• Lawmakers propose bill which would increase visas for highly skilled immigrants

    Four senators plan to introduce a more narrowly tailored immigration reform bill which focuses on increasing the number of temporary visas available for highly skilled immigrants. The bill would also free up green cards so more of these highly skilled immigrants could settle in the United States and eventually become citizens.

  • Naturalized security threats retain their U.S. citizenship

    There is a surprising number of naturalized citizens in the United States who have been charged and convicted of serious national security crimes — including terrorism, espionage, and theft of sensitive information and technology — in the last several years. A new study compares the relative ease with which aliens naturalize with the difficulty in stripping them of citizenship, even when they prove to be national security threats who have gamed the system.

  • Mexican officials hope for real changes in U.S. gun policy

    The majority of the guns used in drug-related violence in Mexico have come from the United States. Numbers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives show that  almost 70 percent of the 99,000 weapons seized in Mexico in 2012 came from the United States. Mexican officials are hoping that president Obama’s speeches on changing the U.S. gun policy will be more than just talk.

  • Controversial full-body scanners at U.S. airports to be replaced

    The  controversial full-body airport scanners which  upset many  passengers because of the anatomically accurate images they produced, will be removed from U.S. airports by June, according to the Transportation Security Administration(TSA), ending a $40 million contract with Rapiscan Systems, the manufacturer of the scanners. Rapiscan’s backscatter X-ray scanners are being replaced by less intrusive millimeter wave scanners.

  • Ariz. Governor Brewer offers a softer approach to illegal immigration

    Arizona governor Jan Brewer has made a name for herself for always taken a her hard line stance on the subject of illegal immigration, but recently she has begun to soften her tone on the issue. While Brewer’s position has not changed —  she prefers border security over immigration reform — her tone has, as the State of the State address last week suggests.

  • Privately run detention center locks up immigrants for months

    Hundreds of immigrants who have committed minor offenses have been locked up for weeks or months at a time in a Broward County, Florida facility run by a private company. The majority of the immigrants have been accused of entering the country illegally or staying longer than were allowed to.

  • Advocates of immigration reform eye Canada’s guest worker program as a model

    When many Mexicans head north for seasonal work, they no longer have to smuggle their way through the U.S.–Mexican border; now they can hop a fight to Canada; in a government-to-government deal between Mexico and Canada, almost 16,000 temporary Mexican workers are able to earn good wages in Canada as part of a guest worker program; as discussions about immigration reform in the United States continue, some eye the Canadian guest worker program as a model to be emulated

  • Portable X-ray source offers a mobile terrorism prevention tool

    The hand-held scanners, or tricorders, of the Star Trek movies and television series are one step closer to reality now that a engineers have invented a compact source of X-rays and other forms of radiation; the radiation source, which is the size of a stick of gum, could be used to create inexpensive and portable X-ray scanners for use by doctors, as well as to fight terrorism and smuggling and aid exploration on this planet and others

  • U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement than on all other federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined

    The United States has spent nearly $187 billion on federal immigration enforcement over the past twenty-six years — more than the spending on all other principal federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined; the nearly $18 billion spent on federal immigration enforcement in fiscal 2012 is approximately 24 percent higher than collective spending for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

  • U.K. political activist enters U.S. using a friend’s passport

    Stephen Lennon, the 30-year old leader of the English Defense League, a street protest group active in organizing demonstrations against what group members regard as the growing influence of Islam in British life, was sentenced to ten months in jail for using a friend’s passport to enter the United States

  • Arizona GOP senators to push for immigration reform

    Arizona’s Republican Senators — veteran John McCain and newly elected Jeff Flake – let it be known that they would on the forefront of a bipartisan effort in Congress to overhaul U.S. immigration law; the two Arizona senators are now part of a bipartisan group of eight senators promoting a new comprehensive immigration reform plan

  • Report says regulation of foreign student program is deficient

    The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a subset of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security, oversees nearly 1.2 million foreign students and their dependents, plus close to 7,000 educational institutions; an new report finds that SEVP rarely exercises its enforcement authority

  • President Obama signs private bill giving Nigerian student U.S. residency

    President Barack Obama granted a Nigerian immigrant his wish, signing a rare private bill into law granting the immigrant permanent residency in the United States; Victor Chukwueke came to the United States eleven years ago to undergo treatment for massive facial tumors, and stayed, on an expired visa, to graduate from Wayne State University; he wants to attend medical school, but in order to do so he needed a green card

  • New Mexican government to set up a new police force to fight drugs, crime

    Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto has said his government would create a new national police force as part of a new approach to dealing with drugs, crime, and violence; Pena Nieto took office on 1 December; the new, militarized police force would have about 10,000 officers initially, but would eventually grow to 40,000

  • U.S. cuts budget for nuclear monitoring at foreign ports

    In 2003 the United States decided to install radiation detection equipment in 100 large ports around the world, and train local personnel in using the equipment, so that ship containers could be scanned for nuclear material before the ship left for the United States; so far, equipment has been deployed in forty-two ports; after GAO criticism of the quality of the scanning equipment and of lack of coordination between two similar container scanning programs, the National Nuclear Security Administration’s 2013 budget will be cut by 85 percent, and further installations will be canceled