• Immigration & social tensionsRising ethnic diversity in the West may fuel a (temporary) populist right backlash

    By Eric Kaufmann and Matthew Goodwin

    When people’s neighborhoods or wider social contexts change in visible ways, as with increasing ethnic diversity, it can be disconcerting for established residents, and trigger perceptions of “threats” that evoke “backlash” political responses. Alternatively, the diffusion of ethnic groups may increase knowledge and tolerance. Drawing on a meta-analysis of studies on the topic, Eric Kaufmann and Matthew Goodwin argue that ethnic diversity transitions may contribute to a populist right backlash. However, such effects may be temporary.

  • Immigration & social tensionsWhat history reveals about surges in anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant sentiments

    By Ingrid Anderson

    In its early years, the United States maintained an “open door policy” that drew millions of immigrants from all religions to enter the country, including Jews. Between 1820 and 1880, over 9 million immigrants entered America. By the early 1880s, American nativists – people who believed that the “genetic stock” of Northern Europe was superior to that of Southern and Eastern Europe – began pushing for the exclusion of “foreigners,” whom they “viewed with deep suspicion.” As scholar Barbara Bailin writes, most of the immigrants, who were from Southern, Central and Eastern Europe, “were considered so different in composition, religion, and culture from earlier immigrants as to trigger a xenophobic reaction that served to generate more restrictive immigration laws.” The political climate of the interwar period has many similarities with the anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic environment today.

  • Perception of immigrationWhite Americans see many immigrants as “illegal” until proven otherwise: Study

    Fueled by political rhetoric evoking dangerous criminal immigrants, many white Americans assume low-status immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Syria, Somalia and other countries have no legal right to be in the United States, new research suggests. In the eyes of many white Americans, just knowing an immigrant’s national origin is enough to believe they are probably undocumented, the study’s co-author says.

  • Perception of immigrationThe power of negative thinking: why perceptions of immigration are resistant to facts

    By Heather Rolfe

    Research shows consistently high levels of concern among people in the UK over the scale of immigration and its impact on jobs and services. New research on how people use and understand information about the economic impacts of immigration shows that there is a tendency to rely on personal accounts rather than on economic statistics.

  • Undocumented immigrantsUndocumented immigrant population roughly double current estimate

    The number of undocumented immigrants in the United States is roughly twice as high as commonly believed, according to new research. The research found that the number of undocumented immigrants living in the country is about 22.1 million, nearly twice the most prominent current estimate of 11.3 million. Even using extremely conservative parameters, the study estimates a population of 16.7 million undocumented immigrants, nearly 50 percent higher than the widely-accepted population figure.

  • Separated familiesHow can the federal government reunify kids with deported parents? First step: Find them.

    By Emma Platoff

    Some 400 parents were sent back to their native countries without their children. As an official with the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency put it, “we don’t keep track of individuals once they’ve been deported to foreign countries.”

  • Immigration & businessPrivate prison companies are influencing immigration policy

    Groundbreaking study finds increased support for punitive immigration legislation in districts with privately owned or managed ICE detention facilities. Researchers explain that in recent years, as overall crime rates have dropped nationwide, more and more private prison companies have turned to a new money-making scheme: Partnering with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to detain immigrants in facilities across the country. The researchers also ask: As the scope of private imprisonment grows, is the industry’s influence on politics growing as well?

  • Migrant childrenFacing a Tuesday deadline to reunite about 100 migrant toddlers with their parents, feds say they've reunited 2

    By Claire Parker

    The court-imposed deadline is only a day away for the federal government to reunite the families of about 100 migrant children under the age of 5 who were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. But a lawyer for the government said in court Monday that only two children of that “tender age” have been reunited so far.

  • Migrant childrenChildren have been separated from their families for generations – why Trump’s policy was different

    By Gordon Lynch

    The Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their families was officially ended on 20 June – but putting this policy into a wider historical context of state-sanctioned policies of child separation helps to understand why some aspects of it were remarkably distinctive – and caused such international outrage. Compared to historical welfare interventions, the Trump child-separation policy was distinct because of its sheer scale, and because the policy lacked any moral claim that the separations were for the good of the child. Judged in the historical context of previous child-separation policies, the administration’s policy proved short-lived because its exceptional scale and brutality lacked sufficient moral legitimacy in American public opinion to outweigh the powerful images of children’s suffering circulated in the media. For those children who have already been separated from parents – uncertain how they will be reunified – this will come as little consolation.

  • Migrant childrenImmigrant toddlers ordered to appear in court alone

    By Christina Jewett and Shefali Luthra

    As the White House faces court orders to reunite families separated at the border, immigrant children as young as 3 are being ordered into court for their own deportation proceedings, according to attorneys in Texas, California and Washington, D.C. Requiring unaccompanied minors to go through deportation alone is not a new practice. But in the wake of the Trump administration’s controversial family separation policy, more young children — including toddlers — are being affected than in the past.

  • Migrant childrenExtreme stress in childhood is toxic to your DNA

    By Daniel R. Weinberger

    The real danger of separating children from parents is not the psychological stress – it’s the biological time bomb. The screaming and crying, the anguish and desolation is gut-wrenching. But the fallout pales in comparison to the less visible long-term effects that are more sinister and dangerous.

  • ImmigrationHow immigration court works

    By Fatma Marouf

    Can the U.S. attorney general unilaterally overturn an immigration-court court case? Yes, because, as I teach my surprised law students, immigration judges are not part of the judicial branch. They are attorneys in the Department of Justice. That means normal assumptions about judicial independence and freedom from political influence do not apply in immigration proceedings.

  • Border securityTrump wants to prosecute all illegal border crossings without splitting up families. That will be a challenge.

    By Jolie McCullough and Emma Platoff

    When President Donald Trump on Wednesday backed down from an immigration policy that separated migrant families, he pledged to continue his “zero tolerance” approach: Parents would still be prosecuted for illegally crossing the border, but their families wouldn’t be split up. But legal and logistical challenges will make it exceedingly difficult for his administration to accomplish both goals. To do so, federal agencies need to find space for thousands of children and adults as they await criminal and civil immigration proceedings. And another federal agency must find a way to do so without running afoul of the law.

  • ImmigrationMedical experts alarmed over impact of family separation on children

    Lat Thursday, thousands of medical experts and mental health professionals and researchers sent a letter to DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Attorney General Jeff Sessions calling for an immediate end to forced family separation at the border, citing concerns from the medical community over the trauma and potentially long-lasting damage it has on children’s health and well-being. “The United States should follow the “best interests of the child” standard and immediately stop the practice of forced separation. It should not be U.S. policy to traumatize children, especially not as a form of indirect punishment of their parents,” the mental health professionals wrote.

  • Extreme vettingU.S. immigrant vetting system is already extreme enough: Study

    In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has tightened the vetting of immigrants and foreign travelers. The post-9/11 system has worked: From 2002 to 2016, the vetting system failed and permitted the entry of 1 radicalized terrorist for every 29 million visa or status approvals. Only 1 of the 13 post-9/11 vetting failures resulted in a deadly attack in the United States. Thus, the rate for deadly terrorists was 1 for every 379 million visa or status approvals from 2002 through 2016. During this same period, the chance of an American being killed in an attack committed by a terrorist who entered as a result of a vetting failure was 1 in 328 million per year.