• 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.”

  • Argument: RefugeesSending Refugees Back Makes the World More Dangerous

    The headline-grabbing assertions that the world is witnessing an unprecedented refugee crisis are both misleading and dangerous, Stephanie Schwartz writes in Foreign Policy. The number of refugees worldwide has nearly doubled in the past decade, she says,  but if there is a crisis today, it is one of refugee return, which contributes to the perpetuation of conflict and instability in the country or region of origin.

  • Family separationReport: DHS Lacked Technology to Track Separated Migrant Families

    The Department of Homeland Security lacked a technology system to efficiently track separated migrant families during the execution of the zero tolerance immigration policy in 2018, a report released Wednesday by the agency’s inspector general found.

  • Family separationDHS OIG’ Report on Family Separation: Summary

    In a report titled DHS Lacked Technology Needed to Successfully Account for Separated Migrant Families, the Inspector General of DHS say that “U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) adopted various ad hoc methods to record and track family separations, but these methods led to widespread errors.” The IG adds: “These conditions persisted because CBP did not address its known IT deficiencies adequately before implementing Zero Tolerance in May 2018. DHS also did not provide adequate guidance to personnel responsible for executing the Zero Tolerance Policy.”

  • MigrationPolitical Preferences Play a Role in Migrants’ Choice of Destination Country

    It may not be just location, location, location that influences where people move to in the United States, but also politics, politics, politics, according to a team of researchers. In a study of county-to-county migration patterns in the U.S., the researchers found that when people migrate, they tend to move to other counties that reflect their political preferences. They added that the pattern also suggests that people moving from moderate partisan counties are just as likely to move to extreme partisan counties as they are to move to other moderate counties.

  • Violence in SwedenWith Gang Violence Rising, Sweden Searches for Answers

    Crime in general in on the decline in Sweden, but violent crime – shooting, explosions, and killing – has been on a stead rise since 2014. Experts note that the violence is not perpetrated by organized gangs. Rather, it is carried out by “loose groups” without a real hierarchical structure or recruitment process: According to the researchers, a majority of the young people involved in the violence are of foreign origin, but most have been born in Sweden.

  • ArgumentsMisguided Immigration Policies Are Endangering America’s AI Edge

    The efforts to foster America’s development of artificial intelligence, including for military use, typically overlook how the U.S. current advantage depends on immigrants. “Without immigration reforms, this country’s days as the world’s AI leader may be numbered,” Zachary Arnold writes. “Immigration reform of any sort may be a tall order nowadays, but the dawn of the AI age is reason enough to redouble those efforts,” he adds.

  • DNA testing at the borderDHS Sued to Obtain Information about Rapid DNA Testing of Migrant Families at the Border

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this week to obtain information that will shine a light on the agency’s use of Rapid DNA technology on migrant families at the border to verify biological parent-child relationships. Refusing to provide DNA carries threat that children will be separated from families.

  • PerspectiveProposed Asylum Fees Are Part of a Bid to Make Immigrants to the U.S. Fund Their Own Red Tape

    The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. At present, only Iran, Australia and Fiji charge fees to would-be asylum-seekers. 

  • RefugeesLinking Formation of International Laws to Refugee Crisis

    Geographers are linking the political and human rights issues at borders today to the legacies of foreign and domestic policy across the globe since the First World War. A new study examines more than 100 years of international laws that have led, perhaps unintentionally, to the existing hostile climate for refugees.

  • Perspective: The Russia connectionRussia Positioning Itself in Libya to Unleash Migrant Crisis into Europe

    Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to the West last month that the widening chaos in Libya after almost a decade of war should have been obvious: “A flow of migrants went through Libya to Europe,” he said in an interview, recalling the displacement of refugees that has reached crisis levels in recent years. “They have what they were warned about.” This week, the New York Times documented the deployment into Libya of Russian mercenaries. “The Russian leader’s warning about Libya, many analysts believe, reflects an ambition to intervene in the conflict at least in part to control refugee flows into Europe, indicating a broad understanding of the disruptive power that the movement of immigrants has had on the Western world,” Paul Shinkman writes.

  • Perspective: Border intelligenceBorder Agents Can Now Get Classified Intelligence Information. Experts Call That Dangerous.

    Pushing further toward its goal of “extreme vetting,” the Trump administration is creating a new center in suburban Virginia that will allow immigration agents to access, for the first time, the sprawling array of information scooped up by America’s intelligence agencies, from phone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency to material gathered by the CIA’s spies overseas to tips from informants in Central America. “Legal experts worry that immigration agents could potentially use this secret data to flag entire categories of people that fit ‘suspect’ profiles and potentially bar them from entering the U.S., or prompt them to be tracked while they’re here,” Melissa Del Bosque writes. “It could also be nearly impossible for those denied entry to challenge faulty information if wrongly accused, they say, since most of it is classified.”

  • Perspective: Family separationAssessing the Legal Landscape of Family Separation in the Immigration Context

    While prior presidential administrations have certainly struggled with periodic migration and border security challenges, officials in the Trump administration revived a controversial proposal that had been considered briefly during the Obama administration, but quickly shelved as “too opprobrious and unpalatable.” Carrie Cordero, Heidi Li Feldman, and Chimène Keitner write that “Once implemented last year, the early effects of the family separation policy and practice were swift, and devastating: Children were separated from their parents or family members at the border as a consequence of a new prosecutive guideline from the Justice Department. Parents were given little or no information about where the children were re-located to, or when, if ever, the families would be reunited.” They add: “As far as we know, until 2018, the U.S. government had not previously implemented a policy and practice of intentionally separating migrant and asylum-seeking families as a means of deterrence. As Americans, each of us was horrified our government would rip vulnerable children from their families in such a deliberate way.”