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Tag: agents

Attacks on Border Patrol Agents Increased 179% Over Past 5 Months

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are increasingly becoming victims of violence, according to new data from Homeland Security.

From Oct. 1, 2016, to Feb. 28, 2017, attacks against agents increased 179% from the same period last year, KXAN.com reports.

“We are becoming more effective in dealing with the increase in assaults and flow of traffic, we’re making sure our agents are prepared to address any tactics and/or force that is used against us,” said McAllen Station Patrol Agent in Charge Melissa Lucio. “Our priority is to ensure that everybody is safe and that we have an appropriate response to assaults on our agents.”

The attacks involved weapons, projectiles and close-quarters fighting.

About 50 Undocumented Immigrants Detained in Detroit During Alleged Cockfighting

Courtesy of ICE

Courtesy of ICE

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Federal authorities busted an alleged cockfighting and gambling ring in southwest Detroit over the weekend, detaining about 50 undocumented immigrants.

ICE agents and law enforcement from local and state agencies executed a search warrant at 1 p.m. Saturday at an abandoned building where authorities said they found about 85 people and 100 chickens, Motor City Muckraker reports. 

ICE agents said the raid was the culmination of a months-long investigation.

About 85 people were in the building, and only one was charged criminally.

The largest concentration of Hispanic immigrants live in southwest Detroit.

LA Times: Arresting Immigrants at Hospitals, Schools, Courthouses Is Counterproductive

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

A woman in El Paso showed up at a courthouse last month seeking protection from an abusive spouse. Instead, she was arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and slated for deportation. In a Pasadena courthouse, a defendant was snatched from his attorney’s side and whisked away for deportation.

President Trump’s supporters may cheer on the ICE agents in these cases — after all, he won the White House in part by promising to crack down on illegal immigration. But as the government itself has recognized, it is both heartless and counterproductive to arrest people on immigration violations as they engage with the fundamentals of civic life: taking children to school (remember: children here illegally are entitled to attend public schools under the Supreme Court’s 1982 Plyler v. Doe ruling) or going to church or seeking treatment at a hospital. Under the Obama administration, ICE adopted a formal policy of avoiding arrests in such “sensitive locations.”

Courthouses, however, were wrongly excluded from the list of sensitive locations. On Thursday, the chief justice of the California Supreme Court, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, asked the government to keep ICE agents away from courthouses, which, she said, “should not be used as bait in the necessary enforcement of our country’s immigration laws.” The ACLU, noting countless cases around the country in which ICE has interrogated and arrested people as they sought to pay for traffic citations, appear for court hearings as witnesses, get married or obtain restraining orders in domestic violence cases, said the practice “obstructs the ability of immigrants to access the courts” and “endangers public safety.”

To read more click here. 

ICE Raids Spike in Alabama As Agents Detain Undocumented Immigrants without Criminal Records

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Since President Trump was elected, ICE agents have been conducting raids and detaining undocumented immigrants in Alabama at a rate higher than anywhere else in the Deep South, AL.com reports. 

Among those detained are undocumented immigrants with no criminal records.

During targeted raids, ICE agents are detaining anyone they encounter without documentation.

“It’s blown up over the past two weeks,” Baton Rouge, La., defense attorney Paul “Woody” Scott, said. “We can’t even attend our phones because so many people are calling with these kinds of detentions.”

ICE officials declined to give state-by-state breakdowns of detainments.

“ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy,” Thomas Byrd, a spokesman for ICE’s New Orleans field office, wrote. “ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”

President Trump Faces Big Hurdle in Hiring 15,000 Agents for ICE, Border Patrol

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

ICE agents, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s plans to hire 10,000 more ICE officers and 5,000 more Border Patrol agents may not succeed.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said it’s unlikely that “we’re going to get 10,000 and 5,000 on board within the next couple of year,” NPR reports.

That’s largely because of the extensive training and background checks for potential agents.

When the number of agents at Customs and Border Protection were increased from 10,000 to 21,000 during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration, problems occurred. For example, new agents were rushed into the field, many without completed background checks.

“You have to make sure that no red flags come up in someone’s background before you’re putting them in a position like this,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents.

One of the most burdensome steps to becoming an agent is passing a rigorous – and some say flawed and overly burdensome – polygraph exam that two out of three applicants fail.

Moran said the exams, which can take up to eight hours, “is excluding qualified candidates from being Border Patrol agents.”

Border Patrol Agents Say Trump Has Boosted Morale

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Among the biggest supporters of Donald Trump during the presidential election were Border Patrol agents because of the Republicans pledges to crack down on illegal immigration.

Agents have long complained that the border is too porous and doesn’t have enough federal protection.

Now agents are hoping President Trump will change that.

“When Trump was elected, there was an increase in optimism among the agents, but nothing like what we’ve seen in the past few days,” Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News

Trump has already pledged to hire 5,000 more federal agents, build a wall and suspend “catch and release.”

Agents said morale had plummeted under President Obama, but hopes are now high.

Black Secret Service Agents Reach $24M Agreement in Discrimination Lawsuit

Secret-Service-BadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An agreement has been reached over a long-running lawsuit that alleged the Secret Service discriminates against black agents.

More than 100 agents have reached an agreement with Homeland Security and the Secret Service, NPR reports. 

The pact still needs approval from a court.

Under the agreement, the Secret Service would pay $24 million, but the agency wouldn’t be required to admit wrongdoing. Included in the settlement are lump sum payments as high as $300,000 per agent.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he was “pleased that we are able to finally put this chapter of Secret Service history behind us.”

“Had the matter gone to trial,” it would have required that we re-live things long past, just at a time when the Secret Service is on the mend,” Johnson wrote in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed in 2000 on behalf of agents who claimed they were routinely denied promotions as less-qualified white agents received better jobs.

Obama Denies Clemency for Native American Convicted of Killing 2 FBI Agents

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

Leonard Peltier/photo from his website

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama will not grant clemency to Native American activist Leonard Peltier, who was found guilty of killing two FBI agents during a shootout at a South Dakota reservation in 1975.

The president denied Peltier’s application for clemency, the Washington Times reports. 

The clemency was “not warranted,” the administration’s Office of the Pardon Attorney told Peltier’s attorney.

“Your client’s application was therefore denied by the president on January 18, 2017… Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision,” the notice stated.

Peltier is 72 and seriously ill.

“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”

The FBI Agents Association President Thomas O’Connor  issued a statement:

The FBI Agents Association agrees with the decision of the Obama Administration to deny Leonard Peltier’s petition for executive clemency. In well over a dozen appeals, twice reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, every aspect of Mr. Peltier’s trial has been reviewed in detail. Mr. Peltier has never taken responsibility for his crimes while imprisoned.

Our thoughts today are with the families of FBI Special Agents Jack Coler and Ronald Williams, who were killed by Mr. Peltier in 1975.  The FBI Agents Association will continue to counter efforts by Mr. Peltier’s legal and public relations team to portray him as anything other than who Leonard Peltier really is: an unremorseful, cold-blooded killer. Mr. Peltier should remain in prison and not be shown a mercy he refused to offer to Agents Coler and Williams in 1975, and has denied to their families and friends over the past four decades.

I would like to thank FBIAA members, the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI and former FBI Supervisory Agent Ed Woods for their advocacy efforts against executive clemency for Mr. Peltier.

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