• New Jersey's detention center expansion underway

    With the growing number of deportations of illegal aliens from the United States, federal officials expect demand for space to rise within coming years; Newark county officials are awaiting approval by federal authorities to upgrade and expand the Essex County Correctional Facility, significantly increasing its detainee capacity. The county’s proposal would provide a less punitive setting for detainees along with improved medical care, amenities, and federal oversight

  • More than eighty handguns smuggled on passenger flights to U.K.

    An American man successfully smuggled more than eighty handguns aboard passenger flights to the United Kingdom; the man was only apprehended after British investigators tipped off American officials; the suspect transported as many as twenty handguns by breaking them up and placing them in his checked baggage; at one point TSA officials discovered multiple firearms in his bags, confronted him, and allowed him to board the plane with the weapons; U.S. authorities arrested him as he tried to smuggle sixteen handguns on another flight; it is estimated that he took more than a dozen flights in this manner

  • Mexican drug cartels use catapult to launch drug packages across border

    Mexican drug smugglers have tried different methods to smuggle drugs into the United States — double-walled cargo containers, light planes, semi-submersibles, human mules, tunnels, and more; now, there is a new method: U.S. National Guard troops operating a remote video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station in Arizona observed several people preparing a catapult and launching packages over the International Border fence last Friday evening; Mexican troops dispatched to the scene found a 3-yard tall catapult stationed about twenty yards from the U.S. border on a flatbed towed by a sports utility vehicle; the catapult was capable of launching 4.4 pounds of marijuana at a time

  • Mexico Federal Police Take Delivery of UH-60M BLACK HAWK Helicopters

    The United States has delivered three UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters to the government of Mexico’s Federal Police; the aircraft are the first of six advanced helicopters designed to support Mexico’s law enforcement operations as part of the Merida Initiative, a security cooperation agreement between the two countries

  • Mississippi Senate approves Arizona-style immigration bill

    Mississippi estimates it has 90,000 illegal aliens in the state, and that it spends $24 million in education and $35 million a year in health care on them; An Arizona-style bill has passed through the Mississippi state senate and now heads to the state house

  • New government move to crackdown on undocumented workers

    The Obama administration creates new unit to target major companies hiring undocumented workers; the new unit, composed of fifteen auditors, will work under the supervision of ICE; in 2010, ICE conducted nearly 3,000 audits that led to a record $7 million in fines on companies; critics say large companies mostly avoided prosecution; this new unit will work specifically to audit large companies

  • SBInet, the sequel

    DHS has begun the process of contracting to replace the SBInet system it scrapped last week by issuing a request for information (RFI) on interconnected surveillance towers; the department’s plan calls for acquiring proven, ready-made technology tailored to the terrain of each border region, as opposed to the now-defunct $1 billion SBInet; DHS is looking for tools that will offer automatic, continuous wide-area surveillance that are largely open, or not tied to any one brand’s proprietary technology

  • Smart phone app sheds light on airport screening procedures

    New iPhone app allows users to share their experiences at airport security checkpoints; the app, released by Elguji Software, is called TSAzr — Share Your TSA Experience; users can rate, review, and comment on every U.S TSA-staffed airport

  • Family of dead wheel-well stow-away to sue TSA

    Delvonte Tisdale, 16, snuck into the wheel well of a U.S. Airways flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Boston; when the plane landed at Logan, his mutilated body fell onto the tarmac; law enforcement officials say they do not know how Tisdale was able to evade airport security; Tisdale’s family is moving to sue the TSA for negligence

  • Video shows women climbing U.S.-Mexico border fence in less than 18 seconds

    The United States has spent millions of dollars — the barrier costs taxpayers on average about $4 million per mile — to build a fence along portions of the U.S.-Mexico border; a new video shows two women climbing the fence’s concrete-filled steel pipes in less than eighteen seconds

  • More states push for stricter immigration laws

    Kentucky and Nebraska have introduced tough Arizona-style immigration laws; critics hold that these laws violate civil liberties and encourage racial profiling; more states will likely pass similar immigration enforcement bills; a federal court has already struck down the most controversial portion of the Arizona immigration law and the Department of Justice is challenging it; paradoxically a majority of Americans support stricter enforcement and a path to citizenship

  • DHS pulls plug on virtual border fence project

    DHS has cancelled the ambitious SBInet border security project; the project aimed to erect a virtual fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, consisting of a system of cameras and sensors which would allow officers to monitor crossings and dispatch Border Patrol agents to catch anyone entering the United States illegally; Boeing, the primary contractor, was hobbled by technical problems involving the effectiveness of video cameras and other elements, resulting in the project falling far off schedule; a year ago, after DHS had spent $672 million on the project and Boeing had little to show for the money, the project was put on hold; DHS will now look at an alternative system which is likely to rely more on UAVs and thermal imaging

  • Mexican war toll: 34,612 drug-war deaths in four years

    A total of 34,612 people have died in drug-related killings in Mexico since December 2006; the four-year figure included 30,913 execution-style killings, 3,153 deaths in shootouts between gangs, and 546 deaths involving attacks on authorities; the killings reached their highest level in 2010, jumping by almost 60 percent to 15,273 deaths from 9,616 the previous year

  • U.K. joins European fingerprint database

    Home Office joins Eurodac fingerprint database, which collects the fingerprints of asylum seekers and some illegal entrants to the European Union; Eurodac consists of a Central Unit within the European Commission, equipped with a computerized central database for comparing fingerprints, and a system for electronic data transmission between EU countries and the database

  • Unmanned U.S.-Mexico border crossing to re-open in Big Bend National Park

    A U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Texas’ Big Bend National Park that was once popular among U.S. tourists and Mexican shoppers will re-open in April 2012; the unmanned port of entry will be monitored by immigration officials hundreds of miles away. U.S. citizens will scan their passports and the identity of Mexican nationals will be biometrically confirmed