11:33 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Tactics Go On Trial

Maricopa County, AZ, Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Courtesy of NPR

A class action lawsuit that goes to trial in Phoenix today will bring more attention to the tactics of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The Arizona sheriff has been vocal that cracking down on illegal immigrants is among his top priorities. Plaintiffs claim Arpaio and his deputies discriminate against Latinos.

Every Latino motorist who has been stopped by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office since 2007 or will be stopped in the future is included in the class action suit.

Read more
9:50 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Zombies and the Tax Code


In a law review article, ASU professor Adam Chodorow warns that the state and the nation are ill prepared for a zombie apocalypse.

It's not the public health issues that concern Chodorow.

It's that the nation's tax laws are woefully inadequate to deal with the undead.

And part of the problem is that there's no consensus of when someone is truly dead. Even Arizona law is not very specific, saying only that a determination of death must be made in accordance with accepted medical standards.

Read more
9:23 am
Wed July 11, 2012

Legal Battles Continue Over SB 1070-type Laws

In the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Arizona's SB 1070 immigration law, the legal battles continue in the five other states that passed similar laws. Georgia and Alabama's immigration enforcement laws are back before a federal appeals court.

Read more
3:47 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Fire Starts by the Numbers

While New Mexico has received enough rain to lift some fire restrictions, other parts of the southwest are still dry. That makes them vulnerable to lightning sparked fires, as well as human caused fires.

Humans start about half of the fires in the southwest. In southern California it’s a lot more -- about 90 percent are caused by people. Fire managers say the closer you get to a big city, where the population is dense, the more human caused fires. The top causes are unattended campfires, trash pile burning and arson.

Read more
12:45 pm
Mon July 9, 2012

Plan For Southbound Border Inspection Booths Raises Health Concerns

Cars wait in line at the San Ysidro border crossing.

On an average day, some 200,000 people cross the border north and south between Tijuana and San Diego, making the San Ysidro port of entry the busiest in the world -- and for commuters, a frustrating one. The wait to enter the U.S. regularly approaches three hours or more.

Now, as part of an ongoing multi-year expansion project at the port, the U.S. government is more than doubling the number of inspection booths, with the hope of cutting that wait down to 30 minutes tops.

Read more
11:41 am
Fri July 6, 2012

The Drone Makers And Their Friends In Washington

Wikimedia Commons

You’ve probably heard of the Congressional Black Caucus, or perhaps the Progressive Caucus. But what about the drone caucus? Officially, it’s the Unmanned Systems Caucus.

Primarily, the caucus advocates for drones — those pilot-less planes infamous for their role targeting insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’re used as a spy tool in Iran, a drug-fighting tool in Mexico and an anti-smuggling tool along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Read more
9:01 am
Fri July 6, 2012

California Senate Passes TRUST Act


The California Senate approved a bill Wednesday that aims to clear local jails of non-criminal undocumented immigrants and restore immigrants’ trust in local law enforcement.

Read more
5:08 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Mixed Feelings On Border Drones: Boon To National Security, Threat To Privacy

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Test Center is operated by New Mexico State University. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight Test Center is operated by New Mexico State University.
Image courtesy NMSU Physical Science Laboratory

It’s hard to find military or national security experts who are not supporters, if not all-out cheerleaders, for the use of high-tech surveillance systems to protect the nation’s borders.

The Department of Homeland Security just launched its tenth Predator B Unmanned Aerial System, commonly known as a drone, and now both northern and southern borders are covered.

Even though they cost $18 million apiece, many experts say they’re worth every penny.

Read more
3:34 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Simulated Floods Designed To Mitigate Dam Impacts

A group of paddlers prepare for their first rapid.
Laurel Morales

The Colorado River is about to run wild again, at least a couple times a year. In May, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved a series of simulated floods -- releasing huge amounts of water and sediment from the Glen Canyon Dam over the next several years. It’s all part of a long-studied effort to restore the river environment downstream.

Five boats recently launched a two-week Grand Canyon river trip. The group of tourists paddled white-water rapids, hiked side canyons and camped at river’s edge.

Read more
4:26 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

After Clamping Down On Land Border, Homeland Security Takes To The Sea

Homeland Security Marine Interdiction Agents prepare the boat to go out for a mission at Port Aransas, Texas.
Hernan Rozemberg

It’s dusk in the coastal town of Port Aransas. Jason Montgomery, John Wilhem and Grenade Fiedler jump on their boat, put life vests on and make final preparations. Unlike others heading out to the Gulf of Mexico for fishing or fun, this trio is on the clock.

They're the face of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on the water.

Read more