• Coast Guard to expand biometric project

    There has been a 75 percent in the number of illegal immigrants attempting to cross the Mona Passage from the Dominican Republic into Puerto Rico in the past two years; the Coast Guard is not sure the drop is all due to the service’s biometric measures, but it thinks the technology has something to do with it

  • Texas county weighing border fence alternatives

    Cameron County, Texas, must decide which option is more beneficial to it: DHS’s fence plan which the county does not like, but which will see $37 million in contracts go to local businesses, or resubmitting the county’s alternative fence plan, which DHS had already rejected, exploiting the fact that DHS has postponed the 31 December fence deadline

  • Alternatives to the H-1B visa, pt. 1: O-1 "Extraordinary ability"

    The U.S. immigration services received more than 163,000 petitions for the 65,000 regular H-1B visas allocated for FY2009; the homeland security, hi-tech, and services sectors, as well as academic and research institutions, need another way to bring to the United States qualified foreign workers and researchers; one such way is the O-1 “Extraordinary Ability” visa

  • FAST-certified trucker tries to smuggle drugs into U.S.

    The Free And Secure Trade (FAST) program allows truckers who drive back and forth across the U.S. border to pre-register with Customs, thus giving them the status of low-risk traveler; one FAST-certified driver used status to smuggle drugs

  • Concerns over TWIC roll-out delays

    TWIC aims to provide 1.2 million U.S. port workers with forgery-proof biometric IDs; so far only 500,000 workers have been enrolled, and DHS pushed completion of enrollment from 25 September to 15 April; lawmakers are not happy

  • New York State offers an enhanced driver's license

    New York State leads the nation in the adoption of enhanced license technology, and state residents may now apply for an enhanced driver’s license; they have an incentive to do so, because beginning 1 June 2009 U.S. citizens will have to present either a passport or an enhanced driver’s license when re-entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean

  • DHS: Progress and priorities, I

    Since its creation more than five years ago, DHS has made significant progress — uneven progress — in protecting the United States from dangerous people and goods, protecting the U.S. critical infrastructure, strengthen emergency response, and unifying department operations

  • The H-1B program: Mend it, don't end it

    Any required labor-market test must facilitate extraordinary alacrity; delays of years, months, or even weeks are unacceptable; similarly, H-1B workers should be paid the same wage as their U.S. counterparts: The H-1B program should not be a means by which “cheap foreign labor” is imported

  • DHS rejects Texas county border fence idea

    Cameron County’s, Texas, proposed to build miles of combined border wall and levee along the border’s southernmost point; DHS rejects proposal, saying it is not feasible

  • Drug smugglers now use minisubs; terrorists may use them, too

    Colombian drug smugglers now use “semi-submersibles” to smuggle drugs into the United States; counterterrorism officials fear that what drug runners now use to deliver cocaine, terrorists could one day use to sneak personnel or massive weapons into the United States

  • Microchips in e-passports easily forged

    Dutch researcher uses his own software, a publicly available programming code, a £40 card reader, and two £10 RFID chips to clone and manipulate two passport chips to a point at which they were ready to be planted inside fake or stolen paper passports; the altered chips were then passed as genuine by passport reader software used by the UN agency that sets standards for e-passports; the researcher took less than an hour to alter the chips

  • Agreement reached over border fence on U Texas campus

    Part of the U.S.-Mexico border fence would have cut across the campus of the University of Texas-Brownsville/Texas Southmost College; the university and DHS reached a compromise — but the university must finish building its proposed border protection solution by the end of the year

  • TSA may fine airlines over mistaken terrorist IDs

    The ACLU says there are one million names on the DHS terrorist watch list, while TSA says there are only 400,000; whatever the exact figure is, TSA wants to make sure that the airlines do not misidentify innocent passengers as terrorists, and threatens to sue airlines which do so

  • New Zealand to use biometrics to monitor immigration

    Technology will allow border control staff to conduct biometric checks on inbound and outbound passengers

  • RFID readers installed along U.S. borders

    Today the first Border Patrol RFID readers go into use at El Paso, Texas, border crossing; during the next two months many more RFID readers will be installed in order to speed up traffic across borders