Borders

  • Questions raised about “border security surge”

    This week the Senate will decide whether to approve the immigration legislation drafted by a bi-partisan group of senators. A border provision in the bill calls for adding $30 billion for additional security measures along the southern border, including hiring 20,000 more border security agents. Not everyone is convinced the boost in funding will lead to significant decline in illegal border crossers.

  • 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.

  • Defense companies turn their attention to border security

    The U.S. involvement in the Iraq war is over, and the country will soon withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Federal budgets cuts shrink agencies’ ability to conduct research and development. Faced with these realities, military contractors have begun to focus on border security. What many defense companies find especially appealing is the fact that the Senate immigration bill conditions any move toward legalizing the status of more than eleven million illegal immigrants in the United States on the strengthening of security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • 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.

  • Laser-driven neutrons to detect nuclear smuggling

    Researchers have successfully demonstrated for the first time that laser-generated neutrons can be enlisted as a useful tool in the war on terror, as Los Alamos shows first nuclear material detection by single short-pulse-laser-driven neutron source.

  • 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.

  • Critics: Gang of Eight bill will create new surge of illegal immigration

    The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a nonprofit organization critical of U.S. policies toward both legal and illegal immigration, says the Gang of Eight bipartisan immigration reform bill will not solve the U.S. illegal immigration problem, but rather exacerbate it. FAIR notes that in 1986, the Reagan administration pushed a bill through Congress which gave amnesty to nearly three million illegal aliens — but the problem of illegal immigration has only grown worse.

  • DHS cannot locate 266 “illegal overstays of concern”

    According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, and 21 May 2013 Hill testimony by Rebecca Gambler, director of the Homeland Security and Justice for GAO, DHS, since 2011, has identified 1,901 “illegal overstays of concern.” As of March 2013, 14 percent of them, or 266, are still missing.

  • Border entry fee opposed by border-state lawmakers, businesses

    DHS, in its 2014 budget proposal, asked for permission to conduct a study about imposing fees at U.S. land border crossings. The proposal is bitterly opposed by both businesses on the northern border, which make most of their money from Canadians who cross into the United States just to shop, and lawmakers from states along the U.S.-Canada border, who say such fees will hurt both commerce and relations between the United States and Canada.

  • 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.

  • 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.