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Tag: Border Patrol

Border Patrol Agents Warn Trump Wall Will Drain Vital Resources at Checkpoints

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

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are questioning President Trump’s proposed border wall, saying the plan would draw resources away from the agency’s already understaffed at busy checkpoints.

Agents who inspect vehicles and scrutinize drivers at the Laredo North checkpoint said Trump’s contention that a wall is the most effective way to reduce illegal immigration ignores the importance of checkpoints, The Associated Press reports

The AP wrote:

The Trump administration’s latest budget proposal includes $1.6 billion to start building a wall that the administration has estimated will cost $18 billion. It asks for funding to hire more Border Patrol agents. It also includes $33 million to build a new Border Patrol station in Freer, Texas, northeast of Laredo. But it doesn’t directly address needs at other checkpoints, and it proposes zeroing out new spending on tactical infrastructure like roads used by border agents and replacement border fencing.

The proposal also would end funding for efforts to find and destroy border tunnels built by cartels to get under existing barriers. Border security experts have warned that constructing a wall will lead to smugglers trying to dig more tunnels.

Some Democrats are calling for an investment in scanners, interceptor boats, radio towers and other improvements.

“They’re taking money away from proven law enforcement systems to put it into this 14th century solution,” said Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat who sits on the US House subcommittee directing homeland security funding.

The CBP declined to comment on the wall proposal.

Ex-Border Patrol Agent Paints Unflattering Portrait of Agency’s Treatment of Migrants

Francisco Cantú’s memoir, “The Line Becomes a River.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Francisco Cantú’s memoir, “The Line Becomes a River,” chronicles the four years he spent as a Border Patrol agent in the deserts of the American southwest.

The memoir, which Mother Jones called “the best book on immigration you will read this year,” provides a rare, unflattering glimpse into an agency with enormous power. 

Cantú, whose father was born in Mexico, became incensed over the inhumane treatment of migrants, prompting him to flee the agency and help support a family facing deportation.

“It’s true that we slash their bottles and drain their water into the dry earth, that we dump their backpacks and pile their food and clothes to be crushed and pissed on and stepped over, strewn across the desert and set ablaze,” Cantú wrote.

Cantú’s book is a ““a must-read for anyone who thinks ‘build a wall’ is the answer to anything,’” Esquire

Fiancé Still Awaits Answers in Border Patrol Agent’s Mysterious Death

Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez was found dead at the bottom of a ravine in west Texas.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The man Angela Ochoa was about to marry was unconscious in an El Paso hospital bed, riddled with cuts and bruises.

Her fiancé Rogelio Martinez had been working a late shift as a Border Patrol agent about 120 miles east of their home in El Paso. That’s all she knew because no one at the hospital would talk to her about had happened.

Later that day, Martinez died, and still Ochoa was given no information about on what caused the fatal injuries.   

“We were just hoping we would have answers,” Ochoa told the El Paso Times

The next day, President Trump seemed to have answers that Ochoa didn’t.

“Border Patrol Officer killed at Southern Border, another badly hurt,” Trump tweeted. “We will see out and bring justice to those responsible. We will, and must, build the wall.”

But justice never came, and in the next couple of days, a team of local and federal law enforcement officers cast doubt on Trump’s tweet.

Nearly three months laster,  following more than 650 interviews, Ochoa was given an autopsy report last week that indicated there was no evidence of a  “scuffle, altercation or attack.” 

According to the autopsy, Martinez died of “blunt force trauma” to his head caused by an “undetermined manner of death.”

Now all Ochoa wants are answers. She’s frustrated and angry.

Federal officials said they are still investigating the case and believe Martinez may have been killed in a car crash.

Martinez and his partner Stephen “Michael” Garland were responding to unknown activity on the night of Nov. 18 near Van Horn, a Texas town near the Mexico border and about 110 miles southeast of El Paso. Garland was seriously injured but has no memory of what happened. According to the FBI, Garland told a dispatcher, “We ran into a culvert.”

Garland was seriously injured and has no memory of what happened.

Ochoa said Martinez “had a big heart.”

He really enjoyed spending time with the kids they would catch … kids that lived the hard life outside of this country. He enjoyed getting to know them,” she added.

Border Patrol Agents Find 76 Immigrants Packed into Tractor-Trailer in Texas

Dozens of immigrants were found inside this tractor-trailer in Texas. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents made a disturbing discovery inside a tractor-trailer northwest of Laredo, Texas: 76 immigrants, including 13 unaccompanied children, were packed into the bed of truck.

The immigrants, hailing from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, were found in “good health” at a checkpoint on U.S. 83 on Friday, Border Patrol announced Monday

The discovery is just the latest in what agents said is an increase in the use of tractor-trailers to smuggle immigrants into the U.S.

“These criminal organizations view these individuals as mere commodities without regard for their safety,” Laredo Sector Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Gabriel Acosta said in a news release. “The blatant disregard for human life will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and prosecute those responsible.”

Off-Duty Border Patrol Agent May Have Acted in Self-Defense in Fatal Shooting

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An off-duty Border Patrol agent suspected of fatally shooting a 33-year-old man over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, may have been acting in self-defense, a spokesman told the El Paso Times on Thursday. 

Police were called to an aggravated assault at 4:30 a.m. Sunday when they found Juan Daniel Jacques shot to death.

Authorities identified the agent as Luis Chavez, who has not been arrested but is under investigation by the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.

“The exact details of this case are still under investigation,” sheriff’s spokesman Luis Chavez said. “We are investigating all motives of this homicide, to include the possibility of self-defense. No arrests have been made as of yet.” 

Border Patrol leaders also are investigating to determine whether administrative action is warranted against the agent.

Border Patrol Agents Accused of Sabotaging Water, Supplies for Migrants

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents routinely sabotage containers of water and other supplies placed in the Arizona desert to save the lives of thirsty migrants overcome by heat exhaustion and dehydration, according to two humanitarian groups.

The Tucson-based groups claim the agents are essentially delivering a death sentence to people trekking the dangerously hot landscape in a shameless effort to crack down on people who illegally cross into the U.S. from Mexico, the Guardian reports

Volunteers identified more than 400 vandalized water containers along an 800-square-mile patch of Sonoran desert near Tucson from March 2012 to December 2014, according to the report, published by No More Deaths and La Coalición de Derechos Humanos

The groups also accused Border Patrol agents of vandalizing food and blankets and intimidating human rights volunteers.

“Through statistical analysis, video evidence, and personal experience, our team has uncovered a disturbing reality. In the majority of cases, US border patrol agents are responsible for the widespread interference with essential humanitarian efforts,” the study found.

The study added, “The practice of destruction of and interference with aid is not the deviant behavior of a few rogue border patrol agents, it is a systemic feature of enforcement practices in the borderlands.”

Steve Passament, a border patrol spokesman in the Tucson sector, said the agency strongly opposes sabotaging humanitarian supplies and plans to discipline any agents who risk the lives of human beings.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Pressuring Teenage Girls for Nude Photos

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent is accused of posing as a boy online to pressure girls for nude photos and to share sexually explicit messages.

Micah Mardo, 36, faces a federal sex crime after he was arrested last week at a northwest Washington state Border Patrol station, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports

The FBI began investigating after a tipster reported that Mardo’s wife found disturbing images and messages on her husband’s computer.

Investigators said Mardo used the Kik app to contact young teen girls for nude photos. The FBI said he also sent obscene images of himself.

Blaine sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Martin said the federal agency is cooperating with the FBI probe.

“A vast majority of the men and women employed with our agency meet this high standard day in and day out,” Martin said by email. “As public servants, our agents are rightly held to a higher standard of conduct and are subject to the same laws and rules that apply to private citizens.”

Border Patrol Agent Hospitalized After Being Struck with Large Rock

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent crashed his all-terrain vehicle after he was struck in the chest by a grapefruit-size rock about 20 miles southwest Otay Mesa, Calif.

The agent, who has not yet been identified, was traveling about 20 mph when he was assaulted, the Los Angeles Times reports

When the agent called for help, his colleagues arrived and spotted hat they believed was a group of people trying to enter the country illegally. The agents dispersed the group with tear gas and notified Mexican authorities, who assisted.

The injured agent, who is now on administrative leave, was released from the hospital Sunday with severe bruises to his chest.

“This is an all-too-common occurrence.” Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our agents remains our top priority, and we will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to bring the assailant to justice.”