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Tag: Border Patrol

Two Guatemalan Sisters Claim They Were Raped by Border Patrol Officer

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two sisters who were lost in the Texas desert after fleeing Guatemala claim they were sexually assaulted by a Border Patrol officer.

The sisters, age 17 and 19, said they waved down a CBP truck for help. The officer is then accused of placing them to closet in the Presidio, Texas, intake office, where they were forced to strip and were sexually assaulted in July 2016, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

On behalf of the sisters, the ACLU of Norther California filed suit Tuesday against Homeland Security.

The sisters now live in Fresno with their mother.

“What happened in that closet has caused me so much pain and sadness,” the older sister said.” I’m telling my story because I don’t want anyone else to go through this. I hope the officer will be honest about what he did and take responsibility for his actions. This is the only way we’ll be able to ensure this never happens again.”

ACLU attorneys said the officer must be held accountable.

“CBP must be held accountable for its officer’s sexual abuse of these vulnerable victims,” said ACLU of Northern California staff attorney Angélica Salceda. “There has been no criminal prosecution against the officer involved. CBP is not above the law, and its abuses of power must not be tolerated.”

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.

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Sentenced to 13+ Years for Smuggling Cocaine

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Border Patrol agent was sentenced to more than 13 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges that he tried to smuggle cocaine in Arizona.

Juan Pimentel, of Rio Rico, was arrested in November 2015 after authorities say he thought he was smuggling 110 pounds of cocaine, the Associated Press reports. He actually was unwittingly part of a sting operation and was carrying a white powder.

Pimentel, who also pleaded guilty to receiving a bribe by a public official, took cash in exchange for looking up a license plate from a database used only by law enforcement.

Pimentel served as an agent in Arizona since 2001 before resigning after his arrest.

DHS Releases List of Jails, Municipalities That Won’t Cooperate with Immigration Officials

jail2photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security fired back at municipalities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials, releasing a list of jails and jurisdictions that have denied immigrant detainer requests. 

Those requests are directed at cities and counties that are holding an inmate who is in the country illegally.

The so-called “sanctuary jurisdictions” have stated various reasons for not cooperating, including the fear that it would undermine policing and cooperation with law enforcement.

The list was published Monday and includes more than 200 unnamed individuals who ICE says committed “countable criminal activity.” Also listed are the jails where the undocumented immigrants are lodged.

Overall, less than 10% of municipalities refused to cooperate.

“When law enforcement agencies fail to honor immigration detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect the public safety and carry out its mission,” Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Rescues Man Who Tried to Jump from Bridge in Detroit

The McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

The McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent rescued a man who attempted to commit suicide by jumping into the icy Detroit River from the McArthur Bridge on Belle Isle in Detroit.

The agent was patrolling when they saw what appeared to be a couple in need of help, WWJ reports. 

The agent saw the man push his wife aside before trying to climb the railing of the bridge.

The Border Patrol agent quickly grabbed the man, preventing him from jumping.

The man was pulled to safety.

“The courage of the men and women of the law enforcement profession was evident in every aspect of protecting our community Monday,” said Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison, in statement. “The keen eye of the off duty Park Ranger noticing something out of place and quick response by the Border Patrol made for the best possible outcome in this situation.”

Other Stories of Interest

New Border Patrol Chief Says Wall Will Be Effective If Done ‘Right’

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ron Vitiello

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ron Vitiello

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New U.S. Border Patrol Chief Ron Vitiello said a wall at the Mexican border will be effective if done “right.”

“Placement is important, where it is in relation to the actual boundary and then what kind of equipment and resources support it because in it of itself, it won’t do that job,” said Vitiello in an interview with ABC News

Vitiello said agents will be the critical component of a successful wall.

“Somebody has to arrest the people who are going to continue to attempt to enter even if there is a border wall,” he said.

Vitiello added that the wall will need adequate surveillance technology and sensing equipment to alert agents when someone attempts to breach the wall.

Border Agents Searched More Phones in February Than All of 2015

cell-phone-app-fbiBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection officers have demanded that American citizens turn over their phones and passwords in 25 cases examined by NBC News. 

The phones are being seized at the border and airports.

A New York couple said it happened to them twice while returning from a trip to Canada. Akram Shibly and his wife Kelly McCormick said Shibly was assaulted by officers to get their phone.

In February, 5,000 phones were searched, which is more than all of the phones searched in 2015. Homeland Security data show that Border Patrol agents searched nearly 25,000 phones in 2016, a five-fold increase over 2015.

NBC wrote:

The travelers came from across the nation, and were both naturalized citizens and people born and raised on American soil. They traveled by plane and by car at different times through different states. Businessmen, couples, senior citizens, and families with young kids, questioned, searched, and detained for hours when they tried to enter or leave the U.S. None were on terror watchlists. One had a speeding ticket. Some were asked about their religion and their ethnic origins, and had the validity of their U.S. citizenship questioned.

What most of them have in common — 23 of the 25 — is that they are Muslim, like Shibly, whose parents are from Syria.

Feds May Lower Hiring Standards to Hire More Border Patrol, ICE Agents

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Homeland Security may have to lower its hiring standards to increase immigration enforcement and shut down the border with Mexico.

The agency, which has struggled to fill vacant positions, wants to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more ICE agents.

Strict hiring standards have made it difficult to fill those positions, so now DHS is considering eliminating the polygraph test, requiring less thorough background checks and making an entrance exam easier, according to a DHS memo obtained by Vice

“The idea that they would be able to hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents without lowering the standards always struck me as unrealistic,” said Stephen Legomsky, who served as senior counsel to DHS under President Barack Obama. “It would be a terrible idea to eliminate the [lie detector] test, but if they don’t, I don’t see how they could meet their hiring target.”

The hiring standards are so strict that a vast majority of applicants never make it through the process. For example, about 65% of applicants fail the polygraph test.

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