• Climate change could intensify Mexican migration to U.S.: study

    A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues that global warming could drive millions more Mexicans into the United States in search of work by 2080 due to diminishing crop yields in Mexico; a 1.8 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature by 2080, unless agricultural methods have been adapted, would mean crop yields in Mexico would fall by 39 to 48 percent

  • The revival of CLEAR's Registered Traveler program

    In 2003, Steven Brill, founder of Court TV and American Lawyer magazine, founded Verified Identity Pass and used it to launch the CLEAR program at Orlando International Airport; the program made it possible for pre-registered travelers to skip security checks at airports; the initial 8,000 travelers enrolled in 2003, and the service would grow to nearly 260,000 paying customers in a matter of five years; CLEAR went belly up in 2009, and its assets were bought by Algood Holdings, which relaunched the program; “Same brand, same logo, different company,” says CEO Caryn Seidman Becker

  • GAO: U.S. aid to Mexico's anti-drug efforts needs better oversight

    Under the Obama administration, the focus of the Merida Initiative is shifting away from high-priced helicopters and airplanes and toward reforming Mexico’s corrupt law enforcement, courts and other government institutions

  • Federal money to bolster crime-fighting capabilities of Arizona border counties

    Governor Jan Brewer allocates up to $10 million in federal stimulus money to help law enforcement pay for costs associated with illegal immigration, including drug trafficking and human smuggling; funds will buy satellite phones, SUVs, night-vision scopes, thermal imagers and weapons

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  • U.K. removes lead contractor Raytheon from e-Borders program

    The U.K. hits out at Raytheon, removing the company from the £1.2 billion e-Borders program; the immigration minister Damian Green said earlier today that the program was running at least twelve months late and that Raytheon had been in breach of contract since July last year; Home Office says it has “no confidence” in the company; Raytheon was the lead contractor of the Trusted Borders consortium, which won a £650 million deal in 2007 to build the e-Borders system; other members of the consortium, including Serco, Detica, Accenture, and Qinetiq will keep their contracts; Raytheon was responsible for systems integration, travel services, and overall project management

  • Explosives car in Mexican drug war the beginning of a trend

    Security experts fear that last Thursday car bombing in Ciudad Juárez, across the border from El Paso, is the beginning of deadly trend which will see a weapon used regularly —and effectively — by insurgents and militants in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere soon making its presence felt on the streets of Mexico

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  • EU biometric passports not that safe, experts say

    The EU’s e-passports were supposed to be fool-proof, even impossible to counterfeit; Europol has warned, though, that despite the biometric changes to passports, counterfeiting still remains a major problem for criminals or others “who are determined to do so,” with the provision of documents for irregular immigrants being the main driver of the activity

  • Armed escorts to accompany New Mexico livestock inspectors

    Beginning on 26 July, armed deputies will accompany inspectors to the scales in a corridor that stretches southwest from Interstate 10 at Las Cruces to the New Mexico-Arizona border, along Luna, Hidalgo, and Grant counties; the sense of insecurity among ranchers along the border has increased since the highly-publicized 27 March murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz

  • Remotely controlled mechanical watch towers guard hostile borders

    South Korea has began to install unmanned guard towers, equipped with sensors and machine-guns, along the DMZ; The South Korean military is emulating the system Israel has built around the Gaza Strip — a system of unmanned, armored towers, about five meters (sixteen feet) tall and two meters (six feet) in diameter; at the top of the tower is an armored shelter that conceals a remotely controlled machine-gun; operators control the surveillance and weapon systems atop these towers from a remote central command-and-control location

  • FBI, ATF aid in inquiry of Mexico's first IED attack

    Car bombs have been used by terrorists and guerrilla groups in the Middle East, Ireland, Spain, and Colombia — but, until last Thursday, not in Mexico; the Juárez bombing involved an elaborate scheme — the perpetrators dressed a man in a police uniform and laid him on the ground to lure others to the body; the explosion occurred right after a paramedic and a federal agent approached the body; the bombing was part of a brutal war drug cartels have been waging to control the Chihuahua state drug smuggling corridor that has claimed more than 1,500 lives so far this year

  • Neo-Nazi militia patrols Arizona desert

    Various volunteer-based groups patrol the Arizona desert and report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol, and generally they have not caused problems; Arizona law enforcement authorities are worried about the latest addition: a local neo-Nazi militia; members of the militia are outfitted with military fatigues, body armor, and assault rifles — and openly proclaim that only non-Jewish, white heterosexual people should be American citizens and that everyone who is not white should leave the country — “peacefully or by force”

  • Soaring immigrant deaths in Arizona desert in July

    The number of deaths among illegal immigrants crossing the Arizona desert from Mexico is soaring so high this month that the medical examiner’s office that handles the bodies is using a refrigerated truck to store some of them, the chief examiner said Friday

  • Endangered antelope interferes with Arizona border security

    Environmental concerns and border security clash along the U.S.-Mexico border; the wild Sonoran Pronghorn numbers are down to about 80 in Arizona and they occupy less than 10 percent of their original range — but what is left of their range straddles the border; environmentalists and government stewards of the environment object to the erection of a fence or watch towers, saying they would drive the antelope-like creature to extinction

  • U.S. federal prosecutions of immigrants hits all-time high

    U.S. federal prosecutions of immigrants soared to new levels this spring; the 4,145 cases referred to federal prosecutors in March and April was the largest number for any two-month stretch in the last five years; the number of illegal immigrants in the United States has fallen — as of January 2009, an estimated 10.8 million people were in the country illegally, one million less than the 2007 — but deportations have been increasing, climbing from 185,944 in 2007 to 387,790 last year

  • Increased use of UAVs in border protection hobbled by shortage of UAV pilots

    As hopes that SBInet, the ambitious virtual fence project along the U.S.-Mexico border, will ever live up to its promise recede, DHS has increased the role of UAVs in border monitoring; UAVs require pilots to fly them remotely, though, and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has had trouble finding trained pilots remotely to fly the aircraft; Maj. Gen. Michael Kostelnik, assistant commissioner of CBP’s Air and Marine Office: “The greatest near-term challenge faced is a shortage of pilots and sensor operators, specifically pilots certified to launch and land the aircraft”