• Mexican smugglers clone Border Patrol vehicles to evade detection

    There is a new twist in the on going war along the U.S.-Mexico border: Mexican smugglers now use “cloned” Border Patrol vehicles to smuggle drugs into the United States; there is an added danger here, as Mexican drug cartels have launched an assassination campaign against U.S. law enforcement personnel along the border; driving a Border Patrol look-alike vehicle allows the assailants to get closer to their targets without arousing suspicion

  • U.S. institutes new, targeted security protocols for travelers to U.S.

    The United States is replacing broad screening of all in-coming travelers with a more targeted approach; the intelligence-based security system is devised to raise flags about travelers whose names do not appear on no-fly watch lists, but whose travel patterns or personal traits create suspicions

  • More counties join Secure Communities

    Across the United States, 135 jurisdictions in 17 states have joined DHS’s (and DOJ’s) Secure Communities project; Secure Communities offers local jurisdiction an information-sharing capability: if an individual is arrested, his or her fingerprint information will now be simultaneously checked against both FBI criminal history records and the biometrics-based immigration records maintained by DHS, meaning that both criminal and immigration records of all local arrestees will be checked

  • 88,000 U.S. citizen children lost lawful immigrant parent (Green Card holders) to deportation

    In the decade between April 1997 and August 2007, the United States deported nearly 88,000 lawful permanent residents — that is, holders of Green Cards — for mostly minor criminal convictions; approximately 50 percent of the children were under the age of 5 when their parent was deported; the crimes for which Green Card holders may now be deported include non-violent theft and drug offenses, forgery, and other minor offenses — many of which may not even be felonies under criminal law

  • UAVs help CBP agents keep an eye on the border (when there are no clouds)

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently operate six UAVs: there are three Predators in Arizona, two in North Dakota, and one is being tested for maritime anti-narcotics duty in Cape Canaveral, Florida; proponents say that supporters say that despite the high price tag — the Predator’s camera alone can cost more than $2 million — it is worth it

  • How accurate is E-Verify? Cont.

    A top DHS official says that E-Verify, the program set by DHA to allow employers to verify the legal status of employees and job applicants, is accurate and reliable; she writes that the famous Westat study “concluded that E-Verify was accurate 96 percent of the time” and that, “Since then, the Obama administration has taken steps further to improve E-Verify”

  • DHS freezes funds for U.S.-Mexico border security system

    In 2006 Boeing won the contract for the ambitious Secure Border Initiative Net (SBINet) project — a system of cameras, radar, and other sensors aiming to detect illegal immigrants as they cross the U.S.-Mexico border; after countless technical glitches and many delays, DHS freezes funding for the project to allow it too assess how to deal with Boeing’s failures and decide on future steps

  • Proposed bill calls for ID card for U.S. workers to curb illegal immigration

    Advocates of immigration reform are pushing for a bill in the Senate which would create a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain; the biometric data would likely be either fingerprints or a scan of the veins in the top of the hand; employers will not be able to hire applicants who do not present a valid ID

  • How accurate is E-Verify?

    Many news reports about a DHS-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of the E-Verify project said that the study found that the program was accurate in only 54 percent of the cases submitted to it for verification; the heavily statistical analysis is not easily penetrated, but what the report said was that due primarily to identity fraud, the inaccuracy rate of E-Verify for unauthorized workers is approximately 54 percent

  • E-Verify finds only one out of two illegals

    E-Verify was launched to allow employers to verify the legal status of job applicants; a study done for DHS finds that the program is ineffective: the inaccuracy rate for unauthorized workers at about 54 percent, meaning that one in two illegal workers makes it through the screening

  • DHS budget has little money for radiation detector devices

    Placing radiation detectors at U.S. ports of entry would help prevent the smuggling of nuclear material into the United States — but it is also a business issue for Washington state: 400 employees work at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington; the proposed DHS budget contains only $8 million for these detectors, and the Washington congressional delegation presses for more

  • Aussies to require citizens of yet-unnamed 10 countries to submit biometric info

    The Australian government has launched a $69 million plan which will require citizens of ten countries — not named yet — to submit fingerprint and facial images to apply for electronic visas to enter Australia; Foreign Minister Stephen Smith: “there may well be a diplomatic effort required in respect of some of those countries as you would expect”

  • GAO: Nuclear material could be smuggled undetected into U.S.

    GAO investigators test for vulnerabilities along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders; they examine both ports of entry and unmonitored areas of the border; GAO concluded that a determined cross-border violator would likely be able to bring radioactive materials or other contraband undetected into the United States by crossing the U.S.-Canada border

  • Questions raised about wisdom of erecting a fence on Otay Mountain

    DHS has spent $57.7-million – and waived more than thirty environmental laws in 2008 — to build a 3.6 mile fence on Otay Mountain; critics question the cost, effectiveness and environmental effect of erecting a fence where those who hiked three days up a steep, arid peak were often met by border agents anyway

  • U.K. universities chafe under burden of monitoring foreign students, academics

    As of 31 March 2009, all U.K. universities have been required to monitor foreign students and academics; for instance, university staff must check international student attendance, and if a student fails to attend 10 “expected interactions” (seminars, lectures, tutor meetings, etc.), the professor is obliged to report them to the U.K. Border Agency; professor say this is too much