OUR PICKSDoD’s Critical Infrastructure Is Dangerously Insecure | A Crucial Barrier Against Hurricanes Risk | Growing Risk of WMD Attacks, and more

Published 2 October 2023

·  Why Can’t We Stop Unauthorized Immigration? Because It Works.
Our broken immigration system is still the best option for many migrants — and U.S. employers

·  A Crucial Barrier Against Hurricanes Is at Risk
Sand dunes can protect the coastline from the effects of climate change. But they’re vulnerable to intense storms.

·  New York City Is Not Built for This
The city is seeing rainfall patterns that look more like Miami’s or even Singapore’s

·  The Patriot: How General Mark Milley protected the Constitution from Donald Trump
The first 16 months of Milley’s term, a period that ended when Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump as president, were not normal, because Trump was exceptionally unfit to serve

·  This Is Your Kid’s Brain on Extreme Heat
It’s too hot for school, as stifling classrooms cause some teachers to switch to remote learning—or cancel lessons altogether. And the heat will only get worse.

·  The DoD’s Critical Infrastructure Is Dangerously Insecure
As a nation, we must demand accountability for safeguarding our mission-critical infrastructure and action from our legislators and DoD leader

·  Texas Drought Has Deepened Amid This Year’s Brutal Heat
After a long summer of extreme heat, Texas has been battered by a lingering drought that’s damaging crops, drying up water supplies and causing wildfires.

·  Biotechnology and AI Advances, Disinformation Campaigns Compound Increased Risk of WMD Attacks
DoD’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Strategy says that state and non-state actors “have learned from and are adapting to traditional U.S. counterproliferation tools and approaches”

Why Can’t We Stop Unauthorized Immigration? Because It Works.  (Marcela Valdes, New York Times)
The three most recent presidents have tried and failed to fix the problem of mass unauthorized migration into the United States. President Obama tried to balance empathy with enforcement, deferring the deportation of those who arrived as minors and instructing immigration officers to prioritize the arrest of serious criminals, even as he connected every jail in the nation to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). President Trump emphasized enforcement at all costs: revoking deferred action for minors, declaring the arrest of every undocumented person a priority, separating migrant families and trying to terminate temporary protected status for about 400,000 people — though Trump also extended deferred action to about 200,000 Venezuelans during his last full day in office.
So far, President Biden has revived the empathy-and-enforcement strategy: resuming deferred action for minors and helping Venezuelans while also making it more difficult to qualify for asylum.
But these variations in policy have had almost no effect on the number of migrants trying to enter the United States through the Southern border. Obama and Trump chose mostly opposing strategies, but each prioritized the arrest of unauthorized migrants in the Rio Grande Valley. Yet in 2019, before the pandemic gave Trump legal standing to force asylum seekers back into Mexico, Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P.) arrested about 82,000 more migrants there than they had at the peak of migrations in the Obama years.
Illegal immigration is the natural consequence of the conflict between America’s thirst for foreign labor and its strict immigration laws. The world’s increasing connectedness and fluidity have just supercharged this dynamic. There are now more than 11 million undocumented immigrants inside the United States, three times the number that lived here in 1990. And during the last fiscal year, the number of C.B.P. arrests in the Rio Grande Valley hit a record: more than half a million.