• Arizona to vote on bill denying birthright citizenship

    An Arizona bill that would put a stop to automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants could come to a vote next week; the state’s legislation would define a U.S. citizen as someone who has been naturalized, or someone born in this country who has at least one parent who has no allegiance to a foreign country; a group of state legislators known as the State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) is proposing legislation which would allow a state to issue two kinds of birth certificates — one to babies of people legally in the United States, and a different one to babies of illegal immigrants; SLLI says that lawmakers in as many as fourteen states plan to introduce bills on the matter this year

  • Only 32 miles of U.S. Canada border secure

    A GAO report found that only thirty-two miles along the nearly 4,000 mile border had “an acceptable level of security”; the report also found that the northern border posed a greater terrorist threat due to its size and limited law enforcement coverage that could allow terrorists to enter undetected; the U.S. Canada border stretches nearly 4,000 miles and is difficult to patrol due to its varied terrain; the report was released days before President Obama and Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper signed an agreement to expand cooperation along the border and expedite the flow of goods; in 2010 DHS spent nearly $3 billion to secure the northern border, making roughly 6,000 arrests and interdicting approximately 40,000 pounds of illegal drugs

  • Businesses vying for information, contracts at Border Security Expo 2011

    Law enforcement officers, government officials, and homeland security firms from around the world will gather in Phoenix next week for Border Security Expo 2011; the event will be held on 15-16 February and will feature the heads of major DHS agencies as well as Mexican government officials; organizers estimate that millions of dollars worth of contracts will be signed; the expo will focus on preventing illegal border crossing as well as combating drug trafficking, drug wars, and gangs; firms will have the opportunity to learn of DHS future procurement needs, in particular what DHS will require for SBInet’s replacement; the event attracts buyers from across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America

  • Lack of oversight doomed SBInet, could hamper replacement

    The poor oversight and contractor management that hampered the recently cancelled SBInet could plague its replacement; numerous GAO reports blasted DHS for failing to properly communicate and supervise its primary contractor Boeing; the program suffered major cost overruns and failed to deliver on project goals due to limited input from end users, shifting priorities, and poor communication; in response to criticism, DHS has hired more contracting officers and is reviewing acquisition procedures; critics are skeptical of DHS’ ability to deliver SBInet’s replacement which incorporates much of the same technology

  • DHS and CBP make a pitch to border security vendors

    Boeing’s failure to provide a reliable border security solution has opened up opportunities for border protection technology vendors. These opportunities are offered by DHS’s proposed Integrated Fixed Towers (IFT) acquisition program which aims to replace SBInet

  • ICE broadening investigation against Chipotle

    Federal immigration officials are broadening their investigation of Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle to include restaurants in Virginia and D.C.; Chipotle was already forced to fire hundreds of employees in Minnesota after an audit found that many of its employees had used forged documents; the investigation is part of the Obama administration’s efforts to clamp down on companies hiring undocumented workers; ICE agents are conducting “I-9 audits” in which investigators pour through hundreds of I-9, payroll, and other hiring forms; their goal is to spark the same level of care and compliance that companies have for tax forms; last year Ice agents audited 2,740 companies, resulting in a record $7 million in fines

  • Successful border program ensures consequences

    A new immigration policy will end voluntary deportations; Border Patrol agents will no longer be busing illegal immigrants to the border and then walking them to where they crossed so they can return to Mexico; “No mas,” said Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) commissioner Alan Bersin; “No more returns without consequences.”

  • Bus bombing signals tough road ahead for Philippines

    Al Qaeda-linked Muslim extremist group Abu Sayyaf is continuing its attacks in the Philippines; the latest attack, in Makati City, has killed five; last year, the same terrorist organization claimed responsibility for killing 116 people in a burning ferry in Manila Bay, the deadliest terrorist attack in the country’s history; lawmakers propose installing CCTVs on city buses

  • Arizona sheriff: Gunfight with Mexican cartels imminent

    Pinal County, Arizona, Sheriff Paul Babeu says an armed conflict between his deputies and cartel members within the next thirty to sixty days is likely; a gun battle is all but certain, Babeu said, because his deputies and members of a regional SWAT team are now routinely working to stop smugglers from pushing cargo through Pinal; the cartels have stepped up their tactics in Pinal County by reinforcing smuggling routes with armed guards to ward off potential bandits, in addition to stationing more lookouts on high points of the landscape

  • ATF budget cuts hurt efforts to stop illegal guns heading to Mexico

    The proposed budget cuts for the ATF could seriously undermine Project Gunrunner, the Obama administration’s efforts to stem the flow of guns across the border to drug cartels; White House budget office proposed cutting nearly $160 million, or 12.8 percent, from the ATF’s budget; under federal rules, the last personnel hired are the first to be fired, and in the last several years the ATF has primarily focused on hiring for the border initiative; in 2009 alone, ATF agents seized 2,589 firearms and 265,000 rounds of ammunition headed across the border; so far, agents have traced more than 65,000 guns in Mexico back to the United States

  • DHS border security searches of electronics questioned

    Debate continues over DHS’s search and confiscation of materials at international U.S. borders; the latest case to make the headlines is that of David House, 23, an MIT researcher whose laptop, flash drives, and cameras were confiscated at the U.S.-Mexico border by DHS on his way back into the United States after a vacation in Mexico; House writes in a blog post that he is one of few individuals who are able to visit Manning in his detention facility in Quantico, Virginia

  • Sweeping overhaul of Canada-U.S. security

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama will today (Friday) authorize the most sweeping overhaul of Canada-U.S. border and security cooperation in decades; the agreement gives Washington a much bigger say in Canada’s border security, immigration controls, and information-sharing with American law agencies; the agreement could pose the biggest challenge to Canadian sovereignty since the free-trade negotiations of the 1980s

  • More states weighing in on immigration debate

    More states are pushing for stricter immigration enforcement laws as frustration across the country grows; Indiana, Maine, South Dakota, Colorado, and Texas are joining the ranks of states like Kentucky and Nebraska that have introduced tough Arizona-style immigration laws; at the core of the debate is the controversial provision that requires police to stop and check an individual’s papers to verify if they have entered the country illegally; this provision in the Arizona law has already been ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge; last week Wyoming legislator rejected the introduction of such a bill

  • 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