US-VISIT gave its 8th annual briefing on Thursday, and the progress there continues to be impressive. While the advances in biometrics raise some delicate privacy questions, the United States is getting ever closer to creating a system in which it will be more or less impossible to lie one’s way into this country through the legal ports of entry. And more and more countries – sixty-one at last count – are going down the same road of using biometrics for border control.
Newsweek asked me to do a piece looking at the current state of the political debate over border security. The request turned out to be well-timed, because it coincided with the release of the latest annual figures on the number of apprehensions at the border, which remains the best measure we have of how many people are trying to enter the United States illegally.Is the border secure yet? If not, it’s getting awfully close. Yet the political debate remains focused almost entirely on further ramping up border enforcement.
CQ Homeland Security A new effort from Sen. Michael Bennet would offer temporary student visas to young people brought to the country illegally as children who enroll in college.Bennet’s bill would primarily create a new green card category for graduates in science, technology, engineering and math — known as the STEM fields — that would [...]
A sudden move last week to return a hip-hop site to its owner after it was seized and held by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a year has renewed criticism of the agency’s domain confiscation program called In Our Sites.
Since Nov. 16, the state has received extensive publicity after the Tuscaloosa police arrested a 46-year-old German Mercedes-Benz executive visiting Alabama on business. The cause? The man’s rental car didn’t have a license plate, and he did not have the proper documentation required by Alabama’s new illegal immigration law.
“If it were not for the immigration law, a person without a license in their possession wouldn’t be arrested like this,” Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson told the Associated Press. Like other states, before the immigration law passed Alabama simply issued a court summons and a ticket to individuals found driving without a license.
But now that we have adopted the toughest law against illegal immigration in the country, arrests like this one are sure to become more common.
At Last, a DHS Exit System to Nab Potential Terrorists – Tech Insider Within the next 6 to 12 months, Homeland Security Department officials say they expect to have a long-awaited, instantaneous system for tracking foreigners who have overstayed their visits. Lawmakers have said such a tool is crucial for removing potential terrorists.
Why Americans Won’t Do Dirty Jobs – BusinessWeek Skinning, gutting, and cutting up catfish is not easy or pleasant work. No one knows this better than Randy Rhodes, president of Harvest Select, which has a processing plant in impoverished Uniontown, Ala. For years, Rhodes has had trouble finding Americans willing to grab a knife and [...]
For almost four years, disagreements among federal agencies have impeded U.S. participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Card (ABTC) program. The ABTC is meant to expedite the travel of business men and women in the Asia-Pacific region as international trade and travel has grown explosively. Today marks a huge milestone as the House of Representatives passed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Travel Cards Act of 2011. It allows U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to issue ABTCs to qualified business executives at no cost to the Treasury or taxpayers.
Amid all of the partisan bickering over fiscal and tax policy in the Congress during 2011, it has been heartening to see a burst of bipartisan support for reforms to facilitate the travel of low-risk visitors to the United States. There have been at least three major pieces of authorizing legislation introduced in recent weeks as well as a push to reform the Departments of State and Homeland Security as part of the appropriations process. Encouraging and securing international travel does not lend itself to silver bullet solutions, but seeing the Congress increasingly recognize the economic value of travel is a positive development.