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Tag: CBP

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.

Eyes in the Sky: How CBP Combats Drug Smuggling with Blimps

A CBP blimp, via Donna Burton of CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Blimps hovering 10,000 feet above the U.S. border are helping combat drug smuggling operations.

Customs and Border Protection is using eight unmanned, unarmed blimps as eyes in the sky as part of the agency’s Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS).

“TARS is the most cost-efficient capability that we own,” Richard Booth, director of domain operations and integration for CBP’s Office of Air and Marine, says on CBP’s website. “TARS is like a low-flying satellite system, but cheaper to launch and operate.”

The blimps “fly like kites in the wind,” said Rob Brown, CBP program manager for TARS.

“Raising radar and other sensors to high altitude boosts surveillance range, and the physical sight of an aerostat is a visual deterrent to illegal activity in the air and on the ground,” Brown said.

Drug smugglers often fly low to avoid ground-based radar, but they can’t evade the blimps’ radar.

Border Patrol Agents Take Over Screening Migrant Families from Asylum Officers

Via CBP

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The fate of migrant families seeking protection in the U.S. will now be determined by Border Patrol agents, instead of the highly trained asylum officers who are highly trained in refugee laws.

Border Patrol agents, who will screen families for “credible fear” in the new pilot program, are beginning to get trained at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, lawyers and several employees at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told Los Angeles Times.

The Trump administration has long advocated using law enforcement officers to interview asylum seekers to determine whether families have a “credible fear” persecution in their home countries. The idea is that Border Patrol agents are less likely to provide asylum to families.

“It’s creating significant strain for our clients — not just because they’re unprepared and untrained,” Shay Fluharty, an attorney with the Dilley Pro Bono Project, told The Times. “We understand that the intention is to significantly limit asylum officers who are conducting these interviews and have them be primarily conducted by Border Patrol.”

Border Apprehensions Sharply Decline in August. Officials Credit Beefed Up Enforcement

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

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol saw a significant decline in apprehensions in August, a rare decrease for the month.

The number of undocumented migrants detained for trying to cross the U.S. border in August dropped 22% over July. The decline was even more significant in the San Diego sector, where apprehensions dropped 43% compared to July.

Last year, August apprehensions were higher than July’s.

“This is not due to a seasonal decline,” Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison told reporters Thursday.

Harrison said the decline is likely due to more enforcement from partners, including the newly created Mexico National Guard.

“This is a welcome relief and an indication that our efforts and those of our partners are having significant positive effects,” Harrison said.

CBP Seizes 28 Counterfeit NBA Rings at Los Angeles International Airport

Counterfeit NBA championship rights, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

CBP seized 28 counterfeit NBA rings at Los Angeles International Airport.

The value of the rings, if genuine, is estimated at $560,000.

CBP officers found the rings in a wooden box while examining a shipment from China.

The rings included designs from 11 teams: The Cleveland Cavaliers, San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.

“Scammers take advantage of collectors and pro-basketball fans desiring to obtain a piece of sports history”, Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles, said in a news release. “This seizure illustrates how CBP officers and import specialists protect not only trademarks, but most importantly, the American consumer.”

CBP Agent Accused of Fatally Shooting Husband in Florida

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Customs and Border Protection agent Palm Beach County, Fla., has been arrested in the fatal shooting of her husband at the couple’s home.

Marcia Thompson, 39, was on her way to work when authorities allege she shot her 52-year-old husband at least six times, the Palm Beach Post reports.

According to Palm Beach County sherrif’s deputies, Thompson admitted she pulled the trigger on her duty weapon, but said her husband was threatening to kill her.

“I do not believe that Terry Thompson posed such a threat that deadly force was necessary,” Detective Jeremy Gelfand wrote in a court filing.

Thompson is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond.

Acting CBP Commissioner Says ICE Raids in Mississippi Weren’t ‘Raids’

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan insisted Sunday that the arrests of about 680 people during raids at Mississippi workplaces last week were not “raids.”

“I think words matter. These aren’t raids. These are targeted law enforcement operations,” Morgan said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” disputing the definition of a raid.

“In this case, this was a joint criminal investigation with ICE and the Department of Justice targeting work site enforcement, meaning companies that knowingly and willfully hire illegal aliens so that, in most cases, they can pay them reduced wages, exploit them further for their bottom line,” Morgan said Sunday. “That’s what this investigation was about — a criminal investigation.”

El Paso’s Border Patrol Chief Being Sent to Detroit Amid Blistering Report

Conditions at one of the El Paso stations, via IG.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Aaron Hull, the controversial chief of the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, is being sent to Detroit following reports of unsafe and unsanitary conditions in border stations in El Paso.

Hull will be replaced by Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez, who is head of the El Centro Sector in California, NBC News first reported.

Customs and Border Protection declined to say why Hull was reassigned, but the move comes after a blistering report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General. The conditions were so deplorable that agents were beginning to arm themselves because they feared a riot.

The IG report documented overcrowded cells, a lack of showers or clean clothes, outbreaks of lice, flu, chickenpox and scabies, and more than half of the immigrants being held outside. Babies had no clean clothing or soft mats on which to sleep.

“With limited access to showers and clean clothing, detainees were wearing soiled clothing for days or weeks,” the report said.

The report also cited declining morale among agents who were worried about riots or hunger strikes. Some agents were even considering retiring early or moving to another agency.

“The current situation where immigrants are simply giving themselves up to the border patrol [and border patrol must detain] is causing low morale and high anxiety. They are seeing more drinking, domestic violence and financial problems among their agents,” the report said.

Despite the documented evidence, DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan insisted that news reports about poor conditions for children at the facility were “unsubstantiated.”

Hull also defended Border Patrol agents, saying he was “impressed” with their handling of an influx of migrants.

A Homeland Security official told NBC News that Hull has a reputation as a “law and order” chief who often acts on his own without permission from his superiors.