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Tag: Mexico

Walls at U.S.-Mexico Border Have Proven to Be Ineffective, Waste of Money

Tunnel beneath a border fence.

Tunnel beneath a border fence.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Concerned about drug smugglers and illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico, the federal government built a fence to curb the traffic.

It didn’t work, Vice News reports.

“We came with this 18-foot wall, and the very next day they had 19-foot ladders,” Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera recalled recently. “It got to the point where we had so many ladders at the station that they told us to stop bringing the ladders in. It was just insane the number of ladders we had. Hundreds upon hundreds.”

The issue of a barrier at the border has picked up steam after Donald Trump promised to build an “impenetrable and beautiful” wall at the border.

Vice wrote:

But people who actually live along the border in the Rio Grande Valley are extremely skeptical. Border Patrol agents like Cabrera, local police, elected officials, and people who live with the existing wall in their backyards say it has been an epic boondoggle. Seemingly everyone in the area agrees that any plan to build a new wall or expand the existing fence is a bad idea.

“It’s a waste of money, period,” said Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, whose jurisdiction sits opposite Matamoros, one of the most dangerous corners of Mexico. “It’s not going to work. I don’t care what [Trump] is saying.”

In Texas, the existing fence — or wall, depending on your definition of the term — mostly consists of rows of cube-shaped, rust-colored posts that stand about 20 feet tall. The columns are spaced about four inches apart, too narrow for even a child to squeeze through. But the fence abruptly ends in some places, leaving vast open stretches. In the most absurd cases, 30-foot sections of fence are surrounded on both sides by miles of wide open space.

Other Stories of Interest

Another Border Patrol Agent Assaulted Trying to Arrest Illegal Immigrant at Mexican Border

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Yet another Border Patrol agent has been assaulted trying to arrest a man illegally entering the U.S.

This time, the agent was trying to stop an illegal immigrant from entering the U.S. in Calexico, Calif. at 8:40 p.m. Sunday, NBC San Diego reports. 

The agent tried to arrest the man after he climbed over a fence. But the suspect struck the agent in the orbital eye socket with his elbow.

After a scuffle, the agent arrested the man.

“Our agent thankfully only suffered minor injuries from this assault and was able to gain control of his attacker and make the arrest,” said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent, in a statement. “We will not tolerate assaults on our agents by criminals, and will vigorously pursue Assault on a Federal Officer prosecution against anyone who perpetrates such violence.”

The suspect is expected to be charged with a felony count of assaulting a federal agent.

Eight agents working out of the El Centro Sector have been assaulted since Oct. 1.

Border Patrol Agents: Our Uniforms Should Be Made in the U.S.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents want the federal government to purchase their uniforms from companies that manufacture the clothes in the U.S.

The trademark green uniform worn by Border Patrol agents is made by VF, a Greensboro, N.C., company that manufactures about half its uniforms outside the U.S. in places such as Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, Bloomberg reports. 

The fear is that uniforms manufactured outside of the U.S. creates a security risk.

“We don’t want our uniforms falling into the wrong hands,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents 18,000 agents. “Cartels will try to do whatever they can. They’ve gone so far as to try to clone border patrol vehicles and drive across the border. Having the uniform on could complete that.”

Bloomberg wrote:

For the past year, Trevino and other border agents have been helping the union design a better shirt. In mid-October, they presented their bosses in Washington with a prototype by Massif, an Oregon apparel manufacturer that also produces combat gear for the U.S. Army. The upgraded tops have the same sporty epaulets and pointed collar as the current models, but the fabric is more breathable and cut to fit comfortably underneath body armor. The union earlier this year endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who’s campaigned to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.

Residents, Border Patrol Weigh in on Trump’s Proposal to Build a Wall

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall at the border between the U.S. and Mexico has drawn strong criticism and support.

To longtime border resident Pamela Taylor, a wall would be ineffective, KENS 5 reports. She lives next to a wall that had been built about 10 years ago.

“I don’t care what it’s called. It’s useless,” Taylor said, adding that “the fence is not working at all and those millions of illegal aliens would not be in America today if that fence were working.”

Others support the wall, including Chris Cabrera, the local 3307 vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

“With the exception of Mr. Trump, nobody in the presidential campaign has ever spoken about national security. Many have spoken about immigration reform but none have spoken to secure the actual border,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera said the existing wall is effective because it creates bottleneck traffic.

But he said the wall is only one part of cracking down on illegal immigration.

“The simple solution right off the bat is enforce the laws that are on the books. We’re releasing about 80 percent of the people coming across,” he said. “So with that, people are going to continue to cross.”

Other Stories of Interest

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Border Patrol Agent Can Be Sued for Killing Mexican Teen

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Can a Border Patrol agent be sued for shooting and killing a Mexican teenager?

The Supreme Court decided Tuesday it will take up the case of a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican teenager who was playing with friends, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The victim of the 2010 shooting was an unarmed 15-year-old named Sergio Hernandez.

The central question: Does the 4th Amendment extend beyond the U.S. border patrolled by Border Patrol agents?

Lawyers for the parents of the teenager argue that the 4th Amendment’s ban on unreasonable seizures and the unjustified use of deadly force extends beyond the border where agents patrol.

Hernandez “was killed in a culvert the U.S. officials patrol and effectively control,” the lawyers wrote in their appeal to the high court.

New Details Emerge of Border Patrol Agent Accused of Helping Mexican Cartel

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When authorities found a headless body floating near South Padre island in Texas, the investigation led them to a Border Patrol agent accused of helping a Mexican cartel smuggle drugs and weapons across the border.

Agent John Luna is accused of helping his brothers.

New details have emerged, including that investigators said they have found a “treasure trove” of evidence at Luna’s mother-in-law’s house, the Associated Press reports. 

Discovered in a safe at the home were nearly $90,000 in cash and a kilo of cocaine.

Luna, a 31-year-old Iraq War veteran, is accused of capital murder in the death of a mean that was considered a possible snitch.

His attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, claims Luna had nothing to do with the scheme.

“This is a clear-cut case of guilt by association,” Garcia said.

Prosecutors declined to discuss details of the case, but said the safe contained Luna’s Border Patrol badge.

“Drug use and abuse in America is fueling the Mexican cartels, and because of the money and the weapons that go south, we get all the violence,” Garza said. “This case represents that.”

Other Stories of Interest

Nearly Half of Illegal Immigrants Who Enter U.S. from Mexico Elude Capture

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to catching to immigrants who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico last year, only about half were caught, according to a Homeland Security report.

Homeland Security previously said about 81% of the people who entered the U.S. illegally were captured, Tribune news services report.  

But during the 2015 fiscal year, that number was 54%.

The 98-page report from May was not publicly released by Homeland Security, but the Associated Press obtained a copy.

The report found that 170,000 snuck in without being captured, compared to 210,000 in 2014 and 1.7 million in 2005.

The decline in illegal entries comes as the U.S. increased border security spending, which is now $14 billion a year.

“This is the first solid evidence we have that the border buildup of the last 20 years has indeed made some significant difference in deterring and reducing illegal entries across the southern border,” said Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Border Patrol Agent, Two Brothers Charged in Drug Cartel-Linked Murder Case

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent who patrolled ranch land for smugglers of drugs and humans is accused of helping his brothers run a criminal family business responsible for a decapitated corpse found off the Texas coast during spring break.

Joel Luna, 31, has been charged with capital murder as part of a drug trafficking conspiracy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Luna’s attorney said his client never killed anyone, and it was his brothers, Fernando and Eduardo, who are to blame for the slayings.

“There’s an argument to be made against my client that’s guilt by association. People get swept up with those who are really guilty. It’s family,” said Joel’s attorney, Carlos A. Garcia. “Associating or going to a quinceañera is not a crime. He was just a family man, a working man. Think about how many Border Patrol members who live on the border have relatives here without visas.”

While Joel was for in San Juan but raised south of the border, his brothers were born in Mexico.

At the time of his hiring by Border Patrol, Luna appeared to be a great hire: He was an Army combat veteran and a high school ROTC standout.

The Los Angeles Times wrote:

In 2013, Joel notified Border Patrol officials that Eduardo had been temporarily abducted by cartel leaders in Reynosa who knew Joel was an agent and had threatened his family there, according to Cameron County Assistant Dist. Atty. Gustavo “Gus” Garza.

Eduardo, Fernando and their families crossed into the U.S. illegally to live at Joel’s house. Luna gave his sister-in-law $42,000 and instructed her to buy a house in San Juan for his younger brother, according to an arrest affidavit. Fernando moved in across the street, Garza said.

Fernando had been laid off and used severance pay to buy Veteran’s Tire Shop, about 20 miles north in Edinburg, according to an affidavit. He hired Eduardo and kept three other employees. Investigators would later argue that the run-down shop, like other businesses in south Texas, was a front for money laundering and drug trafficking.