Borders

  • Immigration court cases in limbo during government shutdown

    The shutdown of the U.S. federal government has left hundreds of thousands of immigration cases in limbo. Immigration lawyers note that it is likely that political asylum cases and deportation cases would be deemed non-urgent, and could thus be put off for months if the government shutdown continues. “Situations change. Memories fade. Evidence gets lost,” one immigration lawyer said. “If you have a court date now, and it is kicked off the calendar, it could be a matter of life and death.”

  • Advancing U.S.-Canada dialogue on border issues

    US/Canada Border Conference laid the foundation for a successful annual gathering focused on increased border security and the facilitation of legitimate trade and travel between the United States and Canada.

  • Texas draws more illegal immigrants, but overall numbers fall

    Border Patrol numbers show that there has been a shift east in recent years in illegal immigration along the Southwest border, with more illegal crosser being apprehended in Texas at the same time that the overall numbers of illegal border crossers falling in other border states. Experts say that a combination of tougher law enforcement in Arizona, a strong Texas economy, and a greater number of Central American immigrants choosing the “relatively closer route” through Texas may be driving the shift.

  • Behind the recent reports on corruption in Customs and Border Protection

    Two recent government reports on the status of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – one by the GAO, the other by the DHS IG — must be considered in light of agency history, including organizational culture, rapid growth, and methods of data collection. The GAO report (the DHS IG report will be discussed in a future column), by failing to address some of the fundamental problems CBP faces, contributes to masking these real issues and, as a result, continues to expose CBP employees to systemic corruption by offering only superficial remedies. This GAO report does not demonstrate the increased efficacy of the CBP. Rather, when placed in a historical, organizational, and fact-based context, it reveals vital structural problems requiring public examination and comment.

  • CBP unveils measures to address use of force along the border

    Stung by criticism that its agents are using excessive force along the U.S.-Mexico border – including the conclusions of DHS IG that many CBP officers and Border Patrol agents do not understand their agency’s rules about the use lethal force — Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on Wednesday unveiled measures it said would address the problem.

  • More Americans see their electronic equipment seized by DHS at the border

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has released details of an investigation showing how U.S. law enforcement and other agencies exceed their powers in the name of homeland security. The ACLU points to the practice of the U.S. border agents searching and seizing the electronic devices of Americans at the border. Public data shows that more Americans are having their electronic devices searched.

  • Border communities decry Washington’s misguided emphasis on border security

    Billions of dollars have been spent in an effort to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. Many border communities see investment in cross-border commerce, rather than spending money on fences and patrol agents, as a better way to reduce crime and illegal immigration. “We don’t need more Border Patrol agents — we need more customs agents,” says El Paso mayor John Cook.

  • California granting driver's licenses to illegal aliens threatens homeland security: critics

    Last Thursday night’s approval of AB 60 by both houses of the California Legislature, granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, poses a serious threat to the security of all Americans, critics charge. The critics say that in 2005, in response to recommendations by the 9/11 Commission, Congress enacted the REAL ID Act in order to discourage state governments from issuing driver’s licenses and other identity documents to illegal aliens – and that California’s AB 60 is designed to circumvent requirements of REAL ID Act.

  • Senior U.S., Canadian government officials to gather at US/Canada Border Conference

    For two days on 12-13 September, Detroit’s renovated Cobo Center will be host to a gathering of U.S. and Canadian border security officials and industry professionals meeting to discuss a myriad of important issues relating to border protection and facilitation of legitimate trade and travel between the United States and Canada.

  • What you haven’t heard about immigration reform and border security

    The Senate and House must find a way to resolve our current immigration dilemmas. We owe a fairer, more just system of laws to all our immigrants, both illegal and legal. And, yes, we must find ways to address issues of national security as well. It’s not going to be easy to shape such legislation, but we should demand no less from both Democrats and the Republicans.

  • More resources allocated to border security without a clear measure of effectiveness

    Billions of tax-payer dollars have been spent to secure the U.S-Mexico border from illegal immigration and drug trafficking. Yet, according to two federal oversight agencies, it is not clear whether the investments made are providing a favorable return. More importantly, there is no mechanism to measure the effectiveness or success of the investments made to secure the border.

  • DHS takes control of Arizona border blimp, grounding it for repairs

    A 208-foot long white blimp has been floating two miles above Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, using radar continuously to scan the area along the border, looking for low-flying aircraft drug smugglers use to bring drugs into the United States. The sensors on board can detect activity in distances of up to 230 miles. The blimp, had been operated by the U.S. Air Force, but DHS has now assumed responsibility for it. It is one of eight aerostats deployed along the U.S. southern border.

  • DHS tentatively grants asylum to seven Mexicans

    DHS has tentatively granted asylum to seven Mexican immigrants. Some of the immigrants were previously living the United States illegally, but left and tried to re-enter as part of a protest against the U.S. deportation policies, and in support of granting citizenship to immigrants who were to the United States as children.

  • House GOP caucus grapples with immigration issue

    During a closed-door meeting of the House Republican caucus on Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) urged fellow GOP lawmakers to pass an immigration bill. Boehner reiterated his position that no immigration bill will be brought to the House floor without the support of the majority of the House GOP caucus. Participants in the meeting all agreed that they did not trust the Obama administration to enforce either immigration laws or border security provisions.

  • House speaker clarifies position on immigration reform

    House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reported on Monday that improvements in border security must be “in place” before a pathway to immigration is to begin. Boehner will head a special meeting of the House Republican Conference today to debate immigration reform.