Immigration Blog

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Homeland Security: USA

Tattooed gang members, drug smugglers, human traffickers, and people emitting radiation from their bodies. These are just a few of the types to cross paths with DHS officials in ABC’s new reality series, “Homeland Security: USA.” In the same way that Fox’s long-running COPS has highlighted the day-to-day drama facing local law enforcement, this series promises to provide Americans a sobering look at the constant assault on our nation’s ports and borders.

Changing Change.org

The website Change.org includes the following quote at the top of its homepage: “I will open the doors of government and ask you to be involved in your own democracy again.” – President-elect Barack Obama Launched in 2007, the site claims to be aimed at “empowering movements for social change,” and is partnered with a variety of open-border groups such as LaRaza and the SEIU. It apparently is not officially affiliated with Obama’s Change.gov website.

Immigrant Gangs: Pols still don’t get it

In their quest for open borders, many politicians still fail to understand the link between immigration and the growth of gangs. The latest example is chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) – who happens to have one of the worst records on immigration enforcement. In the next Congress, Baca plans to introduce an initiative to fight gangs. It sounds like a great idea, but if his past efforts are a guide, it’s likely that this initiative will focus only on prevention programs akin to the anti-drug program known as D.A.R.E.

NJ's Legal Presence Requirements Made a Difference in the Fort Dix Plot

View Related Blogs and VideosLast week saw a big win for prosecutors and the FBI with the conviction of three illegal immigrant brothers and two permanent legal residents for the plot to commit a terrorist attack against military personnel at Fort Dix. The convictions for conspiring to kill military personnel (but acquitted of attempted murder) indicate that aggressive pursuit of terrorist plots before they happen can result in convictions. Yet no one is talking about the fact that informants were able to infiltrate the group of five in part because they were able to present the conspirators with something most of them didn’t have – a legal form of U.S. identification.

Numbers from US-VISIT

A look back at the annual report on US-VISIT, the automated entry (and hopefully someday exit) screening program, provides stark reminders of both the value of the program and of how much work still remains to be done. The program is doing a good job finding needles, but is working in only part of the haystack. The incoming Obama administration could establish some credibility on its commitment to homeland security by making the completion of the entry-exit system at land, air and sea ports a top priority. Of note:

Where's the Fence?

A new map (here in pdf) shows progress on the fence along the southern border. You need to blow it up a little to get a better look, but the fence is finished or under construction along almost all the border from the Pacific to El Paso, though in some places it's a vehicle barrier that prevents smuggling vans from crossing but not people from relatively easily hopping over. And I'm not sure if any of the places marked as completed have a "virtual fence" as opposed to an actual one.

US-VISIT Expanding Soon to New Immigrants and Some LPRs

Check another one off Secretary Chertoff’s Bucket List. Soon in the new year, DHS is to begin screening several new categories of aliens, getting another border security enhancement in place before the regime change. Beginning January 17, 2009, all those arriving on immigrant visas, new refugees and asylees, some green card holders, and a few other categories will be enrolled in US-VISIT at the Port of Entry.

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