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Flight of the Dumble Bee: CBP’s Love Affair with the Military-Industrial Complex Continues

gboos | June 21, 2011 in border security,military contractor | Comments (0)

 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently announced its intention to display the world’s only full operational maritime variant MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), the Guardian, at an upcoming aviation trade show in Paris, France.

 Sound like a sophisticated piece of military technology? It is. So what’s wrong with that? Well, CBP’s upcoming display is indicative of a larger phenomenon, namely that the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC) has discovered the United States border.  And, in order for that relationship to flourish, the MIC depends on positing a border that is out of control.

 Unfortunately, it may be the operators of these Unmanned Aircraft Systems, and not the border itself that are out of control. FAA documents in 2010 reported an abnormally high CBP predator drone accident rate, an assertion vehemently disputed by CBP.  Regardless of this dispute, CBP did suffer three landing incidents involving loss of control of predator drones between 2007 and 2008 (CBP only has 7 drones and it appears almost half the fleet has problems). And although they claim the aircraft involved in those incidents were repaired and returned to flight, conflicting reports suggest that at least one of the $10 million+ dollar drones was destroyed beyond repair.  

 CBP  would have us believe that the MQ-9 Predator B Unmanned Aircraft System is part of a life-saving border force deployed to assist in emergency response and protect against grave threats such as terrorism, illegal immigration, and drug trafficking. The truth is that the MIC and the growing bureaucratic empire that is the Department of Homeland Security and its subcomponents depend on a border that must be perceived to be out of control for agency budgets to remain plush for such expenditures as drone development and acquisition.

 CBP indicated that this week’s Paris Air Show “presents a special opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the UAS to support homeland security missions and reinforce industry and government awareness of the significant role CBP aviation plays in securing our nation.”

 Picking Paris for the venue to unveil the drone to US Congressional delegations and to otherwise reinforce government awareness of its new UAS is more than suspect, it is absurd. Washington DC has at least two major airports at which the Guardian could be displayed for members of the Congress and US government officials. And equally strange is the fact that neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate has a recess scheduled for the period for which the Paris Air Show is scheduled.

 Perhaps a senior CBP official saw the Paris Air Show as a chance to take a taxpayer-paid trip to Paris. Or perhaps Chicken Little was right, and CBP has concerns about its ability to keep its new UAS in the air and is therefore hesitant to fly it into Washington DC airspace.

 See CBP’s Press Release the Guardian and the Paris Air Show here: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/newsroom/news_releases/national/06152011_2.xml


Doing Business in the USA Seminar Scheduled for May 12, 2011 in Surrey BC

gboos | May 7, 2011 in Uncategorized,US Canada border,US Canada Trade Relationship,US Immigration | Comments (0)

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Seminar offers guidelines for USA sales, shipping and business transactions

A group of veteran Canada/USA and international trade professionals will provide practical guidelines to British Columbia entrepreneurs and professionals at an upcoming seminar entitled, Doing Business in the USA.

This one-day seminar is designed to give Canadian manufacturers, importers, distributors, agents and other business professionals the tools they need to easily expand their business interests across the border. Key topics include:
1. Dealing with “border issues”, such as U.S. travel and immigration planning, U.S. Customs clearance, business planning, taxation, currency exchange, and legal considerations.
2. Understanding “logistics issues”, such as establishing a USA business identity, warehousing, transportation, fulfillment, and handling of returned goods.
3. Introduction to “importing” lower-cost goods into the USA that have been “outsourced” or purchased in Asia, Europe and elsewhere.
4. “Sales/marketing strategies”, including market overview, sales/marketing fundamentals, lessons and pitfalls.
5. “Money, Money, Money!”, a lively open forum (with guest “experts”) to discuss various related topics of interest to the audience.
6. “Resource introductions”, including the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, which provides federal government programs and services at home and abroad.

The Doing Business in the USA seminar has welcomed over 4,000 attendees at various locations in BC since 1997. The main motivation for attendance by BC entrepreneurs hasn’t changed, namely the extra profit opportunity offered by a huge and affluent market of over 300 million buyers that is very receptive to foreign goods.

According to seminar organizer, Jim Pettinger, “Now is a great time for a Canadian company to invest in expansion to the USA. The strong Loonie will still buy 20 to 50 percent more marketing services in the still-depressed economy (e.g., tradeshows, travel, hotel rooms, advertising), but the U.S. economy has officially turned the corner and will soon return full force.”

The Doing Business in the USA seminar is targeted at three groups: (1) new exporters to the USA who need to know the basics, (2) new or inexperienced staff members of current exporters to the USA, and (3) professionals who advise the previous two. Plenty of time during the day is available for one-on-one and “round-table” meetings with the various resource people in attendance.
The Doing Business in the USA seminar will be held on Thursday, May 12 at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel, 15269-104th Ave, Surrey, BC from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Cost for the seminar is $195 pre-registered or $225 at the door ($145 each for 2 or more, and $25 further discount for registration before May 6). Also available is a special “after lunch only” rate of $75. For more information contact Carol Jackson at 1-800-799-8848 or visit www.UCanTrade.com.


NSEERS: Gone (at last!!) but not forgotten

gboos | April 28, 2011 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

It has become inescapable to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the NSEERS process does not work (this has been common knowledge amongst the immigration bar for years now). Accordingly  DHS has issued a notice that it is deleting all designated countries whose nationals and citizens are required to comply with National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) requirements from NSEERS compliance. This notice is effective 4/28/11 and affects citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

NSEERS was first implemented in 2002 as a temporary measure in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and was designed to record the arrival, stay, and departure of certain individuals from countries chosen based on an analysis of possible national security threats. The NSEERS registration required approximately 30 minutes to 3 hours in secondary inspection, per person, per arrival.  NSEERS registrants were also required to register upon departure at one of the 118 designated ports of departure, limiting travel flexibility.

 Kris Kobach, now the Kansas Secretary of State, is the person who conceived NSEERS originally; he was working for Attorney General John Ashcroft at the time.  He is also the person who drafted SB 1070, the controversial Arizona law that the broadest and strictest anti- illegal immigration measure in recent U.S. history that has resulted in racial profiling based law enforcement. This law has been enjoined by a federal judge.

 Mr. Kobach has no working background in immigration & citizenship law, which explains many of the flaws in his proposals (they typically aren’t drafted to address the problems they allegedly solve). His knowledge of immigration is strictly Ivory Tower; he has worked as an immigration law professor at a law school.

For an excellent account regarding the anti-immigrant mindset that led to NSEERS and similar programs see The Closing of the American Border: Terrorism, Immigration, and Security Since 9/11 by Edward Alden.

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Greg Boos blogs from his office in Bellingham WA and his home in Vancouver BC. Please contact Greg the following address should you desire assistance on a US immigration matter:

Greg Boos, Attorney at Law
Cascadia Cross-Border Law
1305 11th Street, Suite 301
Bellingham WA 98225
CascadiaImmigrationLaw.com
360/671-5945
gdboos@americanlaw.com

At Cascadia Cross-Border Law, we create transparent borders!


Birthright Citizenship: Republican Fanatics Seek To Overturn Lincoln’s Legacy

Admin | January 30, 2011 in US Immigration | Comments (0)

 

If the ghost of Abraham Lincoln visited you to ask about the state of the Republic, would you say, “The ideals for which you died remain uncontested – you may rest in peace”?

Or would honesty compel you to inform the Great Emancipator of legislation currently pending in Congress that would deny American citizenship to many of our country’s native-born children simply because their parents are not U.S. citizens or “green card” holders? Would the phantom shed a tear when told that it is Republicans that are pushing this agenda?

America has long been blessed with a principal of law called “birthright citizenship,” which establishes that individuals born within the United States are automatically citizens of the United States. As clarified by the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment and the subsequent Supreme Court case of United States v. Wong Kim Ark, birthright citizenship does not depend on considerations of descent or lineage such as the nationality or immigration status of one’s parents.

The 14th Amendment was proposed and ratified shortly after the Civil War to ensure that ideals over which the war was fought were incorporated into our nation’s fundamental principles of government. Included in this amendment was the Citizenship Clause, which states, “All persons born in the United States…are citizens of the United States.” This clause erased the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, a court case that ruled in favor of withholding U.S. citizenship from children born in America to slaves of African descent.

If doubts still existed as to whether birthright citizenship extended to children of foreigners, they were laid to rest by an 1898 court case concerning the status of Wong Kim Ark, a child born in the United States to Chinese immigrants. At the time, the Chinese Exclusion laws barred Chinese immigrants from becoming U.S. citizens. But in a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court unequivocally declared Wong Kim Ark a U.S. citizen, thereby rejecting the argument that the immigration status of a U.S.-born child’s parents could limit the operation of the Citizenship Clause.

Although often taken for granted by Americans who have never been denied its benefits, U.S. citizenship may be the most precious possession Americans hold. Only citizens enjoy the right to vote – perhaps the most basic of rights because it empowers its holders to choose their government. The extremist Republicans seeking to deprive native-born children of their citizenship would deny this right and other fundamental rights such as equality under the law, due process and economic opportunity to untold numbers of persons born in this country.

Many of the people that the fanatics are attempting to disenfranchise are the U.S.-born children of our country’s undocumented residents. These innocents have done nothing to violate U.S. laws. Rather, through no fault of their own, they were simply born to the “wrong” parents. As generations of other U.S.-born persons with foreign-born parents have done before them, these U.S.-born children are likely to make the United States their permanent home. They will formulate ties to their communities and this country and strive to make them better places to live.

Sadly, many, perhaps most, Republican Members of Congress would deny these native-born children the precious benefits associated with citizenship as well as introduce discriminatory principles into the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of individual liberties and even-handed application of the law. In short, by denying U.S. citizenship to these children, these Republicans would create a permanent underclass of residents in this country. Moreover, since U.S.-born children of undocumented parents are predominately members of racial minorities, the attempt to make exceptions to the citizenship status of these children imperils the very existence of our multicultural society by threatening to resurrect the racist policies announced in Dred Scott.

Make no doubt about it, if Lincoln were alive today, he would oppose the mean-spirited attempt to circumvent the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship. Honest Abe would be the first to ask of the confrontational Republicans who would gut the amendment: “If you are successful in depriving U.S.-born children of their constitutionally-granted citizenship, who will you seek to disenfranchise next?”

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Greg Boos blogs from his office in Bellingham WA and his home in Vancouver BC. Please contact Greg the following address should you desire assistance on a US immigration matter:

Greg Boos, Attorney at Law
Cascadia Cross-Border Law
1305 11th Street, Suite 301
Bellingham WA 98225
CascadiaImmigrationLaw.com
360/671-5945
gdboos@americanlaw.com

At Cascadia Cross-Border Law, we create transparent borders!