• New illegal immigration frontier: the sea

    There is a new frontier for illegal immigrants entering the United States — a roughly 400-square-mile ocean expanse that stretches from a bullring on the shores of Tijuana, Mexico, to suburban Los Angeles; in growing numbers, migrants are gambling their lives at sea as land crossings become even more arduous and likely to end in arrest; while only a small fraction of border arrests are at sea; authorities say heightened enforcement on land, and a bigger fence are making the offshore route more attractive

  • Money smuggling across border grows despite increased enforcement

    U.S. and Mexican law enforcement authorities only seize about 1 percent of cash from drug trafficking, despite increased efforts by both countries; stemming the flow of cash is vital to efforts by the United States and Mexico to take down drug cartels, as drug cartels depend on cash from wholesale drug sales to gangs in the United States

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  • State of Arizona files Opening Brief in Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

    State of Arizona filed an appeal of Judge Susan Bolton’s decision which accepted many of the Obama administration’s objections to the Arizona Immigration law; the appeal argues that the Arizona law does not amount to a usurpation by the state of federal power

  • Mexico deploys Israeli UAVs in war on drug cartels

    Since December 2006, nearly 30,000 Mexicans have been killed in that country’s increasingly vicious drug war; the relentless flow of guns from the United States into Mexico has significantly strengthened the drug cartels, allowing them not only to withstand the efforts by the Mexican authorities to impose law and order, but in many cases to take the operational initiative, making large swaths of the country ungovernable; the Mexican government, for its part, is bolstering its own capabilities: last year it has secretly purchased surveillance UAVs from Israel to perform monitoring tasks in border areas and near strategic installations in the country

  • Biggest mass graves linked to drug-related violence uncovered in Mexico

    Seventy-two bodies found in a mass grave on a ranch in northern Mexico; in recent months an increasing number of mass graves have been discovered; in June, police recovered fifty-five bodies from an abandoned mine near Taxco, in Guerrerro state

  • Under Obama: company audits up, illegal worker arrests way down

    Under Obama, employer audits are up 50 percent, fines have tripled to almost $3 million, and the number of executives arrested is slightly up over the Bush administration; the numbers of arrests and deportations of illegals taken into custody at work sites, however, plummeted by more than 80 percent from the last year of the Bush; both administrations agree that jobs are the magnet that attracts illegal immigrants to the United States, but critics of the Obama approach say it makes no sense to allow employees known to use fake or stolen identification to go free to duplicate the fraud again

  • Border Patrol to buy two new UAV for U.S.-Mexico border

    Just-passed border bill includes $32 million to buy two new Predator B turboprop UAV aircraft from General Atomics, as well as fund operating control stations for them; retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Kostelnik, the assistant Customs and Border Protection commissioner for the Office of Air and Marine, told a House subcommittee that twenty-four UAVs would eventually be needed to cover the entire northern and southern borders and U.S. coastlines

  • Tunnels under U.S.-Mexico border growing national security threat

    There is growing problem along the U.S.-Mexico border: tunnels which connect the bad guys on both sides of the border; in the past several years, the number of border tunnels has increased 63 percent, and U.S. and Mexican authorities use robots and radar to detect them

  • Footpaths across the Rio Grande allow easy route into U.S.

    There are footpaths across the Rio Grande which could easily facilitate movement of illegal immigrants and smugglers across the river without getting wet — but they are not called bridges, but rather “grade control structure”; they were built in the 1930s to stabilize and prevent a shift during high river flow; the local sheriff says that “a terrorist could pass here with weapons of mass destruction and be in the United States and up on the interstate and gone in a short time”

  • Drug cartels employ women assassins (sicarias) in broad killing campaign

    As the drug war in Mexico escalates, drug cartels have began to employ sicaria, or hit women; the women assassins, ranging in age from 18 to 30, work alongside men in cells of La Linea, as the Juárez drug cartel is known; cells are assigned to different jobs — such as halcones (lookouts), hit squads, and extortionists — and operate independently; the hit women are trained to use rifles and handguns and sometimes accompany their male counterparts; women in Juárez have been previously accused of being part of kidnapping rings, often assigned to keep watch on captives; women have also held roles as recruiters, transporters and leaders of drug-smuggling cells

  • In Georgia, immigration officials targeting criminals, employers

    A DHS report says 480,000 “unauthorized immigrants” were living in Georgia as of January 2009, ranking Georgia sixth among states behind California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois, respectively, and just ahead of Arizona; leaders of the $65-billion-a-year food and fiber production and processing industry in Georgia are worried about economic impact of get-tough immigration approach

  • Arizona waits for court decision before changing immigration law

    In response to the 28 July decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to block the more important provisions of the controversial Arizona immigration law, Governor Jan Brewer suggested that Arizona may “tweak” the law in order to address Bolton’s objections; Arizona legislatures say there is no point in rewriting the law while the state is appealing the judge’s decision; in any event, since Bolton blocked the provisions on grounds that they are preempted by federal authority over immigration matters, then the preemption issue will have to be settled by the courts before the legislature revisits the law

  • Drug war fought with American weapons for the American market

    Mexico’s drug war is fought with American weapons for the American market; of the 75,000 guns seized, 80 percent came from the United States; they are used to fight over an estimated $40 billion drug business — virtually all for the United States; last Year, at least 2,600 were killed in Mexico’s drug war, and the country is on track to top 3,000 this year

  • New baggage screening system from Morpho Detection evaluated

    Unlike most baggage-screening systems that create two-dimensional images of objects inside luggage, the CTX 9800 DSi scanners from Morpho Detection create three-dimensional images that can be digitally manipulated by personnel when a bag is deemed to be suspicious; the machines also use advanced software to detect suspicious items; Mineta San Jose International Airport once used 28 machines to process 1,800 bags an hour, but the new system will be able to process the same number of bags using eight machines and require fewer employees to supervise the process; the technology reduces reliance on human observation and interaction with the bags; for the majority of bags, employee contact is only required when a piece of luggage is placed on or taken off the conveyor belt

  • DHS seeking unattended sensors technology for border surveillance

    DHS is seeking information from companies who can build unattended ground sensors that can detect and locate people, boats, or vehicles moving along rivers, roads, and paths in dense forests; DHS says it needs this capability for border surveillance to monitor those entering the United States illegally in rough terrain