• 4-4 Supreme Court tie keeps Obama's sweeping immigration reforms blocked

    A 4:4 tie at the Supreme Court has dealt Barack Obama’s immigration program – and his legacy — a major setback. The president took his executive action to shield about four millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation after House Republicans refused to bring to the floor for a vote a 2013 bipartisan Senate legislation which provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Twenty-six states with Republican governors challenged Obama’s executive action, arguing that Obama had exceeded his authority by granting a blanket deportation deferment to millions of undocumented immigrants. A federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of the twenty-six governors, and the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of appeals upheld that Texas court’s decision last November.

  • With persecution, threat of mass killing on the rise, further mass migration is inevitable

    With the refugee crisis far from over, the failure to address persecution in states where peoples are under severe threat makes further mass population movements inevitable. The international human rights organization Minority Rights Group International (MRG) has just launched the 2016 Peoples under Threat index and online map, which seeks to identify those countries around the world which are most at risk of genocide, mass political killing or systematic violent repression.

  • Obama's lawyers ask Texas judge to rethink immigration order

    The Obama administration has asked a Brownsville, Texas-based judge to rethink an order that requires the federal government to turn over the private information of thousands of undocumented immigrants. The 19 May order from U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen asserted that the federal government’s attorneys intentionally misled the court during proceedings over the Obama administration’s controversial executive order on immigration.

  • State sued for licensing detention center

    Grassroots Leadership, which opposes for-profit prisons, has sued the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for issuing a temporary child-care license to an immigration detention facility in Karnes City. Thenon-profit organization says the department has no authority to regulate detention centers or prisons, and is asking a Travis County District Court for a temporary injunction and restraining order to stop the licensing.

  • Climate-exodus expected as temperatures rise in Middle East, North Africa

    More than 500 million people live in the Middle East and North Africa — a region which is very hot in summer and where climate change is already evident. The temperature during summer in the already very hot Middle East and North Africa will increase more than two times faster compared to the average global warming. This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. As a result, the number of climate refugees could increase dramatically in future.

  • El Paso doesn't want ID as "sanctuary city"

    An El Paso-based immigrant rights group could see its hopes for a municipal ID card dashed after leaders there determined that issuing the card might prompt immigration hardliners to label the town a “sanctuary city.”

  • State-level immigration policies should be subject of cost-benefit analysis

    While immigration policy has been the purview of the U.S. federal government, nearly all states have taken a more-active role on the issue of unauthorized immigration in the past fifteen years through actions such as making drivers licenses available regardless of immigration status and requiring employers to verify eligibility to work, according to a new study. States, however, rarely examine the costs and benefits of such policies before enacting them, suggesting the need for a comprehensive tool to help state policymakers assess the full range of costs and benefits of immigration policies before they are adopted.

  • Texas to re-classify immigrant detention centers as child-care facilities

    In 2015 a judge ordered Texas to shut down two immigration detention centers – but in order to escape implementing the judge’s order, Texas is considering re-classifying the two detention centers as “child-care facilities.” The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services had to address a July 2015 decision from federal Judge Dolly Gee. Gee ruled that the country’s three family detention centers (a third facility is in the process of being shut down) were holding children in “deplorable conditions” that “failed to meet even the minimal standard” for a safe and clean environment for children.

  • U.K.'s citizenship tests act as barriers to naturalization

    Citizenship tests are requiring immigrants to become “super-citizens” and act as barriers to naturalization, according to new research. In the first academic article to consider the experience of people taking the tests, researchers found that they provided immigrants with little useful or practical knowledge and were considered disparaging by requiring them to know things that citizens-by-birth would not.

     

  • U.S. undocumented population declines

    In a just-released report, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) finds that the U.S. undocumented population has fallen below eleven million for the first time since 2004. The report also offers evidence that the Mexican-born undocumented population continues to decline, falling by more than 600,000 since 2010. The study further describes trends in the undocumented population over the past few years for selected countries of origin and states of residence.

  • France’s emergency anti-terrorism laws; Russian air strikes’ toll; DHS deportation campaign

    The French government plans to propose constitutional amendments aiming to shield state-of-emergency measures from legal challenges; Russian air strikes in Syria, which began 30 September. The Russian strikes have killed 2,132 people, a third of them civilians; DHS is set to launch a campaign to deport illegal immigrant families who arrived in the United States since the beginning of 2014.

  • Texas sues to block resettlement of Syrian refugees

    The Texas Health and Human Services Commission on Wednesday filed suits in federal court against the U.S. State Department, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and other organizations as part of the state effort to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Texas.

  • Administration 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.”

  • House 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.

  • 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.”