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Tag: undocumented immigrants

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.

Border Patrol Agents to Begin Receiving Bonuses for Staying with Agency

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is offering an incentive to retain agents as the agency becomes inundated with an increase in families cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Every Border Patrol agent who agrees to stay on the job another year will receive a bonus that equates to a 5% pay increase, CBP announced in a news release Wednesday.

“Investing in the men and women of the United States Border Patrol continues to be my top priority,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said. “Their experience and expertise is critical to successfully accomplishing the border security mission.”

Beginning in June, agents will begin accumulating the bonuses on a daily basis. In September, agents will start receiving the bonuses.

The retention incentive has been branded as part of “a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy for the U.S. Border Patrol.”

“CBP has aggressively implemented an innovative and multifaceted recruitment and retention strategy, improving the frontline hiring process and related capabilities,” said John P. Sanders, a senior official performing the duties of commissioner. While these efforts have led to considerable progress, CBP continues to strengthen all aspects of its strategy to meet the Executive Order’s mandate.”

Sanders added, “We are facing a humanitarian and border security crisis on the Southwest border, and those who serve on the frontline are vital to that effort. I would like to thank the National Border Patrol Council for their support in moving this initiative forward.”

FBI Arrests Leader of Armed Militia That Was Detaining Undocumented Immigrants

Distant border fence in the desert near El Paso and its Mexican neighbor Juarez.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI on Saturday arrested the leader of an armed militia that was detaining undocumented immigrants at the southern border.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was arrested in New Mexico, where the United Constitutional Patriots is based, on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, announced.

The arrest comes after the group posted controversial images and video of its operations on its Facebook page, showing members detaining immigrants.

“This is a dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families,” Balderas wrote in a statement. “The arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hand of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes.”

A spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots claimed responsibility for detaining 5,600 immigrants over the past two months, saying the group’s mission is “to support the Border Patrol.”

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection has urged private citizens not to get involved with detaining immigrants and asked that they instead alert border officials.

Dozens of Asylum-Seeking Migrants Stopped at Border, But Pledge Defiance

Border marker, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Dozens of asylum-seeking migrants who traveled more than a month from Central America to the U.S.-Mexico border are defiantly pledging to remain outside an immigrant processing center until they are admitted into the country.

Border Patrol officials alerted the migrants, many traveling with children, that they couldn’t be processed because of space constraints.

“CBP facilities at capacity at San Ysidro. They won’t be taking any more until space becomes available,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said in a statement Sunday afternoon. “At this time, we have reached capacity at the San Ysidro port of entry for CBP officers to be able to bring additional persons traveling without appropriate entry documentation into the port of entry for processing.”

But when space opens and “resources become available,” officers “will be able to take additional individuals into the port for processing.

The monthlong journey of more than 1,000 migrants began in southern Mexico near the Guatemala border. They traveled by bus, train and foot during, with many saying that were escaping violence and persecution in their home countries.

If migrants manage to get processed, they would be taken a detention center and interviewed by an asylum officer. But whether the U.S. plans to offer asylum remains unclear.

President Trump last week pledged to “stop” the caravan, but the migrants appeared ready for a possible showdown.

Border Arrests Surge Amid Trump’s Pledge to Decrease Illegal Crossings

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

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s pledge to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the U.S. has hit a major snag as arrests surge along the Southwest border.

According to a new federal government report, people being arrested or denied entry along the Mexican border has increased for the seventh straight month. 

Those cases reached 39,006 in November, marking a 12% increase over October. The cases have more than doubled since April.

While it’s unclear how many undocumented immigrants are slipping into the country undetected, the number of arrests and entry denials are a good indicator of the trends in people trying to enter the U.S. illegally.

Trump has trumpeted the decline in arrests during the early months of his presidency. What’s unclear is why the numbers are rising.

Driver Gets 4 Years in Prison After Fleeing Border Patrol, Crashing And Injuring 6 People

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A man who crashed an SUV while trying to elude Border Patrol agents, injuring himself and six other undocumented immigrants, was sentenced to four years in prison Monday.

Miguel Angel Tejada-Loaiza, 21, was transporting six unauthorized immigrants near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry after crossing the Mexico border to San Diego, according to the JusticeDepartment.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said Tejada-Loaiza was more reckless than most human smuggling crimes.

“This case is at the very aggravated end of the spectrum,” the judge said.

The crash occurred when Tejada-Loaiza made a sharp turn and slammed into a guard rail.

Arizona Aid Group Says Border Patrol Raid Endangered Lives of Ill Migrants

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have long abided by an informal agreement to allow migrants to seek medical attention at a camp in the Arizona desert to prevent more deaths of people crossing the border.

But that has changed under the Trump administration after 15 trucks and about 30 agents raided the camps and detained four immigrants Thursday, the Associated Press reports. 

The crackdown prompted volunteers with the aid group, No More Deaths/No Mas Muertas, to say the “staged military siege” endangered the lives of undocumented immigrants.

‘‘The type of operation they are doing, for me, is unprecedented,’’ said Catherine Gaffney, a longtime volunteer for the group.

Although the group asked Border Patrol for more time to treat immigrants with heart-related illnesses, agents swarmed the camp anyway.

One of those captured had a prior felony conviction for drug possession and had previously been deported.

‘‘They didn’t need 30 agents to apprehend four sick people,’’ Gaffney said.

Border Patrol said the four men were taken to the hospital but were in good condition. 

ICE Agents Arrest 150+ Undocumented Immigrants in 12-Day Sting

ice-agentsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents arrested 153 undocumented immigrants and others throughout Texas during a 12-day operation that ended Friday.

The arrests were made in Austin, Waco, San Antonio, Laredo and Harlingen. Of those detained, 138 were men, and 15 were women, ICE said in a news release. 

Of those arrested, 137 had criminal histories that ranged from aggravated sexual assault of a child to drug possession.

The undocumented immigrants came from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Canada and El Salvador.

Here are five summaries of those arrested:

  • A 27- year-old woman from Mexico was arrested in Laredo March 20. She has a prior conviction for injury to a child with bodily injury. She was processed and removed to Mexico.
  • A 30-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Austin March 21. He has a prior conviction for delivery of a controlled substance (cocaine). The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting him for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
  • A 48-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in Harlingen, Texas, March 24. He was convicted of intoxicated manslaughter with a vehicle. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is prosecuting him for illegally re-entering the United States after being deported.
  • A 20-year-old man from Guatemala was arrested in San Antonio March 23. He was convicted of injury to a child with intent to cause bodily injury. He remains in ICE custody pending a hearing before an immigration judge.
  • A 46-year-old man from Mexico was arrested in San Antonio March 31. He was convicted of the following crimes: aggravated sexual assault of a child (first degree felony), 2 DUIs and assault. He is in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.

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