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Tag: Border

Interior Department Dispatching Officers to Help Secure Border with Mexico

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Interior Department is dispatching officers to help secure the border with Mexico.

Officers from the U.S. Park Police Planning Unit (USPP) and the National Park Service will help Homeland Security along the southwest border beginning May 13 as part of “Secretary [Ryan] Zinke’s offer of assistance to the Department of Homeland Security,” according to an internal email obtained by The Hill

The assignment is a dramatic departure from what USPP officers are traditionally tasked with doing – policing NPS property in Washington D.C., New York and San Francisco.

According to the email, officers will spend about three weeks stationed at two national parks and monument sites along the border – Amsted National Recreation Area in Texas and the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona.

Dispatching officers from the federal agencies is “the first of many steps Interior will take to secure the homeland.”

President Trump and I are 100 percent committed to keeping our border communities and the American people safe and secure, which is why I’m deploying some of Interior’s law enforcement officers to increase security on the southern border,” Zinke told the Hill in a statement. “Interior is ready, willing, and able to deploy a significant force to carry out the President’s mission.” 

Border Patrol Agent Acquitted in Shooting Death of Mexican Teen

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Prosecutors are mulling whether they should pursue a retrial in the case of a Border Patrol agent charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting a teenager after an Arizona jury deadlocked on the lesser accounts.

The jury found Agent Lonnie Swartz not guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Antonio Elena Rodriguez, who was with a group throwing rocks at agents from the Nogales, Mexico, side of the border.

U.S. District Judge Raner Collins declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked on a lesser charge of manslaughter, NPR reports

In October 2012, Swartz responded to the rocks by firing 16 shots, striking Rodriguez eight times in the back and twice in the head.

Swartz’s attorneys said the agent was protecting himself and fellow agents when he opened fire. Prosectors said he pulled the trigger because he was frustrated with rock throwers.

Trump Pledges to Deploy National Guard Troops in Not-So Unprecedented Move

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

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump boldly signed a proclamation Wednesday directing National Guard troops to the southwest border in what he falsely called an unprecedented move to crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

President Barack Obama deployed 1,200 members of the National Guard to the border in 2010, President George W. Bush’s decision in 2010 to send up to 6,000 National Guard members to increase military presence at the border in a two-year operation dubbed “Jump Start.”

Under the previous presidents’ plans, the guard members built infrastructure and conducted surveillance but left the arrests and enforcement up to Border Patrol agents who were trained in border enforcements.

Trumps plans, which lacks details about the operation, would not allow troops to come into physical contact with immigrants, three administration officials told NBC News

Homeland Security announced the policy in a statement Wednesday afternoon that read, “To secure the border and make America safe, we need to deploy the National Guard. Deploying the National Guard will serve as an immediate deterrent while dramatically enhancing operational control of the U.S. border.”

The statement added the troops would “support federal law enforcement personnel … and that federal migration authorities “will direct enforcement efforts.”

Trump’s announcement, which caught some of his advisers by surprise, pledged Tuesday, Until we can have a wall and proper security, we are going to be guarding our border with the military.” 

Details like the number of troops to be involved and how long they will stay there remain unknown and are expected to be hammered out in the coming days, officials said.

Border Arrests Surge Amid Trump’s Pledge to Decrease Illegal Crossings

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

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pledge to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S. has hit a major snag as arrests surge along the Southwest border.

According to a new federal government report, people being arrested or denied entry along the Mexican border has increased for the seventh straight month. 

Those cases reached 39,006 in November, marking a 12% increase over October. The cases have more than doubled since April.

While it’s unclear how many undocumented immigrants are slipping into the country undetected, the number of arrests and entry denials are a good indicator of the trends in people trying to enter the U.S. illegally.

Trump has trumpeted the decline in arrests during the early months of his presidency. What’s unclear is why the numbers are rising.

Judge: Border Patrol Agents Had Right to Use Deadly Force Against Rock Thrower

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A San Diego federal judge defended Border Patrol’s use of deadly force against rock throwers in a case involving a lawsuit filed by the family of a Mexican man killed at the border.

Border Patrol Agent Dorian Diaz fatally shot Jesus Yanez Reyes, 40, while he allegedly was throwing rocks at agents who were pursuing him.

U.S. District Judge William Hayes ruled last week that Border Patrol agents should not be held liable for Reyes’ death, the Los Angeles Times reports

“The Court concludes that the unique circumstances surrounding Yañez’s death implicate national security issues related to the security of our nation’s borders,” Hayes said.

Hayes also said Diaz is entitled to qualified immunity.

Lawyers for Reyes’ family plan to appeal.

“We feel strongly the law was clearly established on this point,” said attorney Gerald Singleton.

Report: Border Security Is Tougher Than Ever Because of Ramped-Up Enforcement

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

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

Read more »

Trump Administration Picks Companies to Build Border Wall Prototypes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

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

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

The agency announced Thursday that it had selected four companies to build concrete prototypes of the 2,000-mile wall, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Today we mark a significant milestone,” said Ronald Vitiello, acting deputy commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “This is the first tangible result of the action planning that has gone on. This is the use of the resources we had available for this year.”
But Trump is a long way to making his wall a reality. Congress has only appropriated $20 million, which will pay for the prototypes.

The Post wrote:

Construction on the concrete prototypes is expected to begin in two weeks, and should be completed this fall within 30 days after breaking ground. The prototypes will be 30 feet long and up to 30 feet high and will be located near one another, he said. They will act as a secondary barrier in a border enforcement zone that already has a fence.

Department of Homeland Security officials will spend 30 to 60 days using small hand tools to test the prototypes’ resistance to tampering and penetration, Vitiello said.

Officials will consider aesthetics as well as anti-climb features and how to complement the physical barrier with technology.

Teen Killed by Liquid Meth After Border Agents Tell Him to Drink It


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cruz Velazquez Acevedo was just 16 years old when he began screaming in pain and convulsing after drinking liquid methamphetamine shortly after crossing the U.S. Mexico border to San Diego.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn't have drugs in the bottle.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn’t have drugs in the bottle.

According to a lawsuit filed about three-and-a-half years after his death, Border Patrol agents told Acevedo to drink the amber-colored liquid to prove it wasn’t laced with drugs, the Washington Post reports

A surveillance video shows Acevedo taking four sips from a drink he insisted was apple juice.

“My heart! My heart!” he screamed before dying two hours later, according to court records.

The U.S. has agreed to pay Acevedo’s family $1 million win the wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the agency and two border officers.

His family’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, acknowledged Acevedo broke the law, but he said, “It wasn’t a death penalty case.”

“To cause him to die in a horrible way that he did is something that is execrable.”

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