black Immigrants — sheds light on the issues facing the over 3.7 million immigrants in the United States from Africa, the Caribbean, Afro-Latino countries, and elsewhere, due in large part to their race. The number of undocumented Black immigrants in the United States increased by nearly 50 percent from 389,000 in 2000 to 602,000 in 2013.

  • Ignoring anti-refugee rhetoric, Texans rush to help in resettlement

    Texas’ top elected officials have not exactly welcomed refugees over the past year. Last week, for example, Gov. Greg Abbott threatened to end state cooperation with the nation’s refugee resettlement program unless federal officials “unconditionally approve” a Texas plan requiring extra vetting of applicants. But everyday Texans seem to be more willing to help refugees from Syria and elsewhere start new lives in the Lone Star State. Nonprofits that resettle refugees say volunteer turnout has increased — in some cases dramatically — since Abbott first suggested they threatened security.

  • Hungarian PM: “Round up” all illegal immigrants in EU, ship them to guarded camps “on an island or North Africa”

    Viktor Orban, Hungary’s outspoken prime minister, has urged the EU to “round up” all illegal immigrants on the continent and deport them to guarded camps “on an island or North Africa.” His comments are not likely to ease the growing tensions with EU governments, which have already strongly criticized Hungary’s hard line on immigration, saying Hungary’s truculence flouts both international law and fundamental European values.

  • Texas threatens to withdraw from refugee resettlement program

    As part of its ongoing fight to keep Syrian refugees out of the state, Texas is threatening to withdraw from the nation’s refugee resettlement program if federal officials refuse to “unconditionally approve” a state plan requiring additional vetting of relocated people.

  • U.K. to spend £100 million to control immigration from Africa

    British prime minister Theresa May said in New York that more than £100 million of the U.K. foreign aid budget will be spent on returning Somali and other African refugees to their countries, and encouraging people escaping war zones not to cross the Mediterranean. May said that the principle guiding the government’s new approach to the refugee problem also applies to the question of Syrian refugees: It would be better to help a greater number of refugees at camps in countries bordering Syria than to resettle a smaller number in the United Kingdom.

  • Germany's Migration Office failed to detect forged passports

    Critics say that Germany’s Federal Migration Office (BAMF) has not resolved severe security flaws which resulted in officials failing to detect counterfeit passports used by refugees entering the country. The attorney general for the state of Brandenburg, Erado Rautenberg, is now seeking to seize around 18,000 records from BAMF. Fake passports were seized in the southern German state of Bavaria. What is troubling security agencies is the fact that the passports were previously determined to be legitimate by the asylum office. Some 3,300 more passports are also being reanalyzed in the north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

  • CBP MVSS border surveillance system: Another border program mired in delays

    Political parties debate crucial immigration issues, including a call for a new border wall, but an essential component — frequently neglected in the run up to the November elections — is the efficacy of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) contract acquisition and management process. What is frequently overlooked is the “business side” of CBP – but the business side of CBP is crucial to any immigration policy. CBP agents and officers finally are benefiting from the much-delayed delivery of the Integrated Fixed Tower (IFT) surveillance technology program, but the status of the Remote Video Surveillance Systems (RVSS) and Ultra-Light Aircraft Detection (ULAD) surveillance technology programs has not been ascertained. After many needless Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition (OTIA) delays and problematic contract management decisions, both the MVSS program, along with the Mobile Surveillance Capabilities (MSC) program, now appear to be dead in the water. 

  • With 10,000 Syrian refugees resettled in the U.S., are more on the way?

    This week, the Obama administration announced that it plans to accept 110,000 refugees from around the world in 2017, a 57 percent increase. This comes after the United States met its goal in August of settling a minimum of 10,000 Syrians in 2016, as part of its commitment to do more for Syrian refugees. Focusing on violence and terror drives xenophobia and resentment but does little to change the status quo. It also misrepresents the refugees who have settled in the United States. The vast majority of refugees, Syrian refugees included, are peaceful and looking forward to integrating into U.S. society. In 2015, the Obama administration acknowledged that the United States could effectively settle more Syrian refugees. The United States has a unique opportunity to safely settle more Syrian refugees as part of a united response to the country’s ongoing civil war. Time will tell whether the current ceasefire will lead to a lasting peace and allow Syrians to rebuild their lives and contemplate a return to their homeland.

  • Calls for Hungary to be expelled from EU over refugee policy

    In a Tuesday interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn, called for Hungary to be “temporarily, or in the worst case, permanently” excluded from the European Union. “We cannot accept that the basic values of the European Union are being massively violated,” Asselborn said. Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter Szijjarto reacted angrily, describing Asselborn as “an intellectual lightweight” and as a “sermonizing, pompous, and frustrated” individual whose actions would ultimately destroy Europe’s security and culture.

  • Britain building a 13-foot high wall in Calais to prevent refugees from entering U.K.

    The U.K. government announced it was going to build a 13-foot wall in Calais to block refugees from crossing the channel. The 13-foot barrier will stretch for one kilometer along the dual carriageway approaching the port. The barrier aims to prevent refugees from climbing into trucks and other vehicles in an attempt to smuggle themselves into the United Kingdom.

  • Mexico Senate considering bill which would take back land from U.S. if Trump is elected

    Mexico’s Senate is considering a bill to revoke Mexico’s bilateral treaties with the United States, including the 1848 agreement which transferred half the country’s territory to the United States. The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed to bring a two-year war between the two countries – a war which Mexico lost — to an end. As part of the treaty, Mexico gave the United States a vast swath of territory, which is now New Mexico, California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and parts of Wyoming and Colorado. The proposal contains a clause which stipulates that the bill will go into effect only if Donald Trump is elected president – and if he insists on Mexico paying for the border wall he pledged to build along the U.S.-Mexico border, and goes ahead with unilateral changes to NAFTA.

  • Austin poised to become first "sanctuary city" in Texas

    Austin is set to become the first sanctuary city in Texas. And in a move that would defy not just Republican orthodoxy but also the Obama administration’s policy on deporting criminal immigrants, the county where Austin sits is on the verge of ending cooperation with the federal government on immigration matters.