Borders

  • Why some immigrants get citizenship

    For immigrants, the path to citizenship in many countries is filled with hurdles: finding a job, learning the language, passing exams. For some people, however, the biggest obstacle of all may be one they cannot help: their country of origin.

  • 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.

  • 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