• 9/11 + 7: Taking stock

    Since its creation more than five years ago, DHS has made significant progress — uneven progress — in protecting the United States from dangerous people and goods, protecting the U.S. critical infrastructure, strengthen emergency response, and unifying department operations

  • Immigration matters / David B. Palinsky

    Any required labor-market test must facilitate extraordinary alacrity; delays of years, months, or even weeks are unacceptable; similarly, H-1B workers should be paid the same wage as their U.S. counterparts: The H-1B program should not be a means by which “cheap foreign labor” is imported

  • Cameron County’s, Texas, proposed to build miles of combined border wall and levee along the border’s southernmost point; DHS rejects proposal, saying it is not feasible

  • Colombian drug smugglers now use “semi-submersibles” to smuggle drugs into the United States; counterterrorism officials fear that what drug runners now use to deliver cocaine, terrorists could one day use to sneak personnel or massive weapons into the United States

  • TSA suspended company from the Registered Traveler program after one of its computer, containing the personal details of 33,000 customers who had registered for the program, was lost; lap top was recovered and handed over to TSA for forensic review; company now allowed to register passengers

  • TSA began storing the information in late June, tracking many people who said they had forgotten their driver’s license or passport at home; the database has 16,500 records; agency says it is changing its policy on the list

  • Dutch researcher uses his own software, a publicly available programming code, a £40 card reader, and two £10 RFID chips to clone and manipulate two passport chips to a point at which they were ready to be planted inside fake or stolen paper passports; the altered chips were then passed as genuine by passport reader software used by the UN agency that sets standards for e-passports; the researcher took less than an hour to alter the chips

  • Part of the U.S.-Mexico border fence would have cut across the campus of the University of Texas-Brownsville/Texas Southmost College; the university and DHS reached a compromise — but the university must finish building its proposed border protection solution by the end of the year

  • The ACLU says there are one million names on the DHS terrorist watch list, while TSA says there are only 400,000; whatever the exact figure is, TSA wants to make sure that the airlines do not misidentify innocent passengers as terrorists, and threatens to sue airlines which do so

  • Technology will allow border control staff to conduct biometric checks on inbound and outbound passengers

  • Today the first Border Patrol RFID readers go into use at El Paso, Texas, border crossing; during the next two months many more RFID readers will be installed in order to speed up traffic across borders

  • Program in the spotlight

    James Jasinski, CEO, Cogent Systems, comments on a young program that is discharging an immense responsibility

  • The terrorist watch list debate

    ACLU claims terrorist watch list reached one million names; launches online watch list complaint form

  • The terrorist watch list debate

    The Transportation Security Administration refutes the facts and figures used by the ACLU in the latter’s claim that the list is now 1-million strong

  • The San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area is part of the U.S.-Mexico border, and all agree that the area’s ecosystem is particularly delicate; DHS wants to build a fence there, but environmentalists object

  • New report says terrorist threats will pose a challenge to U.K. security for three more decades; key vulnerabilities; inadequate border control, lack of monitoring of small airports and landing strips, lack of security for cargo planes, inadequate scaning of foreign mail

  • Even advocates admit that E-Verify — the electronic matching of employees’ Social Security Numbers to the data base at the Social Security Administration — is only 94 percent accurate, but they argue that the benefits outweigh any imperfections—

  • DHS proposes nearly five dozen towers, ranging from 80 feet to 200 feet tall, to be erected in rural areas in Arizona

  • Border line

    UT systems files motions in court last week asking that the court demand that DHS comply with a March settlement detailing how the fence would be built on part of the UT-Brownsville campus

  • Border line

    DHS waived 19 federal laws so a fence could be built on the Arizona-Mexico border; two environmentalist groups challenged the ruling, but the U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenge