• Finnish security services: Increase in number of asylum seekers raised terrorism threat

    The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (FSIS) on Tuesday said that the rise in the number of asylum seekers had increased the threat of terrorism in Finland. Finland uses a national terrorism warning system, and the FSIS yesterday raised the warning level from “very low” to “low.” Finland expects 30,000-35,000 asylum seekers to arrive this year, compared with 3,600 in 2014.

  • EU member states go slow on relocating refugees

    In September the EU agreed to transfer 160,000 refugees over the next two years from the most affected states, such as Italy and Greece, to permanent locations elsewhere in Europe, but EU member states have so far relocated only 116 refugees and only 1,418 places have been readied by fourteen EU member states. About 770,000 asylum applications were filed in all EU member states in the first nine months of 2015, compared to 625,920 in 2014 and 431,090 in 2013.

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  • Court imposes limits on detention of immigrants in deportation cases

    Last Wednesday the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit court in Manhattan ruled that some immigrants who are waiting for deportation cases to be heard, could not be held in detention longer than six months without a bail hearing. The decision by the federal appeals court followed a similar ruling last week in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California. The two decisions thus align detention rules in the nation’s largest immigrant centers – New York and Los Angeles.

  • Slovenia to employ private security firms to deal with wave of refugees

    Slovenia is planning to employ private security firms to help the tiny mountainous country of 2 million manage the flow of tens of thousands of refugees entering the country on their way to countries in northern Europe. The interior ministry said 50-60 private security guards would help the country’s small police force where and when necessary. EU members have committed themselves to sending 400 police officers from different EU countries to Slovenia to help the country deal with the flow of refugees.

  • Birth tourism in the U.S. delivers complex medical cases in neonatal units

    Researchers examined reported “birth tourism” in the United States and how it affects neonatal intensive care unit hospitalization. They found that expectant mothers traveling to the United States with the expressed purpose of giving birth before returning home are presenting more complex medical, social, and financial challenges at a large metropolitan children’s hospital. The researchers documented a higher medical complexity, longer hospital stays, and increased re-hospitalization among babies born to traveling families.

  • EU calls urgent Sunday meeting to deal with Slovenia growing refugee crisis

    The EU has called for an urgent mini summit with leaders of several Balkan countries on the refugee crisis. The call came in response to Slovenia’s decision the other to block the entry of refugees into Slovenia, and leave them in a make-shift tent camps on the border between Slovenia and Croatia, where the refugees are exposed to the increasingly cold and wet late-fall weather. Croatia began to direct refugees to Slovenia after Hungary closed its own borders to refugees. Since Saturday, when Hungary sealed off its border with Croatia, more than 24,450 refugees have arrived in Slovenia, a tiny mountainous country of two million people.

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  • CBP agent fatally shoots knife-wielding Mexican at border crossing

    A Mexican man who wielded a knife at a California crossing on was fatally shot by a U.S. border inspector Wednesday around midnight. Pete Flores, the San Diego field office director of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said the CBP officer fired his gun four times, hitting the man in the chest and neck at the port of entry in downtown Calexico, about 120 miles east of San Diego and across the border from Mexicali, Mexico.

  • Tackling the under-representation of British Muslims in top professions

    A new report finds that British Muslims are least likely to hold professional or managerial jobs of any religious group in Britain — at only half the average level (16 to 30 percent) — and that more likely to be unemployed or living in poverty. The report calls for urgent action from government, employers, universities, and within the Muslim community to encourage economic participation and prevent conscious or unconscious discrimination.

  • Germany should expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers in 2015: Government report

    According to a classified internal German government report obtained by the German daily Bild, the German authorities expect up to 1.5 million asylum seekers to arrive in Germany this year, an increase from the previous estimate of 800,000 to one million. The newspaper quoted the report to say that given family structures in the Middle East, this would mean each individual from that region who is granted asylum bringing an average of four to eight family members over to Germany in due course.

  • Immigrants account for a larger share of U.S. science and engineering workforce

    From 2003 to 2013, the number of scientists and engineers residing in the United States rose from 21.6 million to 29 million. An important factor in that increase: over the same time period, the number of immigrant scientists and engineers went from 3.4 million to 5.2 million. Immigrants went from making up 16 percent of the science and engineering workforce to 18 percent, according to a new report.

  • Critics question Texas spending on border security

    The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and other state agencies, are prepared to spend between about $500 million and $800 million on border security. Critics maintain that whatever the final amount the Texas state legislature actually spends this year, it is money that would be better spent on items like education or health care rather than poorly defined “border security,” which is not the primary responsibility of either DPS or the state.

  • How many times does CBP’s Mark Borkowski get to fail?

    Once again Mark Borkowski has testified before Congress in recent months, detailing the status of the Arizona Technology Plan, or what he calls the “Plan.” According to Borkowski’s testimony, new border wall surveillance infrastructure and technology are already failing to meet management deadlines; he also acknowledges a highly critical GAO report on the status of his newest border security plan. The Plan is the lynchpin of the Southern Border and Approaches Campaign – previously called the Secure Border Initiative Network (SBInet). SBInet never worked and fell hopelessly behind schedule, and in 2011 DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano pulled the plug on it. SBInet was preceded by other costly border-security technology failure – for example, the Intelligent Computer-Aided Detection system (ICAD11 and ICAD 111), the Integrated Surveillance Intelligence System (ISIS), the American Shield Initiative (ASI),the Secure Border Initiative Tactical Initiative (SBI TI), and Project 28. Despite these failures, the CBP has not constructed a reasonable way in which to measure the success or failure of its new $1 billion dollar Plan. How many times does CBP’s Borkowski get to fail?

  • U.S. Border Patrol agent indicted in killing Mexican teen by shooting him through border fence

    A federal grand jury has indicted Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz for shooting Jose Antonio Rodriguez, 16, through the border fence between Arizona and Mexico in October 2012. The case sparked outrage and came amid criticism that the Border Patrol uses force indiscriminately, a charge the agency has adamantly denied. In a similar case in June 2010, in which a 15-year old Hernandez Guereca was shot across the border and killed, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals originally said Hernandez Guereca’s family could sue Mesa, but the full court overturned that ruling in April. 

  • Australia processes first group of 200 Middle Eastern refugees to be settled in the country

    Australian immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has confirmed that Australian officials are conducting health and security checks on 200 Syrian refugees who are slated for resettlement in Australia. In early September, the then-prime minister, Tony Abbott, said Australia would make 12,000 additional permanent humanitarian visa places available for Syrians and Iraqis fleeing their countries. Dutton stressed that Australia was not going to be “slack” when it came to security and background checks.

  • EU emergency summit tonight to approve contentious refugee quotas deal

    EU leaders are preparing for an acrimonious summit this evening in Brussels in which the fractious EU will try, yet again, to come up with a cohesive approach to the continent’s refugee crisis. Yesterday, EU governments forced through a contentious agreement to impose mandatory refugee quotas on the twenty-eight member states to accept a total of 120,000 refugees. The interior ministers of the EU member states yesterday reached the agreement on sharing the 120,000 refugees in order to avoid fights and squabble during today’s emergency summit. The UN says almost 480,000 people have arrived by boat in Europe so far this year.