Border monitoring / protection

  • Border security provision deal makes immigration bill more acceptable to skeptical lawmakers

    Senators working on the immigration overhaul bill have reached a tentative deal on a border security amendment to the bill, a deal which likely would persuade more Republican lawmakers to support the measure. One of the authors of the amendment, Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), said he hoped it would persuade not only more Senate Republicans to support the bill, but many House Republicans as well. “For people who are concerned about border security, once they see what is in this bill [after his amendment is adopted], it is almost overkill,” he said.

  • GOP lawmakers want stronger border security provisions in immigration bill

    A border security amendment to the immigration reform bill, offered by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was defeated by a 57-43 vote last Thursday. Republican senators who supported Grassley’s amendment said they were concerned about a repeat of the 1986 scenario: the Reagan administration pushed through Congress an amnesty for illegal immigrants then residing in the United States, but without bolstering security along the U.S.-Mexico border, prompting millions of illegal immigrants to cross the border in the following decades. Several GOP lawmakers are offering their own border security amendments to the immigration overhaul bill.

  • DHS: electronic devices of border crossers can be searched without reasonable suspicion

    An internal DHS study says there was no legal problem with U.S. border agents searching a traveler’s laptop, cellphone, or other electronic devices based solely on a hunch. The study says that the searches do not violate the First and Fourth amendments, and that a 1986 government policy allowing only a cursory review of a traveler’s documents was insufficient.

  • Rubio will vote against immigration bill unless border security provisions are strengthened

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight group which drafted a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The bill has cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee and will come to the Senate floor next week. Rubio, however, says he would vote against the bill he helped draft unless the border security provisions in the bill are strengthened.

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  • Sen. Rubio proposes that Congress, not DHS, devise border security plan

    Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), a member of the bipartisan group which drafted the immigration bill which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and which will be brought to the floor of the Senate next week, is working on a proposal which will dramatically change the approach to devising and assessing border security in the bill. The bill now has DHS entrusted with the responsibility of devising a border security plan and determining whether the plan has been adequately implemented. Rubio proposes that Congress would assume these responsibilities, saying that the current plan for borer security is not robust enough to convince many Republican lawmakers to support the immigration bill.

  • Senate panel considering, and voting on, nearly 300 amendments to immigration bill

    The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering, and voting on, each of the nearly 300 amendments to the immigration overhaul bill. An amendment offered by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), which would require DHS to transfer all student visa information to border patrol agents at all 329 ports of entry into the United States, was approved unanimously.

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  • Panel's draft bill shields DHS funds

    A house panel introduced a bill last week that will protect DHS from budget cuts facing other domestic agencies under the house’s budget plan. This will allow the department to hire 1,600 new agents at Customs and Border Patrol agency, replace cuts to local and state governments, boost spending on cybersecurity, and abandon cuts to the Coast Guard.

  • CBP reports 2012 increase in arrests on the border

    Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief Michael Fisher told a Senate committee last week that arrests of illegal border crossers have gone up 13 percent this year. The increase in arrests last year breaks a 7-year trend of decreasing arrests along the border.

  • Lawmakers defeat Sen. Cruz’s amendment because of its cost

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), saying the Gang of Eight’s immigration overhaul draft does not provide DHS with sufficient incentives to bolster border security, offers an amendment which would substantially increase border security funding. Fellow GOP lawmakers say the price tag — $30-$40 billion – is too high, and defeat the amendment.

  • Sponsors: Immigration bill addresses visa flaws highlighted by the Boston bombing

    Lawmakers behind the bipartisan Senate immigration say bill directly addresses some of the security flaws that may have been exploited by the foreign student who helped Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dispose of evidence after the Boston Marathon bombings.

  • U.S. may acquire additional land for constructing border fence

    A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) draft plan regarding the final sections of the border fence that separates the United States from Mexico could impact about 100 people, most reside in a nursing home, according to federal documents.

  • DHS instructs border agents to verify all international student visas

    DHS has sent a direct order to its Border Agents telling them that, “effective immediately,” they must verify that every international student who arrives in the United States has a valid student visa The student visa of Azamat Tazhayakov, one of the two Kazakh students charged with trying to destroy evidence related to the Boston Marathon bombing, was terminated before he arrived in New York on 20 January, but the border agent in the airport did not have access to DHS Department’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.

  • Immigration reform conditioned on border being secured by unmanned vehicles

    Between 2006 and 2011, CBP spent $55.3 million on drone use and maintenance operations, according to a DHS Inspector General (IG) report. The IG recommended that the agency stop buying drones because the aircrafts are costly to maintain and have flown significantly less than their predicted flight times. The bipartisan immigration proposal drafted by the bipartisan Gang of Eight includes a provision which would create a 24/7 border surveillance system heavily dependent on the use of drones.

  • Lawmakers question Napolitano on border-security measurement methods

    Senators Tuesday grilled DHS secretary Janet Napolitano on what methods her department will use to provide a “meaningful” border-security measurement, which is a key condition for implementing a bipartisan immigration reform legislation unveiled last week.

  • Reducing border inspections delays will benefit U.S. economy

    Inspection of people and vehicles at U.S. border crossings are vital to homeland security. Inspections, however, generate various spillover effects relating to the delays in the flows of passengers and cargo across U.S. borders. A new study concludes that adding thirty-three customs and border protection officers (one at each of the selected thirty-three land and airport locations studied) will potentially lead to an increase in GDP of $61.8 million and employment gains of 1,053 jobs in the United States.