Borders

  • The right approach to legal immigration // by Ben Frankel

    The problem with the debate about what to do about illegal immigration in the United States is that until it is resolved, nothing can be done about addressing the necessary reforms in the laws governing legal immigration; it is difficult to think of a law that needs more reforming than the current U.S. immigration law; there are many reasons for this, but the most important one is this: the law as currently written undermines the U.S. economic welfare and national security

  • New border security bill:$300 million for U.S. border counties

    Lawmakers call for a $300 million grant program for border law enforcement officials for counties on the U.S.-Mexico border; counties will be able to apply for expedited grant funding to buy monitoring equipment, communications technologies, night view cameras, laptops, vehicles, drones and helicopters

  • Critics: A U.S. national work ID would not solve the illegal immigration problem

    Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham have proposed a mandatory Work ID for all working Americans; the bill they are proposing would require “all U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who want jobs to obtain a high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security card.”; critics say the scheme is too expensive and will be ineffective in curbing illegal immigration

  • Acoustic surveillance for border, critical infrastructure security

    A Montana company offers a new way to secure U.S. borders and critical infrastructure facilities: TerraEchos teams up with IBM to embed new IBM technology into a system of fiber-optic sensors; the sensors are capable of gathering real-time acoustic information, alerting of a possible security breach in remote and often unmanned areas

  • U.S. lawmakers increasingly impatient with virtual U.S.-Mexico border fence concept

    U.S. lawmakers grow impatient with U.S.-Mexico border virtual fence scheme; Senator Joseph Lieberman: “By any measure, SBInet, has been a failure. A classic example of a program that was grossly oversold and has badly under-delivered”; Senator John McCain: “The virtual fence has been a complete failure.”

  • Rethinking security along the U.S.-Canada border

    After 9/11, the United States effectively created a northern border where none had existed before, at least since the late 1800s; this occurred without much big-think strategizing or discussion; people who live along the border say there should be more thinking about how effectively to manage the long border, balancing security and commerce, before a new rounds of security measures is embarked on

  • Questions and answers on drug-related violence in Mexico

    The security situation in Mexico is spiraling out of control; the drug cartels, heretofore content to kill members of rival cartels and the occasional local politician, have now dropped all restraint in their assault on the Mexican state; the cartels are now attacking the Mexican army directly, while no longer bothering to limit collateral damage to the civilian population; the Mexican government, in desperation, has deployed the army so extensively in its anti-drug campaign because it feels the police cannot be trusted; drug cartels with massive resources at their disposal have repeatedly managed to infiltrate the underpaid police, from the grassroots level to the very top; efforts are under way to rebuild the entire structure of the Mexican police force, but the process is expected to take years

  • International companies in Mexico now target for cartel attacks

    Until recently, few criminals dared to touch the factories and offices of the hundreds of multinational corporations — or maquilas — in Reynosa, Maxico; amid a violent three-way war among two cartels and the military, the maquilas are no longer untouched; none of the 140 maquiladoras in Reynosa’s eleven industrial parks have pulled out of the area, but many have developed exit strategies in case the violence does not abate

  • Violence in Mexico increases sharply as a drug cartel coalition is trying to destroy Los Zetas

    Drug-fueled triangle of death engulfs Rio Grande region; Mexico’s Gulf, La Familia, and Sinaloa drug cartels have formed an alliance in order to destroy Los Zetas — a group of mostly former and AWOL Mexican soldiers who began as a security and hit squad for the Gulf cartel, but last year broke from its employer

  • Five full-body scanners to be used in Chile to catch drug traffickers

    Chile is deploying full-body scanner at border crossing along its border with Peru to prevent drug smuggling; during a 1-year test period, two million people were scanned, and 51 kilograms of cocaine, carried by 42 different border-crossers, seized

  • Mexican smugglers clone Border Patrol vehicles to evade detection

    There is a new twist in the on going war along the U.S.-Mexico border: Mexican smugglers now use “cloned” Border Patrol vehicles to smuggle drugs into the United States; there is an added danger here, as Mexican drug cartels have launched an assassination campaign against U.S. law enforcement personnel along the border; driving a Border Patrol look-alike vehicle allows the assailants to get closer to their targets without arousing suspicion

  • U.S. institutes new, targeted security protocols for travelers to U.S.

    The United States is replacing broad screening of all in-coming travelers with a more targeted approach; the intelligence-based security system is devised to raise flags about travelers whose names do not appear on no-fly watch lists, but whose travel patterns or personal traits create suspicions

  • More counties join Secure Communities

    Across the United States, 135 jurisdictions in 17 states have joined DHS’s (and DOJ’s) Secure Communities project; Secure Communities offers local jurisdiction an information-sharing capability: if an individual is arrested, his or her fingerprint information will now be simultaneously checked against both FBI criminal history records and the biometrics-based immigration records maintained by DHS, meaning that both criminal and immigration records of all local arrestees will be checked

  • 88,000 U.S. citizen children lost lawful immigrant parent (Green Card holders) to deportation

    In the decade between April 1997 and August 2007, the United States deported nearly 88,000 lawful permanent residents — that is, holders of Green Cards — for mostly minor criminal convictions; approximately 50 percent of the children were under the age of 5 when their parent was deported; the crimes for which Green Card holders may now be deported include non-violent theft and drug offenses, forgery, and other minor offenses — many of which may not even be felonies under criminal law

  • UAVs help CBP agents keep an eye on the border (when there are no clouds)

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently operate six UAVs: there are three Predators in Arizona, two in North Dakota, and one is being tested for maritime anti-narcotics duty in Cape Canaveral, Florida; proponents say that supporters say that despite the high price tag — the Predator’s camera alone can cost more than $2 million — it is worth it