U.S. Customs and Border Protection had a busy year.
There were several major and ongoing initiatives in 2007 involving Customs and Border Protection, one of which — Secure Freight — has a direct impact on import/export businesses. The Secure Freight program partners up domestic and foreign ports of call with cutting-edge technologies for the purpose of NBC screening of cargo containers and shipping. “NBC” stands for nuclear, biological and chemical.
This is being done to try to help prevent, you know, terrorists from smuggling into the country nefarious materials. To try to help prevent you and your family from suffering grisly deaths.
Here’s a link to additional info about the Secure Freight program. For obvious reasons these sorts of items don’t get reported, much less featured, on NPR or CNN, in big-city newsrags, on the evening network news broadcasts, on conservative talk radio, or in Time and Newsweek.
As of December 2007 the Department of Homeland Security had completed roughly 285 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. Construction is ongoing. In 2006 the GOP Congress enacted legislation calling for a grand total of 700 miles of fencing. The appropriations bill under which the fence is being constructed also was passed in 2006.
Here’s a link to the latest news about the border fence. Read it all.
In the fall the local Pravda-media in Southern California breathlessly reported the government in part was using Chinese steel in constructing the fence. Well, duh. We want the feds to save public money when it can, don’t we? Why shouldn’t they use less-costly steel as part of a major taxpayer-funded project? Oh, well, no good deed goes unpunished.
The Department of Justice in 2007 completed several hundred successful prosecutions of immigration law violations, from garden-variety charges to major prosecutions of business owners and those who facilitate illegal immigration, e.g., document frauds, payroll tax violators, crooked immigration attorneys and smugglers of illegal aliens.
Here’s a link to a recent set of guilty pleas in an immigration case that fits the typical framework of prosecutions of business owners. Dozens of cases along those lines are filed or finished each month. For obvious reasons, however, those items don’t get reported by major media outlets. Nor for that matter do they have much chance of appearing on the radar screens of the major alternative media forums.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in 2007 conducted 17 major jobsite enforcement raids. Those raids led directly to scores of indictments of business owners and thousands of summary deportations. You can obtain most of the details by scrolling around this Webpage.
The Department of Homeland Security in 2007 implemented its US-Visit program.
US-Visit makes use of cutting-edge biometric technologies to document new foreign visitors. The purpose is to weed out the next Mohammed Atta. Here’s a link to a Webpage from which you can obtain additional info.
Arizona’s GOP state legislature in 2007 enacted a brass-knuckled anti-illegal immigrant law.
The law prohibits employers from hiring illegal immigrants and provides for harsh civil sanctions. A motley crew of liberal special interest groups and state and local chambers of commerce sued to block the law. The motivation for the leftist groups is obvious. The motivation for the business trade groups also should be obvious — high out-of-pocket costs of compliance. Business politics make for strange bedfellows, no?
In December U.S. District Judge Neil Wake — nominated by President Bush in 2003 — denied the sought-after injunction, thereby leaving that law on the books. The very next business day the plaintiffs filed another lawsuit challenging the law. You’ve got to hand it to those plaintiffs in one respect: they’re persistent.
DHS in 2007 beefed up its e-Verify system. That’s a national database that allows participating employers — of which there are roughly 25,000 — instantly to check the immigration status of workers in their employ or of potential hires. Biometric technologies have been added to the system, thereby to help root out the negative effects of document fraud.
Here’s a link to additional info about the e-Verify program.
New Passport/Visitor/Re-Entry Rules
DHS in 2007 also implemented new rules concerning passports, visitors and re-entry of U.S. citizens from foreign travel.
For the first time Canadian citizens must show specified, government-issued IDs at border crossings. U.S. citizens returning from abroad no longer can pass through customs merely by declaring their citizenship. They must prove it. Required passports have been beefed up. Here’s a link to salient info.
Other Informative Links