• Border securityWere women and children or a “mob” tear-gassed at U.S. border?

    In a briefing with reporters Tuesday, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials said what happened Sunday — when suffocating tear gas was fired by CBP officials against Central American migrants — was a “routine border protection mission against a violent mob of 1,000 people” (the Mexican government puts the number at 500). But the choking tear gas, known as CS gas, is considered to be a chemical weapon that was outlawed on the battlefield by the United States and other nations in a 1993 agreement.

  • Just the facts: Kids as policy pawnsNew proof surfaces that family separation was about deterrence and punishment

    By Beth Van Schaack

    Just-releases government documents reveal that the underlying intent of the Trump administration’s brutal practice of separating migrant families at the border was, in fact, to deter additional immigration and asylum petitions. Beth Van Schaack writes in Just Security that this is significant, because Trump administration officials have earlier claimed that the forcible separations were mandated by law (thus necessitating congressional action to end the policy) or compelled by “national security” concerns. “We now know neither of these purported justifications is true—this was nothing short of a deliberate policy choice to brutalize parents and their children in order to stop others from seeking refuge in the United States,” Van Schaack writes. “This strengthens the argument I made in an earlier post that the family separation policy is a form of torture for both parents and their children.”

  • AsylumFederal judge blocks Trump order limiting asylum

    A U.S. federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Trump administration from carrying out new immigration rules that would block asylum status for people who did not enter the United States at a designated port of entry. President Donald Trump issued the rule in a November 9 proclamation, saying it was necessary to deal with the expected arrival of thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border who he said “appear to have no lawful basis for admission into our country.”

     

  • Migrant childrenImmigrant infants too young to talk called into court to defend themselves

    By Christina Jewett and Shefali Luthra

    The Trump administration has summoned at least seventy infants to immigration court for their own deportation proceedings since 1 October 2017, according to Justice Department data. These are children who are unable to speak and still learning when it’s day versus night. The number of infants under age 1 involved has been rising — up threefold from 24 infants in the fiscal year that ended last 30 September, and 46 infants the year before.

  • Border controlCan technology and ‘max fac’ solve the Irish border question? Expert explains

    By Katy Hayward

    How might the U.K.“take back control” of its borders without making the border in Ireland any harder? One proposal on the table is maximum facilitation (max fac). This approach does not avoid the creation of a customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland but rather aims to make the border as invisible and frictionless as possible through the use of technology.

  • Extreme vettingU.S. immigrant vetting system is already extreme enough: Study

    In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. has tightened the vetting of immigrants and foreign travelers. The post-9/11 system has worked: From 2002 to 2016, the vetting system failed and permitted the entry of 1 radicalized terrorist for every 29 million visa or status approvals. Only 1 of the 13 post-9/11 vetting failures resulted in a deadly attack in the United States. Thus, the rate for deadly terrorists was 1 for every 379 million visa or status approvals from 2002 through 2016. During this same period, the chance of an American being killed in an attack committed by a terrorist who entered as a result of a vetting failure was 1 in 328 million per year.

  • Border wallProposed border wall will harm Texas plants, animals: Scientists

    In the latest publication on the potential impacts of a border wall on plants and animals, conservation biologists say that border walls threaten to harm endangered Texas plants and animals and cause trouble for the region’s growing ecotourism industry.

  • Safe skiesSecuring U.S. skies

    Extended stretches of U.S. land borders invite illegal entry on the ground, and U.S. coastlines are often used for unauthorized seaborne entry. New, creative attempts at illegal activity in these domains are a daily occurrence. Aerial threats pose a different challenge as they have no natural barriers restricting them — land or coastal. Commercialization of drone technology, for all the beneficial opportunities it provides, also enables a new medium for criminal activity and other homeland security threats.

  • Friend or foeUsing artificial intelligence to predict criminal aircraft

    The ability to forecast criminal activity has been explored to various lengths in science fiction, but does it hold true in reality? It could for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). ) DHS S&T is developing a Predictive Threat Model (PTM) to help CBP’s Air and Marine Operations Center (AMOC) more quickly and efficiently identify and stop nefarious aircraft.

  • Border securityBorder security improvements boost West Bank-Jordan trade

    The West Bank and Israel could double trade with Jordan after new security measures were opened at the Allenby border crossing. The new system for scanning cargo containers will enable 200 containers to cross between Jordan and the West Bank each day, double the current number.

  • Border securityTexas smugglers say Trump's border wall wouldn't stop immigrants, drugs from pouring across the border

    By Jay Root

    If the Trump administration follows through on the president’s promises to build a border wall, would it actually stop undocumented immigrants and illegal drugs? Two former smugglers explain how they’d work around it.

  • Border wallAdministration waives more than 30 environmental laws for New Mexico section of border wall

    The Trump administration on Monday waived more than thirty environmental laws to speed construction of twenty miles of border wall in eastern New Mexico, the third time the waiver has been used by the Trump administration. The waiver is meant to allow construction of the New Mexico border wall section without having to comply with laws that protect clean air, clean water, public lands, or endangered wildlife.

  • Subterranean securitySubterranean Challenge: Revolutionizing underground capabilities

    Underground settings are becoming increasingly relevant to global security and safety. Rising populations and urbanization are requiring military and civilian first responders to perform their duties below ground in human-made tunnels, underground urban spaces, and natural cave networks. DARPA two weeks ago announced its newest challenge — the DARPA Subterranean Challenge – to accelerate development of critical lifesaving capabilities.

  • Border fenceThe border fence looms over these Texans. Should the government pay them?

    By Julián Aguilar, Kiah Collier, and T. Christian Miller

    Long before President Donald Trump promised to build a wall, Homeland Security used its powers of eminent domain to seize hundreds of acres of land in south Texas to construct a border fence. Under the law, if the government takes or damages your property, it’s supposed to pay to make you whole again. In Texas, the agency has paid $18 million to landholders over the last decade. But scores of Texas landowners who have lived in the shadow of the border fence for years were never compensated for any damage to their property values.

  • Subterranean warfareRevolutionizing subterranean mapping and navigation

    Subterranean warfare—whether involving human-made tunnels, underground urban infrastructure, or natural cave networks—has been an element of U.S. military operations from the Second World War and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan. As above-ground commercial and military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities continue to grow more capable and ubiquitous, adversaries are increasingly heading underground to circumvent detection. Rapid global urbanization, furthermore, is accelerating the frequency and complexity of dangerous subterranean environments faced not just by warfighters, but also by emergency responders performing search-and-rescue missions underground: in collapsed mines, for instance, or municipal or urban settings wrecked by natural disaster. DARPA issues a Request for Information which seeks concepts for novel systems and component technologies to disruptively augment military and civilian operations underground.