Borders

  • 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.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

  • 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

  • Detecting tunnels -- used to smuggle drugs, weapons, or people – is not easy

    It seems reasonable to assume that it would be easy to use seismic waves to find tunnels dug by smugglers of drugs, weapons, or people, but this assumption is wrong; scientists are trying to get a better look at the ground around tunnels to learn why seismic data finds some tunnels but not others – and come up with a seismic detection process for the border and other areas where tunnels pose a security threat

  • CBP wants more drones, but lawmakers want more details about their use

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) wants to have a fleet of twenty-four drones to patrol the northern and southern borders of the United States, but Congress has yet to appropriate funding beyond the first ten drones; so far in 2012, drones have been credited with leading to more arrests and drug seizures than ever before, but their contribution is still small

  • New U.S/Canada Border Conference aims to advance “Beyond the Border” declaration

    To further the goals of the February 2011 U.S.-Canada joint declaration, “Beyond the Border: A Shared Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness,” Eagle Eye Expositions, LLC will present a new event called the U.S./Canada Border Conference; the event will take place 10-11 September 2013 at the Cobo Center, Detroit Michigan

  • iPhone app lets border crossers determine best time to cross U.S. border

    Excessive border waits cause $2.5 billion in losses annually to the San Diego regional economy, with typical two-hour delays for trucks at commercial crossings into San Diego County costing the county $455 million in annual revenue from reduced freight activity; new “crowdsourced” information app allows motorists to decide the best time to cross the border by car or truck; the app’s information is meshed with the data on wait times at the border from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to improve the accuracy of the wait times

  • Face-recognition e-Gate at Amsterdam airport moving passengers at rapid pace

    E-Gate, the automated border control system developed by Accenture and Vision-Box for the Netherlands Ministry of Internal Affairs, is on target to process its one-millionth passenger at Schiphol Airport  in December

  • DHS finally investigates Border Patrol policies on deadly force

    It was reported last week that DHS’s Office of the Inspector General was investigating charges of excessive force by Border Patrol guards at the Mexican border; to change the dysfunctional culture prevalent among some Border Patrol agents in certain border stations, however, will require much more than an investigation by DHS IG of policies regarding the use of deadly force; what is required at a bare minimum is more, not less, professional training at the national academy, a legitimate mentorship program for all new agents by experienced mentors, legitimate agency support for continued professional development of agents, promotions based on merit rather than paternalistic decision-making, and a number of other reforms neither DHS nor the CBP are willing to acknowledge

  • Border Patrol relies in obsolescent surveillance gear

    An Obama administration plan to update equipment the Border Patrol is using did not materialize, and now officials are concerned about  outdated equipment putting the lives of agents in danger; the sensors now in use were originally said to be able to put Border Patrol agents in position to capture 90 percent of border invaders, but the DHS inspector general determined that just 4 percent of the alarms were confirmed cases of smugglers and border crossers; 34 percent were false alarms, and 62 percent were undetermined

  • To ensure success, Mexican drug cartels emulate corporate business model

    When the subject of Mexican drug cartels come up, most people think of bloody violence, pounds of cocaine or marijuana, and so much money people have to weight it instead of counting it; what people do not think about is the business models the cartels emulate – and they emulate the models and management charts of typical American corporations

  • U.K. to scale back stop-and-detain policies

    U.K. police and special branch officers have stopped about 70,000 people as they traveled through the United Kingdom by train, airplane, or ship; they were stopped – and some were detained for further questioning – under the under the Terrorism Act 2000; those detained have no right to a free legal advice from a public defender, cannot refuse to answer question (refusal is a criminal offense), and cannot object to strip-searches or DNA collection; critics charge the implementation of the act has been discriminatory toward minorities, and the Home Office said it would review the act with an eye to scaling it back

  • Sharp drop in illegal crossers notwithstanding, “border industrial complex” keeps growing

    Since 1986, U.S. immigration enforcement has cost the U.S. government $219 billion dollars; almost 80,000 workers now depend on immigration enforcement for their employment; illegal immigration has dropped sharply over the last four years, and is now at a 1971 level — but the what some call the “border industrial complex” keeps growing and growing