• Decline in U.S. unauthorized immigrant population halted

    The sharp decline in the U.S. population of unauthorized immigrants which accompanied the 2007-9 recession has bottomed out, and the number may be rising again. As of March 2012, 11.7 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States, according to a new report.

  • Gulf States to “detect” gay travelers at border, barring them from entry

    The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates— will set up a “detection” system at all points of entry to “detect” gay travelers in order to prevent them from entering the six countries. The detection system will also be used to detect gay expats who come back to visit their families, so they could be barred, too. Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament, is in a tight spot.

  • House Dems propose comprehensive immigration bill

    House Democrats last week released a proposed immigration bill aiming to tighten border security and provide a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. The House Judiciary Committee has advanced several bills offering narrower changes to the current immigration law. It is not clear whether the rancor characterizing the budget debate would allow for a bipartisan consideration of either side’s immigration legislative preferences.

  • Free-market solution to the immigration problem

    Supporters of a free-market approach to the immigration problem advance the “Red Card Solution,” a system to issue short-term unlimited guest worker visas. The system calls for private businesses to operate labor offices inside the United States and abroad, in which foreigners could apply for jobs. Hired applicants would be given a temporary red card to enter the United States and work with the security of legal worker status, and the understanding that they would leave the country upon completion of the job. Under the Red Card Solution, only applicants who have passed a criminal background check and secure legitimate employment would be granted worker status.

  • 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.