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Tag: Mexico

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Killed Mexican Teen Has Constitutional Protections

Border PatrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide whether a Mexican teenager is permitted to sue the Border Patrol agent who shot him.

“This raises fundamental questions about the reach of protection under the Constitution,” Deepak Gupta, a lawyer working on behalf of the teenager’s family,”  told the Dallas Morning News.  “It’s hard to understate how fundamental it is.”

In the summer of 2010, Sergio Hernandez, then 15, was allegedly throwing rocks at Border Patrol officers along the border between El Paso and Juarez.

Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. fired at Hernandez, killing him.

The central question in the court case: Does a Mexican have constitutional protections against the use of deadly force by federal officers – a protection afforded to Americans?

A Border Patrol lawyer says Hernandez does not have constitutional protections.

“To say he did would create a very litigious border,” Ortega said. “We’d be, in effect, expanding the jurisdiction of the Constitution of the United States into sovereign areas.”

Border Patrol Apprehensions Plummeted 93% in California Since 1996

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of people caught trying to slip across the border from Mexico to California has declined a whopping 93% since 1996.

The Sacramento Bee reports that Border apprehensions in the area dropped from roughly 550,000 in 1996 to 39,000 in 2015, citing data from Homeland Security. 

Illegal immigration has plummeted everywhere along the Mexican border, largely because of increased enforcement.

According to the Pew Research Center, more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than flocking here.

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

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.

Walls at U.S.-Mexico Border Have Proven to Be Ineffective, Waste of Money

Tunnel beneath a border fence.

Tunnel beneath a border fence.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Concerned about drug smugglers and illegal immigrants coming into the U.S. from Mexico, the federal government built a fence to curb the traffic.

It didn’t work, Vice News reports.

“We came with this 18-foot wall, and the very next day they had 19-foot ladders,” Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera recalled recently. “It got to the point where we had so many ladders at the station that they told us to stop bringing the ladders in. It was just insane the number of ladders we had. Hundreds upon hundreds.”

The issue of a barrier at the border has picked up steam after Donald Trump promised to build an “impenetrable and beautiful” wall at the border.

Vice wrote:

But people who actually live along the border in the Rio Grande Valley are extremely skeptical. Border Patrol agents like Cabrera, local police, elected officials, and people who live with the existing wall in their backyards say it has been an epic boondoggle. Seemingly everyone in the area agrees that any plan to build a new wall or expand the existing fence is a bad idea.

“It’s a waste of money, period,” said Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, whose jurisdiction sits opposite Matamoros, one of the most dangerous corners of Mexico. “It’s not going to work. I don’t care what [Trump] is saying.”

In Texas, the existing fence — or wall, depending on your definition of the term — mostly consists of rows of cube-shaped, rust-colored posts that stand about 20 feet tall. The columns are spaced about four inches apart, too narrow for even a child to squeeze through. But the fence abruptly ends in some places, leaving vast open stretches. In the most absurd cases, 30-foot sections of fence are surrounded on both sides by miles of wide open space.

Other Stories of Interest

Another Border Patrol Agent Assaulted Trying to Arrest Illegal Immigrant at Mexican Border

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Yet another Border Patrol agent has been assaulted trying to arrest a man illegally entering the U.S.

This time, the agent was trying to stop an illegal immigrant from entering the U.S. in Calexico, Calif. at 8:40 p.m. Sunday, NBC San Diego reports. 

The agent tried to arrest the man after he climbed over a fence. But the suspect struck the agent in the orbital eye socket with his elbow.

After a scuffle, the agent arrested the man.

“Our agent thankfully only suffered minor injuries from this assault and was able to gain control of his attacker and make the arrest,” said David S. Kim, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent, in a statement. “We will not tolerate assaults on our agents by criminals, and will vigorously pursue Assault on a Federal Officer prosecution against anyone who perpetrates such violence.”

The suspect is expected to be charged with a felony count of assaulting a federal agent.

Eight agents working out of the El Centro Sector have been assaulted since Oct. 1.

Border Patrol Agents: Our Uniforms Should Be Made in the U.S.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

Trademark green uniforms worn by Border Patrol agents.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents want the federal government to purchase their uniforms from companies that manufacture the clothes in the U.S.

The trademark green uniform worn by Border Patrol agents is made by VF, a Greensboro, N.C., company that manufactures about half its uniforms outside the U.S. in places such as Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador, Bloomberg reports. 

The fear is that uniforms manufactured outside of the U.S. creates a security risk.

“We don’t want our uniforms falling into the wrong hands,” says Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents 18,000 agents. “Cartels will try to do whatever they can. They’ve gone so far as to try to clone border patrol vehicles and drive across the border. Having the uniform on could complete that.”

Bloomberg wrote:

For the past year, Trevino and other border agents have been helping the union design a better shirt. In mid-October, they presented their bosses in Washington with a prototype by Massif, an Oregon apparel manufacturer that also produces combat gear for the U.S. Army. The upgraded tops have the same sporty epaulets and pointed collar as the current models, but the fabric is more breathable and cut to fit comfortably underneath body armor. The union earlier this year endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who’s campaigned to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.

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