The U.S. government trusts Ricardo Castro as a customer. And it wants more like him.
Castro, an oil industry executive who travels internationally and lives in Houston and Singapore, signed up as a member of Global Entry, a so-called trusted traveler program launched two years ago by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Designed for international travelers who are "trusted" or considered low terrorism risks, it promises quicker U.S. Customs clearance at automated kiosks.
Consider Castro a happy customer. No longer having to stand in line with large crowds, Castro says he clears customs usually in about a minute and has never seen a line at the kiosks.
As international arrival passengers rush to fill up lines at customs, "I smile and keep on walking," says Castro, who uses Global Entry about twice a month, mostly at Houston, Miami and Dallas/Fort Worth.
Trusted traveler programs have grown steadily in recent years despite skeptics who worry about surrendering personal information for machine-dependent processes run by the government. The initiative has three components for the public: Global Entry for international arrivals; Nexus for USA-Canada border crossing; and Sentri for USA-Mexico borders.
From The Washington Post, on temporary protected status for Haitian immigrants living in the United States:
More than 12,000 Haitians have applied for the chance to stay and work legally in the U.S. while their country struggles to recover from last month's earthquake.
The applications have rolled in, even though the July 20 application deadline is months away, said Bill Wright, spokesman for Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the Homeland Security Department.
The chance to work is critical for many of the immigrants who are hoping to help families trying to overcome the magnitude-7 earthquake that leveled parts of Haiti.
Because it is unsafe to return the illegal immigrants to Haiti, DHS said it would grant eligible immigrants temporary protected status. Successful applicants can remain and work for 18 months without fear of deportation or detention.
From Federal Computer Week, on Caryn Wagner, the newly confirmed DHS Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis:
The Homeland Security Department has a new intelligence chief to lead the department's program to use information technology to share homeland security-related information with state and local officials.
The Senate confirmed Caryn Wagner to be DHS' undersecretary for intelligence and analysis by unanimous consent Feb. 11. Wagner's first day as head of DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) is today.
DHS is the lead federal agency for state and local intelligence fusion centers that are owned and operated by states and municipalities and serve as a central node for the federal government's efforts for sharing terrorism-related information with state and local officials.
Wagner has served on the senior faculty at the Intelligence Security Academy, an organization that provides training and consulting services related to national security, according to DHS. She has also held a variety of senior government intelligence jobs.
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