• Political Preferences Play a Role in Migrants’ Choice of Destination Country

    It may not be just location, location, location that influences where people move to in the United States, but also politics, politics, politics, according to a team of researchers. In a study of county-to-county migration patterns in the U.S., the researchers found that when people migrate, they tend to move to other counties that reflect their political preferences. They added that the pattern also suggests that people moving from moderate partisan counties are just as likely to move to extreme partisan counties as they are to move to other moderate counties.

  • With Gang Violence Rising, Sweden Searches for Answers

    Crime in general in on the decline in Sweden, but violent crime – shooting, explosions, and killing – has been on a stead rise since 2014. Experts note that the violence is not perpetrated by organized gangs. Rather, it is carried out by “loose groups” without a real hierarchical structure or recruitment process: According to the researchers, a majority of the young people involved in the violence are of foreign origin, but most have been born in Sweden.

  • DHS Sued to Obtain Information about Rapid DNA Testing of Migrant Families at the Border

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this week to obtain information that will shine a light on the agency’s use of Rapid DNA technology on migrant families at the border to verify biological parent-child relationships. Refusing to provide DNA carries threat that children will be separated from families.

  • Proposed Asylum Fees Are Part of a Bid to Make Immigrants to the U.S. Fund Their Own Red Tape

    The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. At present, only Iran, Australia and Fiji charge fees to would-be asylum-seekers. 

  • Linking Formation of International Laws to Refugee Crisis

    Geographers are linking the political and human rights issues at borders today to the legacies of foreign and domestic policy across the globe since the First World War. A new study examines more than 100 years of international laws that have led, perhaps unintentionally, to the existing hostile climate for refugees.

  • Russia Positioning Itself in Libya to Unleash Migrant Crisis into Europe

    Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested to the West last month that the widening chaos in Libya after almost a decade of war should have been obvious: “A flow of migrants went through Libya to Europe,” he said in an interview, recalling the displacement of refugees that has reached crisis levels in recent years. “They have what they were warned about.” This week, the New York Times documented the deployment into Libya of Russian mercenaries. “The Russian leader’s warning about Libya, many analysts believe, reflects an ambition to intervene in the conflict at least in part to control refugee flows into Europe, indicating a broad understanding of the disruptive power that the movement of immigrants has had on the Western world,” Paul Shinkman writes.

  • Border Agents Can Now Get Classified Intelligence Information. Experts Call That Dangerous.

    Pushing further toward its goal of “extreme vetting,” the Trump administration is creating a new center in suburban Virginia that will allow immigration agents to access, for the first time, the sprawling array of information scooped up by America’s intelligence agencies, from phone calls intercepted by the National Security Agency to material gathered by the CIA’s spies overseas to tips from informants in Central America. “Legal experts worry that immigration agents could potentially use this secret data to flag entire categories of people that fit ‘suspect’ profiles and potentially bar them from entering the U.S., or prompt them to be tracked while they’re here,” Melissa Del Bosque writes. “It could also be nearly impossible for those denied entry to challenge faulty information if wrongly accused, they say, since most of it is classified.”

  • Assessing the Legal Landscape of Family Separation in the Immigration Context

    While prior presidential administrations have certainly struggled with periodic migration and border security challenges, officials in the Trump administration revived a controversial proposal that had been considered briefly during the Obama administration, but quickly shelved as “too opprobrious and unpalatable.” Carrie Cordero, Heidi Li Feldman, and Chimène Keitner write that “Once implemented last year, the early effects of the family separation policy and practice were swift, and devastating: Children were separated from their parents or family members at the border as a consequence of a new prosecutive guideline from the Justice Department. Parents were given little or no information about where the children were re-located to, or when, if ever, the families would be reunited.” They add: “As far as we know, until 2018, the U.S. government had not previously implemented a policy and practice of intentionally separating migrant and asylum-seeking families as a means of deterrence. As Americans, each of us was horrified our government would rip vulnerable children from their families in such a deliberate way.”

  • House Democrats Set to Introduce First-of-Its-Kind Climate Refugee Bill

    Since 2008, catastrophic weather has displaced an average of 24 million people per year, according to data from the Swiss-based nonprofit Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. That number could climb to anywhere from 140 million to 300 million to 1 billion by 2050. The World Bank estimated last year that climate change effects in just three regions ― sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America ― could force 143 million people to flee by the middle of the century. House Democrats are set to introduce the first major piece of legislation to establish protections for migrants displaced by climate change, ramping up a push for a long-overdue framework for how the United States should respond to a crisis already unfolding on its shores.

  • Blair’s Reckless Population Explosion Sowed the Seeds of Brexit, Though Few Will Now Admit It

    The greatest failure of modern British governance was to encourage mass immigration to the U.K. and fail to prepare for the impact it would have, Philip Johnston writes in The Telegraph. “It is at the root of much that afflicts the nation today, from the agony of Brexit to the near-terminal pressure on the NHS and the housing crisis with all its attendant consequences.” “Bizarrely, political discourse has raged around the creaking NHS, the crowded trains, the snarled up roads, the lack of homes, the crammed prisons, the cost of pensions and the woeful state of social care, all without ever focusing on the cause for fear of being denounced as racist,” he writes, adding: “There were two ways to address this matter. Either stop adding to the population with a policy of net zero immigration. Or accept that the increase was unstoppable, even welcome in view of the fact that we had so many more older, economically inactive people, and ensure the infrastructure was in place to cope.”

  • U.S. Not Alone in Restricting Asylum Eligibility

    U.S. President Donald Trump’s effort to dramatically curtail claims for asylum in the United States — cheered by the administration’s supporters and condemned by immigration rights advocates — is unprecedented on America’s southern border but not unique on the world stage. Europe in particular has imposed restrictive rules for asylum-seekers that predate this year’s flurry of activity in the United States.

  • Religious Bias against Refugees

    Give me your Christian, your female, your English-speaking with a good education? While not the words on the Statue of Liberty, these seem to be the kinds of refugees that the American public prefers –according to a new study. The study shows that religion is the most powerful source of discrimination.

  • High Tech at the Border Wall... and the Government Wants More

    Border Patrol agents say one of the most helpful types of technology in the region is the network of underground sensors placed along the riverbank and nearby dirt trails. They detect movement and notify agents of activity, like migrants illegally scrambling across the border. “There’s a lot of focus on just the wall. The wall is just one aspect of a multi-layered approach that we utilize to secure our borders,” says George Gomez, a Border Patrol agent in the El Paso sector of the southern border the United States shares with Mexico. “If they’re able to actually scale the wall and come down on the U.S. side safely without injuring themselves, then they’re going to step on one of our sensors that are magnetic, seismic or infrared. And that alerts us to activity in that area,” he says.

  • Catch-22: Stricter Border Enforcement May Increase Agent Corruption

    When a customs officer in El Paso, Texas was arrested for conspiracy to smuggle marijuana into the U.S between 2003 and 2007, investigators found she had sought a job with the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency mainly to enable the smuggling operation. Analysis of corruption cases among customs officers and border patrol agents reveals alarming trends depending on their years of service.

  • NYC Bans Calling Someone an “Illegal Alien” out of Hate

    It’s now against the law in New York City to threaten someone with a call to immigration authorities or refer to them as an “illegal alien” when motivated by hate. The restrictions — violations of which are punishable by fines of up to $250,000 per offense — are outlined in a 29-page directive released by City Hall’s Commission on Human Rights. The Commission on Human Rights made clear that the directive is, at least in part, a rebuke of federal crackdowns on illegal immigration.