Borders

  • El Paso to hire more border officers to compensate for CBP budget cuts

    In El Paso, Texas, more than 100,000 residents depend on the activity across the bridges which connect the United States to Mexico. This includes $80 billion in trade a year that crosses the El Paso bridges and millions of shoppers who cross our bridges who spend more than $1.4 billion in the El Paso economy. Sequestration-related cuts, by promising longer wait times at border crossings, will hurt the local economy, and the El Paso city council is looking for ways to minimize the damage.

  • DHS helps tear down technological “Tower of Babel” along U.S. borders

    First responders and international officials on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border had been preparing since last fall for the Canada-U.S. Enhance Resiliency Experiment (CAUSE) — demonstrating the ability to exchange information between local, state, provincial, and national systems and software applications. With these preparations, a recent joint experiment held in Maine and New Brunswick proved that even across borders, any immediate confusion or lack of information following an incident should not greatly affect overall rescue efforts.

  • DHS late developing new measure for border security

    A little more than two years ago, DHS officials told Congress that they would design a new method to produce more accurate statistics on security along the nation’s border. Last week the department acknowledged that it has not developed this method yet, and will not for some time.

  • Rise in the number of border-crossers dying along the U.S.-Mexico border

    While fewer people are crossing the border between Mexico and the United States, the region saw a significant spike in immigrant deaths last year, according to a report released on Tuesday. the U.S. Border Patrol identified 477 deaths along the border, a 27 percent increase from the 375 deaths in 2012.

  • Was Mexican border firefight killing 40 real?

    It would seem that drug violence only stops at the Mexican border in the imaginations of Washington politicians. On example: Mexican journalists, because of fear for their own lives and the safety of their families, are increasingly reluctant to cover drug cartels’ violence and mayhem. What has occurred in recent months is that American reporters located in American border cities also have stopped reporting on drug-related violence across the border for the same reasons as their Mexican counterparts.

  • Discovery Channel special on protecting U.S. northern border

    The Discovery Channel  on Wednesday aired a documentary on DHS, called “Under Siege: America’s Northern Border.” The show will be shown several more times in the coming weeks. The  one-hour special focuses on the northern border of the United States, which was a  crossing point for some of the terrorists behind the first World Trade Center attack.

  • CBP faces lawsuits over treatment of illegal immigrants

    A number of U.S. Citizens along with illegal immigrants have filed several lawsuits on Tuesday against Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  claiming they were abused and subjected to cruel tactics, including being forced to sit in freezing holding cells for day at a time.

  • CBP sends out furlough notices to agency employees

    The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has started sending furlough notices to its employees, the result of the agency’s need to cope with a 5 percent sequestration-related reduction in salaries and expenses. Border patrol agents say the cuts will hobble efforts to make the border more secure.

     

  • El Paso police receives a federal grant, but resident are worried about CBP budget cuts

    As the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency begins to deal with significant budget cuts and furloughs, the local law enforcement in El Paso, Texas has just received additional funding. Local police officers help residents handle encounters with illegal immigrants, but many residents believe U.S. Border Patrol agents are more suitable for the task.

  • Napolitano says she had no part in immigrant releases

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano said  she was not part of the decision to release hundreds of immigrants from detention last week. The immigrants were released as the agency scrambled to prepare for sequestration-related budget cuts. She also said that the timing of the announcement was poor.

  • Sharp increase in border crossings in 2012

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    There has been a sharp rise in border crossings into the United States, both legal and illegal, in 2012, giving ammunition to lawmakers who insist that the issue of border security should be addressed as a condition for an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system.

  • Our primary border security system cannot distinguish between a cow and a terrorist

    One of the main security components along the U.S.-Mexico border is a system of 12,000 aging ground sensors. These sensors, however, cannot distinguish between human beings trying to cross the border, a grazing cow, or a pack of javelin – the wild boar that roams this area along the Rio Grande. DHS has so far spent billions on trying to find a technology which would better secure the border. The question that should be asked is why DHS has not adopted a proven system of sophisticated ground sensors, like the one which the U.S. Army has successfully deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • DHS reasserts right for search and seizure without probable cause

    Thousands of times a year  people are stopped as they cross into the United States, and their cell phones, tablets, and laptops are taken from them. Their e-mails and photos and other important documents are searched thoroughly without  probable cause.

  • Problems-plagued border sensor program put on hold by CBP

    Two years ago, DHS cancelled SBInet, the ambitious Bush-era project to install advanced sensing technology along the border. The project was cancelled after more than $1 billion were spent on a few towers equipped with sensors which were built along a 28-mile stretch and the Arizona-Mexico border. Now CBP has put on hold one of SBInet’s successors, a project aiming to install sophisticated ground sensors along the U.S.-Mexico border.

  • Gang of Eight: DHS secretary to determine if border is secure

    Even supporters of immigration reform admit that security along the U.S.-Mexico border should be improved so that legalizing the status of the eleven million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States would not become a magnet for drawing even more undocumented immigrants into the country. How do we know, however, whether the border is secure enough for the legalizing process to begin? A bipartisan group of senators, known as the Gang of Eight, has an idea: under the terms of the bipartisan framework for immigration reform, DHS secretary Janet Napolitano would make the final determination about whether or not the border is secure. Once she makes the determination that the border is secure, the eleven million undocumented immigrants would start on their path to a legal status in the country.