• U.K. national security imperiled by delays in e-Border project

    British lawmakers warned that national security could be imperiled by the protracted hold-ups in implementing a £1.1 billion system of border checks. The lawmakers accused the Home Office of unwarranted confidence over the introduction of the e-Borders program, due to become fully operational in 2019, eight years later than originally planned. Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee told the Home Office to “get its house in order now” over the project.

  • Russia, Syria triggered refugee crisis to destabilize Europe: NATO commander

    General Phil Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Europe and head of the U.S. European Command, said Russia and Syria are indiscriminately bombing Syrian civilians to drive the refugee crisis and “weaponize migration.”He said that weapons such as barrel bombs, widely used by the Assad regime against Sunni civilian population, have no military value, and are used solely to terrorize those living in rebel-held territories. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the destruction formed part of a deliberate strategy by Russia and the Assad regime to “get them on the road” and “make them a problem for someone else.”

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  • ISIS “spreading like cancer” among refugees: NATO commander

    General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s top commander, on Tuesday told a congressional panel that refugees from the Middle East and north Africa are “masking the movement” of terrorists and criminals. In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Breedlove said that ISIS is “spreading like a cancer” among refugees. The group’s members are “taking advantage of paths of least resistance, threatening European nations and our own,” he said.

  • UN warns of imminent humanitarian crisis in Greece

    Europe faces an imminent humanitarian crisis, largely of its own making, following a rapid build-up of people in already over-stretched Greece, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, warned. “With governments not working together despite having already reached agreements in a number of areas, and country after country imposing new border restrictions, inconsistent practices are causing unnecessary suffering and risk being at variance with EU and international law standards,” UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a press briefing in Geneva.

  • Swiss voters reject automatic deportation of foreigners who committed crimes

    Swiss voters, in a Saturday referendum, rejected a proposal by a nationalist party automatically to deport foreigners who commit even low-level offenses such as traffic violations. Public opinion indicated a tight vote, but the measure was easily defeated by a margin of 58.9 percent to 41.1 percent. EU leaders welcomed the referendum result.

  • Two former Mexican presidents: Trump “like Hitler” in stirring hatred along ethnic lines

    Two former presidents of Mexico, Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox, said Donald Trump was stirring up hate along ethnic lines in a manner similar to that of Hitler. In Twitter message to his followers ahead of Super Tuesday vote, Trump quoted the words of Italy’s fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

  • Mexicans worry Trump’s rhetoric will poison U.S.-Mexico relations

    Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border – and make Mexico pay for it – has elicited pointed criticism from two former Mexican presidents, Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox. Even if the border wall is never built, leading politicians and academics in Mexico worry that Trump’s comments will lead to harsher U.S. border policy and disrupt the process of growing economic and political ties between the two countries, a process which began two decades ago with the NAFTA agreement.

  • Changes in EU policy needed to address migrant crisis: Experts

    More than 3,700 people were believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean during 2015. Alongside these tragic developments, increasing levels of migration along the Balkan route have been met by border closures within the EU, with growing tensions exacerbating humanitarian challenges across the wider region. EU Member States have struggled to adopt a unified approach to handling the issue. New study indicates deterrent measures such as anti-smuggling are ineffective and an alternative is needed.

  • Immigration overall not a source of terrorism: Study

    Migration is overall not a source of terrorism, according to new research. In fact the study indicates that more migration could create a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks. However, the research suggests some terror attacks can be linked to migration from terror-prone states.

  • Texas to re-classify immigrant detention centers as child-care facilities

    In 2015 a judge ordered Texas to shut down two immigration detention centers – but in order to escape implementing the judge’s order, Texas is considering re-classifying the two detention centers as “child-care facilities.” The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services had to address a July 2015 decision from federal Judge Dolly Gee. Gee ruled that the country’s three family detention centers (a third facility is in the process of being shut down) were holding children in “deplorable conditions” that “failed to meet even the minimal standard” for a safe and clean environment for children.

  • NATO fleet deployed in Aegean Sea to stop refugees coming from Turkey

    NATO has deployed its fleet to the Aegean Sea in an effort to end the flow of refugees crossing from Turkey in order to enter the EU zone. The deployment, announced yesterday, will involve warships, rather than coast guard boars, meet refugee boats outside Greece’s territorial waters.

  • Fixing failed SBInet: Contract delays, quality issues at CBP

    Since DHS secretary Janet Napolitano in 2011 cancelled the failed SBInet program, CBP’s Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition (OTIA) has awarded defense contractors approximately $186,000,000 to replace it. Mark Borkowski’s Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition (OTIA) has created problems which directly impacting safety and productivity of Border Patrol agents: The needlessly delayed Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT) project has once again placed Border Patrol agents in harm’s way because the men and women who risk their lives patrolling the line still do not possess sophisticated surveillance technology to fight the drug cartels, human traffickers, and potential terrorists crossing our international borders.

  • Calls for banning Muslims from entering U.S. impractical, harmful: Expert

    Duke sociologist Christopher Bail, who studies how anti-Muslim organizations use social media, says that calls to ban immigration of Muslims to the United States are missing two important points. First, there is no conceivable mechanism whereby the United States could identify Muslims — short of visual cues such as headdress or religious garb, which are not worn by most Muslims. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it is surprising that people think that groups such as ISIS could not disguise terrorists they want to send to the United States as non-Muslims.

  • Five European countries face removal from Visa Waiver program

    DHS has told five countries – France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Greece – that they have until Monday, 1 February, to fix a security flaw – DHS described it as a “crucial loopholes”— in their passport stems. If they fail to do so, they will be removed from the Visa Waiver program. The move will affect millions of European citizens.

  • Sweden will expel 80,000 refugees whose asylum applications were denied

    Sweden’s interior minister Anders Ygeman said on Wednesday that Sweden plans to expel up to 80,000 asylum seekers who entered the country in 2015 and whose applications had been rejected. Ygeman noted that normally expulsions are carried out using commercial flights, but in light of the large numbers involved, specially chartered aircraft would be used – and the process would take a few years.