As the Obama administration continues to try to convince the American people they are securing the borders, their most recent budget request makes clear that “Amnesty by Any Means” remains the consistent mission. The latest installment is buried in the president’s homeland security budget, which includes provisions dotted throughout that, put together, would result in the dismantling of arguably the best border-related program that exists in federal government, US-VISIT, burying its capabilities in two of the most politicized of all government agencies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.
It has taken almost a decade for a post 9/11-version of a secure Trusted Traveler program to become official, but Monday’s publication of the final rule establishing Global Entry as an official program marks a signal achievement for DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). With over 300,000 applications in place, over 1.8 million individual trips handled, and over tens of thousands of CBP man and woman-hours saved, Global Entry deserves the praise it got from the President on his visit to Disney last month. Global Entry is not only a good idea – it is an essential part of CBP’s strategy to handle increased traffic flows in an era of tight budgets.
The U.S. visa system is still not effectively focusing resources on those who pose a threat to our country. More than a decade after 9/11, foreign tourists, business travelers, students, and temporary workers presenting low security risks face the same cumbersome and unpredictable procedural hurdles as high-risk applicants. Despite commendable efforts by the State Department to speed up visa issuance, only modest progress has been made in translating the tremendous technological advances in homeland security to the visa system to ensure that accurate determinations are made in a timely manner.
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.