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El Paso Times: Immigration Rhetoric Doesn’t Jive with Data

border patrol 3By Editorial Board
El Paso Times

A major state agency is proposing a massive increase in spending despite providing little if any evidence that its current spending is effective or needed. That scenario would normally bring accusations of bloated government from Texas’ conservative leadership.

But not when the subject is border security.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is proposing a 39 percent increase in border security spending for the next biennium. That comes on top of a doubling in border security spending approved in the 2015 legislative session.

If the Legislature approves the increase in spending next year – and history suggests that it will – state spending on border security will have grown from $120 million in 2010 to $1 billion.

And it’s entirely unclear what Texas is getting for all that money, other than a shift in where DPS troopers are writing traffic warnings and citations.

The idea of the border as a war zone has been popular in Republican circles for years, despite repeated evidence that illegal immigration is on the decline and border communities have much lower crime rates than comparable communities across the country.

To read more click here. 

Border Patrol Fails at Meetings Its Goal of Hiring 1,600 Women as Agents

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol has struggled to hire female agents to help fight illegal immigration.

Between October 2014 and September 2015, the federal agency received more than 6,200 applications for Border Patrol job vacancies. But according to the Albuquerque Journal, only 54 women where fired – far below the goal of hiring 1,600 female agents. 

Women are vital to the Border Patrol because of the influx of Central American women and children immigrants over the past two years. The agency has said female agents are often better equipped to deal with immigrants who are women and children.

Women represent about 15% of the workforce in federal law enforcement agencies. But only 5% of Border Patrol’s agents are women.

“They are working hard,” WIFLE executive director Cathy Sanz, a retired agent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said of Border Patrol. “They are trying. Other federal agencies are watching what they are doing” – i.e., looking for signs of success in attracting women to the force – “because others are thinking they might want to go down this road.”

LAX Shooter Who Killed TSA Officer, Wounded 3 Others Expected to Plead Guilty

Paul Ciancia

Paul Ciancia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 26-year-old man accused of using a semi-automatic rifle to kill a TSA officer and wound three others at Los Angeles International Airport is expected to plead guilty Tuesday.

Paul Ciancia plans to plead guilty to 11 felony counts stemming from the November 2013 attacks in Terminal 3 at LAX, CBSLA.com reports. 

The pleas are part of a deal with prosecutors that will keep Ciancia from facing the death penalty. Instead, he is expected to be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Federal authorities said Ciancia shot TSA Officer Gerardo Hernandez 12 times at a passenger ID checkpoint. Three other TSA officers were injured.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Story of Prohibition

Putin: Hacking of DNC Emails Was Public Service But Denies Government Responsible

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Vladimir Putin denied accusations that Russia’s government hacked thousands of Democratic National Committee emails and documents, but said the action was a public service.

“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?’’ Putin said in an interview with Bloomberg at the Pacific port city of Vladivostok on Thursday. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.’’

Putin has long been a critic of Hillary Clinton, who compared his annexation of Crimea in 2014 to Adolph Hitler’s actions before WWII.

“There’s no need to distract the public’s attention from the essence of the problem by raising some minor issues connected with the search for who did it,” Putin said of the DNC breach. “But I want to tell you again, I don’t know anything about it, and on a state level Russia has never done this.”

Bloomberg reports:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has high confidence that the government in Moscow was behind the theft at the DNC and other Democratic Party organizations seeking to propel Clinton to victory over Republican Donald Trump in November, a person familiar with the findings has said. Trump has praised Putin as a great leader and the billionaire’s former campaign chairman spent years working for the Kremlin ally who was ousted from Ukraine’s presidency in 2014.

FBI Warns Clinton, Trump Campaigns of Cyberattacks, Foreign Spies

hacker-istock-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has warned Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaigns that they may become targets for foreign spies.

The warnings were issued to presidential campaign staffers Wednesday during separate security briefings in Washington, sources told ABC News. 

While the briefings were described as standard, they come amid recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee and other party organizations.

An FBI official said the sessions were voluntary “awareness briefings.”

The FBI is investigating coordinated cyberattacks of the Democrat National Committee and other Democratic organizations.

Blogger Charged with Threatening to Kill FBI Agents Is Released After Jury Deadlocks

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An Orange County, Calif., blogger accused of threatening to behead and slit the throats of FBI agents was acquitted on some charges, and jurors were deadlocked on others.

U.S. District Judge Josephine L. Staton declared a mistrial and ordered Peter Ronald Wexler to be released, CNN reports. 

Wexler, 50, testified that he intended to be provocative in his posts by using sarcasm and hyperbole, but he did not intend to convey serious threats against the agents.

Prosecutors had to convince jurors that Wexler’s comments were “a serious expression of an intent to physically harm or murder” the agents.

“Mr. Wexler is very happy about today’s results,” Wexler’s attorney, Caleb Mason, said. “He’s very glad the justice system has worked so far.”

Wexler once wrote: “Is it murder to kill an FBI Pig who knocks on your door without a warrant?” Wexler allegedly wrote in a blog post. “I think not.”

Immigrants, Cartels Circumvent Border Walls by Digging Tunnels

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

Cross-border tunnel discovered by authorities this year.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have found dozens of tunnels near the border of Mexico.

When agents locate the taste underground networks used by Mexican drug cartels, they dump concrete to seal the passageway and stamp them with a date, the New York Times reports. 

“The clock is ticking as soon as they complete a tunnel,” said Kevin Hecht, a Border Patrol tunneling expert. “They know that we will eventually find them. But if even one load gets through before we find it, they consider it a success.”

Many of the tunnels are used to circumvent large walls – like the one supported by Donald Trump.

“The Border Patrol has done an incredible job, given its resources,” said Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the White House drug policy director in the Clinton administration. “But it would be a stretch to say that the border and border communities are secure when the agency lacks a high-confidence ability to detect cross-border tunnels. No wall is going to fix that.”

Trump has pledged to use sensor to  “find and dislocate tunnels and keep out criminal cartels,” but no such technology has proven successful.