• ImmigrationAdministration asks Supreme Court to uphold president’s executive action on immigration

    One year ago, the administration announced a sweeping initiative to protect some five million undocumented immigrants from deportation for three years and grant them work permits. A coalition of twenty-six Republican-led states challenged the executive action, and earlier this month the challenge was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Friday, the Obama administration formally asked the Supreme Court to uphold the president’s executive action. In a televised address to the nation, the president said: “We are and always will be a nation of immigrants.”

  • U.S. & Syrian refugeesHouse votes for an effective ban on Syrian refugees coming to U.S.

    The House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill which slows down, if not blocks altogether, the resettlement in United States of refugees from Syria and Iraq. Breaking with their president, dozens of Democrats joined all the Republicans present to pass a bill which requires the directors of the FBI and national intelligence personally to approve the acceptance into the United States of each refugee.

  • Syrian refugeesCBP 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.”

  • U.S. & Syrian refugeesGrowing 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.

  • Refugees2015 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.

  • ImmigrationCourt 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.”

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  • RefugeesFinnish 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.

  • RefugeesEU 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.

  • ImmigrationCourt 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.

  • Birth tourismBirth 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.

  • Refugee crisisGermany 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.

  • Border securityCritics 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.

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

    By Jan Culik

    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.

  • RefugeesU.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.

  • RefugeesCentral European states will no longer block refugees from entering on way to Austria

    Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia, the three central European countries most vocal in their opposition to allowing massive waves of refugees to enter the EU zone, have over the weekend suspended their policies of blocking refugees from using the three countries’ territories as a corridor for reaching Austria, Germany, and other countries in northern Europe. The three countries will now allow refugees to enter but not stay, and help facilitate the transfer of tens of thousands of refugees toward Austria, reversing most recent attempts to block their passage.