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Tag: Border Patrol

Slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry Honored with Statue at Station Named After Him

Brian Terry

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol unveiled a statue honoring slain Agent Brian Terry on Saturday at the newly renamed Brin Terry Patrol Station in Bisbee, Ariz., Fox News reports.

“That iconic image of Brian carrying his BordTac team member on his shoulders represents everything good about Brian, his strength, his determination, his attention to detail, his love for the Border Patrol and his love for his fellow agents,” Terry’s cousin, Robert Heyer, said.

Terry was killed in a gun battle with members of a gang members, and federal officials later traced back one of the guns to the botched Operation Fast and Furious.

San Diego Park Improvements Become Impediments for Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Enhancements at a San Diego park have caused an unusual rift between the Border Patrol union and city park officials.

NBC San Diego reports that wooden bollards were placed around the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park in 2013 to prevent cars from driving into the park.

But those roadblocks are now impeding border protection, the union claims, because law enforcement officials can’t get around them.

“It looks to me the design is there in the middle of the roads to keep the Border Patrol agents off those roads where we ordinarily patrol,” said Border Patrol Union Representative Gabe Pacheco.

 

Now Border Patrol worries that illegal immigrants will use the barriers to their advantage.

But park officials said the bollards are important.

“Bollards are used for 2 main reasons: (1) Public Safety- Protect trail users from vehicular traffic; (2) Stewardship of Public Lands- Protect areas that are environmentally or culturally sensitive,” park’s department spokeswoman Shannon Singler told NBC.

Obama Adminstration Slow at Cracking Down on Border Patrol Shootings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Obama administration’s pledge to discipline Border Patrol agents who use excessive force is nearly a year old and hardly any progress has been made, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Shooting cases remain unresolved and undisciplined. A review panel tasked with making recommendations has yet to do so. And internal affairs’ top two jobs are vacant.

The administration responded that the reforms are caught up in union rules and red tape.

In the past five years, Border Patrol agents have shot and killed two dozen people along the Southwest border, The Times wrote. None of the shootings led to disciplinary actions or charges.

“I’m not sure we will reach a level of satisfaction with the public on every one of those cases,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency for the Border Patrol. “But we will be much more thorough, much more accountable and we will be much more transparent … going forward.”

 

ACLU: Border Patrol Responsible for Chronic Inhumane Treatment of Immigrants

By ACLU Attorney James Lyall
Arizona Daily Star

For years, watchdog groups have issued report after report detailing the brutal conditions faced by children in Border Patrol custody. Since 2008, non-governmental aid organizations have documented at least 1,600 specific examples of children suffering abuse and inhumane environments in the Border Patrol’s detention facilities.

Border Patrol hold rooms are simply not designed for prolonged detention. There are no beds or showers, and detainees are denied recreation. Yet children, including infants and toddlers, are detained in these degrading conditions for days on end.

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and partner organizations submitted a complaint to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on behalf of 116 unaccompanied immigrant children, alleging abuse and mistreatment in Border Patrol custody.

Many reported being denied blankets and bedding and being forced to sleep on the floors of unsanitary, overcrowded and frigid cells.

One quarter of these children reported physical abuse, and more than half reported various forms of verbal abuse. Roughly half of the children reported being denied medical care, including several who eventually required hospitalization. Eighty percent described inadequate provision of food and water, and nearly as many were detained by Border Patrol beyond the legally mandated 72-hour maximum.

To read more click here.

Other Stories of Interest

 

Border Patrol Agents Advised They May Let Drunken Drivers Loose

Via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents in Arizona have been advised they are under no obligation to arrest drunken drivers and will face no consequences for letting the suspects go, CBS5 reports.

A training memo that has been circulating among agents reminded them that they have no legal authority to arrest someone for breaking an Arizona law because they are not certified peace officers.

“The question is how much authority does Border Patrol have to enforce state laws against U.S. citizens,” former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney Alex Lane said. “Do we want Border Patrol checkpoints to also be DUI checkpoints?”

A union representing agents said drunken drivers will not be let go.

“I can assure you that the agents I represent and the people I work with just would not release someone who was severely intoxicated,” said Art Del Cueto, president of Local 2544.

Customs and Border Patrol released this statement to CBS5:

The recent informational slide, which was inappropriately released outside of CBP, was intended as an internal messaging slide to provide training to Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents about their legal options when encountering drivers who appear to be impaired.  In cases where Border Patrol agents encounter possibly impaired drivers, they are trained to exercise their professional judgment when assessing the current situation. Information on the slide does not direct agents to detain or not detain these drivers, but instead provides them information, based on judicial precedent, to use their discretion when encountering possibly impaired drivers.  The Border Patrol often releases internal messaging on a wide range of topics to inform agents so that they may better perform their duties within the scope of the law. 

Undocumented Immigrant Paid Nearly $500,000 After Being Shot by Border Patrol Agent

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government was ordered to pay nearly $500,000 to an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who was shot by a Border Patrol agent on Nov. 16, 2010, the USA Today reports.

U.S. District Court Justice James Soto said the agent’s “use of force was not justified” because the plaintiff, Castro Romo, “was not in the motion of throwing a rock at Canales.”

“Put more bluntly,” the judge wrote, “a rock is not as deadly an object as a gun and requires a greater degree of certainty that the object will be used than the threat or perceived threat of a gun.”

It’s not yet clear how the ruling will impact Border Patrol agents, who killed at least nine people for allegedly throwing rocks since 2010.

“The court has put some strength into the idea that you can’t just say ‘he had a rock in his hand so it was justified,’ which was their successful default defense for many shooting deaths,” said Texas attorney Bob Hilliard, who is representing families in three wrongful-death cases against Border Patrol agents who shot alleged rock throwers. “He’s saying you have a professional duty to exercise reasonable care. … It still gives Border Patrol agents the power to defend themselves, and it gives Mexican nationals under arrest their constitutional protections.”

 

ACLU Sues Border Patrol for Records on Questionable ‘Roving Patrols’

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ACLU sued Border Patrol to get more insight into the use of “roving patrols,” Reuters reports.

The suit comes after the CBP ignored a July 2014 request under the Freedom of Information Act to release information on the patrols, which lead to people being stopped more than 100 miles from the Mexico border.

“The Border Patrol operates as a rogue agency, claiming extra-constitutional powers that extend far from any border, and operating with no effective oversight,” said Adrienna Wong, attorney with the ACLU Foundation of Southern California in a statement.

The request seeks records from the San Diego and El Centrol sectors. The ACLU wants to know how many people are stopped, what the policies are and what the complaints are.

“Roving patrols have long been associated with civil rights violations, and abuses are not limited to the Southwest, as prior FOIA lawsuits have shown,” the statement said.

 

Republican’s Last-Ditch Effort to Halt President’s Immigration Plan Is Destined to Fail

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even if Republicans pass a spending measure intended to squash President Obama’s executive action on immigration, they won’t be successful, PBS.org reports.

PBS notes that a shutdown, which would happen if a funding plan isn’t in place by Feb. 27, would not impact about 85% of the agency’s workers, including those charged with implementing the president’s executive action.

As evidenced in the September 2013 shutdown, most of the Homeland Security jobs are deemed “necessary for safety of human life or protection of property” or because they are “funded by sources other than annual appropriated funds.”

But the shutdown would impact new border surveillance, FEMA disaster funding and the hiring of Secret Service agents for the presidential candidates.