Ports and Borders

DHS Inspector General John Roth on CBP UAVs

This morning, Tom Temin interviewed DHS Inspector General John Roth about the report his office issued, which severely criticizes the DHS CBP Office of Air & Marine’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for border surveillance purposes.

DHS Inspector General Says CBP Drone Program is of “Dubious” Benefit

DHS Inspector General John Roth dropped a powerful present on the front doorstep of Customs and Border Protection on Christmas Eve. News of the report is just coming out this week. It is about time a DHS official questioned the outrageous cost of the Office of Air & Marine’s (OAM) use of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Looking Back and Looking Forward – DHS Moves into 2015 Amid Uncertainty and Hope

By most objective measures, 2014 was not a good year for the Department of Homeland Security. As we enter 2015, I sense there is a slight bit of subjective optimism that, under the leadership of DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, things are getting better. Here are the opportunities (and potential challenges) for the Department in 2015.

Anniversaries are More Than Just Days to Remember

Twelve years ago last week, President Bush signed the act creating the Department of Homeland Security. It came into formal existence on March 1, 2003. Anniversaries are days to reflect on broader issues, and it is a good time to reflect on what has occurred since DHS was created – and what that means for the Department’s current and future missions and challenges.

Could Ebola be a Tool for Terrorists?

The first person to be diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil has died. The case of Thomas Eric Duncan, coupled with the fact that there is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola, raises questions about the threat from bioterrorism.

Save the Bagpipes From the Federal Bureaucracy

Every so often, a federal agency does something so questionable that it makes one shake his head in disbelief. This is about saving bagpipes and other musical instruments from seizure by federal officials at the U.S. border. It is a tragedy in the making.

Is DHS Really Pushing for a Southwest Command?

A number of news reports have suggested that DHS is creating a new joint-forces entity, akin to DoD’s Southern Command, to address the myriad issues along the U.S. Southwestern border. Really?

Good Idea, Bad Idea – Bioterrorism and UACs

Good Idea, Bad Idea is a weekly recap of the brilliant and stupid things America’s homeland security community does every day, because sarcasm is good for the soul. This week, a cat catches the tongue of OHA’s Dr. Kathy Brinsfield and Sen. Chuck Schumer gets a paper cut.

A Lunch with Alan Bersin

Join the Secure Identity & Biometrics Association on June 24 for an exclusive, off-the-record, closed door luncheon with Alan Bersin, DHS Acting Assistant Secretary for Policy and Vice President for the Americas, Interpol.

Biometric Exit Needs a Nudge from Congress

Amongst grumblings that immigration reform will likely not go anywhere this year, there is a whispering that a small but important immigration security law – biometric exit – may receive a big vote of confidence in the House this session.