• Rep. King, CBP commissioner, Nassau County executive discuss borders

    A high-level meeting took place in Mineola, Long Island, earlier this week between among Representative Pete King, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Alan Bersin, commissioner, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Edward Mangano, Nassau County executive; a spokesperson said the meeting was about the Federal government’s efforts to make U.S. borders safe while working to promote commerce and trade

  • Texas to pass tougher immigration laws

    Texas is the latest state to join the ranks of state legislatures across the United States seeking to pass tougher immigration laws; the proposed bill is less strict than the many Arizona-style laws that are making its way through other states, but critics say that the bill will encourage racial profiling, take valuable resources from critical police work, and give rogue agents free reign to harass immigrants; supporters disagree as the bill eschews the more controversial provisions of the Arizona law by not requiring police officers to inquire about immigration status; the bill would also eliminate “sanctuary cities” and allow officers to maintain records and help federal authorities enforce immigration laws

  • Stephanie Rowe: 100 percent secure air travel not possible

    Stephanie Rowe, CEO of NEXT, LLC and former assistant administrator for Transportation Threat Assessment and Credentialing (TTAC) at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), was interviewed by Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor, Eugene Chow; Rowe discusses the impossibility of a 100 percent secure system, the need for a real dialogue on security with an understanding of risk management, and the challenges of implementing large technological projects across the government

  • ICE dive unit targets drug smuggling containers

    The intense law enforcement focus on drug trafficking through Mexico could push some cocaine smuggling operations to U.S. coasts and ports; in an effort to prevent another era of “cocaine cowboys” in Miami, circa the 1980s, U.S. officials are not leaving the security of ports and international maritime shipments to chance; “If you cut off one way for drugs to get in, they will find another way,” one ICE agent said

  • ICE: Secure Communities program not optional

    The immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities (SC) has come under fire by cities refusing to participate in the voluntary submission of criminal suspects’ fingerprints; the Obama administration has made it so that cities no longer have a choice but to concede to the program’s new guidelines

  • Border funding causes Napolitano's metaphorical whiplash

    In a major shift from the $600 million emergency supplemental fund approved by congress and signed by President Obama last year, the Obama administration’s fiscal 2012 budget will not seek big funding increases for border security, and may actually decrease funding in some areas

  • Critics call for end of physical border wall program along southern border

    Given the current congressional economic climate with politicians on both sides of the aisle looking to cut programs and reduce the deficit, various groups are calling for the cancellation of the physical border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border; critics cite the wall’s high costs, detrimental environmental impact, and inability to stop people from crossing the border as reasons to end the program; so far the government has spent $2.6 billion to build 650 miles of fence and would cost $6.5 billion over the next twenty years to maintain it; a recent YouTube video showed two women climbing the fence in less than twenty seconds; environmentalists say the walls have “severely affected rivers, streams, and wetlands”

  • A city divided by DHS

    The Rio Grande, which once marked the international boundary, now sandwiches the house that Pamela Taylor and her husband built more than fifty years ago and a tall steel barrier erected by DHS last year a quarter mile north of the Rio; the Taylor’s two acres now lie on a strip of land that neither belongs to Mexico or the United States; Taylor and other residents believe that the government has not accounted for an estimated eight houses stranded on the other side of the fence

  • Digital immigration system lacks protection against insider threats

    A recent DHS Inspector General report found that the department lacks an effective strategy to protect its automated immigration system from insider threats; the investigation found that the department had not taken adequate security measures to secure paperwork sparking fears that terrorists could manipulate the forms to enter the country; the report was released on the same day that the FBI arrested a Saudi Arabian citizen legally in the United States for planning an explosive chemical attack in Texas; USCIS has not yet offered its plans to deal with the program’s vulnerability.

  • Gun used to kill ICE agent in Mexico was bought in Dallas

    Hundreds of thousands U.S.-made fire-arms are bought at U.S. gun shows then smuggled into Mexico, making the drug cartels better-armed and better-equipped then than the police; the cartels not only fight each other in the open, but have now brazenly taken on the police and the military directly, making vast swaths of Mexico ungovernable and pushing Mexico closer to becoming a failed state; since December 2006, more than 32,000 Mexicans have been killed in war; on 15 February, a U.S. federal agent — ICE agent Jaime Zapata — was killed in an attack at a roadblock in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi; he was killed with a gun bought in Dallas, Texas

  • California enrolls in biometric system to crack down on illegal immigration

    Last week California became the ninth state in the United States to fully deploy the Secure Communities program, which automatically runs an arrested individual’s fingerprint through a national database to determine their immigration status; each year law enforcement officials arrest an estimated one million non-U.S. citizens; ICE has deported more than 62,500 aliens convicted of crimes under the program; critics of the program believe that use of the system has led to the arrest and deportation of noncriminal immigrants and are also concerned about the mandatory use of the system; a report found that in Illinois 78 percent of all detainees identified by ICE were non-criminals

  • ASU Publishes Report on Improving Border Security

    A new study says that securing the flow of people, goods, and business between the United States and Mexico requires the integration and interconnectivity of communications technologies among and between ports, check points, and law enforcement agencies along the 1,969 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border

  • Border bottlenecks hamper trade

    Last year, U.S. exports to Mexico totaled $163 billion, and imports from Mexico totaled $229.6 billion; nearly 80 percent of that trade crosses through land border ports on trucks and railcars; the 1.8-million strong Border Trade Alliance says bottlenecks at border crossings hamper this trade and make it more costly to grow it; the Alliance urges Congress and the Obama administration to invest in border ports of entry, including hiring more staff; Obama’s proposed 2011 budget includes only 300 new Customs and Border Protection officers, while Republicans propose shrinking the Border Patrol by 870 agents

  • Studying wait times at modified truck fast lane

    Western Washington University has received $49,000 to conduct field research on wait times and lane reconfiguration at the U.S.-Canada border; the university’s Border Policy and Research Institute will collect and analyze data on wait times as part of a pilot to examine alternative use of the dedicated Free and Secure Trade truck lane at the Blaine crossing