Borders

  • Senate panel considering, and voting on, nearly 300 amendments to immigration bill

    The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering, and voting on, each of the nearly 300 amendments to the immigration overhaul bill. An amendment offered by Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), which would require DHS to transfer all student visa information to border patrol agents at all 329 ports of entry into the United States, was approved unanimously.

  • Panel's draft bill shields DHS funds

    A house panel introduced a bill last week that will protect DHS from budget cuts facing other domestic agencies under the house’s budget plan. This will allow the department to hire 1,600 new agents at Customs and Border Patrol agency, replace cuts to local and state governments, boost spending on cybersecurity, and abandon cuts to the Coast Guard.

  • CBP reports 2012 increase in arrests on the border

    Customs and Border Protection (CBP) chief Michael Fisher told a Senate committee last week that arrests of illegal border crossers have gone up 13 percent this year. The increase in arrests last year breaks a 7-year trend of decreasing arrests along the border.

  • Lawmakers defeat Sen. Cruz’s amendment because of its cost

    Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), saying the Gang of Eight’s immigration overhaul draft does not provide DHS with sufficient incentives to bolster border security, offers an amendment which would substantially increase border security funding. Fellow GOP lawmakers say the price tag — $30-$40 billion – is too high, and defeat the amendment.

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  • Senators debate border security measurement methodology

    The immigration reform bill contains $4 billion for border security. The problem is that no one is quite sure how to measure border security, how do we decide that the border is secure, and who would make that decision.

  • DHS now willing to discuss deportation policy with agents' union

    In an effort to head off a possible set back in  court, the Obama administration said earlier this week that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ lawsuit to overturn the president’s selective deportation policy should be thrown out court because the agents originally wanted to handle the issues through collective bargaining.

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  • GOP opponents of the immigration bill gearing up for a campaign to kill it

    Republicans opposed to the bi-partisan Senate immigration bill are getting set to launch a campaign to defeat the bill, as the Senate Judiciary Committee begins a review on the bill Thursday. The committee is expected to spend at least three weeks on the bill, with GOP lawmakers opposing the bill ready to offer hundreds of amendments — some in an effort to make the bill more acceptable to them, others in an effort to kill it.

  • Sponsors: Immigration bill addresses visa flaws highlighted by the Boston bombing

    Lawmakers behind the bipartisan Senate immigration say bill directly addresses some of the security flaws that may have been exploited by the foreign student who helped Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dispose of evidence after the Boston Marathon bombings.

  • U.S. may acquire additional land for constructing border fence

    A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) draft plan regarding the final sections of the border fence that separates the United States from Mexico could impact about 100 people, most reside in a nursing home, according to federal documents.

  • DHS instructs border agents to verify all international student visas

    DHS has sent a direct order to its Border Agents telling them that, “effective immediately,” they must verify that every international student who arrives in the United States has a valid student visa The student visa of Azamat Tazhayakov, one of the two Kazakh students charged with trying to destroy evidence related to the Boston Marathon bombing, was terminated before he arrived in New York on 20 January, but the border agent in the airport did not have access to DHS Department’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.

  • Obama warning liberals to be flexible on immigration bill

    Many in Washington have been worried about Republican objections to the immigration overhaul bill, but President Obama and leading Democrats have begun a quiet campaign to assuage the concerns of liberal groups which argue that the bill excludes too many immigrants and makes the path to citizenship too arduous.

  • Immigration reform conditioned on border being secured by unmanned vehicles

    Between 2006 and 2011, CBP spent $55.3 million on drone use and maintenance operations, according to a DHS Inspector General (IG) report. The IG recommended that the agency stop buying drones because the aircrafts are costly to maintain and have flown significantly less than their predicted flight times. The bipartisan immigration proposal drafted by the bipartisan Gang of Eight includes a provision which would create a 24/7 border surveillance system heavily dependent on the use of drones.

  • DHS agent in fraud case seeks to separate his trial from that of his former boss

    A former DHS agent is attempting to separate his legal case from that of his former boss, who was the head of the DHS office in McAllen, Texas. The motion is an attempt to oppose a government motion pushing to certify the case as “complex” which would delay the start of the trial.

  • Sen. Cornyn, critics exchange charges over immigration reform measure

    Texas critics charge that Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) is likely to oppose the Gang of Eight bipartisan immigration overhaul proposal, even though it meets his demands on border security, because he is worried about a Tea Party primary challenge. Cornyn disagrees.

  • Critics say drones make little contribution to border security

    A new report says that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) drones are a wasteful giveaway to defense contractors and a threat to civil liberties. The report cites CBP own figures, the contribution drones make to border security is minimal. According to CBP calculations, drones have played a role in only 0.003 percent in drug seizure and 0.001 percent in illegal border crossing apprehensions.