• Migrant childrenU.S. to Allow Indefinite Detention of Migrant Children

    The administration said on Wednesday that it would remove limits on how long migrant children can be detained. The move would allow for migrant families detained at the Mexican border to be held until their asylum case is processed, which can take up to several months. In order to allow for indefinite detention, DHS said it would terminate the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, a legal ruling that barred the government from holding migrant children in detention for more than twenty days.

  • PerspectiveHow Data Privacy Laws Can Fight Fake News

    Governments from Russia to Iran have exploited social media’s connectivity, openness, and polarization to influence elections, sow discord, and drown out dissent. While responses have also begun to proliferate, more still are needed to reduce the inherent vulnerability of democracies to such tactics. Recent data privacy laws may offer one such answer in limiting how social media uses personal information to micro-target content: Fake news becomes a lot less scary if it can’t choose its readers.

  • Mass shootingsWant to Stop Mass Shootings?

    “There are a whole range of things that could play a role in prevention [of gun violence], including better parenting, less racism, better education, more job opportunities,” says Harvard’s David Hemenway. “All of these things might have some effect on reducing shootings in the U.S. We should improve all those things. But the most cost-effective interventions involve doing something about guns. For example, as far as we can tell, virtually all developed countries have violent video games and people with mental health issues. There’s no evidence that I know of that shows that people in the U.S. have more mental health issues, especially violent mental health issues. Compared to other high-income countries we are just average in terms of non-gun crime and non-gun violence. The elephant in the room, the thing that makes us stand out among the 29 other high-income countries, is our guns and our weak gun laws. As a result, we have many more gun-related problems than any other high-income country.”

  • PerspectiveDon’t Ban Assault Weapons—Tax Them

    The United States is debating what to do about assault-style weapons, what gun-rights advocates like to call modern sporting rifles. Gun-rights champions argue that these weapons are in common use, and hence protected by the Second Amendment. Gun-control supporters respond that these weapons have no place on our streets and ought to be banned. But there’s a better solution, and one that avoids the constitutional objections typically raised by gun-rights advocates. Rather than banning these weapons, the time has come to tax them.

  • Perspective: Democracy backslidingPolarization versus Democracy

    When can we realistically expect ordinary people to check the authoritarian ambitions of elected politicians? An answer to this question is key to understanding the most prominent development in the dynamic of democratic survival since the end of the Cold War: the subversion of democracy by elected incumbents and its emergence as the most common form of democratic breakdown.

  • ImmigrationFederal Judge Blocks Trump’s Restrictions on Asylum at U.S.-Mexico Border

    A U.S. federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a directive which disqualifies a significant proportion of mostly Central American asylum-seekers who reach the U.S.-Mexico border. In his ruling Wednesday, Judge Jon Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California cited multiple concerns about the rule and the way it was issued. Hours before Tigar issued his ruling, a district court judge in Washington, D.C., denied a similar request to block the rule in a separate case.

  • ImmigrationA Framework for a Fair, Humane, and Workable Immigration Policy

    The immigration debate in America today is nearly as broken as the country’s immigration system itself. The other day, the Center for American Progress released a new report which provides a framework to fix both. CAP notes that for many years, conversations about immigration have been predicated on a false choice that says America can either honor its identity as a nation of immigrants or live up to its ideals as a nation of laws by enforcing the current broken immigration system. Tom Jawetz, the report’s author, argues that by accepting these terms of the debate, supporters of sensible immigration policy have ceded powerful rhetorical ground to immigration restrictionists.

  • PerspectiveCriminal Prosecutions and Illegal Entry: A Deeper Dive

    Since the first Democratic presidential debates at the end of June, candidates, pundits and former government officials have discussed whether provisions of law that turn unauthorized border crossing into the federal crime of “improper entry” – in addition to a civil immigration law violation – should be repealed. Over the last three years, researchers at Human Rights First have conducted extensive research and observed countless entry and re-entry prosecutions in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. These prosecutions, as we have detailed in a series of reports, violate U.S. refugee treaty obligations, impinge on due process, separate children from their parents, waste government funds, and divert prosecutorial resources from serious criminal and security threats.

  • Public healthGerman law would require measles vaccination to attend schools, kindergartens, daycare

    German children will have to prove they have had a measles vaccination before they would be allowed to attend kindergarten or go to school. A new draft law imposes steep fines on parents who refuse to immunize their children.

  • PerspectiveU.S. Offensive Cyber Operations against Economic Cyber Intrusions: An International Law Analysis

    The United States is likely to struggle to make a convincing argument that economic cyber intrusions carried out against it breach international law. Consequently, in most cases the United States would not be able to resort to countermeasures in response. It must therefore show that its offensive cyber operations do not themselves breach international law.

  • Perspective“Safe Third Country” Agreements with Mexico and Guatemala Would Be Unlawful

    News reports that the United States seeks to sign “Safe Third Country” agreements with Mexico and Guatemala – possibly as soon as today – mark the latest phase in the Trump Administration’s efforts to keep Central American asylum seekers from reaching the country. Such agreements would bar asylum applications in the United States from thousands fleeing El Salvador and Honduras, as well as claimants from other world regions who transit Central America and Mexico to reach our border. And they would be contrary to both U.S. and international law on the protection of asylum seekers.

  • ImmigrationMexicans in U.S. Routinely Confront Legal Abuse, Racial Profiling, ICE Targeting and Other Civil Rights Violations

    By David FitzGerald, Angela Y. McClean, and Gustavo López

    Officially, the Constitution of the United States gives everyone on U.S. soil equal protection under the law – regardless of nationality or legal status. But, as recent stories of the neglectful treatment of migrant children in government detention centers demonstrate, these civil rights are not always granted to immigrants.

  • Conspiracy theoriesTruth prevails: Sandy Hook father’s victory over conspiracy theory crackpots

    Noah Pozner, then 6-year old, was the youngest of twenty children and staff killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Last week, his father, Lenny Pozner, won an important court victory against conspiracy theorists who claimed the massacre had been staged by the Obama administration to promote gun control measures. The crackpots who wrote a book advancing this preposterous theory also claimed that Pozner had faked his son’s death certificate as part of this plot.

  • Election securityAhead of the 2020 election: National response to confront foreign interference

    Stanford University scholars outline a detailed strategy for how to protect the integrity of American elections – including recommendations such as requiring a paper trail of every vote cast and publishing information about a campaign’s connections with foreign nationals.

  • Post-disaster scamsScam contractors preying on victims of natural disasters

    Following a natural disaster or strong storm like Hurricane Florence, there is usually a second wave of potential destruction – scam artists looking to line their pockets. “After any major weather-related incident, insurance adjusters and contractors swarm the affected area and, unfortunately, some are looking to take advantage of those in distress,” says one expert.