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Tag: undocumented immigrants

Border Officials Prepare for Record-Breaking Influx of Migrants

Border Patrol agent makes an arrest. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

U.S. border officials are getting ready for a record number of arrests of undocumented immigrants. 

By the spring, as many as 9,000 migrants could be arrested per day, which would eclipse the 6,500 daily arrests at the peak of last year’s rise in arrests, two Homeland Security officials told Reuters.

In the last fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, the U.S. made a record-breaking 1.7 million border arrests.

At the time, the surge in arrests caused major problems, including an increase of unaccompanied children. 

The CBP “stands ready to address any potential increase in migrant encounters,” while at the same time “managing a fair and orderly immigration system,” an agency spokesperson said.

On Wednesday, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas received an icy reception from Border Patrol agents from the Yuma Sector in Arizona, partly because of the influx.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Helping Smuggle Undocumented Immigrants

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent has been indicted on charges of helping smuggle illegal immigrants by letting them pass through a checkpoint

Prosecutors allege Rodney Tolson Jr. received payments in exchange for allowing cars with undocumented immigrants to pass through a checkpoint he was manning near Laredo, Texas, The Washington Times reports. The scheme occurred in early 2019, according to the indictment.

Tolson, who has been suspended from his duties, was arrested last week. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission and expects officers and agents to adhere to the oath they take to uphold and enforce the laws of this country,” CBP said.

Earlier this month, a former CBP officer admitted smuggling her undocumented housekeeper into Texas from Mexico as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. Rhonda Lee Walker, who was stationed at the Laredo Point of Entry, agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to bring her housekeeper into the U.S. In exchange for the plea, prosecutors dismissed felony counts of illegally transporting the woman into the country and lying to

Largest ICE Raid During COVID-19 Pandemic Leads to 2,000+ Arrests

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A six-week ICE operation netted more than 2,000 arrests of undocumented immigrants, most of whom have been charged or convicted of a crime.

The operation, which ran from July to August, led to arrests in communities across the country, CBS News reports.

About 85% of those arrested had been charged or convicted of crimes ranging from domestic abuse to robbery. Those without criminal charges involved immigrants who did not leave the country after a judge ordered them to be deported.

It was the largest operation since the coronavirus pandemic.

ICE has limited its operations amid COVID-19 to avoid outbreaks among detainees. ICE arrested 94,500 arrests inside communities in this fiscal year, as of Aug. 22. During the same time period last year, ICE arrested more than 143,000 people.

CBP Awards $289.5M Contract for 17 Miles of Wall Construction in Laredo Sector in Texas

An existing wall at border of Mexico. Photo via Congress.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection has announced a $289.5 million contract to build about 17 miles of contagious new border walls within Border Patrol’s Laredo Sector in Webb County, Texas.

Fisher Sand and Gravel Company, DBA Fisher Industries, received the contract, CBP said Monday.

With the apprehension of nearly 22,000 undocumented immigrants and the seizure of more than 30,000 pounds of drugs so far this fiscal year, the Laredo Sector is one of the busiest in the U.S.

Most of the illegal activate is occurring in areas where the sector lacks infrastructure, access and technology, CBP says.

The plan is part of President Trump’s aggressive push for new wall construction.

“These projects will improve Laredo Sector’s ability to impede and deny illegal border crossings and the drug and human smuggling activities of transnational criminal organizations,” CBP said.

Illegal Immigration Drops 60% Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Illegal immigration along the southern border has declined during the coronavirus outbreak.

About 4,200 migrants were identified trying to illegally entered the U.S. last week, a nearly 60% decrease over the previous week, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Border Patrol recently instituted a practice of quickly deporting undocumented immigrants to protect agents from the coronavirus.

CBP on Monday disclosed that 160 of its employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Construction on the border wall has continued despite coronavirus fears, raising concern from residents in border cities.

TSA Sending Up to 400 Personnel to U.S.-Mexico Border to Assist with Immigration Surge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is preparing to deploy up to 400 of its personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with the escalation of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S.

The largest union representing the TSA, the American Federation of Government Employees TSA Council, questioned the move, saying it may “undermine aviation security” at airports during one of the busiest time of the year for air travel.

“The timing of this deployment could not be worse, as we are preparing for yet another busy summer travel season,” Hydrick Thomas, president of the union, said in a statement.

The deployment is part of a Homeland Security effort to send more personnel to the border as immigration surges.

It’s not yet clear what the TSA employees will do at the border, but they won’t have direct contact with immigrants, according to NBC News.

A TSA officials told NBC News that it would not deploy any of its frontline personnel who deal with travelers at airports.

The TSA has identified some personnel, which includes lawyers, air marshals and immigration specialists.

In March an April, more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants crossed the border into the U.S.

Border Patrol Agents to Begin Receiving Bonuses for Staying with Agency

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is offering an incentive to retain agents as the agency becomes inundated with an increase in families cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Every Border Patrol agent who agrees to stay on the job another year will receive a bonus that equates to a 5% pay increase, CBP announced in a news release Wednesday.

“Investing in the men and women of the United States Border Patrol continues to be my top priority,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said. “Their experience and expertise is critical to successfully accomplishing the border security mission.”

Beginning in June, agents will begin accumulating the bonuses on a daily basis. In September, agents will start receiving the bonuses.

The retention incentive has been branded as part of “a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy for the U.S. Border Patrol.”

“CBP has aggressively implemented an innovative and multifaceted recruitment and retention strategy, improving the frontline hiring process and related capabilities,” said John P. Sanders, a senior official performing the duties of commissioner. While these efforts have led to considerable progress, CBP continues to strengthen all aspects of its strategy to meet the Executive Order’s mandate.”

Sanders added, “We are facing a humanitarian and border security crisis on the Southwest border, and those who serve on the frontline are vital to that effort. I would like to thank the National Border Patrol Council for their support in moving this initiative forward.”

FBI Arrests Leader of Armed Militia That Was Detaining Undocumented Immigrants

Distant border fence in the desert near El Paso and its Mexican neighbor Juarez.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Saturday arrested the leader of an armed militia that was detaining undocumented immigrants at the southern border.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was arrested in New Mexico, where the United Constitutional Patriots is based, on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, announced.

The arrest comes after the group posted controversial images and video of its operations on its Facebook page, showing members detaining immigrants.

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Balderas wrote in a statement. “The arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hand of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”

A spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots claimed responsibility for detaining 5,600 immigrants over the past two months, saying the group’s mission is “to support the Border Patrol.”

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection has urged private citizens not to get involved with detaining immigrants and asked that they instead alert border officials.