• EU backs visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to EU zone

    The European Commission has recommended visa-free travel in Europe for Turkish citizens. Turkey still has to meet some of the seventy-two conditions set by the EU. The deal must be approved by the parliaments of all of the EU twenty-eight member states before the 30 June deadline. The lifting of visa requirements for Turkey’s eighty million citizens has been a subject of intense debate among EU member states. Turkey threatened that if the EU and its member states failed to approve the visa deal, Turkey would withdrew from the refugee agreement it had reached with the EU in March.

  • EU cannot identify, track visa overstays

    Critics of the plan to give Turkish citizen visa-free access to the EU zone say the measure could allow these travelers to disappear because the European Union does not have a system to detect visitors who overstay their visas. The critics say that the problem is compounded by plans to grant vis-free travel to the fifty-two million people from Ukraine, Kosovo, and Georgia. In normal times, visa overstays account for the majority of illegal migrants in Europe.

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  • State sued for licensing detention center

    Grassroots Leadership, which opposes for-profit prisons, has sued the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for issuing a temporary child-care license to an immigration detention facility in Karnes City. Thenon-profit organization says the department has no authority to regulate detention centers or prisons, and is asking a Travis County District Court for a temporary injunction and restraining order to stop the licensing.

  • Climate-exodus expected as temperatures rise in Middle East, North Africa

    More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa — a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The temperature during summer in the already very hot Middle East and North Africa will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming. This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. As a result, the number of climate refugees could increase dramatically in future.

  • Denmark extends checks along Danish-German border

    Denmark has extended until 2 June the checks along its border with Germany. The government described the extension as meant to have a “preventive effect.” Danish police on 4 January started to do spot checks at some of the country’s fifteen border crossings with Germany. The measure was supposed to be temporary, but has been extended five times now. The Danish decision followed the decision by Sweden to begin requiring rail, bus, and ferry companies to verify the identities of people travelling from Denmark.

  • Israeli anti-tunnel tech could thwart U.S.-Mexico smugglers

    Smugglers of drugs and illegal migrants using tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border may want to keep an eye on Israel. The U.S. government is cosponsoring the tunnel-detection technology now being developed by Israeli engineers. This latest innovation hit world headlines upon the announcement that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uncovered a two-kilometer-long, concrete-lined tunnel on its Gaza border.

  • Norway to offer asylum seekers money to leave the country

    Norway is offering people who seek asylum in Norway a £840 “bonus” in exchange for leaving the country voluntarily. The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) said the measure is a cheaper alternative when compared to paying for refugees upkeep in the country’s immigration centers.

  • Tighter U.S.-Mexico border enforcement has backfired: Study

    From 1986 to 2010, the United States spent $35 billion on border enforcement, but the net rate of undocumented population growth doubled. The rapid escalation of border enforcement over the past three decades has backfired as a strategy to control undocumented immigration between Mexico and the United States, according to new research that suggests further militarization of the border is a waste of money.

  • Muslim family's Swiss citizenship process halted after sons refused to shake hands with female teachers

    The Swiss immigration authorities have halted the citizenship process of a Muslim family after the family’s two teenage sons refused to shake hands with their female teachers. The refusal triggered an intense national debate over religious freedom in Switzerland. In Switzerland it is customary for pupils to shake teachers’ hands at the beginning of class.

  • Europe is not the solution to the plight of millions of refugees: Helmut Kohl

    Former German chancellor Helmut Kohl has raised concerns about the number of refugees entering Europe. Kohl, who led Germany during the end of the cold war and the reunification of the country, and who was a strong was for greater integration of Europe, said the refugees issue is tied to the EU’s peace and freedom, and that the solution to the refugees’ plight is not in Europe.

  • The politics of asylum accommodation in the U.K.

    A new study offers a first examination of recent changes in the nature of asylum accommodation in the United Kingdom, arguing that in the model existing today, economic calculations make asylum-seeking a “market” in which neoliberal norms of market competition, economic efficiency, and dispersed responsibility are central.

  • El Paso doesn't want ID as "sanctuary city"

    An El Paso-based immigrant rights group could see its hopes for a municipal ID card dashed after leaders there determined that issuing the card might prompt immigration hardliners to label the town a “sanctuary city.”

  • Germany to put a Syrian refugee on trial for war crimes

    A Syrian national who arrived in Germany as a refugee has been arrested and charged with war crimes in his home country. The man is accused of leading a 150-strong armed militia which tortured civilians, kidnapped others for ransom, and enriched itself by selling looted art.

  • Germany to lift border controls by mid-May

    With the number of migrant arriving n Germany from Austria slowing down to a trickle, the German interior minister said border controls on the Austria-Germany border would be lifted by mid-May. Germany is facing a problem on another front, as more and more migrants are arriving from Italy, using the Brenner crossing, a major gateway for goods and people heading north from Italy.

  • Terrorists may have entered Europe hiding among asylum-seekers: EU border police

    Frontex, the EU’s border police, has said that terrorists may have entered Europe by hiding among asylum seekers. Frontex noted that two of the bombers in last November’s Paris attacks made it to the continent in a smuggling boat from Turkey. “As the vast majority of migrants arrive undocumented, screening activities are essential to properly verify their declaration of nationality,” the report says.