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News stories tagged with "security"

Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas
Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas

Life on the U.S.-Mexico border

Ruben Garcia is a human rights advocate who lives on the U.S.-Mexico border. For more than 30 years, he has run Annunciation House, an emergency shelter for migrants and the homeless in El Paso, Texas. Garcia will speak to students and the public at St. Lawrence University in Canton today. The issue of border security, illegal drugs and immigration is complex along the southern border. He'll give a presentation, titled "The Border as a Prophet: Voices Calling us to Justice", in St. Lawrence's Carnegie 10 at 7 pm. Garcia joined Todd Moe in the studio this morning for a first person account on the effects of beefed-up military patrols, the drugs wars, human rights and life along the southern border.  Go to full article
Border Patrol vehicles await the bus in Canton.
Border Patrol vehicles await the bus in Canton.

Citizenship questions far from the border

Across the North Country, border patrol road checkpoints where agents stop cars and ask passengers their citizenship have become a part of daily life. Today we have a story about another step in the creeping influence of homeland security inside the border.

It's now become commonplace for federal agents to board buses and trains across Upstate New York and ask passengers for proof of citizenship. The checks are sweeping up some drugs and illegal immigrants, but also people who are here legally. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

ACLU challenges citizen laptop searches

Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security over its searches of electronic devices on the US-Canada border.

The government argues that it has the authority to search the contents of laptops, PDAs, and other electronic devices in the same way that they would search a briefcase or backpack. That means they don't need a warrant and they don't need probable cause. The ACLU says the government searches thousands of computers every year.

Part of the case is based on the experience of Pascal Abidor, an American from New York City who studies at McGill University in Montreal. He was detained at the border crossing north of Plattsburgh in May while traveling home to visit his mother. He says border agents then confiscated his computer.

"They asked everything about my life and about my interests," Abidor says. "Why I'm interested in Islam, why I traveled to the Middle East."

According to Abidor, DHS scrutinized his laptop, looking through files that he considers to be personal. "I was able to determine that they looked extensively at my personal photos and at my saved personal chats with my girlfriend," he said.

ACLU attorney Catherine Crump spoke in-depth about the case with Bob Garfield, host of WNYC's program "On the Media."  Go to full article

Cornwall Island dispute continues

Controversy continues as Canadian border officials and Mohawk tribal leaders struggle with an ongoing dispute over the international crossing on Cornwall Island. Martha Foley has more.  Go to full article

CBC TV reporter on the scene at international bridge

The international bridge at Cornwall Island remains closed this morning as Mohawks protest the arming of Canadian customs officers. CBC TV reporter Amanda Pfeffer was on Cornwall Island yesterday where Mohawks are protesting the arming of Canadian customs officers. She spoke with David Sommerstein. We'll be following this story throughout the day - listen for an update during All Before Five.  Go to full article

Representatives want shared border talks revived

Representatives of northern New York's border regions have new hope for sharing border crossing facitlies and procedures with Canada. Martha Foley reports.  Go to full article

Paper mill exec denied U.S. entry

Last week we reported on an Adirondack artist who was detained at the Canadian border in Maine for having sketches of SUVs in her car. The incident was parodied on The Colbert Report. Now another unusual incident at the border, this time in Massena. The vice-chairman of the revived paper mill in Newton Falls was refused entry into the United States on Tuesday. Customs officers said he was working without a visa, even though he's paid by a Canadian company. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
Zempel now calls this piece her "Homeland Security blanket"  (Source:  Zempel
Zempel now calls this piece her "Homeland Security blanket" (Source: Zempel

Adirondack artist's hour at the border brings fifteen minutes of fame

A New York artist who spends much of each year in the Adirondack town of Keene is making national headlines. Not for her art, but because of an encounter last summer with Homeland Security agents. Jerilea Zempel was crossing into Maine after attending an exhibition in New Brunswick when she was detained for an hour at a border post. Zempel - who describes herself as a "radical" knitter - was questioned about sketches in her artist's notebook. Zempel's experience has since been featured in an Associated Press story, an article in the Plattsburgh newspaper - and on the popular comedy program, the "Colbert Report." She spoke about the experience with Brian Mann.

Postscript: Zempel is looking for a place to display her crocheted SUV cover here in the U.S. She said her "SUV cozy" is "custom made for a Hyundai Santa Fe," but in an email Zempel added, "because it stretches, I bet it would fit more villainous models like Lexuses."  Go to full article

McHugh, Oot spar over Iraq, civil liberties

In this election season, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have often been eclipsed by the sagging economy. But national security took center stage last night when Congressman John McHugh and challenger Mike Oot met for a debate in Plattsburgh, hosted by Mountain Lake PBS. The pair clashed repeatedly over the war's future, treatment of returning soldiers, and civil liberties. Brian Mann has our story.

NOTE: Last night's debate was hosted by Mountain Lake PBS. It will air in its entirety on October 30 at 8 pm.  Go to full article
Governor David Paterson meets General Richard Corey, the Army's vice-chief of staff.
Governor David Paterson meets General Richard Corey, the Army's vice-chief of staff.

Governor: Drum send-off 'highest privilege'

On Friday, David Paterson made his first visit to Fort Drum since becoming Governor. He bid farewell to 1,100 soldiers who are leaving for Iraq. During the brief ceremony, Paterson said addressing the troops was "the highest privilege" he's had in public office. As David Sommerstein reports, the new governor impressed the military brass.  Go to full article

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