Travelers to the United States will now be able to submit their passport information and customs declaration form through a new smartphone or tablet app as a way to expedite their entry process, the Customs and Border Protection agency said recently.
The House briefly delayed its summer recess to pass two bills on Aug. 1 in response to the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the southwestern border. Both bills appear destined to go no further.
Analysis of data related to border issues could illuminate the threats and challenges at the border and also help understand the effects of border security measures on trade, said Jack Riley, the vice president of RAND's national security research division.
The Government Accountability Office recently upheld Raytheon Corp.'s protest that the Customs and Border Protection improperly awarded a $145 million contract for a virtual border fence along the southwest border to a competitor. The GAO recommended that CBP reevaluate the proposals from Raytheon and EFW Inc.
Port of entry infrastructure along the U.S. borders has struggled to keep up with the needs of cross-border trade and travelers, lawmakers and federal officials testing during a House hearing.
Two lawmakers plan to introduce bipartisan border legislation that they say would treat all unaccompanied minors crossing the southern border equally and ensure due process. Though text of the legislation isn't available, a July 16 statement from Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) it would allow for voluntary reunification of children with their families whether they are from Mexico, Central America or any other country.
President Barack Obama is seeking $3.7 billion in emergency appropriations from Congress to help deal with the thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the southwest border.
Two reports that the Homeland Security Department office of inspector general removed from its website following alleged misconduct by the office's now-former leader have undergone slight modifications. Charles Edwards, the former acting inspector general at DHS, resigned in December amid numerous allegations of misconduct during his nearly three years leading the OIG
While the Homeland Security Department has established performance measures and reporting processes within multiagency security efforts along the Southwest border, congressional investigators said it still needs to do more to strengthen the collaboration and improve efficiency.
Two Homeland Security Department officials testified before a Senate subcommittee that international travelers face several challenges, such as increased wait times and poor service at many U.S. ports of entry, but efforts are underway to improve those areas as the U.S. tries to reach a goal of attracting 100 million visitors annually by 2021.