Janice Kephart's blog

National Security Fellow


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House Hearing Lays Down Record for Ending the Visa Lottery

By Janice Kephart, April 15, 2011

On April 5, 2011, I testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement on a bill that would eliminate the Diversity Visa lottery (DV) program. The hearing was specifically on H.R.704, the SAFE for America Act, is sponsored by Rep. Goodlatte (R-VA), who has been seeking to do away with the visa lottery for years. Read more...

Verified SBInet Success in Much-Vilified Tucson Sector

By Janice Kephart, March 31, 2011

Border technologies such as the now-canceled Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) work. From the Tucson Border Patrol comes this:

On March 29, 2011, the Tucson Station apprehended a large group of illegal aliens south of Arivaca, AZ. The group of aliens, 78 in total, was detected and tracked by tower 298. Utilizing the SBInet system, agents were able to respond to the area and safely apprehend 57 illegal aliens from Mexico, without incident.

80 Miles North of the Arizona Border, The Drugs Keep Coming

By Janice Kephart, March 25, 2011

New game camera footage obtained by SecureBorderIntel.org time-stamped March 2, 2011, shows seven drug mules likely carrying about $50,000 worth of marijuana each, for a total of about $350,000 in street value. Read more...

Ariz. Sheriff Babeu and His (Not Federal) Immigration Task Force

By Janice Kephart, March 17, 2011

Somewhere in the early hours of 2011, when hospitable temperatures conducive to drug and alien smuggling in Arizona had my hidden camera friends calling me and updating me on curious illegal activity going on in the desert, the mayors of three Arizona border towns – one on the western end of the state's border with Mexico, one in the middle, one in the east – decided that they were tired of their county to the north complaining about surging violence attributed to drug and alien smuggling. Read more...

In Two Weeks, 295 Apprehensions in the Ajo SBInet Sector

By Janice Kephart, March 11, 2011

In the past two weeks, the Ajo Border Patrol sector has publicized its apprehension of three large groups of illegals totaling 295 individuals using video operators and surveillance systems. These catches represent abnormally high numbers of illegals in single groupings crossing the desert before the heat of spring rolls in. Read more...

Secure Border Initiative Proves Itself Again

By Janice Kephart, March 8, 2011

Two weeks ago the Border Patrol caught an unusually large group of more than 100 illegals trying to cross the desert under the eyes of the now-canceled Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) located on federal lands in the national park known as Organ Pipe National Monument. I discussed that apprehension, and provided a previously unpublished map showing this sector of SBInet known as "Ajo-1", in my blog "Large Group Nabbed Where SBInet Operational". Read more...

My Great-Grandfather, President Obama, and Preserving Our Federal Lands

By Janice Kephart, March 3, 2011

Two years ago hidden camera sources in Arizona started sending me e-mails containing footage of illegal aliens unabashedly violating our federal lands with illegally-cut trails and trash by the hundreds of tons. Since then, I have produced three mini-documentaries on the subject. So far, these films have received a combined total of nearly 700,000 views. Since then, I have sought answers as to why Arizona is such a massive gateway for illegal activity. Read more...

Large Group Nabbed Right Where SBInet Is Operational

By Janice Kephart, February 25, 2011

On February 18, 2010, the Border Patrol arrested an abnormally large group of illegal immigrants – 128 of them, to be exact – crossing right through the middle of one of the "virtual fence" surveillance areas. Most of them have already been returned to Mexico. Read more...

Indicting Hezbollah in Mexico

By Janice Kephart, February 23, 2011

A few months, the United States issued an extraterritorial indictment against Jamal Yousef, a senior agent of Hezbollah, an Iranian-sponsored and U.S.-designated terrorist organization. The agent was conducting a business deal to provide thousands of new U.S. arms stolen from American forces in Iraq that had been shipped and stored in Mexico and were to be sold to the Colombian FARC (another designated terrorist organization) in exchange for drugs that were to be couriered into the U.S. by Mexican cartels. The stolen U.S. Read more...

Appropriations Amendment Déjà-Vu: Allowing Illegal Aliens Access to Driver's Licenses All Over Again

By Janice Kephart, February 16, 2011

Yesterday, Rep. David Price (D-NC), Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, offered a one sentence amendment to homeland security federal funding that would cut off states' ability to check foreign nationals' legal status ("None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services for the implementation of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-13)."). Read more...

Sen. Hatch's Proposal to Do Away with the Diversity Visa Lottery

By Janice Kephart, February 11, 2011

The Diversity Visa (DV) Program is an unfortunate blind spot in our immigration system that has outlived whatever purpose it might have had. The applicants for these 50,000 "visa lottery" immigration slots require few skills. Neither their qualifications nor identity can be properly vetted. The program does not know, really, who these applicants are or their true purpose in coming to the United States. The program is a national security vulnerability, and has been used by terrorists and organized criminals to not only enter the U.S., but bring others as well. Read more...

Update on Digitization of Vital Records

By Janice Kephart, February 4, 2011

The 9-11 Commission recommended that the federal government standardize birth records in order to better verify identity and prevent fraud – which is important for many areas of policy, including immigration and border control. The REAL ID Act of 2005 incorporated that recommendation. In the month since the January 2011 publication of "REAL ID Implementation: Less Expensive, Doable, and Helpful in Reducing Fraud", which provided background and review of the program now implementing this key 9/11 Commission recommendation, five more states got on board with vital-record checks. Read more...

USA Today Op-ed: Keep SBInet

By Janice Kephart, January 26, 2011

From the USA Today, January 20, 2011

The Obama administration's unbelievable message that our border with Mexico is "as secure now as it has ever been" puts public safety and U.S. sovereignty increasingly at risk. Today's border is ravaged by violence spilling from Mexico that is already a U.S. national security emergency. Read more...

Cancellation of SBI on FOX News

By Janice Kephart, January 19, 2011

Late Friday night, with information only briefed to a few key figures on Capitol Hill and the littlest fanfare possible, the Obama administration deleted more security from our southwest border by canceling the Security Border Initiative (SBI), commonly referred to as the "virtual fence". Relying on year old information from a faulty prototype developed by SBI's contractor, Boeing, the administration dissed SBI stating that it is fails to support a "one size fits all" border security measure. Read more...

New Bomb Manual + Open Borders = Danger

By Janice Kephart, January 3, 2011

The British based think tank located at King's College London has helped focus attention on the worldwide online dissemination of an English-language explosives manual endorsed and written by Al Qaeda's bomb-making leadership. An article in Britain's Telegraph newspaper says the manual is so detailed and so widely distributed that intelligence personnel the world over will have a tremendously difficult time harnessing security capabilities to cut off access to stand-alone radicals persuaded by Al Qaeda or other anti-western propaganda. Read more...

No Big Surprise: Obama Administration Not Fully Implementing Border Passport Requirements

By Janice Kephart, December 22, 2010

Earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) internal watchdog, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), began investigating whether DHS had fully implemented a rule concerning secure travel documents known as the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Read more...

Border Patrol Agent Terry's Death: Illegal Activity Escalating

By Janice Kephart, December 17, 2010

The murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian A. Terry, a member of the patrol's elite BORTAC squad and veteran of the Iraq war, is not just an unconscionable act, as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has described it. Terry's death, the first Border Patrol death in Santa Cruz County, Ariz., since 1998, is another stark reminder that our border is not secure. Read more...

Where is President Obama's 'Yes, We Can' on the Border?

By Janice Kephart, November 19, 2010

This morning two stories came across my desk simultaneously, both about the southwest border.

In the first, Texas Department of Public Safety went public that they are fighting a war on their border with Mexican cartels. Not just providing some resources and support, but fighting a war.

They fly helicopter missions, deploy tactical strike teams and gather field intelligence, but the battles they fight aren't in the Middle East, they're in America.

Bureau of Land Management Covers Its Tracks

By Janice Kephart, October 26, 2010

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), usually a quiet and somewhat backwater federal agency, has now taken its position as a placeholder for an Obama administration desperate to keep appearances up that the southwest border is secure. In a small but politically divisive move, the BLM last night did an operation in the Casa Grande area of the Sonora National Monument about a mile south of the major east-west corridor Interstate 8. The operation? Read more...

GAO's Shoddy Report on Border Patrol Operations on Federal Land

By Janice Kephart, October 21, 2010

The Government Accountability Office, the mandated congressional audit watchdogs, issued a report this week concluding that the Border Patrol needs more timely access and training when operating on federal lands subject to "federal land management laws." Most interesting about this report, from my standpoint, is that the GAO, which generally does an excellent job of twisting bureaucratic arms to obtain information, barely did any useful homework on this piece. Read more...

ICE's Mission Melt 4: Houston, We Have a Problem

By Janice Kephart, October 20, 2010

This week the Houston Chronicle published an investigative piece showing a recent surge in immigration case dismissals in Houston for those without criminal convictions. Read more...

Senator Hatch Drops a Helpful and Thoughtful Border Security Bill

By Janice Kephart, October 3, 2010

Amongst all the chit-chat by the Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and President Obama about it being time for Congress to "step up and do something on immigration," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has. That being said, I'm pretty sure Sen. Hatch's bill does not reflect this administration's checklist of priorities, but it should. Why? The bill is thoughtful and provides remedies to problems either swept under the rug by this administration or exacerbated by Obama administration policy changes. Read more...

ICE's Mission Melt 3: Endangering America

By Janice Kephart, August 12, 2010

On June 30, 2010, five days after Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Director John Morton received the unanimous "No Confidence" letter from the union representing ICE detention and removal officers and immigration enforcement agents, Morton issued a memorandum to “all ICE Employees” entitled "Civil Immigration Enforcement: Priorities for the Apprehension, Detention, and Removal of Aliens." Upon a careful review of both documents – the first from the employees outlining their grievances against Morton for basically rendering them incapable of upholding federal immigration law and the second guidance from the director they are complaining about – what is clear is that ICE employees' complaints were both ignored and proven justified by Morton's directive. Read more...

Congress Agrees, the Southwest Is an Emergency

By Janice Kephart, August 11, 2010

Congress has essentially declared the southwest border an emergency, a welcome acknowledgment under the circumstances. In 24 hours, the U.S. House introduced and passed by voice vote an emergency supplemental appropriation for border security for this year. The road has now been paved for a relatively quick September reconciliation with the U.S. Senate version of a near-exact bill passed August 5. Read more...

ICE's Mission Melt 2: It Won't Say Yes to Congressional Support

By Janice Kephart, August 5, 2010

On July 22, 2010, I was one of five witnesses testifying before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism at a hearing on "Enhancing DHS' Efforts to Disrupt Alien Smuggling Across Our Borders." I was invited to inform members of the committee about the reality of alien smuggling (and blatant drug cartel smuggling) on the Arizona border, especially over federal lands where there is little to no Border Patrol presence, by showing a short clip from "Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2," now in its third week and exceeding 300,000 youtube views. (See my written testimony here.) Read more...

ICE's Mission Melt: Agents Vote 'No Confidence' in Leadership

By Janice Kephart, August 4, 2010

In an unprecedented move within the Department of Homeland Security, the detention and removal officers and agents responsible for and sworn to enforcing our nation's immigration laws issued an exhaustive, scathing letter simply titled "VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE IN ICE DIRECTOR JOHN MORTON AND ODPP ASSISTANT DIRECTOR PHYLLIS COVEN" on June 11, 2010. Read more...

FOX footage of Hidden Cameras 2

By Janice Kephart, July 17, 2010

KSAZ FOX 10 in Phoenix, Arizona produced a mini-documentary and news piece on, "Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Guns, Drugs and 850 Illegal Aliens," and asked me to provide some background and policy analysis of our film. The producers also asked me about comments made last evening on FOX National News with Greta Van Susteren by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano that our borders are “more secure than ever”. My answers are in this clip below. Read more...

VOA Interviews Kephart on Amnesty

By Janice Kephart, April 23, 2010

Voice of America in Washington DC did an un-biased piece on the prospect for amnesty that aired worldwide on beginning April 12, 2010. It concludes that, despite demonstrations by those supporting “immigration reform” in Washington D.C. in March 2010, the prospect for such legislation, at least for now, is not good. Chris Simkins reported for VOA in the video below and in the linked article above. Read more...

State Dept. Misled Us Again about the Christmas Day Bomber's Visa

By Janice Kephart, March 25, 2010

This morning the Washington Post released news that the State Department has been hiding from us for months: not once, but twice, State Department failed in keeping a U.S. visa out of a terrorist's hands. The Christmas Day bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had initially had his visa denied in 2004, four years prior to his 2008 application. Read more...

Cell Phone App Helps Illegal Immigrants Cross U.S. Border

By Janice Kephart, March 16, 2010

The Transborder Immigrant Tool, a cell phone GPS app developed by university professors with taxpayer monies, has been touted as essentially guiding illegal migrants more safely across the desert, helping them find water and avoid the Border Patrol. The app is available to anyone for free, thus encouraging illegal entry while aiding and abetting violations of immigration and criminal law. Drug dealers, smugglers, traffickers, MS-13 gangs and potential terrorists also are being provided a free technology gateway into America. Read more...