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Tag: Border

Cyberattack on CBP Exposes Facial Recognition Data on Thousands of Travelers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal law enforcement defends the use of facial-recognition technology as a new tool to track down criminals, but a recent cyberattack of a Customs and Border Patrol subcontractor raises serious issues about privacy.

CBP acknowledged this week that the breach exposed facial-recognition data on thousands of people crossing the southern border, along with their license plates.

The disclosure comes less than a month after U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee hearings on facial-recognition systems prompted congressional members to call for a moratorium on the quickly growing technology.

“We shouldn’t be using the technology until we can be sure people’s rights are being protected,” Neema Singh Guliani, senior legislative counsel for the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said during a May 22 hearing. “By and large, people have been unaware of these systems and how they work.”

CBP said the subcontractor violated government regulations by uploading the images to its company network.

ICE to Ramp Up Deportations of Families Living in U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ICE is planning to increase deportations of families who are in the U.S. illegally, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said Tuesday.

While Morgan said the priority would be on people with criminal histories, he emphasized that no one is exempt from enforcement.

“This will include families,” he told reporters at ICE headquarters in Washington D.C., according to USA Today.

Families also make up a majority of the people apprehended at the border.

Morgan’s announcement, which comes during a sharp increase in migrants crossing the border, shows he’s aligned with Trump’s tough stance on immigration.

U.S. Citizen Shot Dead After Shootout at Border with CBP Officers

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection officers engaged in a deadly shootout Monday evening with a U.S. citizen who opened fire after refusing to stop at a checkpoint at California’s border with Mexico.

The 23-year-old man who refused to stop his white pickup truck was killed after opening fire on CBP officers. The shooting began after the pickup truck was blocked by another vehicle.

“The suspect began firing a gun out of his vehicle toward the officers, then exited his vehicle and continued firing at the officers,” San Diego police Lt. Matt Dobbs told The Daily Mail on Tuesday. “The officers returned fire, striking the suspect.”

The shootout occurred about 7:30 p.m. at the San Ysidro Port of Entry near the border at Tijuana and San Diego.

The identity of the shooter was not yet released Tuesday morning, but police said he was a white man.

San Diego police are leading the investigation. CBP is cooperating and will conduct an internal review.

Supreme Court to Tackle Thorny Case of U.S.-Mexico Border Shooting

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Mexican teenagers are shot at the American border, can American families sue in U.S. courts?

The U.S. Supreme Court will try to answer that question, it announced Thursday in deciding to take a case involving a Border Patrol agent who was in Texas when he shot across the border and killed a 15-year-old boy in Mexico, The Associated Press reports.

The family of Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca said the teenager was playing a game with friends when he was shot in the head by Agent Jesus Mesa Jr.

Mesa said he pulled the trigger because he was under attack by rock throwers.
The Supreme Court took the case in February 2017 but sent it back to a lower court for more proceedings.

At the time, the Trump administration argued the right to sue in U.S. courts “should not be extended to aliens injured abroad.”

Border Patrol, ICE Criticized for Handling of Surge in Migrants Crossing Border

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Detention facilities are overflowing with migrants because of the surge in people, many of them children, crossing the southern border illegally, and Border Patrol is struggling to handle the crisis.

More than 200,000 migrants illegally crossed the southern border in March and April, and more than two-thirds of them were either children or adults with children, according to UPI.

“Our immigration system is full, and we are well beyond our capacity at every stage of the process,” Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told a House committee last week.

Many of those crossing are seeking asylum, forcing ICE to release them to a network of migrant shelters in communities along the border. But with insufficient space, Border Patrol is beginning to release asylum seekers into border communities, often with little to no warning.

That new policy has rattled volunteer coordinators who try to house and feed the migrants.

“Sometimes the agents tell us to expect 50 migrants, but we end up with 150. Other times, a bus filled with migrants will show up unannounced at a shelter,” said Ashley Heidebrecht, a social work student and intern at the Borderlands Rainbow Coalition, a nonprofit that provides meals to migrants.

El Paso’s Hope Border Institute, a think tank that supports the humane treatment of migrants, has criticized the Border Patrol’s handling of the surge.

“The Border Patrol is not thinking strategically,” Dylan Corbett, director of the think tank, told UPI. “The agency doesn’t seem to have any goals and is just operating as things come up, day to day. I really don’t know who is calling the shots.”

TSA Sending Up to 400 Personnel to U.S.-Mexico Border to Assist with Immigration Surge

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is preparing to deploy up to 400 of its personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border to assist with the escalation of Central American migrants trying to enter the U.S.

The largest union representing the TSA, the American Federation of Government Employees TSA Council, questioned the move, saying it may “undermine aviation security” at airports during one of the busiest time of the year for air travel.

“The timing of this deployment could not be worse, as we are preparing for yet another busy summer travel season,” Hydrick Thomas, president of the union, said in a statement.

The deployment is part of a Homeland Security effort to send more personnel to the border as immigration surges.

It’s not yet clear what the TSA employees will do at the border, but they won’t have direct contact with immigrants, according to NBC News.

A TSA officials told NBC News that it would not deploy any of its frontline personnel who deal with travelers at airports.

The TSA has identified some personnel, which includes lawyers, air marshals and immigration specialists.

In March an April, more than 100,000 undocumented immigrants crossed the border into the U.S.

Feds Consider Classifying Fentanyl As Weapon of Mass Destruction

File photo of pills laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl is so toxic and lethal that the Department of Homeland Security is considering classifying it as a weapon of mass destruction.

The powerful opioid was responsible for 30,000 overdose deaths in 2017, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

The new designation would authorize customs officials and the FBI to inspect more shipments and develop detection tools, The Times reports. Prosecutors also would have more leverage in their fight against the opioid crisis.

Earlier this year, customs officials in Nogales found 254 pounds of fentanyl hidden among cucumbers inside an 18-wheeler. It was the largest fentanyl seizure ever recorded at a port of entry.

Investigation Underway After Border Patrol Agents Used Tear Gas on Migrants

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection its investigating agents who used tear gas and paper spray on more than 100 migrants who were illegally trying to enter the country.

The incident began Monday and continued into Tuesday morning as some migrants threw rocks and others helped lift children wrapped in jackets and blankets over razor-edged wire, CNN reports.

“Once again we have had a violent mob of migrants attempt to enter the United States illegally by attacking our agents with projectiles,” said Katie Waldman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security. “As has happened before — in this and previous administrations — our personnel used the minimum force necessary to defend themselves, defend our border, and restore order.”

No injuries were immediately reported.