• 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

  • U.S. considers facial recognition, eye scans at border

    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

  • Problems continue for virtual U.S.-Mexico border fence

    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

  • CBP orders advanced cargo and customs screening from OSI

    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

  • Obama's approach to illegal immigration has businesses worried

    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

  • U.K. Border Agency reinstates DNA tests, sort of

    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