Four updates to news items previously covered at Homeland Stupidity focus heavily on immigration, border controls and terrorism, and include an update on the Western Hemisphere Travel-crippling Initiative, detention facilities for illegal immigrants, terrorism insurance, and intelligence.
Congress agreed to delay until June 2009 a requirement of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative that all people coming into the U.S. via land border crossings carry a passport or other authorized documentation, primarily due to complaints from border states about the loss of tourism. Cruise lines had also complained about the regulations, saying they could have a negative impact on Caribbean cruise tourists, but they don’t get a pass: Air and sea travelers will have to have a passport after Jan. 8, 2007. (Hat tip)
Homeland Security is running out of space to house illegal immigrants, primarily because of a provision in U.S. law which prohibits Salvadorans from being deported. The department may have to rent jail space from local counties or activate a $385 million Halliburton contract to build temporary detention facilities for illegal immigrants. A plan to use old cruise ships as temporary detention facilities has been taken off the table.
The insurance industry has decided that it can’t provide terrorism insurance, because the risk is uninsurable, and it wants the government to renew its existing terrorism reinsurance program, according to a Government Accountability Office report (PDF) released this week. The problem is that the risk is uninsurable primarily because the government doesn’t share enough information about terrorism risks with the industry or the general public, and all of the options proposed so far do nothing to solve this underlying problem.
Finally, President Bush ordered the release of parts of a classified National Intelligence Estimate, in which intelligence agencies had said that the war in Iraq had increased the threat of terrorism. “My judgment is, if we weren’t in Iraq, they’d find some other excuse, because they have ambitions,” Bush said Tuesday. “They kill in order to achieve their objectives.” Bush wants you to read it and judge for yourself, so please do. Notably, Washington Post columnist William Arkin says that the right and the left are both wrong about what the NIE means.