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Tag: Border

Donald Trump’s Candidate for Homeland Security Riles Border Hawks

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s potential selection of Rep. Michael T. McCaul for secretary of Homeland Security incensed border hawks because of the congressman’s position on immigration.

McCaul, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Homeland Security  Committee, is perceived by some as weak on border security and a supporter of amnesty, the Washington Times reports. 

McCaul has been frequently criticized by conservatives and border activists for co-authoring the 2015 Secure Our Borders First Act, which ignored the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

“We certainly hope that Donald Trump would not reward a deceptive pro-amnesty lawmaker like Michael McCaul with a Cabinet position,” said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC. “That would be very disappointing to all of us that believed his campaign promises to secure our borders and deport millions of illegal immigrants under current U.S. laws.”

The Homeland Security secretary will be a critical nomination for Trump, who has pledged to fight illegal immigration. 

Trump Considers Appointing Marine Gen. Kelly to Lead Homeland Security

Marine Gen. John Kelly

Marine Gen. John Kelly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump is considering Marine Gen. John Kelly as head of Homeland Security or secretary of state.

That’s significant because Trump became interested in Kelly after hearing about his hawkish views on the Mexican border, The Washington Times reports. 

What caught Trump’s attention was Kelly’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2015, when he warned that smuggling routes along the border are vulnerable to terrorists and weapons of mass destruction.

“In my opinion, the relative ease with which human smugglers moved tens of thousands of people to our nation’s doorstep also serves as another warning sign: These smuggling routes are a potential vulnerability to our homeland,” Kelly said at the time.

Kelly is a four-star general who has been endorsed by fellow retired Marine Gen. James Mattis.

Border Residents Skeptical about Trump’s Plans to Build a Wall

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the U.S. border has been met with skepticism from people who live close to the border.

Residents close to the border told the Associated Press that it seems unlikely that a concrete barrier could be erected along the 2,000-mile frontier with Mexico.

They pointed out the geology of the Rio Grande valley, the immense cost and the lack of of support by locals.

Residents said it would make more sense to build a “virtual wall” with surveillance cameras, observation balloons and drones.

That’s why residents weren’t surprised when Trump softened his position on the wall, suggesting that some of it could include fencing.

Other Stories of Interest

Border Patrol Union Confers with Donald Trump about Securing the Border

national border patrol councilBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 16,000 agents, met with Donald Trump to determine how best to secure the border.

NPR spoke with Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd about the discussions.

The union endorsed Trump during the election.

Listen here:

Smugglers Increasingly Using Drones to Drop Drugs over U.S.-Mexico Border

DroneBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Smugglers are increasingly using drones to drop drugs over the U.S-Mexico border.

Border Patrol is using six blimps that can detect low-flying aircraft using specialized radar, CBS News reports.  The drones are monitored by Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS), which can cover the entire boarder.

“Our law enforcement operators that see that on the radar and get the drugs, get the bad guys that are waiting for the drugs,” said Rob Brown the TARS program manager 

To fly below the radar, smugglers often fly dangerously low.

“They’ll hug the mountains really close just to try and break up their profile,” said Brent J. Smart, an Air and Marine Interdiction Agent. 

The TARS technology helps agents find drugs that are dropped from the sky.

Homeland Security: It Will Take More Than a Wall to Stop Illegal Immigrants

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border Fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s continued rhetoric about building a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border is far from enough to stop the increasing number of illegal immigrants from reaching America, said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

“Border security alone cannot overcome the powerful push factors of poverty and violence that exist in Central America,” Johnson said in a statement. “Walls alone cannot prevent illegal migration. Ultimately, the solution is long-term investment in Central America to address the underlying push factors in the region.”

Johnson is urging Congress and the next administration to enact immigration reform and handle the root causes of migration.

Johnson said 77,000 more immigrants were captured at the border this fiscal year compared to the previous one.

More than 400,000 people apprehended at the border in the 2016 fiscal year, which ended in September.

“Fewer Mexicans and single adults are attempting to cross the border without authorization, but more families and unaccompanied children are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America,” Johnson said. “In 2014, Central Americans apprehended on the southern border outnumbered Mexicans for the first time. In 2016, it happened again.”

U.S.-Canada Border Gets Little Attention But Remains Vulnerable to Illegal Crossings

Sign welcomes drivers coming from Canada to U.S. near British Columbia. Photo via Wikipedia.

Sign welcomes drivers coming from Canada to U.S. near British Columbia. Photo via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. border with Mexico has become a central issue in the presidential campaign.

But while the 2,000-mile border attracts more attention, the Northern border with Canada is 5,500 miles and is easier to cross illegally.

Without enough agents at the Northern border, officials said it’s difficult to say how much criminal activity actually occurs.

“The problem is that we don’t know what the threats and risk are because so much attention is given to the Southwest border,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., according to a report by the New York Times.

NYT wrote:

This area is a haven for smugglers and cross-border criminal organizations. Each year, Border Patrol agents catch hundreds of drug smugglers and human traffickers who use the sparsely populated and heavily wooded areas along the Vermont-Canada border to bypass the agents, cameras, sensors and other electronic devices that the Department of Homeland Security has installed to make up for the lack of personnel.

The expanse and remoteness of much of the Northern border, which includes Alaska, make the task of law enforcement daunting, said Norman M. Lague, who leads the Border Patrol station in Champlain, New York, one of the eight stations in the Swanton region that oversee border security operations in Vermont, upstate New York and New Hampshire. “We do the best that we can with the resources we have,” he said.

Officials worry that the lack of attention to the Northern border makes it vulnerable to terrorists and criminal enterprises.

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Border Patrol Agent Can Be Sued for Killing Mexican Teen

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Can a Border Patrol agent be sued for shooting and killing a Mexican teenager?

The Supreme Court decided Tuesday it will take up the case of a Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a Mexican teenager who was playing with friends, the Los Angeles Times reports. 

The victim of the 2010 shooting was an unarmed 15-year-old named Sergio Hernandez.

The central question: Does the 4th Amendment extend beyond the U.S. border patrolled by Border Patrol agents?

Lawyers for the parents of the teenager argue that the 4th Amendment’s ban on unreasonable seizures and the unjustified use of deadly force extends beyond the border where agents patrol.

Hernandez “was killed in a culvert the U.S. officials patrol and effectively control,” the lawyers wrote in their appeal to the high court.

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