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Tag: Border

Border Patrol Agents: Government Making It Impossible to Nab Drug Dealers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents said the federal government is making it impossible to make drug busts, a move that has contributed to a “morale crisis,” the Los Angeles Times reports. 

“We lack the political will to enforce the law and allow our agency to be effective,” said National Border Patrol Council spokesman Shawn Moran in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

Shane Gallagher, an agent in the San Diego sector, said the agency has been very successful at nabbing border crossers with drugs.

“Now the port of entry has to explain who was in the primary lane, what actions were taken, if the vehicle was inspected, so you can see there’s a whole host of implications,” he said.

Gallagher said fewer agents are responsible for drug busts.

“There was a lot of pressure for us to get out of the [drug] interdiction game,” Gallagher said.

 

Homeland Security’s Jeh Johnson: Illegal Immigration Drops to Lowest in Decades

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A year after a surge in illegal immigrant children and their families trying to cross the U.S. border, illegal immigration is on pace to be the lowest this year than any year since 1972, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Monday, the Washington Times reports.

Johnson stopped short of saying whether the trend would continue but said he was encouraged.

“The bottom line of all this is, in recent years the total number of those who attempt to illegally cross our southwest border has declined dramatically, while the percentage of those who are apprehended has gone up,” the secretary said at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. “Put simply, it’s now much harder to cross our border illegally and evade capture than it used to be — and people know that.”

During the first eight months of the fiscal year, Border Patrol captured 213,145 immigrants at the border, a decline of 34% from the same point in 2014.

Border Remains Open Despite Border Patrol’s Best Efforts

Bob Casimiro of Bridgton is former executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Immigration Reform.
 
By Bob Casimiro 
Bangor Daily News.

It’s a cat-and-mouse game, and the mouse is still winning. In spite of the best efforts of our Border Patrol agents, drugs and humans keep coming across our border with Mexico.

I recently returned from my seventh trip to the border. Our Border Patrol agents are trying to do their job, but they are being hampered by bureaucrats and “open border” initiatives put in place by President Barack Obama’s administration.

On this trip, I went out with two local groups, the Arizona Border Defenders and Arizona Border Recon, both comprising activist citizens who want to help us secure our borders by augmenting what the Border Patrol does.

The Arizona Border Defenders are from Tucson. Their members come down on weekends to service cameras they have placed in the desert that transmit live video images when the camera’s sensors detect movement, which may be cattle, illegal aliens or Border Patrol agents. They see the video images on their cellphones, wherever they may be, and alert the Border Patrol if they see anything suspicious.

Arizona Border Recon is a veteran-based organization. Tim Foley, the field operations director, and his communications director, “Spartan,” recently moved permanently to Sasabe, Arizona, less than a half mile from the Sasabe Port of Entry. Foley is a slender, chain-smoking, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne veteran who roams the smuggler trails with a shotgun in one hand and his dog, Rocko, complete with ABR K-9 jacket, close behind. “Spartan” handles communications with law enforcement.

On our second day we caught a glimpse of a shadowy figure disappearing down the back of a mountain inside the U.S. border; it was a cartel “scout.” The “scouts” operate on the mountains and monitor the movement of the Border Patrol and let the smugglers know when it is safe to bring across drugs and human cargo. Keep in my mind they operate in the mountains on U.S. soil as far as 100 miles inside our border.

Sasabe is in the Tucson Sector, which extends 262 miles from the New Mexico border in the east to the Yuma (Arizona) County line in the west. The Border Patrolapprehended 87,915 illegal aliens in fiscal year 2014 in this sector. In the same fiscal year, 479,371 illegal aliens were apprehended across the whole 1,954-mile length of the Southwest Border.

So, how many get through? Chris Cabrera, vice president of National Border Patrol Council #3307, estimates in a recent video that only 30 percent of illegal aliens coming across the border are apprehended.

In the time I was there, I noted the whole array of devices used at the border: Border Patrol and Arizona National Guard helicopters, an inspection station on Highway 286, “virtual fence” towers with radar and cameras sweeping the horizon, Border Patrol trucks racing up and down Highway 286 from their base in Tucson, quads on trailers used to go in the desert where other vehicles can’t, drones, sensors.

I was thinking about all this on my last day as Foley and I stood beside the 13-foot fence separating the United States from Mexico.

I asked him, in exasperation: “Why the hell aren’t we stopping everyone coming across the border?”

His answer: “We are waging a war with a shift mentality.”

He was referring to the fact that the cartels operate 24/7 while the Border Patrol, with shift changes, have gaps in their coverage. Border Patrol agents are further hampered by the Obama administration’s “open border” policy, such as theacceptance of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied alien children last year; the suspension of the Secure Communities program in November 2014, the use of “prosecutorial discretion,” and the sharp decline in Interior Deportations from 236,000 in 2009 to 102,000 in 2014.

To read more click here.  

FBI Director James Comey Plays Down Terrorism Threats at Southern Border

Director James B. Comey

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

For the first time as director of the FBI, James Comey visited the agency’s field office in South Texas and tried to ease concerns about terrorists using the southern border.

“I do not see any indication of terrorists using the southwest border to cross with the assistance of the cartels or otherwise,” Comey said, KSAT.com wrote.

Comey also said there’s no evidence of terrorist training camps, as reported by some members of the media.

“That’s just false,” Comey said.

Still, Comey emphasized, the bureau and its Mexican counterparts are monitoring the border closely.

Are Drones the Drug Mules of the Future? DEA Says It’s Not Cost-Effective

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The recent discovery of a drone carrying methamphetamine near the U.S. border in Mexico has raised some eyebrows.

But the DEA said drones will not become tomorrow’s drug mules because they are not cost-effective, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“This method will only allow a small amount of drugs to be flown at a time, and that coupled with the ease of detection, does not make this method very profitable to these drug trafficking organizations whose motivation is money,” DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick said.

It wasn’t immediately clear where the recent drone was heading, though one media report suggested the unmanned aircraft system was carrying drugs from one Tijuana neighborhood to another.

“While we would not call using drones a new trend in smuggling, we do know that drug trafficking organizations will use any and all means to get their drugs in the United States,” said Roderick.

Border Patrol Agent Shot at While Pulling Over Car in Texas, Returns Fire As Suspects Fled

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent came under fire Sunday morning while pulling over a car during a routine traffic stop, KFOX14 reports.

The incident happened around 7:25 a.m. when the suspect opened fire on the agent as he approached the car in Hudspeth County, which borders Mexico in Texas.

The agent returned fire but the driver and occupants were able to run away into the brush. Authorities were still searching for the suspects at the end of the weekend.

The agent didn’t sustain any serious injuries.

Border Patrol Seeks to Diminish Gender Gap to Address Influx of Female Migrants

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The gender gap among Border Patrol agents is significant, even as more women are crossing the border illegally.

The Los Angeles Times reports a 173% in the number of apprehended female immigrants, yet just 5% of the agency’s 21,000 agents are women.

Border Patrol hopes to correct the disparity by aggressively recruiting women.

“Other federal law enforcement [agencies] were at 16% female. We’ve stayed at 5%,” said Shevannah Wray, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection in the Tucson sector. “We need to increase that number in order to have females to search females that we arrest. And then just to reflect the workforce of the U.S.”

While Border Patrol rules do not prohibit male agents from searching female migrants, the agency prefers women for that role.

Another perk of female agents is having someone that women can trust. According to Amnesty International, three of every five female migrants are sexually assaulted during their trek.

“There are females that have been abused along their journey,” Wray said. “So I imagine that they may feel more comfortable talking to a female agent.”

 

Border Patrol Agent Airlifted to Hospital After He Was Attacked Near Arizona Border

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was airlifted for emergency medical care after an altercation with a Mexican citizen near the Arizona border on Saturday, the Arizona Republic reports.

The agent received 22 stitches after suffering lacerations to his face and a fractured orbital bone near Gu Vo, Arizona.

The agent, whose name wasn’t released, was airlifted to Tucson.

It wasn’t immediately clear what precipitated the scuffle.

CBP has named a person of interest – Carlos Manuel Pena-Nieblas.

The FBI is helping with the search.