• DHS probes dancers for visas

    It was a close call for the East Village theater La MaMa: At least three weeks’ worth of box-office revenue was on the line when DHS questioned the visa applications submitted by artists in an upcoming performance; although delayed by one week, the show will go on: The Irish Modern Dance Theatre’s “Fall and Recover,” a dance work inspired by survivors of torture, now opens Friday 25 March

  • E-Verify Self Check launched

    DHS and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the launch of E-Verify Self Check — a service that allows individuals in the United States to check their own employment eligibility status before formally seeking employment

  • Canada blasts DHS plan to impose a $5.50 border fee on Canadians

    A $5.50 border fee proposed for the 2012 budget would net millions for the American coffers, funding security measures; DHS is calling for the change, and analysts predict the increase in collections could bring in up to $110 million dollars; Canadian Foreign Affairs officials have blasted the fee

  • U.S. UAVs track drug gangs in Mexico

    The war in Mexico — between the drug cartels and the government, and among the drug cartels themselves — has been increasingly spilling across the border into the United States; some cartels now maintain outposts in the Arizona desert; to gather more information about the cartels, and to help the Mexican authorities in their war against them, the United States has been flying unarmed surveillance UAVs over Mexico; the flights are made in coordination with and at the request of the Mexican government; the Mexican authorities also choose the target of drone surveillance; drones had gathered intelligence that led to the arrest in Mexico of several suspects in connection with the murder of a U.S. immigration agent, Jaime Zapata

  • Monitoring Mexican trucks operating in the U.S.

    The U.S. plan to equip Mexican trucks with electronic recorders for driver logs would be a limited, temporary program undertaken because it is the only way the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FCMSA) can ensure that the Mexican trucks will be monitored, the U.S. government says; under (NAFTA), the United States cannot require Mexican carriers to do anything that U.S. carriers are not required to do, but the government still must provide a way to monitor Mexican carriers for compliance with both the hours of service rules and the cabotage rules that restrict freight hauling between points in the United States

  • Auditor faults SBInet's successor

    A federal auditor has found that DHS has not provided evidence that their plan to integrate surveillance technologies across the nation’s southern border will be more practical and cost-efficient than the failed $1.5 billion virtual fence the project is supposed to replace; GAO as well as security and technology experts, say the substitute plan closely resembles the original project that wasted hundreds of millions of dollars and years of work on tools that malfunctioned in the severe heat

  • Effort to stem flow of firearms to Mexico backfires

    There are no limits in the United States to the number of long guns (as opposed to pistols or revolvers) a person is allowed to buy; the Mexican drug cartels exploited this buy sending thousands of straw buyers to gun shows an gun shops to buy hundreds of thousands of fire arms, then smuggle them to Mexico; to stem the flow of guns, the ATF launched Project Gunrunner: rather than just take down low-level straw buyers here and there, the agency hoped that by “letting the guns walk,” the sales would lead investigators to cartel members higher up in the organization; insiders say it never did; ATF could have told gun owners not to sell, or later seize the guns in an arrest; instead, gun store owners were allowed to sell even though agents often knew the buyer was a straw for the Mexican cartels; those guns can be traced to hundreds of robberies, rapes, and murders; experts said the numbers are much higher

  • Border agents struggle with Canadian border

    As more attention and resources are poured into the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Border Patrol agents along the northern border have struggled with limited resources and manpower; the nearly 4,000 mile U.S.-Canada border is roughly twice as long as the southern border, yet there are only 2,200 agents posted along it compared to 18,000 agents in the south; Border Patrol agents in the north say they lack the resources to do the job; smuggling rings, especially drug traffickers, exploit the gaps in security along the northern border to ship large quantities of drugs to the United States

  • Mexican trucks set to cross border again

    President Obama and Mexican president Felipe Calderon have struck a deal that will allow Mexican trucks to cross the border once again; the new deal will end a sixteen year dispute which has effectively kept Mexican tractor-trailers from driving on U.S. roadways; the plan will allow an unlimited flow of trucks from Mexico to enter the United States so long as shipping companies register the vehicles, pass inspections, and do not break safety regulations; the new agreement could generate as much as $675 million in cost savings; each year there are roughly 4.5 million truck crossings and each crossing cost $150; last year more than $2.75 billion in goods travelled across the border

  • 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