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Tag: CBP

Congress Introduces Bill to Increase Oversight of Border Patrol Following Deadly Confrontations

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A bipartisan bill in Congress is aimed at addressing questions about the use of force by Border Patrol agents.

AZCentral.com reports that the bill is designed to increase oversight of CBP and the Border Patrol following widespread criticism of deadly confrontations with immigrants at the border.

But political experts said the bill may not find traction.

According to AZCentral, the bill would:

  • Create an independent border-oversight commission.
  • Establish an ombudsman’s office within the Department of Homeland Security to handle complaints about border and immigration issues.
  • Create a liaison office to improve relations with border communities.
  • Require significantly more transparency about the outcomes of investigations of deadly use-of-force incidents; and provide additional training and resources to officers, agents and supervisors.

Will it pass? Unlikely, says some political observers.

“The Republicans control the House, this is an anti-immigration crowd and a pro-enforcement crowd,” said Michael O’Neil, president of Tempe polling firm O’Neil Associates. “Secure the border first, that’s their answer to everything.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Should Border Patrol Agents Wear Body Cameras? ACLU Says Yes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The ACLU is urging CBP to require its agents to wear body cameras to improve accountability and transparency, Valley Central reports.

In the past four years, CBP agents have killed about 19 people.

“We know there is a lack of oversight, accountability and training at the same time and that should be taken care of”, ACLU Advocacy Coordinator Astrid Dominguez said.

The call comes less than a week after a Border Patrol agent killed himself after assaulting three immigrants.

“When this type of incident happened, like everybody just keeps on asking questions,” Dominguez said. “In this case you know the agent is not here anymore, but what about the solutions to avoid or to prevent this type of incidents in the future.”

L.A. Times Editorial: It’s the U.S.-Mexico Border, not the Wild West

By L.A. Times
Editorial 

Now we have an idea why the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service was keeping secret an independent report of its encounters at the Mexican border. Because it has something to hide.

As The Times’ Brian Bennett reported last week, an independent report by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum sharply criticized the agency for a “lack of diligence” in investigating fatal encounters involving its agents. The report, based on internal case files of 67 shooting incidents leading to 19 deaths between January 2010 and October 2012, also faulted some of the agents’ practices, including positioning themselves in the “exit path” of fleeing vehicles apparently as a pretext for opening fire in self-defense. Not only is that contrary to commonly accepted policing practices, but it endangers passengers in the car as well as the agents, since a dead driver can’t control a moving vehicle.

The report also reinforced earlier findings by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General on the even more bizarre practice of agents firing across the border when people on the other side throw rocks at them. Yes, a thrown rock can cause significant damage, including death if it strikes an unprotected head. But to respond to rock throwing with live ammunition across an international border — on 22 occasions in 2012 — strikes us as excessive. Was there really no other way to address the problem?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Homeland Security Department, is the biggest police agency in the nation. It has doubled in size since 9/11 and now employs more than 43,000 Border Patrol agents and customs officers.

Certainly there are dangers involved in patrolling the border, and agents must be able to protect themselves. But the agency must also train its employees to operate professionally and not to respond to aggression with excessive force.

Click here to read more.

Border Patrol Agent Who Fatally Shot Rock-Throwing Suspect Had Just Over 2 Years on Job

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Border Patrol agent who pulled the trigger in a deadly shooting along the California-Mexico border last week had just over two years on the job, ABC 10 News reports.

Agent Daniel Basinger is now back on duty.

The shooting happened around 6:40 a.m. on Feb. 18 after two agents split up to capture fleeing suspects who were trying to cross the border into the U.S. That’s when a third suspect was spotted.

Basinger “ordered the man to stop in English and Spanish but he fled on foot,” Giannantonio said. “The agent chased after him, following him down a ravine and back up the opposite hillside.”

The agent then came under attack from fist-sized rocks thrown by the suspect.

“One of the larger rocks struck the agent in the head,” he said. “Fearing that another rock strike to the head could kill or incapacitate him, the agent fired his duty pistol at least twice at the man, striking him.”

Mexico Lashes Out Over Fatal Border Patrol Shooting at Border with California

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Mexican government is incensed over the latest fatal Border Patrol shooting of an undocumented migrant on the California-Mexico border.

CNN reports that Mexican authorities accused the agency of using excessive force against a Mexican national Jesus Flores Cruz, who was shot after an agent was hit with a rock.

The agent did not seek medical help.

At least 28 people have died in encounters with CBP since January 2010, according to CNN.

Some advocacy groups accuse agents of being too quick to use force.

 

Does Border Patrol Overreact to Assaults by Migrants? Question Reignited After Deadly Encounter

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol has been under fierce criticism for its use of force.

That criticism is only expected to get louder after a Border Patrol agent trying to avert an illegal crossing at the Mexican border Tuesday shot and killed a man after being struck in the head with a rock, the Associated Press reports.

The agent’s injury was minor enough that he declined to be treated at a hospital.

According to a Border Patrol statement, the agent feared for his life.

Neither the agent nor the man who died who died has been identified.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST


Border Patrol Agent Says She Was Fired for Trying to Care for Her Baby

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

All Sophia Cruz wanted was be a mom and a Border Patrol agent.

But those plans were derailed, she claims, when she was fired in April after being pressured to work against her doctor’s orders while caring for her baby, KOB Eyewitness News 4 reports.

“All I wanted to do was nurse my daughter.  And all I wanted to do was be a mom and an agent,” Cruz said in an interview with News 4.

She was fired in April for not renewing her firearms certification.

Cruz said she didn’t renew because she wasn’t provided with a new armored vest to fit because the shape of her body changed after having the baby.

CBP Indefinitely Grounds Fleet of Drones After $12 Million Aircraft Crashes into Ocean

istock photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CBP is grounding its remaining fleet of nine drones after one of them crashed off the Southern California coast because of mechanical problems, Reuters reports.

Monday’s crash was the second involving the agency’s drones since it began using them in 2006.

“While on patrol off the Southern California coast, the unmanned aircraft, a maritime variant of the Predator B, experienced a mechanical failure,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Michael Friel said in a statement.

The $12 million aircraft crashed into the ocean about 20 miles southwest of San Diego on Monday night.

Since the agency doesn’t know what caused the crash, the rest of the fleet has been grounded while officials investigate.

“We want to determine the cause of this mechanical failure (and) that will help inform the decision on what the future holds for the fleet,” Friel said.