Border monitoring / protection | Homeland Security Newswire

  • Of immigrants and terrorists (updated)

    If you were an ISIS operative in Raqqa plotting to launch a terrorist attack in the United States, and you proposed to your bosses to use the U.S. immigration system to infiltrate terrorists into the United States, they would summarily execute you for rank incompetence. Use the U.S. immigration system, with all its vetting and with a waiting time measure in years (if you are accepted!) to launch a terrorist operation? Any competent terrorist would choose the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to enter the United States: There are enough ISIS followers in the thirty-eight VWP countries, and using the VWP is not only quicker: It is a sure thing. You will make it into the United States in hours or days, and without a hassle — not years, as is the case with the immigration route (for which a typical young would-be terrorist may not be eligible in any event).

  • Citizens of 7 travel-ban Muslim countries never implicated in mass killings in U.S.: Experts

    On Friday President Donald Trump imposed a travel ban to the United States of citizens from seven Muslim countries —- Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. Security experts note that citizens of these seven countries have so far never been implicated in mass killings in the United States. The major terrorist groups that have attacked the United States and other Western countries — al Qaeda, the Taliban, and ISIS — trace their roots to other Sunni such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Qatar.

  • Lessons from a former Somali refugee on the fight against Islamist extremism

    Nobody could seriously argue that Islam is a united body. It is more accurately understood as a culture in the grip of a brutal civil war—between Shi’a and Sunni, between secular authoritarians and radical clerics, between competing jihadi schools—that is simultaneously linked, ideologically and operationally, to monstrous acts of terrorism against non-Muslims inside and outside the Muslim world. We need to learn from the past by understanding that Islam’s internal fissures can work to our advantage. But there is nothing to be gained from a situation in which the very word “refugee” becomes a pejorative, as is more and more the case in America, or when we face legislative proposals that could, for example, prevent Kurdish Muslims from Iraq and Syria—traditionally our close allies—from entering our country.

  • U.S. ends preferential treatment of Cuban migrants

    The Obama administration has decided to end a 20-year-old preferential treatment of Cuban immigrants – a policy known as Wet Foot, Dry Foot – which allowed most Cuban migrants who reached the United States – typically on boats – to receive a Green Card after one year. Ending the policy means that undocumented Cuban immigrants will from now be treated the same way as migrants from all other countries who enter the United States without proper papers.

  • Trump’s immigration policies will pick up where Obama’s left off

    In 2017, the Trump administration will likely continue and expand the Obama administration’s focus on removing immigrants convicted of crimes. Whether Trump will break ground for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico is far less certain. To increase crime-based removals, the Trump administration will probably seek greater state and local assistance in federal immigration enforcement, but Trump is likely to encounter the same resistance that Obama did in working with state and local governments on immigration enforcement.

  • Robotic lie detector for border, aviation security

    When you engage in international travel, you may one day find yourself face-to-face with border security that is polite, bilingual and responsive — and robotic. The Automated Virtual Agent for Truth Assessments in Real Time (AVATAR) is currently being tested in conjunction with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) to help border security agents determine whether travelers coming into Canada may have undisclosed motives for entering the country.

  • European border security agency warns ISIS is manipulating refugees

    Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, warned that ISIS may be trying to manipulate refugees into carrying out terrorist attacks in Europe. The border agency said that its officials were also worried about ISIS sneaking in trained fighters among the mass movements of people fleeing war, hunger, and extreme poverty. Europol, the EU law enforcement agency,  noted that as of April 2016, there have been approximately 300 cases in which ISIS tried to recruit refugees entering Europe.

  • Newspaper apologizes for saying terror links prevented U.K. Muslim family from going to Disneyland

    The Mail Online, the Web site of the British newspaper Daily Mail, has issued an apology for running stories depicting a Muslim family as extremists, after family members were denied entry to the United States last year for a vacation in Disneyland. Two articles by Mail reporter Katie Hopkins suggested that Mohammed Tariq Mahmood and his brother, Mohammed Zahid Mahmood, were extremists with links to al Qaeda.The Mail Online has agreed to pay “substantial damages” totaling £150,000 to the Mahmood family. Hopkins also tweeted an apology on Monday.

  • Survey of Texans in Congress finds little support for full border wall

    None of the thirty-eight Texans in Congress offered a full-throated endorsement of a complete border wall, a position popular with President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters. Instead, several members of the Texas delegation called for new policies on the border, including fencing and walls in some places, and beefing up security in other ways such as employing new surveillance technology and adding more federal agents.

  • Working the system is easy for undocumented immigrants

    This is the economic and social reality in which millions of unauthorized immigrants find themselves: a country so reliant on cheap labor that substantial portions of the economy are built largely on the backs of immigrants willing to do work most Americans won’t, and for lower pay. An underground labor market provides abundant employment opportunities for undocumented immigrants in the United States. But working in the shadows often means accepting exploitation.

  • There is a crisis of death, disappearance at the U.S.-Mexico border: Critics

    No More Deaths, an immigration advocacy group, says that there is a crisis of death and disappearance happening at the U.S.–Mexico border. On Tuesday, the Tucson, Arizona-based group released Part 1 of a three-part report series aiming to bring this crisis to light. “Mass death and disappearance are the inevitable outcomes of a border enforcement plan that uses the wilderness as a weapon,” the report says.

  • Post Brexit sharp fall in migration to U.K. could shrink GDP per capita by more than 3%

    EU migration to the United Kingdom could fall by well over half over the period from now to 2020, resulting in net EU migration falling by more than 100,000, a new study estimates. According to the research the fall in migration would also lead to a significant reduction in GDP per capita – up to 3.4 percent over the period to 2030 — whilst providing a modest boost (less than 1 percent) to low paid Brits in the most directly affected sectors.

  • If we hire them, they will come: The demand side of border security

    A fundamental truth underlies the nation’s collective failure to stop illegal immigration and smuggling over the southern border: The United States demands the cheap labor and drugs. The Texas Legislature’s almost $800 million border security apparatus relies on stopping the supply of uninspected people and drugs. It’s all about boots on the ground, assets in the air, boats in the water. But addressing the country’s demand for cheap labor and drugs? Or its role in supplying the weapons drug cartels and smugglers use to protect their loads? Not so much.

  • Fortress island Britain? What could happen to U.K. borders after Brexit

    The key objective of Brexiteers – those at the forefront of the political campaign to extract the UK from the European Union – is to control, and preferably prevent, the movement of “outsiders” to Britain, including those from mainland Europe. State borders are where that control can be asserted, so the key question is: where to establish this Brexit bordering regime? The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) is the state in question, so it is logical to assume that we’re talking about its borders. But this assumption is problematic because of the border that meanders for 500km across the island of Ireland.

  • How Trump’s deportation plan threatens America’s food and wine supply

    Mass deportations of up to three million undocumented immigrants are expected to begin in January, when President-elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office and begins to turn his campaign promises into government policy. While Trump claims criminals are his primary target, reports suggest there aren’t enough of them to actually reach his goal. A prominent migration think tank estimates that only 820,000 undocumented immigrants have been convicted of a crime. So that means Trump would have to deport several million immigrants without criminal records to reach his goal. These people work in a range of industries, accounting for about 16 percent of those employed in agriculture, 12 percent in construction, 9 percent in hospitality, and 6 percent in manufacturing. So while kicking felons out of the country is justifiable, it seems to us that deporting the law-abiding undocumented workers who help drive our economy by undertaking jobs that Americans refuse to do is not.