Giddens leads DHS' new border initiative

Greg Giddens, a former Coast Guard Deepwater program official, has been appointed as chief of the Homeland Security Department's program management office for the Secure Border Initiative, the department confirmed today.

As program manager, Giddens oversees work on various aspects of the SBI, including technology, according to DHS spokesman Jarrod Agen, and has done so for about a month-and-a-half.

For example, when the program management office started operations Nov. 1, the first activity was to prepare for the end of the catch-and-release policy for other than Mexican illegal aliens and to help begin a catch-and-return policy. That work has involved preparations for additional detention beds and forging agreements with other countries to take back their citizens quickly.

The program management office now is looking at interior enforcement aspects of the SBI, Agen said. That activity includes improving the systems that employers use to verify employment eligibility.

Giddens' team also is reviewing the existing manpower allocations at the border and seeing where technology is needed, Agen said. 'There will be more details on technology later,' he said.

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