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Tag: customs and border protection

CBP, Border Patrol Fail to Deliver on Promise to Be Transparent About Shootings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Customs and Border Protection pledged to become more transparent and accountable when it comes to agents using deadly force, but the USA Today reports that the agency is struggling to meet that promise.

At least 46 people – 16 of whom were Americans – have been killed by Border Patrol agents and CBP officers were on duty.

Then CBP’s acting internal affairs chief, Mark Alan Morgan, told reporters that he doubts any of the agents or officers were were disciplined in the deaths.

The USA Today rattles of a list of suspicious cases, including an unarmed teen shot in the back and agents shooting through a border fence in Mexico.

Despite the existence of a study on the issues, CBP kept it a secret for 15 months before it was leaked to the media.

“It just boggles my mind that DHS would hide this information,” said Wong, the retired CBP assistant deputy commissioner for internal affairs. “We’re not talking about terrorist activities or national security; we’re talking about things the American public should be aware of, should have access to. For them to say we can’t tell you how many people have been investigated for excessive use of force, well, I don’t understand the rationale.”

Other Stories of Interest

 

Janet Napolitano’s Job at Department of Homeland Security Is Not Only High-Ranking Post Available

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Janet Napolitano’s job as head of the Department of Homeland Security is not the only high-ranking position available there, NPR reports.

According to the NPR, 15 top jobs at DHS are vacant or about to be, and lawmakers won’t fill the jobs.

The openings raise questions about whether DHS is too large and unwieldy.

“Customs and border protection — the role of commissioner for that has been vacant [and] filled by acting people for … nearly a year and a half,” says Christian Beckner, deputy director of George Washington University’s Homeland Security Institute.

And surprise, surprise. There’s bipartisan agreement.

“It is a bad situation,” says Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware, who chairs the Senate homeland security committee. “I call it executive branch Swiss cheese. And it’s not that the people in these acting positions are inept or bad people, but there’s a special stature that comes by Senate confirmation.”

The Homeland Security Department Stands to Lose $3.2 billion Because of Sequestration

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If sequestration cuts aren’t restored, they will cost the Homeland Security Department about $3.2 billion this fiscal year, Fierce Homeland Security reports.

To make up for the lost money, the department, which reached 10 years old March 1, would need to cut more than 5% across the board.

Other federal agencies face big losses. Customs and Border Protection is set to lose $595 million, while ICE cuts could total $295 million.

“Sequestration would roll back border security, increase wait times at our Nation’s land ports of entry and airports, affect aviation and maritime safety and security, leave critical infrastructure vulnerable to attacks, hamper disaster response time and our Surge Force capabilities, and significantly scale back cyber security infrastructure protections that have been developed in recent years,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano wrote in a letter to the House Homeland Security Committee.

Sierra Club Accused Border Patrol of Endangering Wildlife, Environment in Arizona

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The environmental group, Sierra Club, has released a video that shows untold damage from Border Patrol roads cut into the desert through the Organ Pipe National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona, the Arizona Daily Star reports

Activists say the Border Patrol has far more road than is needed.

Off-roading activities are impacting wildlife “on a huge scale” and causing compacted soil and water channeling, the Star wrote.

Customs and Border Protection denied damaging the environment through a statement to the Star.

“The preservation of our valuable natural and cultural resources is of great importance to CBP and we are fully engaged in efforts that consider environmental impact as we work to secure our Nation’s borders.  The Border Patrol complies with all established laws and reporting procedures in place at National Parks and protected wilderness areas. We are committed to responsible environmental stewardship and look forward to working with interested parties and border residents to accomplish our mission while preserving the environment.”

Immigration Group: Border Patrol Abusing People Trying to Cross Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol agents have abused illegal immigrants and systematically denied them the opportunity to contact the Mexican Consulate, according to a report by a pro-immigration reform group, The Arizona Daily Star reports.

The report by the Kino Border Initiative says one in four illegal immigrants surveyed said they were abused in some way by Border Patrol, the Daily Star reported.

Officials at Customs and Border Protection declined to comment to the Daily Star.

“We are very concerned about this situation because we feel it’s a violation of human rights,” said the Rev. Sean Carroll, executive director of the initiative.

Feds Spend More Money on Immigrant Enforcement Than All Other Crimes Combined

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government spends more money on immigrant enforcement than all other law enforcement agencies combined, the Huffington Post reports.

The U.S. spent nearly $18 billion in the 2012 fiscal year on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and US-Visit, an effort to help local authorities identify undocumented immigrants, the Huffington Post wrote.

That’s compared to $14.4 billion spent on the federal governments other prime law enforcement agencies – the FBI, DEA, Secret Services, U.S. Marshal Service and ATF, according to the Huffington Post.

It’s no surprise because ICE and CBP handled more suspects than the other agencies combined.

The federal government’s focus on immigration enforcement has increased steadily since the mid-1980s.

CBP Supervisor in New York Accused of Possessing Child Porn

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 A supervisor for Customs and Border Protection in New York is accused of possessing child porn, the Associated Press reports.

The AP wrote that Steven Metz, who has been charged in federal court, is accused of receiving and distributing images and videos of children involved in sexual acts.

Metz, 40, is on administrative leave.

He works in the Buffalo suburb of Hamburg.

Customs and Border Protection Agent at Atlanta Airport Charged With Smuggling Cash and Guns in Sting

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent at the Atlanta airport was charged with 13 others in a large scale drug operation in which authorities seized 700,000 tabs of ecstasy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Authorities say that agent Devon “Romey” Samuel, 45, of Stockbridge, Ga., was charged in three undercover stings conducted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in which he allegedly smuggled drug money and guns through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Authorities say the probe into Samuel led to the “unraveling of a large scale ecstasy trafficking organization.”

On Nov. 3, an undercover agent posing as a drug money launderer gave Samuels about $22,000, authorities charged. Samuels then used his badge to bypass security and delivered the money to a Jamaica to an undercover police officer posing as an international drug dealer.

A few weeks later, he allegedly accepted $50,000 from an undercover officer and delivered the money to Jamaican undercover police, authorities said.

On Nov. 30, authorities say Samuels accepted five firearms and about $20,000 in what he thought was drug money from an undercover cop, authorities said. He went directly to the airport with the guns and money and used his badge to bypass security. Once inside the airport, he allegedly gave the guns to  second undercover officer who told Samuels he was going to give the guns and cash to members of a Mexican drug cartel at a meeting in Arizona.

Authorities alleged that Samuels also used government computers to check whether he or his associates were under investigation.

“The indictment charges a Customs and Border Protection agent at the airport with taking payoffs to smuggle guns and drug money from undercover agents posing as international drug traffickers,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “That investigation led to unraveling a large scale ecstasy trafficking organization and the seizure of more than $2.8 million worth of ecstasy from a house in Chamblee–one of the largest seizures in the country.”