• Syrian refugees “detrimental” to Americans? The numbers tell a different story

    On 27 January President Donald Trump issued an executive order which stated that “the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The facts do not support this assertion. By the end of 2016, the total number of Syrian refugees settled in the U.S. was 14,761, about .0046 percent of the country’s population. In other words, the chances that a Syrian refugee would move next door to you are statistically zero. That’s true with or without Trump’s ban. Also, not one Syrian refugee in the U.S. has been arrested or deported on terror related charges. A 2016 report from the Cato institute, a think tank “dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace” stated: “The hazards posed by foreign-born terrorists are not large enough to warrant extreme actions like a moratorium on all immigration or tourism.”

  • Texas agriculture experts: Mexico may retaliate if U.S. imposes tariffs

    Texas agricultural experts say President Trump’s threatened tariff on Mexican goods could lead to retaliation that would hurt Texas farmers and ranchers — as well as consumers. The idea of a tariff on Mexican imports or a radical change to the North American Free Trade Agreement worries many Texas agriculture industry leaders, who say it is in the state’s best interest to continue fostering a positive trade relationship with Mexico rather than imposing tariffs on their imports.

  • History shows Trump will face legal challenges to detaining immigrants

    President Donald Trump has followed through on his promise to ramp up immigrant detention as part of immigration enforcement. His executive order on border security and immigration describes a “new normal” that will include the detention of immigrants while they await removal hearings and removal. Rather than doing something new, President Trump is simply expanding the use of immigrant detention — a tool which has long been part of the arsenal of the U.S. government in immigration enforcement. Courts have regularly been asked to intervene to curb the excesses of immigrant detention. As detention appears to be an important part of Trump’s immigration enforcement plan, legal challenges will almost certainly follow.

  • Israeli security-fence company lobbies to build Trump’s wall

    Shares of Israeli security company Magal Security Systems Ltd. jumped 5.6 percent on 27 January, the day after Donald Trump told Fox News a security barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border could stop most border breaches. The company’s shares have risen nearly 50 percent since Trump’s election. Trump said a wall would be effective in preventing illegal immigration from Mexico. “All you have to do is ask Israel,” he told Fox News. “They were having a total disaster coming across, and they had a wall. It’s 99.9 percent stoppage.”

  • Mexican cinema chain: U.S. popcorn exports at risk

    The head of Mexico’s largest cinema chain has warned that renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may put the U.S. popcorn industry is at risk. Alejandro Ramirez’s company, Cinepolis de Mexico – the fourth largest cinema chain in the world – buys around $10 million of kernels from Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa.

  • More than 100,000 visas revoked under travel ban: Justice Dept.

    A U.S. Department of Justice lawyer said that more than 100,000 visas have been revoked from travelers heading to the United States as a result of Donald Trump’s travel ban. The number was revealed during a Virginia court hearing for a lawsuit filed by two Yemeni brothers who had flown in to Dulles International Airport last Friday and were quickly put on a return flight to Ethiopia. The State Department issued a statement later, saying the number of provisionally cancelled visas was fewer than 60,000.

  • Immigrant rights groups file class action suit challenging travel ban

    Yesterday, the American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild filed a nationwide, class action lawsuit in the District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging the Trump administration’s executive order, on grounds that it violates the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law and a statutory prohibition against discrimination.

  • Travel ban has “scant national security justification”: Terrorism expert

    One of the leading authorities on Jihadist terrorism warns that while the travel ban, which was announced by the Trump administration on Friday, has “scant national security justification,” it does have serious negative consequences for U.S. national security, and for its ability effectively to combat Islamist terrorism.

  • Of immigrants and terrorists (updated)

    If you were an ISIS operative in Raqqa plotting to launch a terrorist attack in the United States, and you proposed to your bosses to use the U.S. immigration system to infiltrate terrorists into the United States, they would summarily execute you for rank incompetence. Use the U.S. immigration system, with all its vetting and with a waiting time measure in years (if you are accepted!) to launch a terrorist operation? Any competent terrorist would choose the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to enter the United States: There are enough ISIS followers in the thirty-eight VWP countries, and using the VWP is not only quicker: It is a sure thing. You will make it into the United States in hours or days, and without a hassle — not years, as is the case with the immigration route (for which a typical young would-be terrorist may not be eligible in any event).

  • Citizens of 7 travel-ban Muslim countries never implicated in mass killings in U.S.: Experts

    On Friday President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban to the United States of citizens from seven Muslim countries —- Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Security experts note that citizens of these seven countries have so far never been implicated in mass killings in the United States. The major terrorist groups that have attacked the United States and other Western countries — al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS — trace their roots to other Sunni such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Qatar.

  • Lessons from a former Somali refugee on the fight against Islamist extremism

    Nobody could seriously argue that Islam is a united body. It is more accurately understood as a culture in the grip of a brutal civil war—between Shi’a and Sunni, between secular authoritarians and radical clerics, between competing jihadi schools—that is simultaneously linked, ideologically and operationally, to monstrous acts of terrorism against non-Muslims inside and outside the Muslim world. We need to learn from the past by understanding that Islam’s internal fissures can work to our advantage. But there is nothing to be gained from a situation in which the very word “refugee” becomes a pejorative, as is more and more the case in America, or when we face legislative proposals that could, for example, prevent Kurdish Muslims from Iraq and Syria—traditionally our close allies—from entering our country.

  • Trump’s policies will affect four groups of undocumented immigrants

    President Donald Trump is expected to order the deportation of millions of “criminal aliens” this week. Administrations prioritize the removal of some immigrants over others because immigration enforcement resources are limited. Since the mid-1990s, previous administrations have focused on removing immigrants with criminal convictions, regardless of whether they have legal residency. Trump’s focus on deporting “criminal aliens” and his suggestion that he might offer reprieve to certain immigrant youth suggest there could be some continuity between his enforcement priorities and those of Obama. But the new president’s emphasis on mass deportation promotes fear. This, in turn, may make noncitizens less likely to apply for naturalization, attend school, seek medical care or challenge violations of labor laws.

  • DHS OIG recommends USCIS suspend plans to use ELIS for naturalization application processing

    The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) recommended that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stop plans to reinstate use of the Electronic Immigration System (ELIS) to process naturalization benefits for immigrants. The OIG says that its urgent recommendation stems from an ongoing review which discovered alarming security concerns regarding inadequate background checks and other functionality problems with ELIS.

  • Six years after first attempt, fight over anti-sanctuary cities bill has changed

    Bills targeting “sanctuary cities” failed to pass the Texas Legislature in 2011 and 2015, but similar efforts this session have better chances of making it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.

  • U.S. ends preferential treatment of Cuban migrants

    The Obama administration has decided to end a 20-year-old preferential treatment of Cuban immigrants – a policy known as Wet Foot, Dry Foot – which allowed most Cuban migrants who reached the United States – typically on boats – to receive a Green Card after one year. Ending the policy means that undocumented Cuban immigrants will from now be treated the same way as migrants from all other countries who enter the United States without proper papers.