When a deadly infectious disease like Ebola breaks out overseas, the responsibility to keep infected individuals out of the United States partly falls on customs officers with little medical training who staff long lines of travelers waiting to enter the country.
Poor planning, budget limitations, increased apprehensions and lack of communication with Homeland Security leaders and the White House led Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to release more than 2,000 immigration detainees--including some criminals--in early 2013, the department's watchdog found.
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.
Since mid-June, the number of illegal immigrants- including scores of unaccompanied children- crossing into Texas have "gone down considerably," Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson said Aug. 9.
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.
The Senate Appropriations Committee chairwoman released a draft bill July 23 that would provide more than $1 billion in emergency funding to help the Homeland Security Department and other departments cope with the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing the southwestern border.
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.
A Republican congressman said he intends to introduce legislation directing federal officials to account for the whereabouts of unaccompanied migrant children that are flooding the Southwest border.