• CBP detains 8 Syrians trying to cross Texas border illegally

    Eight Syrians have been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents as they tried to enter the United States from Texas in the Laredo Sector. DHS issued a statement confirming that two Syrian families were taken into custody Tuesday, but clarified that they families were not trying to “sneak in.” A Syrian did attempt to enter the United States illegally through Texas in late September. The Syrian was found to be using a passport that belonged to someone else, and U.S. authorities decided against prosecuting anyone involved owing to “circumstances.”

  • Virginia mayor says WWII Japanese internment “inspires” his policies toward Syrian refugees

    Roanoke, Virginia, mayor David Bowers (D) got into hot water on Wednesday when he issued a statement citing the U.S. internment of Japanese during the Second World War as an inspiration for his decision to delay assistance to Syrian refugees. Roosevelt, in the name of national security, ordered the forcible relocation of more than 100,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans living in the United States to internment camps for more than three years. The internment is regarded as one of the most serious civil-liberties violations committed by the U.S. government.

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  • Obama, GOP escalate dispute over Syrian refugees

    The war of words between President Barack Obama and Republicans lawmakers and governors over the issue of letting Syrian refugees into the United States escalated yesterday, with the president describing the position of GOP governors who want to block the settlement o Syrian refugees in their states, and of lawmakers who want to block funds for the refugee resettlement program, as “offensive and hysterical.” House Speaker Paul Ryan announced on Tuesday that he had formed a taskforce to examine ways to block the administration’s refugee resettlement program. “This is a moment where it is better to be safe than to be sorry,” he said.

  • Visa Waiver program more serious threat than refugees: Senate Intel. Comm. chair

    Senator Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said that terrorists who are citizens of Visa Waiver countries – and who, therefore, can travel from Europe to the United States without a visa — pose a more serious threat to U.S. security than refugees from Syria. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), vice-chairman of the intelligence committee, said that around 13 million people enter the United States each year through the Visa Waiver program, but she also understands that more than 40 million stolen travel documents are on the black market in Europe.

  • GOP lawmakers try to block funding for Syrian refugees settlement in U.S.

    Republican lawmakers in the House are drafting a bill which would block federal funding for resettling Syrian refugees in the United States until the federal government adopts a “processes to ensure that refugee and related programs are not able to be co-opted by would-be terrorists.” The draft bill also requires that the administration create a “longer-term monitoring process” to track Syrian refugees in the United States.

  • Growing number of states say they would not accept Syrian refugees

    A growing number of states have said they would not accept Syrian refugees because of security worries in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. So far, the governors of seventeen states have announced they would refuse to allow Syrian refugees to settle in their states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin.

  • France demands effective suspension of the Schengen open borders agreement

    France will this week call for an effective suspension of the Schengen Agreement on open borders across Europe. The agreement was in 1985 in the town of Schengen in Luxembourg. It removes border checks within Europe, meaning that anyone. France will not call for a formal abrogation of the agreement, but would rather demand that all members of the Schengen Zone begin border identity checks, a move which amount to an effective suspension of the 30-year old agreement

  • As refugee crisis grows, Sweden introduces border checks

    Until earlier this week, Sweden had an open-border policy – literally. Refugees could take the train or board a ferry to Sweden and enter the country unobstructed. Late last week, Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said this policy now poses a threat to national security, and on Tuesday the government, for the first time since the onset of the refugee crisis, ordered the introducing of border checks.

  • 2015 refugee-related costs for Germany estimated at 21.1 billion euros

    The Berlin-based Ifo Institute, a German center for economic studies, has increased its estimates of German government expenditure on refugees. The Ifo Institute now expects the costs to amount to 21.1 billion euros for 2015 alone, based on the assumption that 1.1 million refugees will arrive in Germany by the end of the year. The Institute previously estimated the costs for the state at 10 billion euros for the first twelve months, just to cover accommodation and food for 800,000 people.

  • Court again blocks implementation of Obama's executive order on immigration

    The Obama administration’s November 2014 executive action to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation has suffered a legal setback yesterday. The fifth U.S. circuit court of appeals in New Orleans, in a 2-1 decision, has upheld a May 2015 injunction which blocked the implementation of the Obama administration’s deferred-deportation plan. Legal analysts said the decision was not unexpected, as the court of appeals’ decision came several months after the same court had denied an emergency stay request from the Justice Department. The issue is now likely to go to the Supreme Court. The appeals court said in its ruling that it was denying the government’s appeal to stay the May injunction “after determining that the appeal was unlikely to succeed on its merits.”

  • Wave of refugees a major boost to German economy, society: Economists

    A leading German economist says that Germany stands to gain from the wave of migrants arriving in the country. The long-term economic gains from the large number of refugees arriving in Germany, he said, will far outweigh the considerable immediate costs Germany faces. Germany is facing an imminent demographic crisis, which would see the country’s working population shrink by around 4.5 million over the next decade unless a sufficient number of immigrants is allowed to come and work. This promises great opportunities for new arrivals to be integrated into the workplace. “In the long run the refugees are an incredible opportunity for Germany,” says Marcel Fratzscher, the head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW).

  • 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.

  • 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.