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Tag: CBP

Mark Morgan Promoted to Replace Sanders as CBP Head

Mark Morgan will head CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan will replace John Sanders as head of Customs and Border Protection.

Sanders resigned from ICE earlier this week following growing criticism of the deplorable conditions reported at border facilities.

Morgan had previously served as chief of Border Patrol before taking over as head of ICE in May.

“I am confident he will bring the same commitment to the agency as it continues to navigate the current humanitarian and operational crisis,” Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a statement.

ICE will promote Matthew Albence , deputy director of the agency’s deportation operations, to replace Morgan.

“Assuming the role of Acting Director of ICE is Matthew T. Albence, who has been performing the duties of the agency’s Deputy Director since August 2018. Mr. Albence brings years of experience, as he’s held a number of key positions within the ICE domain,” McAleenan said in a statement.

Albence faced criticism last year when he told a congressional committee that family detention centers are “more like summer camp” than jail.

Since Albence and Morgan will appointed, rather than nominated, they will not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

Advocates Discover Premature Baby in a Crowded Border Patrol Facility

A detention center, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys visiting a crowded Border Patrol facility in Texas made a startling discovery – a teenage girl in a wheelchair holding a tiny, prematurely born baby.

The lawyers said the baby, wrapped in a dirty towel and looking listless, was barely a month old, The Associated Press reports. The mother was in severe pain because of complications from an emergency cesarean section in Mexico.

“You look at this baby and there is no question that this baby should be in a tube with a heart monitor,” said Hope Frye, a volunteer with an immigrant advocacy group.

Since being in Border Patrol custody, the baby received no medical attention, the lawyers said.

The case sheds more light on the inhumane conditions that have been reported under the Trump administration by advocates and the Inspector General.

Since late last year, five children have died after being detained by the Border Patrol.

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.

Border Patrol Agent Rescues Mother, Child from Swarm of Bees

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

So many bees covered a Guatemalan mother protecting her child that a Border Patrol agent believed he saw a bundle of clothing.

What the agent actually witnessed were thousands of bees covering a mother who had been curled over her 8-year-old son to protect him in Texas.

“Upon closer investigation, the agent realized the bundle was a person curled up in the fetal position,” CBP said in a statement to CNN.

The agent called for the woman to seek shelter in his patrol car. At that point, the agent realized “the person was covering a small child.”

The woman and her son ran into the patrol car while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Once the child began vomiting, the unnamed agent rushed the mother and child to a hospital, where they were placed in an intensive care unit.

The mother and child are expected to recover and then be processed by immigration officials upon their release from the hospital.

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.

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.”

Trump’s Pick for ICE Director Criticized Admin As ‘Heartless,’ ‘Devoid of Any Decency’

President Trump’s choice for ICE director, Mark Morgan

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s choice for ICE director had harsh words for his ouster as head of Border Patrol in 2017.

Then-U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan wrote in a 2017 email to then-acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Kevin McAleenan that the administration’s call for “me to leave immediately is heartless and void of any decency and compassion,” Axios reports.

McAleenan, who is now the acting Homeland Security secretary, received another email from Morgan, who wrote “I am being removed in the name of politics – and politics at its worst. … I will not have them believe I willingly left under these circumstances.”

Morgan wrote in another email, “This is wrong on many levels. I have questions but I need to process through a bit more.”

The emails didn’t make clear why Morgan was removed, and no reason was offered when he resigned.
But the National Border Patrol Council, the union for Border Patrol agents, said Morgan was inexperienced. According to an Axios source, Trump made the call after privately talking to NBPC President Brandon Judd.

In a strange turnabout, Judd told Politico that Morgan was the right person to head the agency, in no small part due to his experience at the FBI.

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.