Mobility/Immobility

The House voted overwhelmingly Thursday to drastically tighten screening procedures on refugees from Syria, seizing on the creeping fear stemming from the Paris attacks and threatening to undermine President Obama’s Middle East policy.

Elizabeth Lopez swam across the Rio Grande 19 years ago to come to America, where she began cleaning houses and raising three daughters in this city of swaying palm trees at the southern tip of Texas.

Eight Syrians showed up at a Texas border crossing seeking asylum this week, sparking concern that the U.S. could soon be facing a wave of Syrian migrants across the southern border.

For the second time in a week a group of Syrian migrants presented themselves at a Texas border crossing to seek asylum, evidence some say that more will be making the journey from Europe as anti-Syrian sentiment spreads after the Paris attacks.

Responding to increased fears of terrorism in the United States following the Paris attacks, the House of Representatives passed a Republican-backed bill Thursday that would temporarily freeze Syrian and Iraqi refugees' entry into the United States and revamp the vetting process. The bill passed 289 to 137, with near-unanimous support from Republicans and 47 Democrats backing the measure.

With hundreds of thousands of migrants pouring across its borders, and economic and political pressure growing to enact tighter controls, Europe has nevertheless stayed fairly steady in its response to the humanitarian emergency.

Asylum papers in hand, Raz Mohammad Aryubi recalled his arrival in Austria from his native Afghanistan in spring 2014, and how, at 21, he is now studying for an M.B.A. at the University of Vienna. But his feeling of security in the country he wishes to make his home evaporated, he said, when he saw what happened in Paris.

Slovenia began erecting a razor-wire fence at its border with Croatia on Wednesday to stem the inflow of migrants, as winter closes in and countries to the north tighten their own border controls.

Along the Sahara trail that tens of thousands of Africans take each year to reach the shores of Italy, Europe is paying for a pit stop, of sorts — one that it hopes will give these young people on the move a reason to go back home.

The European Union was closing in on a deal Wednesday to return more migrants to Africa, but there was skepticism that the plan would meet the goal of reducing the numbers of refugees arriving in Germany, Scandinavia and other destinations.

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