• Ferry giant refuses ID card

    A husband and wife from Hull trying to take a ferry to Rotterdam for Christmas shopping were denied boarding after the ferry’s crew refused to accept the U.K.’s new biometric ID card as a means of identification; the couple applied for the card when it was offered on a voluntary basis to the public in Greater Manchester; the card is meant to allow travel across Europe as an alternative to a passport, but the crew, saying they had never seen such a card before, insisted on the couple producing their passports; since the couple had left their passports at home, they could not take their trip

  • A first: Arizona firm punished under hiring law

    For the first time in Arizona, a company employing illegal immigrants has been punished for violating the law; the company has its business license suspended for ten days and was put on a 3-year probation; the punishment is symbolic because the company is already out of business

  • U.K. e-Borders scheme thrown into confusion by EU rules

    The U.K’s. £1.2 billion e-Border scheme would mandate that, say, someone flying from the United Kingdom to Spain would be required to submit their name, date of birth, and passport details ahead of a flight and well before they got to the airport, or face the risk of being prevented from boarding; the EU says this violates the union’s rules on free movement within the EU region.

  • House to consider new immigration bill

    An Illinois Democrat introduces an immigration reform bill that would allow illegal immigrants currently in the United States to gain legal status and possibly citizenship; they would have to demonstrate they had been working, pay a $500 fine, learn English, and undergo a criminal background check, among other provisions; unlike previous proposals in Congress, they would not have to return to their homeland first, something known as “touchback”

  • Technological action-reaction along U.S.-Mexico border

    Illegal border crossers into the United States are becoming more sophisticated – the latest is a GPS application which is supposed to help crossers evade Border Patrol agents – but those in charge of protecting U.S. borders are also employing advanced technology to keep the border secure.

  • DHS publicizing passport alternatives

    Visits to the United States by Canadians have dropped since 1 June, when the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative began requiring new documentation for cross-border land travel; DHS agrees to advertise alternatives to passports as valid border-crossing documents.

  • CBP readies maritime UAV

    To increase the long-range reconnaissance capabilities over water, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection take deliver of a maritime variant of the Predator B UAV; the Predator B UAV has already proven its value to homeland security over the U.S. land borders and the Great Lakes region

  • Chinese woman surgically altered fingerprints for Japan entry

    A 27-year old Chinese woman, deported from Japan in 2007, was allowed back in Japan after biometric scanning failed to identify her as a deportee; the reason: the skin patches from the digits on her right and left hands were removed and then re-grafted onto the matching digits of the opposite hand; she was arrested after she tried to arrange a fake marriage to a Japanese man.

  • Biometrics testing introduced for applicants of Australia Visa

    Australia begins to collect biometric information seeking protection under the Australian Visa program; for the next six months, the program will be implemented in Sydney and Melbourne and will be voluntary; at the end of the pilot the government will consider national compulsory expansion of the process.

  • Growing demand for H-1B visas signals improving outlook for skilled pros

    Economic confidence spurs U.S. companies to hire more college graduates and apply for more work visas for non-U.S. skilled workers; if this demand for visas continues, the H-1B cap for the 2010 fiscal year may be met in a matter of days to early next year

  • Security questions raised by Cuban migrants landing at Turkey Point nuclear plant

    Thirty Cubans fleeing Cuba landed near the off-limits cooling canals for the Turkey Point nuclear power plant; the migrants stayed — undetected — in the high-security area for about six hours; Florida Power & Light learned the Cubans had landed on its property only when a member of the group phoned the plant’s control room hours after the group’s arrival

  • Trusted shippers program attracts drug smugglers

    The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, or C-TPAT, program was supposed to list trusted shippers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency, so that these shippers’ trucks would have to spend less time at border checkpoints; trouble is, drug traffickers know this, and they use the system to smuggle their shipments into the United States

  • Radiological monitoring system along U.S.-Canada border completed

    The last of the 600 radiological monitors along the U.S.-Canada border has been deployed (at Trout River, New York, on the Quebec border); DHS says it is now scanning 100 percent of all vehicle traffic entering from Canada and Mexico — plus all mail and courier packages from Mexico and a further 98 percent of all arriving seaborne container cargo — for radioactive threats

  • Tighter immigration control spells troubles for the border economy

    There are many facets to the debate about the best way to handle illegal immigration into the United States, but for the 210 U.S. border counties, where the economy and immigration are tied closely together, tighter immigration control means slowdown in business activity

  • U.K. to start issuing non-EU identity cards on 6 January

    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