• 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • Fencing off the east: how the refugee crisis is dividing the European Union

    Two very different responses to the crisis are emerging on each side of Europe. The West might be failing to handle the crisis well but the east is simply rejecting any role in it. Resentment is building on both sides and is threatening European unity. Racism of course exists in Western Europe, but the strength of feeling in eastern and central Europe, among politicians as well as the general public, has caused alarm. Western Europeans are disgusted by how refugees are being treated in the east, which is even beginning to cause diplomatic tension. This crisis has raised a lot of questions about what it means to be European, nowhere more so than in the east of the continent. Fissures are appearing under the strain and if common cultural ground can’t be found soon, this could signal an end to the union.

  • Immigrants come to resemble native-born Americans over time, but integration not always smooth

    As immigrants and their descendants become integrated into U.S. society, many aspects of their lives improve, including measurable outcomes such as educational attainment, occupational distribution, income, and language ability, but their well-being declines in the areas of health, crime, and family patterns, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences. At the same time, several factors impede immigrants’ integration into society, such as their legal status, racial disparities in socio-economic outcomes, and low naturalization rates.

  • U.S. to accept 30,000 additional refugees over two years, 10,000 of them from Syria

    Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday that the United States will accept an extra 30,000 refugees from around the world over the next two years. Kerry said the total number of refugees taken by the United States yearly would rise from 70,000 to 85,000 next year and to 100,000 in 2017. Earlier this month, the White House said it would take in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year, and raising the cap on the total number of refugees would allow this move. U.S. officials noted that the names of the Syrian refugees accepted by the United States over the next year would be drawn from a list of about 18,000 that the United Nations prepared before the current influx of migrants in Europe.