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DHS Announces Enhancements in Aviation Security & Travel Screening
April 28, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced improvements aimed at strengthening aviation security while decreasing the hassle factor for travelers. Among the key improvements, DHS is providing airlines more flexibility to allow passengers to check in remotely who have been unable to do so because they have a name similar to someone on a watch list. The department also unveiled the Checkpoint Evolution prototype, which will begin full operation at BaltimoreWashington International Airport (BWI) today. Each airline will now be able to create a system to verify and securely store a passengerís date of birth to clear up watch list misidentifications. By voluntarily providing this limited biographical data to an airline and verifying that information once at the ticket counter, travelers that were previously inconvenienced on every trip will now be able to checkin online or at remote kiosks.
DHS Proposes to Establish Biometric Exit Procedures at all U.S Air and Sea Ports of Departure
April 22, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today a notice of proposed rulemaking that will establish biometric exit procedures at all U.S air and sea ports of departure. The majority of nonU.S. citizens are already required to submit digital fingerprints and a digital photograph for admission into the country. The USVISIT Exit proposal would require nonU.S. citizens who provide biometric identifiers for admission to also provide digital fingerprints when departing the country from any air or sea ports of departure.
Visa Waiver Program Agreement Signed with Korea
April 18, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff signed today a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myunghwan. The security enhancements outlined in the agreement puts Korea on the path toward visafree travel to the U.S., and potential designation as a VWP member as early as later this year.
OPT Extension for Highly Skilled Foreign Students
April 04, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has today released an interim final rule extending the period of Optional Practical Training (OPT) from 12 to 29 months for qualified F1 nonimmigrant students. The extension will be available to F1 students with a degree in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics who are employed by businesses enrolled in the EVerify program.
DHS Grants REAL ID Extensions to All Jurisdictions
April 02, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted REAL ID extensions to all 56 U.S. jurisdictions, ensuring that driverís licenses and ID cards across the country will achieve a higher security standard, and that all will continue to be acceptable for official purposes after the May 11, 2008 deadline mandated by Congress in the REAL ID Act of 2005.
Supplemental Proposed Rule With Employer Guidance Regarding NoMatch Letters
March 21, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released today a Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking for the NoMatch Rule previously issued on August 15, 2007. This rulemaking addresses three issues cited in a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California enjoining the August 2007 NoMatch Rule. This Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking provides a more detailed analysis of how DHS developed the NoMatch policy and will help responsible employers ensure that they are not employing unauthorized workers.
DHS Signs VISA Waiver Program Agreements with Estonia and Latvia
March 14, 2008
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff signed Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Estonian Minister of Internal Affairs Juri Pihl in Tallinn, Estonia, and with Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maris Riekstins in Riga, Latvia. The agreements outline security enhancements that put both countries on the path toward visafree travel to the U.S., and possible designation as VWP members later this year.
Announcement of Higher Fines for Immigration Violations
February 25, 2008
On Friday, Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey announced higher civil fines against employers who violate federal immigration laws. The announcement was made in a joint briefing today with Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff about newly enacted border security reforms put in place by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. Under the new rule, which was approved by Attorney General Mukasey and Secretary Chertoff, civil fines will increase by as much as $5,000. The new rule will take effect on March 27, 2008, and will be published in the Federal Register early this week.
Illinois Law Prohibiting the Use of EVerify Further Suspended
February 21, 2008
The State of Illinois has agreed to delay until April 15, 2008 the implementation of a new law that would prohibit employers from using the federal government's EVerify employment eligibility verification system. The law was to become effective on January 1, 2008.
DHS Begins Collecting 10 Fingerprints From International Visitors at at Orlando International Airport
February 15, 2008
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it has begun collecting additional fingerprints from international visitors arriving at Orlando International Airport (Orlando). The change is part of the departmentís upgrade from two to 10fingerprint collection to enhance security and facilitate legitimate travel by more accurately and efficiently establishing and verifying visitorsí identities.

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