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Tag: Mexico

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.

Lawsuit: Does U.S. Constitution Protect Mexicans in Their Home Country?

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is a Mexican boy shot in his home country protected by the U.S. Constitution?

The question is at the center of a lawsuit filed by the family of a Mexican teenager who was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent near Nogales, Sonora, in 2012, the Associated Press reports.   

The 16-year-old’s mother said her boy was just walking home near the border fence when an agent shot him. Border Patrol counters that the boy was among a group throwing rocks at agents.

The attorney for the agent who fired the fatal shots argued Tuesday that the lawsuit has no merit because the boy wasn’t protect by the Constitution.

The FBI is investigation the shooting.

Former DEA Head Thomas A. Constantine dies at age of 76

Thomas A. Constantine

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Thomas A. Constantine, the former tough-talking chief of the DEA, died May 3 at a hospice in Pinehurst, N.C., the Washington Post reports. 

He was 76.

Constantine. who died after getting a staph infection, was chosen as the head of the DEA by President Bill Clinton in 1994 after the former cop and investigator led successful crackdowns on drugs in New York.

The n0-nonsense leader of the DEA launched aggressive campaigns to knock down some of the drug operations in Mexico and Central America. But he quickly found out that the well-connected and well-financed drug cartels were ruthless, determined and capable of influencing police and politicians.

Constantine was born in Buffalo on Dec. 23, 1938 and began his law enforcement in 1960 as a sheriff’s deputy.

Other Stories of Interest


Mexican Immigrant Busted for Stealing Border Patrol Agent’s Identity

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents did a double-take after checking a bus passenger’s papers at a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas.

The passenger’s license, birth certificate and Social Security card all identified the  passenger as 34-year-old David, a fellow Border Patrol agent assigned to the same area, Valley Central reports.

Agents knew it wasn’t David, whose last name hasn’t been identified to protect his privacy.

The man was actually 24-year-old Orlando Castaneda-Diaz, a Mexican citizen who allegedly crossed the border on April 12.

It wasn’t immediately clear how the identity was stolen.

Other Stories of Interest


Border Patrol Tries New Approach, Trading Gun And Cuffs for Coat and Tie

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Mexican immigrants think of the Border Patrol, they often think of agents in green uniform with a gun, handcuffs and a baton.

Intimidating figures.

Now the agency is taking a more humanitarian approach and is urging immigrants to dissuade others from crossing the border because it is more dangerous and difficult than before, Arizona Public Media Media reports.

Agents recently met with about 200 Mexican citizens at the Mexican consulate in Phoenix, wearing a coat and tie and speaking in Spanish.

“Normally, we would probably be wearing rough duty green pants, rough duty long-sleeve shirt and then of course the full gun belt with the gun and cuffs and collapsible baton,” Agent George Trevińo said at the meeting.

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.”

 

Complaints: U.S. Citizens Increasingly Harassed at Border Patrol Checkpoints

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jennifer Weaver couldn’t believe what happened when she told a Border Patrol agent at a checkpoint in Texas that she had two pistols in her glove compartment with the proper concealed-handgun license in her purse.

The Arizona Republic reports that Weaver was forced to the ground and was held for an hour while agents ran gun checks and thoroughly searched her vehicle.

The same thing happened two weeks later, she said.

Her complaint is nothing new. The scores of checkpoints on roads and highways near the U.S. are intended to check on the immigration status of passers-by.

But privacy proponents say the checkpoints “have become an invasive catch-all for general law enforcement, and that they subject residents who pass through them to harassment and unconstitutional search and seizure,” the Arizona Republic reported.

 

Justice Department Builds Secret Database to Spy on Millions of Cars

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A license plate tracking program established to seize cars and money to combat drug trafficking has gone far beyond its original scope and has led to the collection and storage of millions of records about motorists, Reuters reports.

Not only is the database being used to track drug dealers, but state and locals authorities are using it to search for cars tied to other serious crimes, raising questions among privacy advocates.

This is the first time the DEA has revealed it is expanding its database beyond the  Mexican border.

What remained unknown was whether a judge or agency was responsible for oversight.

A debate is being waged in Washington over what some are expressing as privacy concerns with license plate readers.