• European securityEU backs visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to EU zone

    The European Commission has recommended visa-free travel in Europe for Turkish citizens. Turkey still has to meet some of the seventy-two conditions set by the EU. The deal must be approved by the parliaments of all of the EU twenty-eight member states before the 30 June deadline. The lifting of visa requirements for Turkey’s eighty million citizens has been a subject of intense debate among EU member states. Turkey threatened that if the EU and its member states failed to approve the visa deal, Turkey would withdrew from the refugee agreement it had reached with the EU in March.

  • ImmigrationEl Paso doesn't want ID as "sanctuary city"

    By Julián Aguilar

    An El Paso-based immigrant rights group could see its hopes for a municipal ID card dashed after leaders there determined that issuing the card might prompt immigration hardliners to label the town a “sanctuary city.”

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  • Real IDNo immediate impact on Pennsylvania from DHS update to REAL ID deadlines

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said there would be no immediate impact to Pennsylvania citizens is expected based on the recent announcement by DHS regarding its schedule for implementing the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. The act deals with identification requirements for boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.

  • VisasTravel association to DHS: Tell Congress about visa overstays before tourism is restricted

    The U.S. Travel Association is urging DHS to address people who stay overstay the length of their approved visas before placing new restrictions on visa waiver programs that are designed to boost U.S. tourism. “We should not even begin to discuss further improvements to visa security without much-needed data from the Department of Homeland Security on visa overstays,” the association says.

  • Driver’s licensesDHS extends deadline for Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses

    DHS on Friday announced that air travelers who are residents of several states which are yet to meet the Real ID federal security standards would still be able to use their driver’s licenses at U.S. airports until 22 January 2018. From that point on, if the traveler’s state does not yet offer a Real ID-compliant driver’s license, the passenger would be required to present an alternative identification document such as a passport. Five state and American Samoa were not given the extension, and must become compliant by January 2018.

  • Airport securityMan uses stolen boarding pass to get through Utah airport security

    A man who had stolen a boarding pass which was left by mistake on a Southwest Airline counter, managed to get through airport security in Salt Lake City, but was stopped at a gate for a flight to California. The attendants at the boarding gate became suspicious since the woman for whom the boarding pass was printed had been given a replacement pas and had already checked in.

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  • Muslim AmericansTrump: Muslim Americans may be required to carry special ID noting their religion

    Donald Trump said he would not rule out entering all Muslim Americans in a database or giving them “a special form of identification that noted their religion.” Trump told the interviewer that he would consider warrantless searches of Muslims and increased surveillance of mosques. “We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago,” Trump said.

  • Terror in ParisFrance demands effective suspension of the Schengen open borders agreement

    France will this week call for an effective suspension of the Schengen Agreement on open borders across Europe. The agreement was in 1985 in the town of Schengen in Luxembourg. It removes border checks within Europe, meaning that anyone. France will not call for a formal abrogation of the agreement, but would rather demand that all members of the Schengen Zone begin border identity checks, a move which amount to an effective suspension of the 30-year old agreement

  • RefugeesEuropeans concerned over thriving trade in fake, stolen Syrian papers

    The EU countries trying to formulate a cohesive policy to deal with the hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to enter the EU zone are now facing a new problem: The burgeoning trade in stolen Syrian identity documents. Most European countries are yet to agree to accept more than a token number of Syrian refugees, but Germany and Sweden have made it known that while the EU is grappling with the issue, the asylum system in both countries would offer preferential treatment for Syrians. This preference has made Syrian passports into a must-have document for non-Syrian immigrants who would otherwise not be likely to qualify as refugees.

  • Real IDSome 200,000 federal building to be affected by REAL ID as of 10 October

    Beginning 10 October, security screeners in roughly 200,000 federal buildings may deny access to visitors who present a driver’s license or identification card from a state which is non-compliant with REAL ID rules. A passport or ID specially approved by the federal government may be used as proof of identity. The Government Services Administration (GSA) says there are 275,195 buildings which are owned and leased by the federal government as of 2014. Enforcement of the REAL ID Act has so far been limited to only 217 of these buildings.

  • Visa Waiver programU.S. tightens Visa Waiver Program security measures

    Citizens of the thirty-eight countries which are part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program may travel to the United States without having to obtain an entry visa if they plan to stay in the United States for a period not exceeding ninety days, and if they meet the requirements. Last Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it would tighten the security measures which are already part of the program, and add additional security measures to it.

  • Trusted travelersU.S., Canada, Mexico create North American Trusted Traveler network

    DHS said it has joined Public Safety Canada and the Secretariat of Governance of Mexico in outlining the first steps toward the creation of a North American Trusted Traveler network. The new agreement, signed on 10 July 2015, will make it easier for eligible travelers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada to apply for expedited screening programs. Eligible travelers will be able to apply for each program beginning in 2016.

  • Visa Waiver ProgramBill would expand Visa Waiver Program despite security concerns

    U.S. Representatives Joe Heck (R-Nevada) and Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) have re-introduced the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act, which aims to create American jobs by expanding the nation’s Visa Waiver Program(VWP) to more countries. Today, thirty-eight countries are included in the VWP, but with more than 3,000 European nationals flocking to Syria and Iraq to fight in the ranks of terror groups such as Islamic State (ISIS), expanding the VWP to more countries is a security concern.

  • VisasWith thousands of Westerners joining ISIS, visa waiver program puts U.S. at risk: Lawmakers

    Security concerns are threatening the 1986 visa waiver program (VWP), which allows millions of people with (mostly) Western passports to travel to the United States for ninety days without a visa. Lawmakers argue that the program, which applies to citizens of thirty-eight countries, has created a security weakness that terrorist groups, specifically the Islamic State (ISIS), could exploit. Thousands of European citizens have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS. Security officials fear that many of them could return back to Europe, then board a U.S.-bound flight with the intent of launching an attack on American soil.

  • Real IDIllinois scrambles to meet Real ID deadline

    State officials in Illinois are working to make driver’s licenses and identification cards comply with the Real ID Act of 2005before commercial air travel restrictions are implemented in 2016. Illinois identification cards do not meet minimum standards mandated by Congress in 2005. The Real ID Act requires states to verify personal information of applicants including birth certificates. The information is then electronically scanned and stored in a federal database, and data can be shared among states and the federal government.