• Border security

    Visitors to the United Kingdom who extend their stay in the country beyond six months will be issued non-EU biometric identity cards; the U.K. Border Agency has already issued over 100,000 identity cards mainly to students extending their stay or to spouses

  • Border security

    DHS proposes to spend billions of dollars collecting fingerprints and eye scans from all foreign travelers at U.S. airports as they leave the country; already, the United States demands biometric data, typically fingerprints and digital photos, from arriving air and sea travelers with visas; the aim is to try to ensure the person matches the individual who was given the visa overseas. Canadians and Mexicans are currently exempt

  • With most of the 661-mile border fence complete, DHS is gearing up for testing a section of the fence near Tuscon; if the system survives this first round, it will be handed off to the Border Patrol in early 2010, who will put the technology through some real world scenarios

  • Recent contracts

    OSI’s Security division, Rapiscan Systems, has received approximately $29 million in orders from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to provide multiple units of its cargo and vehicle inspection solutions

  • The Bush administration tried to reduce that number by trying to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the country; the Obama administration announced a new strategy: going after an illegal immigrant’s employer and its managers

  • Africans who want to immigrate to the U.K. found a relatively easy way to do so: they seek political asylum, saying they come from war-ravaged countries; the U.K. Border Agency wanted to make sure, by checking their DNA, that they come from the war-ravaged countries they claim to come from; scientists criticized the scheme as “naive” and “scientifically flawed,” so the UKBA suspended it — only to reinstate it the next day, partially

  • Last year, 39 million foreign travelers were admitted into the United States on temporary visas; based on the paper stubs, homeland security officials said, they confirmed the departure of 92.5 percent of them; most of the remaining visitors did depart, officials said, but failed to check out because they did not know how to do so; more than 200,000 of them are believed to have overstayed intentionally

  • Overreach

    Customs agents can now instruct you to log on to your laptop so they can read your e-mails and personal files and examine which Web sites you have visited; they can make a copy of your hard drive, and of any other storage device, so the government can comb through the contents more leisurely; this contents, without your knowledge, may be shared with any other government agency; it can be kept in perpetuity; the same applies to your BlackBerry, iPhone, and other digital devices; customs agents can do all that, according to DHS policy, “absent individualized suspicion”; a law professor says the government’s substitution of “search at will” for “reasonable suspicion” is a flagrant violation of the Fourth Amendment

  • The U.S. growing involvement in Mexico’s drug war could put more American interests at risk

  • The U.K. Post Office has volunteered seventeen offices to collect dabs on a trial basis, with tests to start next week; so far the Identity and Passport Service has issued 90,000 cards mostly to students and people renewing marriage visas. This beats its previous target of 75,000 cards by November 2009

  • Are you an American citizen frequently traveling abroad? You may be surprised by how much of your personal information DHS collects — and stores; now you have a way of finding out

  • The U.S. District Court for Maryland denied an injunction for another delay to five industry groups that are appealing the court’s earlier decision to allow implementation of the rule to go forward

  • Analysis

    Agricultural goods crossing into the United States are subject to Agricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI) by DHS’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP); current practices call for inspecting 2 percent of the items in a container; a new study says that applying decision-making theory to inspections would improve them and make them more effective

  • New GAO report notes that whenever a specific checkpoint received additional resources or personnel, officials typically would see a spike in the number of seizures and apprehensions, followed by a gradual decline as smugglers and criminals looked for a less secure point of entry into the United States

  • A business coalition files suit to prevent DHS from implementing E-verify as of next Tuesday; E-Verify would require federal contractors to verify the legal status of their workers

  • U.S. and Mexico sign agreement to build public security communications network; the new network will allow participating public safety organizations to coordinate incident response

  • Kennedy dramatically changed the U.S. immigration system with the Immigration Act of 1965, which eliminated the quota system and allowed immigration from Latin America and Asia to increase substantially

  • With 130 murders for every 100,000 residents per year on average last year, Ciudad Juarez, a manufacturing city of 1.6 million people across from El Paso, Texas, is more violent than any other city in the world

  • Growing debate in Republican Party circles about the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border; in addition to the effectiveness of a fence in stopping illegal immigration, many point to the cost: the project could cost up to $60 billion over the next 25 years, and involve government seizure of private property

  • According to DHS, the vast majority — more than 70 percent — of illegal aliens and contraband attempting to move across our border through official ports of entry will succeed