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Tag: CBP

Border Patrol Official Says More than 4,300 New Officers Are Needed to Protect U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 

CBP needs more than 4,300 new officers to adequately protect the borders, acting Customs and Border Patrol Assistant Commissioner John P. Wagner, from the Office of Field Operations, told PJ Media.

With the increased dangers of ISIS and the influx of immigrants,

Wagner said a lot more manpower is needed.

“We’ve done an analysis and we have a need for 4,373 new CBP officers to staff all of the ports of entry across the United States,” he said. “Congress was generous enough to provide us with funding for 2,000 of those officers for this fiscal year and the [Obama] administration’s budget proposal for 2015 contains a request for another 2,373, so the answer is yes.

“A lot of those would be dedicated to the ports of entry at the southwest border as well as the gateway airports all across the United States.”

Wagner emphasized the importance of the manpower and said CBP is taking extra efforts to prevent terrorists from entering the country.

“CBP officers scan the traveler’s entry documents to perform queries of various CBP databases for exact or possible matches to existing lookouts, including those of other law enforcement agencies. For most foreign nationals arriving at U.S. airports, CBP officers collect biometrics – fingerprints and photographs – and compare them to any previously collected information,” Wagner said.

LA Times Editorial: Border Patrol Must Take Deadly Shootings More Seriously

By Los Angeles Times
Editorial Board

The new head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s internal affairs office made a troubling assertion late last week. Since 2004, he said, the agency has apparently taken no disciplinary action against any of its agents who have used deadly force.

That follows a report released in February by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum, which reviewed 67 shooting incidents by Border Patrol agents from January 2010 to October 2012, 19 of which were fatal, and accused the agency of violating accepted police practices and a “lack of diligence” in investigating agents’ actions.

The American Immigration Council reported in May that of 809 abuse complaints (a broader category) filed from 2009 to 2012, 40% remained unresolved, and in the resolved cases, only 3% found fault with an agent’s actions. Comparative statistics are hard to come by, but a study of 2002 data found that about 8% of complaints against civilian police officers were sustained.

The backlog of cases and the possibility that the agency has been unwilling to discipline its officers led Department of Homeland Security officials in June to replace the internal affairs director, James F. Tomsheck, with an outsider, former L.A. police officer and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Mark Morgan. It was Morgan who told reporters he had yet to find records of disciplinary actions against agents in deadly force cases. While it’s possible that there was no fault to be found, that seems highly unlikely.

It is clear that the agency must respond more quickly to complaints and must be willing to assess the behavior of its employees fairly and objectively when they use their weapons. In one 2012 case, a Border Patrol agent fired across the border into Nogales, Mexico, killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez; the boy, who the Border Patrol says may have been throwing rocks, was struck in the back by at least eight bullets. His family says he was merely walking home after playing basketball. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family, but so far it has been unsuccessful in getting the agency to publicly identify the officer involved.

To read more click here.

 

Other Stories of Interest

 

Lawsuit Seeks to Name Border Patrol Agent Who Shot, Killed 16-Year-Old in Nogales

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil rights lawyers are suing federal government to force the disclosure of the name of the Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a 16-year-old teen in the back.

“This is an extraordinary request by the government and just one more example of how the Border Patrol attempts to shield its unlawful actions from the public. The rule of law demands transparency—that’s all we’re asking for,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project in a news release.

The body of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was found about 40 feet from the border near the port of entry in Nogales.

Border Patrol said the agent was responding to rock throwers, but a witness disputes that.

CBP has agreed to release the name of the agent, but only if the identity is kept hidden from the public.

“The public interest in knowing the identity of a federal agent sued for the use of deadly force during his official duties is paramount,” attorneys wrote.

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.