“two Swedish fans were shot dead. The alleged gunman, named as Abdesalem Lassoued, posted two videos online, in which he claimed to be a “fighter for Allah” and that he was a supporter of Islamic State.
Here the script is depressingly familiar. Reports in the English and Belgian media state the gunman was Tunisian, had been in the country since 2016, and was “known to the police”. His asylum application had been rejected in 2020, but a request to leave Belgium had not been enacted as Lassoued had moved house. A subsequent arrest for making threats on social media was working its way through the Belgian legal system.
It would be easy to blame some of these problems on Belgium itself. Districts of Brussels have long been allowed to opt out from the rule of law, and the nation’s multiple police forces are hardly a by-word for competence. But the situation is little better elsewhere. On Friday, France witnessed its second murder of a school teacher by an Islamist. Here the suspect was again ‘known to the police’ as an alleged extremist and has a brother in prison for terrorist offences.
Britain is no better. In November 2021, an asylum seeker in Liverpool died while attempting to blow up the city’s women’s hospital. Emad Al-Swealmeen had originally entered Britain on a tourist visa, claiming he wanted to see Britain’s Got Talent be recorded in Belfast. Al-Swealmeen was still in the UK six years after his asylum claim was rejected.
Huge numbers of primarily young men, have crossed Europe’s leaky borders since 2015. Research for Policy Exchange earlier this year found 83% of those crossing the channel on small boats in 2022, were male. We know next to nothing about who they are or what they believe. In many cases they move to communities where levels of integration is already poor, and extremist ideals have currency.”
“Yesterday, the Biden administration announced new actions to help get recent immigrants to work, including offering almost half a million Venezuelans a status that will let them live and work in the U.S. legally for the next 18 months. The new measures come at a critical time, as labor shortages persist and cities struggle to provide for newcomers.
Certain Venezuelan migrants are eligible for temporary protected status (TPS), a designation offered to migrants who can’t safely return to their home countries due to armed conflict, environmental disaster, or another temporary safety hazard. Venezuela was first designated for TPS in 2021 due to a severe political and economic crisis perpetuated by Nicolás Maduro’s regime. Under that designation, Venezuelans who came to the U.S. before March 2021 qualified for protection; now, the status will apply to Venezuelans who arrived before the end of July this year. There are currently 16 countries designated for TPS.”
“The Biden administration announced a raft of other immigration and border enforcement measures.., including harsh actions like deploying military personnel to the border and expanding family deportations.”
“The administration is also aiming for quicker review of work authorization requests filed by migrants who enter the country through mobile app appointments or through the private sponsorship program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. DHS says it’s aiming to improve the median processing time for those work authorization applications from 90 days to 30 days. U.S. immigration agencies have long struggled to efficiently process various kinds of applications, so it remains to be seen whether those improvements will happen.”
“in the absence of broader immigration reform spearheaded by Congress, these are welcome actions. Getting immigrants to work is an obvious economic good—the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there are 8.8 million job openings in the country—and it’ll also reduce the burden of government spending. The Biden administration has sent nearly $770 million to localities to help fund services for new arrivals. Without a clear legal pathway to employment, many migrants simply wouldn’t be able to provide for themselves and turn away from city-provided services. Encouraging migrant self-sufficiency is particularly important in New York City, which has a “right-to-shelter” law that has proven costly.”
“The United States boasts more international students, immigrant inventors, and foreign-born Nobel laureates than any other country. But thanks to our dysfunctional immigration system, the U.S. is slowly surrendering that advantage to other countries.”
“Demand for H-1Bs far outpaces supply, and the annual cap of 85,000 visas has not changed in more than 15 years. Three-quarters of America’s H-1B workers are Indian. But thanks to caps on the number of green cards a given country’s nationals can receive each year, there is a massive backlog of workers waiting for permanent residency. It can take decades for Indians to achieve that status.”
” It is not just foreign workers who suffer under the U.S. immigration system. American employers are increasingly unwilling to navigate such complex processes to hire foreigners, depriving them of employees who might otherwise be perfect fits. Envoy Global, an immigration services provider, reported in March that 82 percent of the employers it surveyed “had to let go of foreign employees in the past year due to difficulties securing or extending an employment-based visa in the U.S.” A similar share transferred foreign workers to an office abroad for similar reasons. And a staggering 93 percent of the businesses that Envoy surveyed said they were considering nearshoring or offshoring.”
“When Najeeb and his wife, Atefa, escaped Kabul with their two children in April 2022, they believed that they would be processed for resettlement to America quickly. After all, Najeeb had been working for the U.S. Embassy when it shuttered in August 2021. Plus, their little girl’s sensitive health situation, they reasoned, was sure to put them on a fast track. They were manifested for a U.S.-run evacuation flight to Qatar in April, 2022, which seemed a positive sign for their hopes of resettling in America. In Doha, an expedited processing site for Afghan refugees, their case would surely move forward quickly.
But spring turned into a summer of anxious waiting and watching, and summer to winter. Now, as the family faces another winter in limbo in their cramped, shipping container-like room at the Camp As Sayliyah army base, the door to America appears to close on them. (The State Department did not respond to specific questions about the Nasiri case, citing confidentiality of visa records.)”
“Many critics of illegal immigration argue that foreigners should get in line if they want to move to the United States. It shouldn’t be so hard or time-consuming, they argue, for a law-abiding foreigner simply to wait his turn to get a green card.
The reality of the U.S. immigration system is much more complicated and costly than that. To that effect, the Cato Institute, a free market think tank, has released The Green Card Game. Players must navigate the game’s twists and turns in the hopes of securing a green card, which will allow them to live and work in the U.S. legally and eventually become a citizen.”
“Round after round, different background after different background, I was unable to get into the country legally. I never even came close to the citizenship test. At one point, as a highly educated Afghan doctor fleeing religious persecution, I had no choice but to spend thousands on a journey from South America to the U.S.-Mexico border. My arrival date ticked up to 2045—only for a judge to reject my asylum case. (Unfortunately, that exact journey is a reality for many.)”
“”A lot of people might play and conclude that the game is biased,” says Bier. “But the reality is that the game is easier than real life. In real life, you can’t set your profile, pick your country of birth, and play as many times as it takes.””
“For more than two years, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has pursued an increasingly aggressive approach to the border, sending thousands of National Guard troops and police officers to patrol the Rio Grande and testing the legal limits of state action on immigration.
But in recent weeks, Texas law enforcement officials have taken those tactics much further, embarking on what the state has called a “hold-the-line” operation, according to interviews with state officials and documents reviewed by The New York Times. They have fortified the riverbanks with additional concertina wire, denied water to some migrants, shouted at others to return to Mexico and, in some cases, deliberately failed to alert federal Border Patrol agents who might assist arriving groups in coming ashore and making asylum claims, the review found.
The increasingly brutal, go-it-alone approach has alarmed people inside the U.S. Border Patrol and the Texas Department of Public Safety, the agency chiefly responsible for pursuing the governor’s border policies. Several Texas officers have lodged internal complaints and voiced opposition.”
“The United States doesn’t make it easy for talented foreigners to permanently settle in the country, even if they work in critical fields and stay in legal status. For workers on H-1B visas, a nonimmigrant classification reserved for highly skilled, highly specialized laborers, it can take years to adjust to a green card. For Indian nationals, it can take decades.”
“”America hasn’t streamlined its immigration system in over two decades,” says Sam Peak, a senior policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity. “Canadian policy makers continue to find new ways to take advantage of that.””
“Today’s legal immigration system is drastically different than what it was historically. Post-independence, the U.S. took a broadly liberal approach to welcoming newcomers. “Even when it finally adopted some rules in the late 19th century, immigrants were presumed eligible for permanent residence unless the government showed that they fell into specific and usually narrow ineligible categories,” writes Bier.
Now, would-be migrants have to prove their eligibility based on strict prerequisites that vanishingly few can fulfill. That shift hasn’t reduced demand for migration pathways—it’s just created a black market, much like other forms of prohibition. Rather than looking to a sensible, straightforward, and sanctioned visa application process, migrants of many stripes look to smugglers and illegal entry to reach American soil. This has made their journeys far more dangerous (and, in many cases, deadly).”