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Border Surveillance

The FAA has approved the use of Predator Drones to beginpatrolling the U.S. border with Mexico (at least as of September 1, 2010). This is a step beyond that launched by Texas when it unilaterally authorized the use of its UAVs a few weeks ago.

These unmanned surveillance planes will be based at the Corpus Christi Naval Air Station in Texas.

It should be interesting to see how (or if) this move changes the dynamics of the flow of human and drug trafficking across the border. Certainly, if this deployment receives adequate publicity, "people who are illegally crossing the border" might start looking skyward as they stumble through the dark desert nights.

In a related step, the Department of Homeland Security announced Project Roadrunner, an integrated license plate reader recognition (LPR) system aimed at both north- and southbound drug trafficking and other illegal activity.

Of course a group named Human Rights First will probably challenge the legality of using the drones on the Border as they have in Pakistan [well, maybe they won't].

Both of these are positive steps. Now if we can ramp up enforcement of employment eligibility laws and stop companies from knowingly employing illegal immigrants, we might stop some of this.