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March 2023


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: immigration

CBP Encounters with Migrants Drop Significantly at Southwest Border

File photo, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol saw a significant decline in apprehensions along the southwest border in January, according to new data from CBP.

More than 128,400 migrants were arrested and detained by Border Patrol, a 42% decrease from December 2022.  

It’s the lowest level of apprehensions since February 2021. 

Overall, Border Patrol encountered 156,274 migrants, which includes encounters at ports of entry. 

The decline comes as Republicans in the U.S. House have held hearings in which they’ve falsely suggested the borders are open under the Biden administration.

Republican Congressman Files Articles of Impeachment against Homeland Security Director Mayorkas

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

A Texas congressman filed articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, arguing he broke the law over his handling of the border crisis. 

U.S. Rep. Pat Fallon is the second Republican in less than a year to file impeachment articles against Mayorkas. 

“Secretary Mayorkas has violated the law and … implemented policies that undermine law enforcement activities at our southern border,” Fallon said in a statement emailed to The Center Square. “From perjuring himself before Congress about maintaining operational control of the border to the infamous ‘whipgate’ slander against our border patrol agents, Secretary Mayorkas has proven time and time again that he is unfit to lead the Department of Homeland Security. His willful actions erode our immigration system, undermine border patrol morale, and imperil American national security. He must be removed from office.”

Fallon’s resolution claims Mayorkas committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The three articles allege Mayorkas violated federal law, lied to Congress and slandered Border Patrol agents. 

During Mayorkas’ time in office, more than 5.5 million people have “crossed our southern border,” including 98 people on the terrorist watch list, the resolution states. 

“Secretary Mayorkas has presided over a 180% increase in encounters at the southern border” compared to the previous administration, Fallon said.

The chances of this going anywhere are highly unlikely considering 2/3 of the U.S. Senate would have to vote to remove him.

FBI Arrests Venezuelans Accused of Assaulting Border Patrol Agent

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI arrested two Venezuelan nationals who authorities say “pushed, dragged and punched” a Border Patrol agent, the bureau said Tuesday. 

The incident occurred when the agent was responding to a report about a group of undocumented migrants crossing into the U.S. near Ascarate Park in El Paso at about 6:45 a.m. on Oct. 31, according to the FBI’s El Paso Field Office. 

The pair resisted arrest and fought back when the agent tried to handcuff the two men. 

The men were identified as Kevin Escalona Gonzalez, 35, and Yuleixy Mata Fuentes, 27. 

The agent eventually overpowered the men and arrested them. 

“The men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol work tirelessly to keep our borders safe,” Jeffrey R. Downey, special agent in charge of the El Paso Field Office, said. “Assaults on Border Patrol agents or any other federal agents/officers or task force officers will not be tolerated and will be addressed swiftly by our office so they can continue to carry out their sworn duty to protect our communities.”

The suspects are being held at the El Paso County Correctional Facility. 

Former Border Patrol Agent’s Memoir Is a Horror Story

Against the Wall: May Journey from Border Patrol agent to Immigrant Rights Activist.
Courtesy of Heliotrope Books

By Steve Neavling

A former Border Patrol agent wrote a scathing memoir about working for a federal agency that she describes as inhumane, chauvinistic, and lawless. 

Jenn Budd’s new book, Against the Wall: My Journey from Border Patrol agent to Immigrant Rights Activist, is a condemnation of immigration laws in the U.S. 

“What the Border Patrol and its agents do not understand is that there is no honor in abusing people, in treating them inhumanely,” Budd writes.

The memoir explores her time as an agent and her transformation as an activist for immigrant rights. 

She says she was raped by an agent at the academy. 

“I never expected to arrest families, women, and children who were not criminals but simply needed help to survive,” Budd writes. “I didn’t expect that my rape was more than an anomaly, but part of a large rape culture instigated and protected by generations of agents. I didn’t realize that I’d join a criminal organization disguised as a federal law enforcement agency. I didn’t expect to become a member of a deeply racist agency. I didn’t know any of it until it was too late, until I lost myself and my soul became untethered.”

The South Side Weekly describes the book this way: “This memoir is a horror story from the start. Each encounter and situation presents a new set of atrocities. After leaving training, she hunts and processes migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border and witnesses their abuse. At the same time, Budd herself is a victim—harassed, endangered, and assaulted by her coworkers and supervisors.” 

CBP Shoots Pepper Balls at Venezuelan Migrants After Agent Struck with Flagpole

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents shot pepper balls at a group of Venezuelans to drive them out of the U.S. during a tense and chaotic scene that unfolded in El Paso near the U.S.-Mexico border Monday. 

The migrants crossed the border and approached agents outside a station under the international bridge. One of the migrants struck an agent with a flagpole, CBP said. 

“On October 31, at approximately 12:20 p.m., a group of Venezuelan nationals attempted to illegally enter the United States while protesting along the Rio Grande River International Boundary near downtown El Paso,” CBP said in a statement. “One of the protesters assaulted an agent with a flag pole, at which time agents responded by initiating crowd control measures. These measures included the use of the authorized less-lethal force pepperball launching system. The crowd then dispersed and returned to Mexico.”

The ACLU criticized CBP for its actions. 

“This footage is highly alarming,” Jonathan Blazer, director of border strategies at ACLU, said in a statement. “People seeking asylum on U.S. soil should be screened for protection, not pushed back, especially through use of force.”

Blazer said the Biden administration “must end its failed attempts to scare people out of crossing into the U.S. through tactics that have led to unnecessary death and suffering, and restore a humane process for seeking asylum.”

U.S. Sets Another Record for Border Patrol Arrests

Migrant arrests are on the rise again. Photo via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

A record number of migrants have been arrested along the Mexico border with nearly 2.4 million detainments in the last 12 months. 

By comparison, 1.7 million migrants were take into custody in the previous fiscal year. That represents a 37% increase. 

An average of 540,000 migrants were arrested between 2012 and 2020. 

“CBP and DHS will continue to work with our partners in the region to address the root causes of migration, expand legal pathways, facilitate removals, and take thousands of smugglers off the streets,” CBP Commissioner Chris Mangus said in a statement. “No matter what smugglers say, those who do not have a legal basis to remain in the country will be removed and people should not make the dangerous journey.”

A growing number of migrants from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are crossing the border, creating a significant challenge for the Biden administration. 

“While failing regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua continued to drive a new wave of migration across the western Hemisphere, the number of Venezuelans arriving at the southern border decreased sharply nearly every day since we launched additional joint actions with Mexico to reduce irregular migration and create a more fair, orderly and safe process for people fleeing the humanitarian and economic crisis in their country,” Magnus said. “Over the past week, the number of Venezuelans attempting to enter the country fell more than 80 percent compared to the week prior to the launch of the joint enforcement actions. While this early data is not reflected in the latest report, it confirms what we’ve said all along: when there is a lawful and orderly way to enter the country, individuals will be less likely to put their lives in the hands of smugglers and try to cross the border unlawfully.”

Republicans blame the surge on Biden’s immigration policies.

Ex-CBP Officers Gets Probation for Role in Sham Marriage Scheme

CBP officer (Photo: CBP via Twitter)

By Steve Neavling

A former CBP officer has been sentenced to two years of probation for her role in a sham marriage to help a childhood acquaintance from the Philippines gain citizenship. 

Katherine De Leon Evaristo, 39, of Washington, agreed to the marriage in exchange for $20,000. 

After Evaristo applied for a fiancé visa, she and the Philippines man got married in San Diego in 2015. She and her fake spouse repeatedly lied about the marriage to try to obtain citizenship, prosecutors said. 

Evaristo got busted after landing a job at CBP’s Office of Field Operations and using her position to inquire about her husband’s immigration status. According to prosecutors, she improperly used her access to a federal law enforcement database to check on the immigration status of her fake husband. 

CBP officers became suspicious because she was dating another person. 

She admitted her role in the scheme in 2021. 

Evaristo was indicted in September 2021, and she pleaded guilty in May 2022. On Friday, she was sentenced. 

Prosecutors recommended a probationary sentence, noting she was the single parent of infant twins. 

“Evaristo has experienced significant consequences of her crime that go beyond a custodial sentence: She lost her job at CBP—a job she spent years securing and that afforded her a comfortable income—and now works a lower-wage warehouse job,” prosecutors said. “These consequences along with the restricted liberty of probation reflect the seriousness of the crime and are likely to deter any future criminal conduct,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.”

In a statement, Paul Crawford, special agent in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility, said, “As evidenced by the outcome of this investigation, CBP OPR and our partners are committed to identifying and mitigating threats.”

FBI Investigates Confrontation Between Migrants And Border Patrol Agents

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating a migrant who was captured on video assaulting Border Patrol agents on a Southern California beach on Sunday. 

In an Instagram video, several agents were attempting to detain a man in a half-zipped wetsuit after it appeared he tried to attack an agent. 

Two agents wielded a baton as the man continued to move toward one of the agent. 

Another agent arrived on scene and tackled the man to the sandy ground. A scuffle ensued as agents tried to restrain the migrant.

The migrants entered the U.S. illegally by swimming around border fencing on Imperial Beach around 5:30 p.m. Sunday, CBP spokesman Gerrelaine Alcordo told CNN.  

“As agents attempted to take both migrants into custody, the migrants actively resisted and assaulted the agents. During the confrontation, the agents deployed less-lethal devices,” Alcordo added.

The two Mexican nationals, ages 17 and 20, were detained and transported to a nearby station for processing. 

“The FBI is aware of the situation involving two U.S. Border Patrol agents that occurred on Sunday, August 21, near Imperial Beach, California, and is investigating the assault on federal officers,” an FBI spokesperson said.