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Tag: Texas

Under Gov. Perry, Texas Creates Own Version of Border Patrol with Game Wardens

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The primary responsibility of Texas game wardens used to be pretty routine – crack down on drunken boaters and investigate fishing tournament cheaters.

Now a team of them is patrolling the Rio Grande in search of suspected smugglers and undocumented immigrants, trading in their white cowboy hats for camouflage, the New York Times reports.

It’s part of Gov. Rick Perry’s effort to create his own version of the Border Patrol along the state’s 1,200-mile border.

State officials say the effort has paid off, netting thousands of arrests and tens of millions of dollars in drug seizures.

Critics argue that Perry is exaggerating the problem and wasting public resources.

“It’s not something the federal government has asked him to do,” said Veronica Escobar, El Paso’s county judge. “It is such a waste of taxpayer resources, especially when so many fundamental needs are underfunded by the very state leadership that proposes and promotes this waste.”

Two Arrested in Connection with Slain Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent in South Texas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two men were arrested Monday in connection with the robbery and fatal shooting of an off-duty Border Patrol agent while he was on vacation with his family, Valley Morning Star reports.

Agent Javier Vega Jr., who was stationed in Ricardo, Texas, was killed following a gunshot wound to the chest, and his father was hospitalized with a gunshot to the hip. The shooting took place near the town of Santa Monica, Tex., in south Texas.

The shooting occurred during an attempted robbery while the agent, his wife, father, mother and three children were fishing in the Santa Monica area, authorities said.

The suspects fled but were later tracked down and taken into custody.

Authorities said gunshots were exchanged at one point.

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent Shot, Killed During Robbery While On Vacation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent vacationing with his family was shot and killed during a robbery in Texas, the Border Patrol said Sunday.

“Another one of these typical robbery things,” Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence said. “People fishing, people drive by, turn around, come back, pull weapons and rob them.

“In this case, someone got shot.”

Investigators combed the area overnight into this morning.

“If this is the scene, we’re just going to babysit it until daylight,” Spence said in the southeaster part of the county.

The agent has not been identified.

National Guard Troops May Get Authority to Arrest Undocumented Immigrants in Texas

Tex. Gov. Rick Perry/official photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The 1,000 National Guard troops who were deployed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to assist with the border crisis may get the unusual authority to make arrests and apprehensions, the New York Times reports.

In the past, troops who were sent by presidents were prohibited from making arrests while they helped at the border. But since Perry ordered the deployment, he has the authority to permit Guard troops to make arrests, the New York Times wrote.

Immigration rights advocates and experts on the National Guard expressed concern that troops were ill trained to handle potentially deadly encounters.
“This does not come from the federal government,” said Jayson P. Ahern, a former Customs and Border Protection acting commissioner who helped coordinate deployment of the National Guard to the border in 2006. “That’s the biggest distinction here. This is the governor taking unilateral action. Not having that oversight and supervision and direction as part of a plan from the federal authorities, I think it is reckless and could lead to significant safety issues.”

The troops are expected at the border next month but they cannot enforce immigration law.

Border Patrol Halts Flights to San Diego, Saying Backlog of Central American Immigrants Decreasing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s plan to alleviate the surge of Central American immigrants along the border of Mexico no longer involves flying children and families to San Diego, the USA Today reports.

The federal agency halted the experiment following a protest that blocked busloads of immigrants from reaching a processing facility in San Diego.

Border Patrol said the protest had nothing to do with the halt of plans and indicated the backlog of immigrants being held in Texas is decreasing.

The U.S. lacks sufficient family detention centers for immigrants, according to the USA Today.

It’s unclear how many flights to San Diego occurred before the transportation was stopped.

FBI to Investigate VA Hospital in Texas Following Allegations of Paper-Shredding

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI plans to launch a criminal investigation into potential abuses at a Department of Veterans Affairs medical facility in Temple, Tex., the Statesman reports.

The probe comes at a time when several VA facilities are accused of manipulating wait time data.

The investigation was triggered by U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, who spoke with FBI Director James Comey.

“I believe that the FBI needs to be investigating the Temple VA facility for criminal activities, and the Veterans Affairs Administration needs to be investigating the facility as well to administer cultural and bureaucratic reforms,” Carter said in a release.

Among the allegations is that Temple officials shredded documents.

Texas VA officials responded Wednesday they “welcome and respect” the investigation.

“We also want to assure Veterans and the public that if any evidence of any wrong doing at our Central Texas VA facility is ever substantiated, swift and corrective action will be taken,” officials said in a statement. “VA must be an organization built on transparency and accountability.”

FBI Investigates Underage Prostitution Ring at El Paso Schools in Texas

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether middle school and high school students throughout El Paso are part of an underage prostitution ring, the El Paso Times reports.

The probe focuses on Ysleta Independent School District, which was notified of the probe beginning in December 2012.

“Due to student confidentiality laws, the Ysleta Independent School District is prohibited from disclosing specific details of the alleged underage prostitution ring currently under investigation by the FBI,” YISD officials said in a statement. “However, officials at Ysleta High School were notified in December 2012 that an investigation into underage prostitution was under way at local middle and high schools.”

The news comes just days after claims that a 16-year-old Ysleta High School student was used as a prostitute on the website Backpage.

“At that time, the FBI requested that Ysleta High School officials not discuss the matter with anyone, including district administration,” the YISD statement said. “After this meeting with the FBI, Ysleta High School officials were approached by the student for assistance with issues outside of the investigation that cannot be disclosed. No other details are available at this time, YISD will continue to cooperate fully with local law enforcement agencies in their investigation.”

Border Patrol Cancels Flights for Central American Migrants Squeezed into Texas Facility

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Flights that were scheduled to begin flying Central American immigrants from Texas to California today to ease up on overcrowded conditions have been canceled, NBC News reports.

What’s unclear is why the flights were stopped, said Ralph DeSio, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection.

“This whole thing is in a very fluid state,” DeSio said. “I’m not sure if the plans will be reactivated but, as we’re speaking here this moment, it has been canceled. Tomorrow is another day.”

The government has been trying to determine what to do with an excessive number of immigrants, especially children, from Central America.
Recently released videos showed that immigrants were forced to wait in squalid conditions.