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Tag: CBP

Former CBP Insider Accuses Agency of Corruption, Distortions to Cover Up Deaths

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Tomsheck, who was forced to resign as internal affairs for CBP, said the agency made it difficult for him to investigate internal complaints.

NPR reports that Tomscheck believes some Border Patrol agents aren’t being held accountable because of a culture that evades legal restraints.

Tomscheck said about a quarter of the 28 fatal shootings by agents and officers are highly suspicious, yet no one has paid any consequences.

“I believe the system was clearly engineered to interfere with our efforts to hold the Border Patrol accountable,” he says.

“Some persons in leadership positions in the Border Patrol were either fabricating or distorting information to give the outward appearance that it was an appropriate use of lethal force when in fact it was not.”

Tomscheck said he became a scapegoat for the problems in the agency.

CBP Offers Citizens Up-Close Look at Monitoring Border, Keeping U.S. Safe

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What’s it like protecting the border?

The U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona is hosting a Citizens Academy beginning Oct. 15 to give residents and community leaders an inside look at the agency. The idea is to provider a greater sense of Border Patrol’s mission and its duties.

Leaders warned that participants should be in good physical condition because the five-week class includes trek’s on unstable terrain.

For more information, call the Yuma Sector Border Community Liaison Office at (928) 341-6559, or Supervisory CBPO Reggie Smith at (928) 627-8854 Ext. 347.

Investigation Finds No Evidence That Border Patrol Agent Drew Gun on Iowa Boy Scout

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal investigation into claims that a Border Patrol agent drew his gun on an Iowa Boy Scout has found no evidence of wrongdoing, Homeland Security announced Monday.

During the investigation, which cost the inspector general’s office $19,000, feds reviewed surveillance video and interviewed children and adults, the Washington Post reports.

“All investigative leads have been pursued and exhausted,” said Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth. “Based on the investigation to date, we do not believe any CBP personnel acted inappropriately.”

The scout leader said none of the adults on the trip witnessed the July 7 incident, which was repeated by several youths.

According to the original account, a Boy Scout group from Iowa was stopped by Border Patrol. One of the children said an agent drew a gun on him after trying to take a cell phone photo of the agent.

Ex-Internal Affairs Official: Border Patrol Altered Details of Reports on ‘Highly Suspect’ Deaths

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have tried to alter details of at least seven “highly suspect” deaths since 2010, a former internal affairs official for CBP told the Center for Investigative Reporting.

“In nearly every instance, there was an effort by Border Patrol leadership to make a case to justify the shooting versus doing a genuine, appropriate review of the information and facts at hand,” James Tomsheck told reporter Andrew Becker in a story published online Thursday.

The interview raise serious questions about the culture of secrecy and impunity at CBP.

Since 2005, on-duty Border Patrol agents and CBP officers have killed at least 45 people, and 15 of them were Americans, the Arizona Republic reports.

None of those case led to discipline for a federal official.

Militia Groups Sporting Semi-Automatic Rifles And Camouflage Are Patrolling the Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 10 militia groups are patrolling the Texas-Mexico border despite objection from the federal government, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

The newspaper obtained more than 30 photos showing the armed militia members in camouflage, tactical gear and masks.

CBP responded that it does not “endorse or support any private group or organization from taking matters into their own hands, as it could have disastrous personal and public safety consequences.”

State lawmakers also expressed concern and anger.

“Local law enforcement and federal Border Patrol agents have been clear. The presence of these outside independent militia groups does nothing to secure the border; it only creates an unsafe situation for law enforcement officials that are protecting our communities. Unfortunately, the vile rhetoric of my opponent inspires misguided efforts,” said Van de Putte, who is running against state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, for lieutenant governor.

The groups, including Oathkeepers, Three Percenters and Patriots, have been recruiting members since the media began focusing on an influx of Central American immigrants, mostly families and children.

Republicans Blame Environmental Protections on Curtailing Flow of Illegal Immigration

Rep. Ted Cruz

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republicans are complaining that environmental laws intended to protect land and wildlife are hampering efforts to stop the flow of illegal immigrants, The Hill reports.

About 800 miles along the Mexico-U.S. border – or 40% of the land – is controlled and protected by the Interior Department.

The federal land protections are restricting CBP’s access to the border and its ability to build infrastructure or install surveillance equipment.

“There is no doubt that the restrictions on accessing land along the border have made it more difficult for the Border Patrol to do their job,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Republicans said smugglers exploit areas they know are protected.

“It seems a commonsense reform to say that the border patrol should be able to fully access and patrol the border,” Cruz said.

Democrats disagree with the assessment that CBP’s work is hampered by environmental laws.

“If they’re talking about the most recent influx, it’s happening in areas that have nothing to do with protected federal lands,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. “So I think it’s a specious argument to continue their anti-conservation agenda.”

CBP Is Hiring 2,000 New Agents Because of New 2014 Spending Plan

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CBP plans to hire 2,000 new agents thanks to funding provided in the 2014 budget, KTAR reports.

The hiring of agents to secure the air, land and sea ports has nothing to do with the current immigration crisis involving unaccompanied Central American children, officials said. “This was in the pipeline,” said CBP spokeswoman Theresa Small. “It has nothing to do with the influx of Central American children.”

The plan is to fill the positions by the end of fiscal year 2014 to “enhance security, help reduce wait times and facilitate growing volumes of legitimate goods and travelers that are critical to the health of our nation’s economy,” the CBP said in a press released.

For more information on the positions, visit www.cbp.gov/careers.

Border Patrol Writes Propaganda Songs to Deter Illegal Immigration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

“La Bestia” is a hit song in Central America.

Turns out, the song, which chronicles the dangers of Mexican freight trains, was reportedly written by Customs and Border Protection as propaganda to discourage immigration to the U.S., the Washington Times reports.

“Migrants from everywhere, entrenched along the rail ties/Far away from where they come, further away from where they go,” the lyrics go. “They call her the Beast from the South, this wretched train of death/With the devil in the boiler, whistles, roars, twists and turns.”

In 2004, Customs and Border Patrol also wrote a propaganda song for Mexican audiences called “No Mas Cruces.”

The federal government said listeners aren’t told who wrote the song.

“It’s more important to us that the message be delivered,” Laurel Smith, director of communications and outreach for CBP told The Daily Beast. “We want to make sure the audience is listening.”

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