Border monitoring / protection

  • New Mexican government to set up a new police force to fight drugs, crime

    Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto has said his government would create a new national police force as part of a new approach to dealing with drugs, crime, and violence; Pena Nieto took office on 1 December; the new, militarized police force would have about 10,000 officers initially, but would eventually grow to 40,000

  • Detecting tunnels -- used to smuggle drugs, weapons, or people – is not easy

    It seems reasonable to assume that it would be easy to use seismic waves to find tunnels dug by smugglers of drugs, weapons, or people, but this assumption is wrong; scientists are trying to get a better look at the ground around tunnels to learn why seismic data finds some tunnels but not others – and come up with a seismic detection process for the border and other areas where tunnels pose a security threat

  • Face-recognition e-Gate at Amsterdam airport moving passengers at rapid pace

    E-Gate, the automated border control system developed by Accenture and Vision-Box for the Netherlands Ministry of Internal Affairs, is on target to process its one-millionth passenger at Schiphol Airport  in December

  • DHS finally investigates Border Patrol policies on deadly force

    It was reported last week that DHS’s Office of the Inspector General was investigating charges of excessive force by Border Patrol guards at the Mexican border; to change the dysfunctional culture prevalent among some Border Patrol agents in certain border stations, however, will require much more than an investigation by DHS IG of policies regarding the use of deadly force; what is required at a bare minimum is more, not less, professional training at the national academy, a legitimate mentorship program for all new agents by experienced mentors, legitimate agency support for continued professional development of agents, promotions based on merit rather than paternalistic decision-making, and a number of other reforms neither DHS nor the CBP are willing to acknowledge

  • Border Patrol relies in obsolescent surveillance gear

    An Obama administration plan to update equipment the Border Patrol is using did not materialize, and now officials are concerned about  outdated equipment putting the lives of agents in danger; the sensors now in use were originally said to be able to put Border Patrol agents in position to capture 90 percent of border invaders, but the DHS inspector general determined that just 4 percent of the alarms were confirmed cases of smugglers and border crossers; 34 percent were false alarms, and 62 percent were undetermined

  • To ensure success, Mexican drug cartels emulate corporate business model

    When the subject of Mexican drug cartels come up, most people think of bloody violence, pounds of cocaine or marijuana, and so much money people have to weight it instead of counting it; what people do not think about is the business models the cartels emulate – and they emulate the models and management charts of typical American corporations

  • Sharp drop in illegal crossers notwithstanding, “border industrial complex” keeps growing

    Since 1986, U.S. immigration enforcement has cost the U.S. government $219 billion dollars; almost 80,000 workers now depend on immigration enforcement for their employment; illegal immigration has dropped sharply over the last four years, and is now at a 1971 level — but the what some call the “border industrial complex” keeps growing and growing

  • DHS submersible Pluto mimics the real narco-subs

    In the early 1990s, South American drug cartels came up with a new tactic to transport narcotics destined for the United States: small, radar-dodging, self-propelled, semi-submersibles (SPSSs); better to address the submersible problem, DHS Science and Technology Directorate created its own submersible and called it Pluto, after the planet which is difficult to spot

  • Janet Napolitano named in two lawsuits

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano is under fire for two very different reasons as she is named in two separate lawsuits; the first lawsuit charges that two women executives Napolitano brought to DHS have mistreated male employees at the department; the second suit, brought by several ICE agents, charges that the administration’s deferred deportation executive order, which went into effect 15 August, force the agents face difficult choices while performing their tasks

  • U.S. testing blimps, surveillance towers on Mexican border

    Last year, the U.S. government ended SBInet, a major and unsuccessful attempt to build a virtual fence along the border that cost nearly $1 billion before it was killed; DHS is now testing aerostats, and an 80-foot tower with similar surveillance capabilities, for border security as part of an effort to exploit technologies that have been used in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

  • DHS seeks better ways to detect ultra light aircrafts used by smugglers

    As the war on drugs continues with every sunrise and sunset, DHS has awarded a contract just short of $100 million for a specialized system which will be able to detect ultralight aircrafts which are used to smuggle drugs across the border

  • Underground spies to secure Indo-Pakistan border

    With the discovery of a 400-foot long tunnel at the India-Pakistan Border, the IndianHome Ministry has decided to acquire Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) that could be installed along the international border with Pakistan as an important line of defense

  • Manned planes beating drones as the more capable tool in war on drugs

    In the never-ending war on drugs, U.S. Navy planes are showing that technology does not necessarily mean improvement, as manned planes are outmaneuvering unmanned drones in catching cocaine smugglers traveling by sea; in 2011 the manned planes caught an average of $30 million of cocaine per day, and during the last five years they have detected more than 853,000 pounds of cocaine

  • Obama’s sweeping immigration initiative goes into effect next week

    On 15 August 2012 a sweeping new immigration initiative, the most significant easing of immigration policy since President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to an estimated three million people in 1986, goes into effect; it would defer deportation action against, and grant a work permit to, illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria

  • Critics charge Obama initiative is amnesty by executive order

    Critics of the Obama administration’s immigration order charge that the administration is”legislating by executive edict”; they say that the Obama administration is set, in effect, to begin implementing the DREAM Act amnesty on 15 August, even though the legislation was defeated by Congress as recently as December 2010