• Legislator proposes volunteer-based Arizona border force

    An Arizona legislator is set to introduce a bill to create a new state volunteer force that could be used help patrol the U.S.-Mexico border; the bill would establish a new homeland security force of volunteers who could be called to duty during civil disasters and for border security; the border security role could kick in if the federal government withdraws National Guard soldiers now assisting in border security

  • SIA releases guidelines for bringing biometrics to E-Verify

    The Security Industry Association, a trade group representing businesses in electronic and physical security, has released suggested guidelines for adding biometrics to the federal E-Verify federal resident verification program

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  • GOP: DREAM act would allow criminal illegals to gain residency

    One version of the DREAM Act — an immigration reform measure pushed by President Obama and Democratic legislators — would allow qualified illegal immigrants up to the age of 35 to gain resident status, prevent DHS from removing any illegal who has a pending application — regardless of age or criminal record — and offers amnesty to qualified illegals with misdemeanor convictions, even DUIs

  • Mexico's violence intensifies, becomes more gruesome

    The war among Mexico’s seven drug cartels — and between the cartels and the Mexican government — is intensifying and becoming more gruesome; as recently as a year or two ago, commandos fighting for the Mexican drug cartels often would rather flee than confront security forces, but an influx of combat weapons — purchased at U.S. gun shops and shows or stolen from Central American munitions stockpiles — and a vast supply of ammunition now enables them to fight, and sometimes outgun, army and federal police units; the war is also becoming more gruesome: the preferred form of cruelty by drug cartel henchmen is to capture enemies and behead them, a once-shocking act that has now become numbingly routine; decapitations emerged alongside another gruesome tactic — dumping the bodies of rivals in vats of acid; cartel goons have moved away from that method, however

  • Boycott damages Arizona convention business

    A new study shows that the state of Arizona has lost about $140 million in lost meeting and convention business in the wake of a controversial immigration law; the hotel industry losses during the first four months after the signing were about $45 million; visitors would have spent an additional $96 million during their stays; lost bookings will probably continue for more than a year, multiplying the effect of a boycott called by immigrant-rights activists after Republican governor Jan Brewer signed the state’s new law in April

  • DoJ IG: ATF not doing enough to curb U.S. gun flow to Mexico

    Because Mexican law severely restricts gun ownership, drug traffickers had turned to the United States as a primary source of weapons; the massive smuggling of firearms from the U.S. to Mexico has caused the militarization of the Mexican drug war: with drug cartels often better armed than the local police, President Calderon, in December 2006, has enlisted the Mexican military to take on the armed-to-the-teeth cartels; the war has already claimed nearly 30,000 dead, and has rendered many cities and towns in Mexico ungovernable; a new Department of Justice reports faults the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for not sharing enough information with its Mexican counterparts and other U.S. agencies, undermining the effort to stem the flow of firearms into Mexico

  • Unisys to expand WHTI license plate-scanning project at border

    Unisys wins 5-year award improves on Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative; WHTI uses automated license plate reader technology to screen vehicles crossing the border, and radio frequency identification technology to confirm the citizenship and identity of travelers carrying WHTI-approved, RFID-enabled travel documents

  • Fees for federal immigration docs to increases

    On 23 November the prices of most federal immigration documents, including green card replacements, are scheduled to increase; someone seeking to replace a green card, for example, will pay $450 under the new fee schedule, instead of $370

  • New U.S. naturalization documents more secure

    The new computerized naturalization certificates will have all that information embedded in the document and also will have ink patterns that are harder to duplicate; the new green cards have more security features, including a personalized holographic image, a laser-engraved fingerprint of the person, and improved identification technology

  • DHS gives itself 30 days to decide SBInet fate

    DHS has given Boeing a temporary 30-day extension on the troubled SBInet border virtual fence contract; DHS has spent $1.1 billion over three years on the ambitious project, without much to show for it; “one insider says: the question is whether to carry on with a Cadillac version of the network—- or to exchange it for a Chevy model that gets the job done faster”

  • Tunnels, boats used to defeat stronger border security

    As border fences along the U.S.-Mexico border get stronger, smugglers are attempting to dodge increased security by tunneling and sailing their way into the United States; tunneling activity has increased 65 percent in the past two years, and a multi-agency team has already made 786 sea smuggling arrests, up from just 400 last year

  • Illegal immigration into U.S. continues to decline

    The Border Patrol made about 463,000 arrests during the federal government’s fiscal year that ended 30 September, down from 556,032 the previous twelve months; this marks the fifth straight year of declines; the Border Patrol arrests are down 72 percent from nearly 1.7 million arrested in 2000; the agency typically makes about 97 percent of its arrests along the 1,952-mile border with Mexico

  • GAO faults DHS, Boeing for SBInet problems

    GAO says that DHS failed adequately to oversee Boeing Co.’s work on SBInet — a troubled high-tech border security system; GAO said that DHS had not properly monitored Boeing’s progress in meeting deadlines and that some “essential controls” had never been implemented

  • Kiwi immigration authorities testing facial recognition system

    New Zealand’s immigration authorities are testing facial recognition system from Daon to verify the identity of people coming through New Zealand customs; a decision about whether or not to adopt the system will be taken after a 12-month trial period

  • Mexican cartels' assassins operate in Arizona

    Drug smuggling gangs in Mexico have sent well-armed assassins, or sicarios, into Arizona to locate and kill bandits who are ambushing and stealing loads of cocaine, marijuana, and heroin headed to buyers in the United States; the drug cartels have posted scouts on the high points in the mountains and in the hills surrounding the Vekol Valley smuggling corridor; says the country sheriff: “They have radios, they have optics, they have night-vision goggles as good as anything law enforcement has—- This is going on here in Arizona. This is 70 to 80 miles from the border — 30 miles from the fifth-largest city in the United States”