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Tag: Border Patrol

Sen. Bernie Sanders Calls for Dismantling ICE, CBP And Pausing Deportations

Sen. Bernie Sanders at a Detroit rally. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled his immigration plans Thursday, calling for a moratorium on deportations and an end to ICE raids and President Trump’s “racist and ineffective” wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The long-anticipated plan, entitled “A Welcoming and Safe America for All,” pushes for a pathway to citizenship and says “Trump has manufactured” a humanitarian crisis at the border.

Sanders also wants to dismantle ICE and CBP and “redistribute their functions to their proper authorities.” To do so, Sanders is calling for the restructuring of the Department of Homeland Security, an agency that the Vermont senator voted against in 2002.

Under the plan, the Justice Department would once again handled deportation, enforcement and border authority. The Treasury Department would take over customs. And the State Department would handle naturalization and citizenship authority.

If elected, Sanders says he will “end the barbaric practice of ripping children from their parents and locking children in cages” on his first day in office.

Sanders also pledges to end Trump’s “racist and disgusting Muslim ban and instruct DOJ to drop any litigation or funding restrictions relating to sanctuary cities.”

Border Patrol Agent Fatally Shoots Suspect Near Mexican Border

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man who opened first on agents about a mile from the Mexican border on Monday morning, immigration officials say.

CBP officials said the agents were investigating illegal border crossings in Sunland, New Mexico, when they came across the suspect and began chasing him, Las Cruces Sun News reports.

During the foot pursuit, the suspect shot at two Border Patrol agents, officials said. No agents were injured.

The agents tried to provide medical care to the wounded suspect, who was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The New Mexico State Police Investigation Bureau is trying to identify the suspect and notify his family. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the suspect was a U.S. citizen.

The agent involved in the shooting works at the agency’s Santa Teresa station, which is part of Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector.

Trump Administration Wants to Collect DNA of Migrants for Massive FBI Database

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

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Trump administration wants to begin collecting DNA from asylum-seekers and other migrants detained near the Mexican border in an effort to compile a massive FBI database.

The Justice Department on Monday issued amended regulations that would require DNA collection for most migrants stopped by immigration officials near the border, NPR reports.

Under the proposed regulation, immigration officials would collect DNA information on nearly 750,000 migrants a year.

The new rule is subject to a 20-day comment period.

The idea is to add the biometric data to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System.

“The proposed rule change would help to save lives and bring criminals to justice by restoring the authority of the Attorney General to authorize and direct the collection of DNA from non-United States persons detained at the border and the interior by DHS, with the ultimate goal of reducing victimization of innocent citizens,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in a statement Monday.

Immigration rights groups criticized the proposal.

“It’s hard for me to believe that a woman who is on a journey of 1,000 miles in broken flip-flops with a two-year-old on her hip, doing everything she can and sacrificing everything … is going to be deterred by DNA collection,” said Henry Sias, a Philadelphia-based civil rights lawyer who represents asylum-seekers.

CBP Considers Affixing Body Cams to Some Border Patrol Agents

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Some Border Patrol agents may soon be wearing body cameras to record their interactions with the public.

CBP is looking for body cameras for agents who work at checkpoints and ports near the border, which often are in remote areas without telecommunications and other basic technology.

CBP on Wednesday posted a request for information for body cams, video-management systems and cloud storage.

“CBP anticipates storing most footage in CBP-owned data servers, but is also interested in cloud storage for evidentiary footage requiring long-term retention—defined as longer than two years,” the request for information states. “Footage stored will be secure, law enforcement sensitive data and should comply with all relevant federal laws, regulations and requirements. CBP also anticipates its users will require a cloud storage platform for frequently accessed files.”

CBP is asking for bids by Oct. 31.

Border Patrol Agent Charged with Soliciting Prostitution from Undocumented Immigrant

Donato Cantu, 43.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been charged with soliciting an undocumented immigrant for prostitution in Laredo.

Donato Cantu, 43, was served with a warrant Friday and is accused of soliciting the sex worker while off duty.

CBP confirmed the arrest.

“He has been with the service for over 13 years,” Border Patrol said in a statement. “As a matter of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not comment on on-going investigations. Inquiries regarding the case are best directed to the Webb County District Attorney’s Office.”

The agency added, “U.S. Customs and Border Protection holds its employees accountable and expects the entire workforce to adhere to the agency’s standards of conduct.”

The FBI and CBP Office of Professional Responsibility had been investigating the case for several months and discovered that the undocumented immigrant used social media and other websites to find clients for sex work.

35 Border Patrol Agents Died Since 2003. How That Compares to Other Law Enforcement Officers

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol Agent Robert Hotten died in the line of duty on Sunday after authorities say he likely fell on rugged terrain in a remote part of the Arizona border.

His death highlights the dangers facing Border Patrol agents. Since 2003, 35 Border Patrol agents have died in the line of duty.

Cato Institute ran an analysis of the deaths to determine how agents are dying and whether their jobs are more dangerous than other law enforcement officers.

About half of the Border Patrol agents died in car accidents. Another 34% died in other kids of accidents, including drownings and from health issues. An additional 17% died from being assaulted or murdered.

Compared to other law enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents compared favorably. About one in 4,680 law enforcement officers died each year between 2003 and 2018. For Border Patrol, it’s one death for every 8,628 agents per year.

“Border Patrol agents volunteered for a job that routinely places them in danger. However, that heightened danger does not translate into a higher chance of dying in the line of duty compared to other police officers,” Cato Institute concluded. “Every unnecessary death is a tragedy, but it’s important to keep them in perspective when forming public policy.”

Nearly 1 Million Migrants Apprehended This Year, Most in 12 Years

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

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Nearly 1 million migrants were apprehended along the southern U.S. border during the government’s fiscal year that ended Sept. 31, an 88% increase over 2018.

“These numbers are numbers that no immigration system in the world is designed to handle, including ours,” CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said at a media briefing at the White House on Tuesday.

The number of unauthorized crossings is higher than any year in the past 12 year, a “staggering” increase, Morgan said.

The highest number of migrants taken into custody in one year is 1.6 million in 2000.

Border Patrol Agent Dies During Search in Rugged Terrain at Arizona Border

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent died Sunday after fellow agents found him unresponsive in a remote part of the Arizona border east of Nogales.

Agent Robert Hotten, 44, was responding to a ground sensor that appeared to be triggered by a group of migrants near Mount Washington. When Hotten didn’t answer his radio, his fellow agents began searching for him and eventually found him at about 4:15 p.m., Tucson Sector Chief Roy Villareal said at a Monday news conference.

The FBI is investigating, but Villareal said “it appears” Hotten had fallen on rugged terrain.

“When Agent Hotten was found unresponsive, it appears that he had fallen and may have hit his head on some rocks, but again at this stage we don’t know that was the cause of death,” Villareal said.

Responding agents provided first aid and performed CPR for about two hours before carrying him out of the mountainous terrain to be airlifted.

“Tucson Sector is grieving today and our condolences are with Agent Hotten’s family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time,” Villareal said in a news release. “Our agents are assigned a dangerous mission in keeping our nation safe, and they risk their lives every day in the line-of-duty. I cannot express the sadness we feel when we lose one of our own. Even as we grieve, we will continue to put service before self and honor first. I thank the brave men and women who take this risk in service to our country.”

Hotten joined the Border Patrol on Sept. 10, 2009. He is survived by his wife, son, mother and brother.