Customs & Immigration

December U.K. election possible

In a bid to break a parliamentary deadlock over his promise to take Britain out of the European Union, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pinning his hopes and possibly his own political future on the outcome of a general election. He plans to ask the House of Commons to vote Oct. 28 on having an election Dec. 12. [node:read-more:link]

Latest Brexit move fails

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to fast-track his Brexit deal through Parliament to meet an Oct. 31 deadline has been rejected by MPs despite his threats to press for a general election. The government lost the vote on its “programme motion” which have given them only three days to review a 110-page withdrawal agreement bill. [node:read-more:link]

Privacy laws a challenge

The House of Representatives’ homeland security committee has been told that the private sector cannot protect its information technology supply chains without clear information about vendors to avoid. A senior USTelecom executive says the problem is that current laws discourage firms from sharing information about problematic suppliers. [node:read-more:link]

Facial recognition concerns

As the Transportation Security Agency ramps up the use of facial recognition technology at U.S. airports, one Democrat in Congress says he’d like a more measured approach. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey has suggested to a Senate subcommittee that current TSA data protections are inadequate and a threat to civil liberties. [node:read-more:link]

Problems persist at U.S. border

A Canadian citizen was held for five hours and eventually denied entry without explanation by U.S. authorities at a B.C. border crossing, something immigration lawyers say is becoming more common. A software developer with no criminal record who had frequently crossed without incident, the woman from Vancouver was told she needed a visa in addition to her Canadian passport. [node:read-more:link]

Fixing Border Security Gaps

Out-of-date enforcement mandates and insufficient staffing in Canada have led to alarming failures. Whatever the election outcome, addressing continuing policy gaps at the border should get priority soon. Many of these are longstanding issues.  [node:read-more:link]

Tighter U.S. border

Immigration lawyers in British Columbia and Washington state say there is a troubling rise in the number of Canadians being refused entry by U.S. immigration officers. One says there is more “very indiscriminate” scrutiny of home ownership, employment and finances which indicate ties to Canada and a reason to return. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. prorogation unlawful

Britain’s highest court has ruled unanimously that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent prorogation of Parliament was unlawful. House of Commons Speaker John Bercow said Parliament would resume Sept. 25 while Johnson was in New York, where he was expected to discuss his Brexit plan with other European Union leaders on the sidelines of a UN General Assembly. [node:read-more:link]

Iran sanctions reconfirmed

The United States will impose sanctions on whichever country buys oil from Iran’s oil or does business with its Islamic Revolutionary Guard. Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, says there will be no exceptions. [node:read-more:link]

Refugees a strategic issue

As the U.S. Administration apparently contemplates significant cuts in its refugee intake, the Department of Defense could be one of the few holdouts at the cabinet table. A recently-retired four-star Army General, Joseph Votel, has warned that flows of refugees from Middle East countries is one of the driving forces of instability in the region. [node:read-more:link]

Terror blacklist ruled unconstitutional

A U.S. judge is questioning the constitutionality of a federal database on people deemed to be “known or suspected” terrorists and who can be prevented from entering or travelling within the country.” Ruling on a suit by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, he agreed that the standard for inclusion in the database is too vague. [node:read-more:link]

Britwars: the rebel alliance

After dissident British MPs essentially seized control of Parliament in protest over the government’s Brexit plan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ejected them from his Conservative caucus and has tabled a motion calling for a general election next month. [node:read-more:link]

Drones for border patrol

Autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles are being developed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in an attempt to improve its agents’ situational awareness. Working with Homeland Security, it has confirmed a fourth round of funding to test Planck Aerosystems’ UAVs over the next several months. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. headed to the polls?

Britain is apparently on track for an early general election after Prime Minister Boris Johnson lost a critical vote on his “no deal” Brexit agenda. MPs effectively forced Johnson to postpone his initiative only hours after his slimmest of parliamentary majorities vanished when a member of the Conservative caucus jumped ship. [node:read-more:link]

Student clears U.S. hurdles

A Harvard University freshman denied entry to the U.S. when Customs and Border Protection deemed him inadmissible based on information the CBP said was found on the 17-year-old Palestinian’s electronic devices. CBP, declining details, now confirms that “Ismail Ajjawi overcame all grounds of inadmissability.” [node:read-more:link]


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