Border Security

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/How-to-Build-a-Wall.aspxHow to Build a WallGP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a43444652017-06-01T04:00:00Zhttps://adminsm.asisonline.org/pages/lilly-chapa.aspx, Lilly Chapa<p>​One of U.S. President Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises was to build a continuous wall along the southern border of the United States to keep out illegal immigrants and criminals—and it appears he is going to stick by that promise. Just days after his inauguration, Trump began meeting with national security officials about building the wall and threatened to cancel meetings with Mexican leaders if they would not pay for its construction.</p><p>Since then, Mexico has made it clear that it will not pay for the construction of the wall—which could cost up to $20 billion. Despite the financial uncertainty and fierce backlash from experts and politicians questioning the effectiveness of a border wall, the new administration is moving forward with its plans, issuing requests for proposals (RFPs) from contractors and requesting $1 billion to begin construction along the border. Several government oversight agencies, including the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (OIG), have issued reports on existing security challenges along the border.</p><p>While most of the discussion regarding the wall deals with funding concerns and overarching border policy, there have been fewer conversations about how an 18-foot-high, 2,000-mile-long wall between the United States and Mexico would change border communities and the relationship between the two countries. </p><p>This lack of perspective isn’t unusual, according to Erik Lee, executive director of the North American Research Partnership. “In general, the further people are from the U.S.-Mexico border, the more afraid of it they are,” Lee says. “There’s an inverse relationship here.”</p><p>The concept of a border wall isn’t new and has, at times, been considered a bipartisan issue. Between 2007 and 2015, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency spent $2.4 billion on deploying tactical infrastructure along the border, including about 650 miles of fencing along strategic areas, including San Diego, California, and El Paso, Texas. Experts are revisiting the impacts of the existing walls to better understand the effects a continuous wall might have on the border. However, in attempts to quantify what programs have been successful, researchers have found that CBP lacks trustworthy measures of effectiveness of its security efforts due to “unreliable and incomplete data.”</p><p>A recent OIG report assessing border security between ports of entry notes that CBP uses the number of apprehensions along the border as an indicator of the volume of illegal immigration. The report notes that the data interpretation may be misleading. “It is OIG opinion that fewer apprehensions indicate more success in programs and security measures, but CBP has not used this standard,” the report states. </p><p>OIG listed several technological efforts used to boost security at the border. Researchers found that inconsistent management and a lack of assessment led to the discontinuation of the programs because their success could not be proven. </p><p>“CBP does not measure the effectiveness of its programs and operations well; therefore, it continues to invest in programs and act without the benefit of the feedback needed to help ensure it uses resources wisely and improves border security,” the report states. </p><p>The GAO came to a similar conclusion in its recent report, Additional Actions Needed to Better Assess Fencing’s Contributions to Operations and Provide Guidance for Identifying Capability Gaps. In assessing the CBP’s use of fencing along the border, GAO notes that the agency collected data but had not developed metrics to determine whether operations were effective. </p><p>“Developing metrics to assess the contributions of fencing to border security operations could better position CBP to make resource allocation decisions with the best information available to inform competing mission priorities and investments,” the GAO report notes. </p><p>The OIG did report that strategic fencing, such as along a rural Arizona stretch of land where smugglers often cross, significantly decreased illegal alien and narcotic smuggling, according to intelligence officials. However, GAO points out that better data analytics could determine whether the fencing truly deters such activity or merely diverts illegal entrants to other unprotected areas along the border.  </p><p>“CBP collects data that could help provide insight into how border fencing contributes to border security operations, including the location of illegal entries,” according to the GAO report. “However, CBP has not developed metrics that systematically use these, among other data it collects, to assess the contributions of border fencing to its mission.”</p><p>Lee, who studies how policies affect trade and security between the United States and Mexico, agrees that strategically placed tactical infrastructure has reduced the number of border crossings, particularly in urban areas. However, he notes that policymakers should also consider the infrastructure’s wider impact on the community and how that affects security.</p><p>“The number of crossings in urban areas is way down, and that’s quite helpful from a municipal perspective,” he explains. “What mayors are also trying to do is implement cross-border economic development programs. The wall, like it or not, influences the overall business environment in these communities.”</p><p>The on-the-ground reality of the wall would be “jarring” both to border communities and to relations between the two countries, Lee notes. The physical constraints alone will be exceedingly complex.</p><p>The initial RFP solicited ideas for a solid concrete wall at least 18 feet tall and descending at least six feet underground, with anti-climbing features. A second RFP asks for a wall with similar features as well as a “see-through component” instead of concrete. Hundreds of proposals have been submitted, and many companies have taken full advantage of the RFPs’ nebulous wording. Submissions include a 20-foot-tall wire mesh fence, a fortress-like wall reminiscent of China’s Great Wall, and a multilayered plan including a fence, sensors, a railroad, and a 100-foot-deep trench filled with nuclear waste. </p><p>Lee says the RFPs—especially those that would limit situational awareness—are “dead giveaways” that there is a lack of understanding surrounding the operational realities of border security.</p><p>The 2,000 miles of border slated to be built upon runs through desert, mountains, the Rio Grande river, and privately owned land, including portions of a Texas university. In a recent interview, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke asked how a wall could be built along the Rio Grande without ceding land to Mexico. “We’re not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we’re probably not going to put it in the middle of the river,” he noted.</p><p>And it appears the administration is planning on using eminent domain laws to take hold of privately owned land along the border. A portion of Trump’s 2018 budget proposal “supports the addition of 20 attorneys to pursue federal efforts to obtain the land and holdings necessary to secure the Southwest border and another 20 attorneys and support staff for immigration litigation assistance.”</p><p>Lee points out that the United States and Mexico have worked hard to ensure that existing infrastructure is not too in­va­sive and meets both countries’ needs. </p><p>“This is coming at a high point in U.S.-Mexico cooperation on border management,” Lee explains. “A lot has happened to improve the way the United States and Mexico manage their shared border. A lot of that has happened on the environmental front in terms of discussions over water and the river. This kind of new phase of the United States’ border wall really hit those discussions square on.”</p><p>A continuous wall presents infrastructure and staffing challenges. There are currently about 654 miles of fencing along the southwest border, and the GAO report found that CBP is struggling to sustain the existing infrastructure. Roads and other infrastructure owned by entities other than CBP have proved especially difficult to maintain; officials told the GAO that securing agreements that provide for the maintenance of these roads is a long and complicated process. “Sector officials stated that in instances where portions of a single road have different owners, CBP must enter into separate agreements with each owner,” the report states. These types of multi-owner areas along the border—and the complications that come with them—will increase with the construction of the wall.</p><p>Using the CBP’s existing budget to invest in new technology while maintaining the current infrastructure has proved to be a challenge as well, according to the report. Lee agrees that it’s hard to talk about building a multibillion-dollar wall without addressing current infrastructure concerns along the border. </p><p>“In the budget outline, there is no additional money for port of entry construction or staffing at ports of entry, which is a longtime complaint of border communities,” he explains. “The infrastructure processes and staffing that allow legitimate trade and commerce across the U.S.-Mexico border are way behind the level of investment.” He also notes that many ports of entry are not fully staffed, and the wall would require more manpower to surveil. </p><p>“CBP risks investing in expensive technology and infrastructure that is neither justified nor useful in accomplishing its mission,” the OIG report concludes. “Today, the Southwest border is still porous, and questions remain as to whether CBP’s significant investments have resulted in better security.”</p>

Border Security

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/How-to-Build-a-Wall.aspx2017-06-01T04:00:00ZHow to Build a Wall
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/How-Smugglers-and-High-Risk-Travelers-Enter-the-US.aspx2017-05-04T04:00:00ZHow Smugglers and High Risk Travelers Enter the United States
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Detention-Tension.aspx2017-03-01T05:00:00ZDetention Tension
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Cross-Border-Disorder.aspx2016-12-01T05:00:00ZCross-Border Disorder
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Who’s-Staying-Over.aspx2016-06-01T04:00:00ZWho’s Staying Over?
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Terrorist-Attacks-in-Brussels-Leave-Numerous-Dead.aspx2016-03-24T04:00:00Zterrorist Attacks in Brussels Leave Numerous Dead, Cause City Shut Down
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Border-Wars.aspx2016-03-01T05:00:00ZBorder Wars
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Bottleneck-at-the-Border.aspx2016-03-01T05:00:00ZBottleneck at the Border
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Slavery-in-the-Supply-Chain.aspx2015-12-17T05:00:00ZSlavery in the Supply Chain
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Book-Review-Personal-Security,-A-Guide-for-International-Travelers.aspx2015-06-01T04:00:00ZBook Review: Personal Security: A Guide for International Travelers
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-New-Recruits.aspx2015-04-01T04:00:00ZThe New Recruits
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/The-Lone-Terrorist.aspx2015-03-01T05:00:00ZThe Lone Terrorist
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/El-Paso-and-Juarez-Securing-the-Sister-Cities.aspx2014-11-01T04:00:00ZEl Paso and Juarez: Securing the Sister Cities
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Dangerous-Waters.aspx2014-08-01T04:00:00ZDangerous Waters
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/congress-questions-dhs-minors-illegally-crossing-mexican-border-us-0013532.aspx2014-06-27T04:00:00ZCongress Questions DHS on Minors Illegally Crossing Mexican Border into U.S.
https://sm.asisonline.org/migration/Pages/congress-questions-dhs-minors-illegally-crossing-mexican-border-us-0013532.aspx2014-06-27T04:00:00ZCongress Questions DHS on Minors Illegally Crossing Mexican Border into U.S.
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/cbp-releases-revised-use-force-policy-handbook-0013461.aspx2014-06-02T04:00:00ZCBP Releases Revised Use of Force Policy Handbook
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/cbp-releases-revised-use-force-policy-handbook-0013462.aspx2014-06-02T04:00:00ZCBP Releases Revised Use of Force Policy Handbook
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/border-security-0012983.aspx2013-12-01T05:00:00ZBorder Patrol Agent May Not Answer a Suspect's Phone
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/border-security-0012887.aspx2013-11-01T04:00:00ZBorder Searches Must Be Reasonable Rules Court

 You May Also Like...

 

 

https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/France-Confiscates-Weapons-from-100-Suspected-Extremists.aspxFrance Confiscates Weapons from 100 Suspected Extremists<p>​French authorities are turning to legislation to curb terrorism. After discovering that a radicalized man who ran his car into a police convoy in Paris had joined a gun club, officials are tracking down potential militants and taking away their weapons.</p><p>Prosecutors revealed that the 31-year-old man who shot and killed a police officer and then rammed his car into a police van had pledged allegiance to ISIS and was known to French authorities. Several guns—and a permit allowing him to own the weapons—were found in his car, and it was later discovered that he had trained at a gun club. The man died after his vehicle caught on fire after the attack. </p><p>The realization sparked an effort to confiscate weapons from other people known to authorities as having the potential to become violent Islamist jihadists. France’s interior minister said officials were tracking down about 100 people on the list to take their guns away.</p><p>The action was taken two weeks before France’s parliament votes on an extension of the country’s state of emergency. Following the November 2015 attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, a state of emergency was declared, which gives police extended powers of search and arrest. The state of emergency has continued to be extended by Parliament and will expire in mid-July if it is not extended again.  </p><p>The new administration, led by President Emmanuel Macron, will put forth legislation this fall to end the periodic extension of emergency rule and instead implement changes that would allow officials who vet gun permit requests to access terrorist watchlists. </p><p>French officials have thwarted seven attacks this year, but several plots have been carried out by lone actors, such as the one who rammed his car into the police van. At least 230 people have been killed in France by Islamist extremists since November 2015.  ​</p>GP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Detention-Tension.aspxDetention Tension<p>​When the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last August that it planned to phase out and eventually close 13 private prisons, it was seen as a victory for the prison reform movement. Privately run prisons “incurred more safety and security incidents per capita” than those run by the government, according to a DOJ report released shortly before the announcement. </p><p>Numerous critical investigations on private prisons, as well as the DOJ report and decision, inspired other federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to reassess their use of the facilities. But, despite allegations of inhumane conditions and dissention among DHS advisors, it appears immigration detention centers will continue to be contracted out to private corporations.</p><p>In an unusual series of events, a DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) subcommittee issued a report finding that federally run facilities used for the civil detention of immigrants during immigration hearings are more beneficial, but less cost effective. “Much could be said for a fully government-owned and government-operated detention model, if one were starting a new detention system from scratch,” the report noted. “But of course we are not starting anew.” Just one of the six subcommittee members dissented with the report’s recommendation to continue using private detention facilities, but when the issue was brought to the broader council for a vote, HSAC recommended that DHS oppose the report’s conclusion and close private facilities.</p><p>However, the vote may be more symbol than substance because the HSAC serves in an advisory role to DHS decision makers. Any action on the matter now rests with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials. In the interim, ICE has already renewed or expanded 15 private and local prison contracts to add 3,600 beds to its arsenal, including reopening a private correctional center in New Mexico that was shut down last year following a series of inmate deaths and reports of deficient medical care.</p><p>The HSAC report’s recommendation appears to be out of necessity—as of November 2016, ICE held more than 40,000 people in 197 immigrant detention centers, even though Congress has currently approved and funded the use of 32,000 beds, according to ICE. Individuals confined in ICE facilities can be held only for the purpose of detaining and removing them from the country. Immigrant detention numbers have already reached record-breaking levels and are expected to continue growing–U.S. President Donald Trump has pledged to deport 2 to 3 million immigrants, further straining the facilities. </p><p>“Capacity to handle such surges, when policymakers determine that detention will be part of the response, cannot reasonably be maintained solely through the use of facilities staffed and operated by federal officers,” the report states. “Fiscal considerations, combined with the need for realistic capacity to handle sudden increases in detention, indicate that DHS’s use of private for-profit detention will continue.”</p><p>The cost of building and operating enough federally run detention facilities to phase out private detention centers, which make up two-thirds of all immigration centers, would cost billions of dollars and not be a good use of government resources, the report notes.</p><p>There have been numerous contributing factors to the increase in detainees held by ICE. A controversial 2009 addition to ICE’s detention budget stating that funding would be made available to “maintain a level of not less than 33,400 detention beds” was interpreted by ICE as a mandate to contract for and to fill that number of beds on a daily basis. This so-called immigrant detention quota has correlated with the expanded detainee population, as well as the involvement of private prison corporations in ICE facility operations, according to Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota, a 2015 report by nonprofit Grassroots Leadership. The quota system is unique to ICE—no other law enforcement agency operates in such a fashion.</p><p>“Since just before the onset of the quota, the private prison industry has increased its share of immigrant detention beds by 13 percent,” the report states. “Nine of the ten largest ICE detention centers are private. This is particularly noteworthy in light of the expansion of the entire ICE detention system by nearly 47 percent in the last decade.” </p><p>Immigration patterns have also bloated the number of immigrants held in detention centers. An unprecedented surge of Central American women and children to the United States in 2014 created overcrowding, resulting in the construction of the nation’s largest immigration detention center by a private prison corporation. A more recent influx of asylum seekers and immigrants who have been in the United States for years but are now facing exile has continued to strain the facilities.</p><p>Holding immigrants in privately run detention centers is easier on taxpayers’ wallets, ICE says. More than $2 billion in taxes goes to the country’s prison system each year, and lowering that cost is a big incentive to use private facilities, the report notes. Federally run detention centers are notoriously more expensive than their private counterparts—it costs about $127 a day to hold a person in a private facility, versus more than $180 in a government facility. And completely doing away with private facilities and replacing them with federally run ones would cost up to $6 billion, according to the HSAC report. </p><p>Despite the lower price tag for private facilities, prison corporations have seen their profits rise over the past six years—GEO Group, which owns a quarter of all ICE immigrant detention centers, has seen a 244 percent profit increase from 2010 to 2014, the Grassroots Leadership report found. The private prison companies have also spent millions of dollars lobbying on immigration issues and DHS appropriations, according to Grassroots Leadership.</p><p>To civil rights organizations, the increase in private detention facilities means not only the monetization of detainees but centers that do not have to abide by federal quality control. The DOJ report on private facilities notes that contract compliance checklists do not address federal health and correctional services requirements.</p><p>“The observation steps do not include checks on whether inmates received initial examinations, immunizations, and tuberculosis tests…[and] does not include observation steps to ensure searches of certain areas of the prison, such as inmate housing units or recreation, work, and medical areas, or for validating actual correctional officer staffing levels and the daily correctional officer duty rosters,” the DOJ report notes.</p><p>The nonprofit Human Rights Watch website stresses that those kept in immigrant detention centers are not criminals—they are often legal permanent residents, families with young children, or asylum seekers in the midst of civil immigration proceedings. For years, Human Rights Watch and similar organizations have documented abuse and substandard medical care in privately run detention facilities. For example, three people died in detention facilities between October and December 2016. </p><p>While the future of ICE immigration facilities will continue to involve privately run centers despite HSAC dissent, the council did agree with portions of the report’s recommendations that ICE must increase oversight of nonfederal detention facilities. The report found that county jails, which are often used for initial detention and staging, do not have to follow ICE facility standards and should be used for detaining immigrants for no more than 72 hours before moving them to a federal facility. The document also outlined the need for more stringent inspections of nonfederal facilities, including unannounced inspections and meaningful evaluations of conditions in each facility.</p><p>“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appreciates the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s recent review of the agency’s use of private contract detention facilities,” says ICE spokesperson Danielle Bennett. “The council’s report recognizes ICE’s ongoing commitment to providing a secure and humane environment for those in our custody while making the best use of agency resources. ICE’s civil detention system aims to reduce transfers, maximize access to counsel and visitation, promote recreation, improve conditions of confinement and ensure quality medical, mental health and dental care. ICE leadership will review and consider the council’s recommendations and will implement any changes, as appropriate.” ​ ​</p>GP0|#21788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f;L0|#021788f65-8908-49e8-9957-45375db8bd4f|National Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465
https://sm.asisonline.org/Pages/Legal-Report-January-2017.aspxLegal Report January 2017<h4>u.s. LEGISLATION<br></h4><p class="p1">114th U.S. Congressional Wrap-up. This month’s “Legal Report” is a round-up of the major security-related legislation considered by the 114th U.S. Congress, which concluded at the beginning of this month. Included in this summary are public laws that went into effect and legislation that was introduced but failed to pass. The bills that failed to pass will be nullified, and members of Congress will have to reintroduce them when they reconvene early in January as part of the 115th Congress.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Terrorism. </b>Congress reauthorized the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, which allows the federal government to repay business costs following a catastrophic attack that costs more than $200 million in damages. </p><p class="p1">The law (P.L. 114-1) extends the program through December 31, 2020, and includes measures absent from the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) of 2002, such as new provisions increasing the original trigger amount from $100 million to $200 million and requiring the secretary of treasury to create a “reasonable timeline” to determine whether to certify an event as an act of terrorism.</p><p class="p1">Congress overrode President Barack Obama’s veto, allowing legislation to become law that gives terrorism victims and their families the ability to sue foreign states and officials for their role in an act of terrorism.</p><p class="p1">The veto override enacted the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (P.L. 114-222), which removes sovereign immunity in U.S. courts from foreign governments that are not designated state sponsors of terrorism. It authorizes U.S. courts to hear cases involving claims against a foreign state for injuries, death, or damages that occur inside the United States as a result of a tort—including an act of terrorism—committed anywhere by a foreign state or official.</p><p class="p1">Legislation that would have created a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Countering Violent Extremism failed to advance in Congress.</p><p class="p1">The bill (H.R. 2899) would have authorized $10 million for the DHS secretary to establish the office through 2020 to coordinate DHS’s efforts to counter violent extremism by identifying risk factors and populations targeted by propaganda and recruiters. Managing DHS outreach and engagement efforts to at-risk communities was also included.</p><p class="p1">House Homeland Security Committee Chair Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced the bill, which did not advance in the House.</p><p class="p1">The House also failed to pass a bill that would have encouraged banks to tip off federal investigators about terrorism financing. H.R. 5606 would have enhanced Section 314 of the Patriot Act to allow financial institutions to report to the federal government if they suspected funds were being used for “terrorist acts, money laundering activities, or a specified unlawful activity.” </p><p class="p1">The bill also would have shielded financial institutions from civil litigation for filing these reports. </p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Cybersecurity. </b>As part of an omnibus spending bill in 2015, Congress passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (P.L. 114-110).</p><p class="p1">The act allows private entities to share and receive cyberthreat indicators and defensive measures with other entities and with the federal government. Threat indicators are defined as information that is “necessary to describe or identify malicious reconnaissance.”</p><p class="p1">Companies, however, must remove personal identifying information not related to cybersecurity threats before sharing data under the act.</p><p class="p1">It also allows the director of national intelligence and the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, and Justice to share cyberthreat indicators with private companies and state, tribal, or local governments.</p><p class="p1">Congress failed to advance legislation that would have directed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create federal standards to secure vehicles.</p><p class="p1">The bill (S. 1806) would have created vehicle performance standards that required all access points in vehicles to be equipped with reasonable measures to protect against hacking attacks, all collected information from the vehicle to be secured to prevent unwanted access, and all vehicles to be equipped with technology that can detect, report, and stop hacking attempts in real time.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Aviation. </b>Congress passed legislation (P.L. 114-50) that verifies that airports have working plans in place to respond to security incidents inside their perimeters. </p><p class="p1">The law directs the assistant secretary of homeland security to verify at all U.S. airports that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) performs or oversees implementation of security measures and that airports have working plans in place to respond to active shooters, acts of terrorism, and incidents that target passenger-screening checkpoints.</p><p class="p1">The assistant secretary must then report his or her findings to Congress to identify best practices and establish a mechanism to share those with other airport operators.</p><p class="p1">Congress failed, however, to pass a bill that would limit airport employees’ access to secure areas within airport facilities. </p><p class="p1">The bill (H.R. 3102) would have directed the TSA to create a risk-based, intelligence-driven model for screening airport employees based on the level of employment-related access to Secure Identification Display Areas, Airport Operations Areas, or secure areas at U.S. airports. </p><p class="p1">Additionally, it would have required TSA to create a program to allow airport badging offices to use E-Verify, create a process to transmit applicants’ fingerprint data to a federal office for vetting, and assess credential application data received by DHS to ensure that it’s complete and matches data submitted by airport operators.</p><p class="p1">The House passed the bill, which stalled in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.</p><p class="p1">In a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extension act, Congress created a variety of new security measures to enhance aviation security.</p><p class="p1">Under the law (P.L. 114-190), the number of government “viper teams” increased from 30 to 60. These teams stop and search suspicious passengers in public places outside the airport.</p><p class="p1">Another measure requires new passenger airlines to create secondary barriers to keep unauthorized individuals from gaining access when a pilot opens the cockpit door. It also requires the FAA to consider whether to implement additional screening for mental health conditions as part of a comprehensive medical certification process for pilots.</p><p class="p1">Additionally, the law requires TSA to use private companies to market and enroll more individuals in its PreCheck program. It also requires the FAA to authorize package deliveries by drones within two years of its passage.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Drones. </b>Congress failed to pass legislation that would address the security implications of drones. </p><p class="p1">The bill (H.R. 1646) would have required DHS to assess the security risks associated with commercially available small and medium unmanned aerial systems (drones). The measure would also have required DHS to develop policies, guidance, and protocols to prevent or mitigate the risks if drones are used in an attack.</p><p class="p1">The House passed the legislation, which later stalled in the Senate.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Privacy. </b>Congress extended some rights under the U.S. Privacy Act to European Union citizens and other designated allies.</p><p class="p1">The Judicial Redress Act (P.L. 114-129) allows the U.S. Department of Justice—with the agreement of the U.S. Departments of State, Treasury, and Homeland Security—to designate countries or organizations whose citizens may pursue civil remedies if they have appropriate privacy protections for sharing information with the United States.</p><p class="p1">The law was enacted as part of an agreement between the United States and the European Union that allows the two to exchange more data during criminal and terrorism investigations.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Human trafficking. </b>Congress expanded the definition of child abuse under the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to include human trafficking and the production of child pornography.</p><p class="p1">The law (P.L. 114-22) also expands prosecution to include individuals who patronize or solicit people for a commercial sex act, “making traffickers and buyers equally culpable for sex trafficking offenses.”</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Communications. </b>A new law requires DHS to achieve and maintain interoperable communications. The law (P.L. 114-29) requires a DHS undersecretary to submit a strategy to Congress to achieve and maintain communications for daily operations, planned events, and emergencies. </p><p class="p1">The strategy must include an assessment of interoperability gaps in radio communications among DHS groups, information on DHS efforts to achieve and maintain interoperable communications, and information about the adequacy of mechanisms available to the undersecretary to enforce and compel compliance with interoperable communications policies and directives of DHS.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Screening.</b> Congress did not advance a bill that would require the FBI to ensure that select individuals applying for U.S. refugee admission receive full background investigations before being admitted to the country.</p><p class="p1">DHS already conducts such screenings, but the bill (H.R. 4038) would have required the FBI to perform background investigations on nationals or residents from Iraq or Syria, individuals with no nationality whose last residence was in Iraq or Syria, and individuals present in Iraq and Syria at any time on or after March 1, 2011. </p><p class="p1">The House passed the bill, which stalled when it reached the Senate floor.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Disaster relief. </b>Congress passed legislation that requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to develop and implement a plan to control and reduce administrative costs for delivering assistance for major disasters.</p><p class="p1">Under the law (P.L. 114-132), FEMA must compare the costs and benefits of tracking administrative cost data for major disasters by public assistance, individual assistance, hazard mitigation, and mission assignment programs. </p><p class="p1">FEMA must then submit to Congress by November 30 each year—until 2023—a report on the total amount spent on administrative costs. </p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Prisons.</b> Congress authorized legislation that requires the director of the Bureau of Prisons to issue oleoresin capsicum spray (pepper spray) to designated individuals.</p><p class="p1">The law (P.L. 114-133) requires the director to issue the spray to any bureau officer or prison employee who may respond to an emergency situation in the prison. The law also allows the director to distribute the spray to other prison officers and employees as appropriate. Minimum and low-security prisons are excluded from the requirement.</p><p class="p1">Officers and employees designated to use the spray must first be trained on how to use it, and are required to under­­­go annual training on using the spray. </p><p class="p1">Equipment. The Senate failed to pass legislation that would have allowed DHS to give excess nonlethal equipment and supplies to foreign governments.</p><p class="p1">Under the bill (H.R. 4314), DHS would have provided these supplies to foreign governments if doing so furthered U.S. homeland security interests and enhanced the recipient government’s capacity to mitigate the threat of terrorism, infectious disease, or natural disaster; protect lawful trade and travel; or enforce intellectual property rights.</p><p class="p1">The House passed the bill, which stalled in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.</p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Sexual assault. </b>Congress established rights for sexual assault survivors that clarify what basic services sexual violence victims are entitled to.</p><p class="p1">Under the law (P.L. 114-236), victims may not be prevented from obtaining a medical forensic examination. They may not be charged for the examination. They have the right to have sexual assault evidence collection kits and their contents preserved—without charge—for the duration of the maximum statute of limitations or 20 years (whichever is shorter). They also have the right to be informed of any result of a collection kit if the disclosure would not impede or compromise an ongoing investigation.</p><p class="p1">Victims also have the right to be informed—in writing—of policies governing the collection and preservation of collection kits, and the right to receive written notification from officials no later than 60 days before their collection kit is to be destroyed or disposed of.</p><h4>Elsewhere in the Courts</h4><p class="p1"><b>POLICING. </b>The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found that the behavior of a young, black, male suspect who tried to avoid the police did not justify law enforcement to stop and search him. “Rather, the finding that black males in Boston are disproportionately and repeatedly targeted for Field Interrogation Observations encounters suggests a reason for flight totally unrelated to consciousness of guilt,” the court explained in its ruling. “Such an individual, when approached by the police, might just as easily be motivated by the desire to avoid the recurring indignity of being racially profiled as by the desire to hide criminal activity.” (Commonwealth v. Warren, Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, No. 11956, 2016)</p><p class="p1"><b>Excessive Force. </b>The U.S. Supreme Court did not take up a case where police officers challenged restrictions on the use of Tasers on individuals who are resisting arrest. The Court’s decision leaves in place a lower court opinion, which ruled that police should not use stun guns on individuals trying to evade custody if they do not pose a threat to officers or others. The decision stems from a court case brought after the 2011 death of Ronald Armstrong, a mentally ill man who was tased by police five times for refusing to let go of a sign post to avoid being taken to a hospital. The lower court found that police used excessive force because Armstrong did not pose a safety risk. (Estate of Ronald H. Armstrong v. Village of Pinehurst, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, No. 15-1191, 2016) </p><p class="p2"><br></p><p class="p1"><b>Sexual harassment. </b>The owner/operator and management company for a Columbus, Ohio, Texas Roadhouse restaurant will pay $1.4 million to settle a class sexual harassment suit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC charged that East Columbus Host, LLC, and management company Ultra Steak, Inc., victimized a group of female employees by subjecting them to sexual harassment and then retaliating against them for complaining about it. The restaurant manager allegedly made humiliating remarks about victims and other females’ bodies and sexuality, and pressured them for sexual favors in exchange for employment benefits or as a condition of avoiding adverse employment action. The consent decree resolving the lawsuit requires the companies to offer reinstatement to injured women in agreed locations and positions. The companies are also prohibited from rehiring the offending manager. (EEOC v. East Columbus Host, LLC, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, No. 2:14-cv-1696, 2016).​</p>GP0|#28ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997;L0|#028ae3eb9-d865-484b-ac9f-3dfacb4ce997|Strategic Security;GTSet|#8accba12-4830-47cd-9299-2b34a4344465