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Tag: enforcement

Las Cruces Sun-News: Border Patrol Should Not Police Itself After So Many Fatal Shootings

By Editorial Board
Las Cruces Sun-News

Two years ago, a scathing independent report by law enforcement experts found that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency had failed to fully investigate all 67 uses of deadly force, including 19 killings, by its agents from January 2010 through October 2012, most occurring along the southwest border with Mexico.

That report, which accused the agency of a “lack of diligence” in its investigations, put federal officials on the defensive and sparked an internal review. But when the review was finally completed last month, it absolved virtually all the agents in virtually all the shootings. Oral reprimands were apparently issued to two agents, and one case remains open; other than that, no discipline was meted out.

Is that reasonable? An agent who killed an unarmed 15-year-old Mexican boy by shooting him in the face after a rock-throwing incident near El Paso, Texas, was cleared. So was an agent who killed a rock-throwing 17-year-old near Nogales, Ariz.

It’s hard to know whether the agency’s decisions were reasonable. Were it not for leaks to journalists, little of this would even be known, because the Customs and Border Protection agency has tried to keep the report’s findings and the subsequent reviews under wraps. The initial report was released only after the Los Angeles Times reported on its existence. And the internal reviews ended a month ago, yet that fact just came to light — and there are still few details available. That opacity is unacceptable in an open society. How can the public assess government actions if the details are hidden? How are Americans to determine whether justice is served when there is no public accounting?

The Border Patrol is in essence a federal police force, and its use of deadly force should be viewed through a similar prism. Border agents, like local police officers, often find themselves in dangerous situations, and occasionally must use lethal force to protect themselves and the public. But that doesn’t mean society owes them limitless deference or that their actions should be considered beyond question.

To read more click here. 

Former CBP Insider Accuses Agency of Corruption, Distortions to Cover Up Deaths

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Tomsheck, who was forced to resign as internal affairs for CBP, said the agency made it difficult for him to investigate internal complaints.

NPR reports that Tomscheck believes some Border Patrol agents aren’t being held accountable because of a culture that evades legal restraints.

Tomscheck said about a quarter of the 28 fatal shootings by agents and officers are highly suspicious, yet no one has paid any consequences.

“I believe the system was clearly engineered to interfere with our efforts to hold the Border Patrol accountable,” he says.

“Some persons in leadership positions in the Border Patrol were either fabricating or distorting information to give the outward appearance that it was an appropriate use of lethal force when in fact it was not.”

Tomscheck said he became a scapegoat for the problems in the agency.

Identify Theft Law Can’t Be Used to Prosecute Illegal Immigrants

supreme-courtThe Supreme Court’s decision gives the government yet another reason to focus enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws against employers, not illegal immigrants.

By ADAM LIPTAK and JULIA PRESTON
New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a favorite tool of prosecutors in immigration cases, ruling unanimously that a federal identity-theft law may not be used against many illegal workers who used false Social Security numbers to get jobs.

The question in the case was whether workers who use fake identification numbers to commit some other crimes must know they belong to a real person to be subject to a two-year sentence extension for “aggravated identity theft.”

The answer, the Supreme Court said, is yes.

Prosecutors had used the threat of that punishment to persuade illegal workers to plead guilty to lesser charges of document fraud.

For Full Story