Wednesday, December 7, 2016



Note: Photo at link

They were caught with arsenal and marijuana
Details Posted on Wednesday December 07, 2016,
Written by Editor / El Diario



Agents of the Federal Police insure three 'goat horns' and almost 200 kilos of drug.
Agents of the Federal Police detained 5 subjects with an arsenal and a strong shipment of marijuana.
This is part of the Strategic Actions

Implementing in the State. Officers assigned to the Regional Security Security Division as they were carrying out their patrol service on the Santana - Altar Road (2410) were marked off by a 2003 Chevrolet pickup pickup truck, green with no license plates and the driver Exceeded speed limits in contravention of the provisions of the Federal Highway Traffic Regulations.

The presumed delinquent ignored printing a greater speed so that a chase was initiated at high speed carrying out a tactical maneuver they stopped the flight; Managing to stop the driver named José R. and companions who respond to the names of Luis Angel; Alexis, Marcos Alejandro; And José Leonardo; All Mexicans.

The detainees were secured with three "goat horns" (AK's), a Chevrolet Avalanche pickup, reported stolen, a Bush Master long gun, a handgun, 5 rifle magazines, 107 rife cartridges, two handgun magazines, and 26 handgun Cartridges

Also 22 rectangular packages containing marijuana with a weight of 190 kilograms of marijuana, as well as communication equipment and tactical clothing.

For the above and before the commission of conduct sanctioned by the law; Reading the bill of rights that assist the persons in detention and they were placed at the disposal of the Federal Attorney attached to the Attorney General of the Republic in the State. Who will continue with the inquiries and criminal proceedings against them. With these actions the Federal Police ratifies the unwavering commitment to recover and guarantee the safety of Mexicans in the State of Sonora.


Saturday, December 3, 2016



Note: of local interest mostly.

20-to-1 exchange rate is unsavory threshold
By Paulina Pineda
Nogales International Updated Dec 2, 2016

Carlos Covarrubias exchanges money Thursday at the Kayro "casa de cambio" on Mariposa Road in Nogales, where the U.S. dollar was selling for 19.90 Mexican pesos. Thursday's interbank peso-dollar selling rate rose as high as 20.88

Shoppers walk past an exchange house on Grand Avenue in Nogales where the dollar was selling for 19.95 pesos on Thursday.

Richard Cho, owner of Paradise and Baby World on Morley Avenue, said he set the peso-dollar exchange rate at his stores at 18 to remain competetive.

At the Food City grocery store in downtown Nogales, a handful of people were shopping Tuesday morning as store employees stocked shelves and cleaned the floors. Sales have been sluggish of late, said store manager Daniel Zuniga, and he laid a large part of the blame on the weak Mexican peso, whose value is teetering around the psychological barrier of 20 to the dollar.

Though he has yet to set the in-store exchange rate higher than 19.80, if the peso continues to weaken, Zuniga said he might not be able to avoid increasing his rates.

"Are we going to break that?" he asked, referring to the 20-per-dollar mark. "We've never had to. We're trying to hold off as much as we can but I think the second the foot drops, probably come January, we'll try to sustain it, but it might be impossible.

"Twenty is like the glass ceiling," he added. "It's scary."

Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election Nov. 8 sent the already weak peso plummeting past the 20-per-dollar mark in world currency markets, reaching record lows in the process. Since then, the daily interbank selling rate has ranged between 20.1 and 20.98, according to tracking data on the Bank of Mexico website. On Thursday, the interbank peso-dollar selling rate rose as high as 20.88. A year earlier, it was at 16.54.

But in Nogales, where businesses like Food City depend heavily on customers from Mexico, the peso-dollar rate at many exchange houses and stores has stubbornly remained under 20, with just a few exceptions during the Black Friday weekend.

Economists and business owners say there are a number of factors that keep the peso-dollar exchange rate lower in border communities such as Nogales, including informal and unregulated trading mechanisms. There's also significant anxiety over the psychological impact the 20-to-1 mark could have on shoppers.

Barclays strategist Andres Jaime Martinez, formerly with the Bank of Mexico, said the same pattern can be seen at airports in Mexico. He said because bank rates are regulated and set by the international market, banks will always have higher rates. However, an independent merchant at the airport or border community doesn't have to play by the same rules and can buy and sell pesos at a discount.

Tough time

At the Nogales Walmart, the peso-dollar selling rate was 20.90 on Tuesday, at least a peso higher than at many other outlets in town. Store manager Miguel Garcia said unlike his competitors, his store's exchange rate is dictated by the banking industry.

"Other independents throughout Nogales have the luxury of being able to set it according to whatever they want," he said. "I don't have that luxury."

Despite the higher-than-normal exchange rate, Garcia said, many customers are still using pesos to buy goods. Still, there is a noticeable decline from previous years. He estimated that about 85 percent of his business comes from Mexico and the weak peso has had an impact on sales.

"Customers are really watching their money so a lot of them are purchasing in Mexico," he said. "It's better for the Mexican economy and the Mexican consumer because right now there are more benefits for the Mexican consumer to shop there."

Zuniga, the manager at Food City, said about 40 to 50 percent of his customers come from Mexico and he tries to set the store's exchange rate lower than at the local exchange houses to attract more customers.

"We're local, we cater to our community, and I know it's a tough time right now so we kind of want to absorb as much of that burden as we can – also since we do depend a lot on their trade," he said. "We want them to spend their money here so we try to make it as cheap as possible for them and we try to stretch their peso.

"We were at 18.90, 19.20 as of five days ago, and we've been holding it as much as we can but with that last push here up to 20 we kind of had to change that," he added. "But it seems like we've been changing every three days, which I really don't like only because our prices are everyday low prices and we like to keep that image, so with our money exchange rate we like to keep that steady, too. But unfortunately the bank moves and everybody moves with them."

He said that the lack of customers Tuesday morning was also worrisome.

"Typically we get that slow day after (Thanksgiving) but it hasn't really picked up since then, which is alarming for us because we typically have our regular customers or our regular traffic that comes back after that Friday," he said, adding that he thinks things will only get worse come January.

Fears of closure

Compared to national retailers and larger chain stores like Walmart, the locally owned shops along Morley Avenue and elsewhere in downtown Nogales have more flexibility when setting the rate at which they'll accept pesos.

At the Baby World clothing shop on Morley Avenue, owner Richard Cho said his exchange rate is 18-to-1, not only so he can remain competitive, but also because he understands the struggles his customers face.

"We know the Mexican customer doesn't have the money," Cho said, adding that he relies on those customers to help keep his shop open. "We want to keep it low."

Despite the unfavorable exchange rate, many customers still pay in pesos, he said, joking later that he was waiting for a better rate before exchanging the approximately 200,000 pesos he has stashed away.

The nearby Factory 2-U discount retailer is doing its best to keep up with the locals. The chain store boasted one of the best peso-dollar exchange rates Wednesday afternoon, and while many stores downtown were empty, dozens of shoppers searched for jeans, coats and other outerwear inside the Terrace Avenue storefront.

Assistant store manager Karla Beltran said in the three years she's worked at the store, the current exchange rate of 18, which has held steady for months, is the highest she's ever seen it. She said one reason the store has a more favorable exchange rate than its competitors is because it's one of the first shops border crossers see when they come up Terrace.

"So all the people think, 'Oh it's 18, let's buy right here,'" she said, adding that she didn't foresee the rate increasing come the holidays.

The weak peso has also affected exchange houses on both sides of the border. And though many have tried not to reach the 20-per-dollar mark, some surpassed it after Thanksgiving, only to drop it again after business suffered.

In Nogales, Sonora, about 10 exchange houses have closed because of the increasing value of the dollar against the peso and the lack of business, according to the Sonora-based newspaper Expreso.

In Nogales, Ariz., many of the exchange house owners expressed concern that the weakening peso could also put them out of business.

By mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Zobeyda Coronel said, only one customer had stopped by her shop, Coronel Money Exchange on Grand Avenue near the border, where the peso-dollar exchange rate was 19.95.

Coronel said she set the rate at 20 earlier in the week but quickly lowered it the following day to see if she could attract customers.

"It's been slow all year, but particularly slow in the last month," she said, adding that things are so bad people only buy between $5-20 at a time. "If you were here all day you'd see how slow we are."

Though the shop is her primary source of income, Coronel said, the rent is too high to afford. If things don't turn around by the end of December, she's contemplating closing the exchange house, which she's owned for 15 years.

"I'm walking on a tightrope," she said. "At the end of December we'll see what direction we take."

'Not anymore'

On the street above at Casa de Cambio La Esquina, Efrain Ceron said they also raised the rate to 20 during the Black Friday weekend because there was a greater demand for dollars. However, after the weekend was over they lowered the rate due to a lack of customers. As of Wednesday the peso-dollar exchange rate there was 19.90.

"In December, dollars always sell even though the price is very expensive, but this year business is much lower than in previous years," he said.

Speaking of hitting the 20-per-dollar mark, Ceron said: "It's totally psychological because if you set it at 20, people no longer want it, but if you put it at 19.90 they'll buy it. But 10 Mexican cents is not even half a penny. It's nothing."

However, a few cents does make a difference to shoppers.

Estella Miranda of Magdalena, Sonora, who was looking for school uniforms for her granddaughter on Morley Avenue, said she used to make the trip to Arizona every two months to visit friends and go shopping, but now that the economy is so bad it's not worth it.

"Before one would come to do grocery shopping and things like that, but not anymore. It's not convenient, it's more expensive here than it is there," she said, adding that in addition to the price of goods, shoppers also have to wait in long lines at the border crossing.

Asked if she would keep coming to Nogales if the peso hit the 20-per-dollar mark on the border, Miranda said no, especially now that she's retired.

Fellow shopper Guadalupe Campos of Nogales, Sonora echoed Miranda's sentiments, adding that she bought two blankets for $15 each but everything else was out of her price range.

Martinez, the Barclays analyst, said economists believe that in 2017, the dollar will continue outperforming the Mexican peso as well as currencies of other emerging markets. The peso, however, is projected to stabilize at 21.50.

Though many local merchants said they believe the battered peso will continue to plummet once Trump takes office, Martinez said it's hard to say for sure what type of impact the inauguration will have on exchange rates, especially because the president-elect has already softened his tone on many of the promises made during his campaign, such as imposing stiff tariffs on Mexican goods and deporting millions of illegal immigrants.

"I don't think the policies that Trump promised before getting elected are going to be implemented completely," he said in a phone interview Thursday. "We don't see meaningful tariffs being imposed on Mexican imports but the risk is going to be there. It's going to take a while until we get more clarity on how his policies will affect the peso."


Saturday, November 26, 2016

AZMEX EXTRA 26-11-16


Border gun-smuggling arrests 'just scratching the surface'
By Julianne Stanford
For the Arizona Daily Star Updated 1 hr ago

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspect a Mexico-bound sedan passenger vehicle at the DeConcini Port of Entry on Nov. 2, 2016, in Nogales, Ariz.
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer R. Hernandez uses a density-measuring device on the rear quarter-panel of a Mexico-bound passenger vehicle at the DeConcini Port of Entry on Nov. 2, 2016, in Nogales, Ariz.

CBP inspections
Mexico-bound traffic queues as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers screen certain vehicles at the DeConcini Port of Entry on Nov. 2, 2016, in Nogales, Ariz.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers R. Hernandez, right, and Adrian Morales stand by as a handful of Mexico-bound vehicles at a time are allowed to proceed without screening through the DeConcini Port of Entry on Nov. 2, 2016, in Nogales, Ariz.

Border gun ATF traces
Border gun seizures
When Ariana Ramirez and Andrian Alvarez tried to cross the border from Nogales into Mexico, customs officers discovered their car was loaded down with firearms and ammunition bound for a drug cartel.

Officers found two assault rifles and six high-capacity magazines under the seat where Ramirez's two infants sat, court records show. In the center console were more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition and a $930 receipt from the United Nations Ammo Company in Glendale. Another 1,500 rounds were tucked under the Ford Explorer and a dismantled .50-caliber machine gun tripod mount was stashed in the back seat.

Ammunition-smuggling busts at Arizona ports of entry — like this one – jumped 600 percent over the past two years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics show. A total of 54,000 rounds and 25 firearms were seized at the state's ports in fiscal year 2016, statistics obtained by the Arizona Daily Star through a public records request show.

But that's a small fraction of what's actually getting across the border.

"It's just scratching the surface," said Jose Wall, a retired Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent who worked on arms trafficking into Mexico from 2000 to 2013.

Thousands of cars cross the border every day, and it's impossible for agents to tell which ones have guns and ammo, Wall said.

CBP seized 297 firearms and 282,000 rounds at Arizona ports of entry since 2005, while 1,135 guns and 764,000 rounds of ammunition were seized border wide.

Many more guns than that slipped through the border during that time.

Police at crime scenes in Mexico recovered 120,000 firearms that originated in the United States, annual reports from the ATF's International Firearms Tracing System show. Firearms from the United States accounted for 70 percent of the 173,000 illegal guns recovered by the Mexican federal police at crime scenes since 2007.

Authorities also found receipts showing that Alvarez purchased more than $11,000 worth of ammunition between March 1 and his March 27 arrest. He told investigators that he smuggled guns and ammunition during four previous trips across the border that month. Each load was bound for a drug cartel and typically consisted of two assault rifles and several thousand rounds of ammunition, he said.

Based off of those receipts, federal prosecutors estimated that Alvarez alone smuggled more than 36,000 rounds of ammunition and at least 10 assault rifles into Mexico that month, which is equivalent to two-thirds of the total seizures at Arizona ports in fiscal year 2016.

Alvarez claimed he was smuggling to save his brother, who was being held hostage by the cartel for stealing $1 million. Every time Alvarez crossed the border, the cartel would deduct $1,000 from his debt, he told authorities.

Alvarez was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a charge of smuggling goods from the United States. Ramirez pleaded guilty to the same charge, but has not been sentenced yet.

Mark Hammond made it through U.S. customs' southbound inspections on June 20, 2015, but apparently panicked when Mexican customs officials tried to inspect his backpack.

Rather than hand it over, Hammond dropped the pack and ran to the front of the inbound U.S. inspections line, court documents show. All the while, Mexican customs officials were yelling that Hammond had a gun.

Inside the backpack, CBP officers discovered five mini AK-47 pistols, five high-capacity magazines and a receipt showing he paid $2,600 for the guns and ammunition from J & G Sales in Prescott.

Hammond claimed he had no intention of smuggling guns into Mexico. Court records show police found a mini AK-47 in Mexico that Hammond had purchased a week before, indicating an earlier successful smuggling attempt.

He pleaded guilty to one count of exportation of firearms in connection with the backpack incident and was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison.

With thousands of people crossing the border every day, finding smuggled firearms and ammunition is almost impossible, said CBP spokeswoman Teresa Small.

Authorities are "literally having to look for that needle in the haystack," Small said.

Officers are trained to look for signs of nervousness or something amiss inside a vehicle. But from smuggling guns to smuggling fruit, nothing really distinguishes which crime is in progress, she said.

Just south of the border in Sonora, Mexican federal police recovered more than 6,700 firearms from January 2006 to March 2016, the newspaper El Imparcial reported.

In one case from February 2015, police reported finding 10,000 rounds of ammunition, nine magazines and seven assault rifles in compartments built into a truck's side paneling on Highway 15, the federal route that leads south from Nogales.

In another case, a man was arrested in August on the highway between Sonoyta and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora with 10 assault rifles and eight high-capacity magazines inside a hidden compartment in his vehicle, according to Mexican newspaper El Universal.

Most of the guns and ammunition smuggled across the border are headed to organized crime operations in Mexico, like drug cartels, retired ATF agent Wall said.

Wall was a whistleblower in the ATF gun-walking scandal Operation Fast and Furious, when the agency's Phoenix field office allowed weapons purchased in the U.S. across the border so agents could trace them to drug cartels. However, the guns disappeared and were found at crime scenes on both sides of the border — including the 2010 shooting death of Border Patrol Agent Bryan Terry.

The types of weapons seized at the border and the caliber and quantity of ammunition are characteristic of the weapons used by criminal networks, Wall said.

"Unless you're doing some serious dove hunting, you're not going to need more than 100 shotgun shells or, if you're going deer hunting, you might take 20 rounds," he said.

"Your large purchases of AK-47s and AR-15s are going to organized crime," Wall said. "Any type of weapon or ammunition that has a similarity to the military, any trafficking of those are going to organized crime."

Cross-border solutions

As was the case with Hammond's and Alvarez's smuggling attempts, most of the weapons recovered by Mexican police were legally purchased at gun shops and gun shows in southwestern border states, a U.S. Government Office of Accountability report released in January found.

The high volume of weapons in Mexico is the result of gun policies in the United States, said Sarah Kinosian, an arms-trafficking policy analyst for the Washington Office on Latin America, a research and human rights advocacy organization.

"It's, without a doubt, the lax U.S. gun laws that contribute to the high levels of gun violence down in Mexico," Kinosian said. "It's so easy to get a gun in the United States and move it across the border."

However, retired ATF agent Wall said the gun laws in Mexico created the conditions for the thriving cross-border gun trafficking industry.

Mexico has strict firearm regulations. Citizens are constitutionally entitled to possess a small-caliber firearm that must be registered with the government. Most types of guns are exclusively restricted to use by the military.

Guns can be only kept in a residence, and a special permit must be obtained to take it outside for activities like hunting.

The only place to legally obtain a gun in Mexico is a government-operated store in Mexico City, tucked away on a military base.

"There's always going to be gun traffic to Mexico, always, because of just the necessity," Wall said. "If it's not narcos, it's criminals who want a gun, or it's the guy who tells his buddy, 'Hey, can you bring me a gun because I want to go shoot rabbits, or I want a gun for protection.'"

Kinosian said a policy change in Mexico is needed, but such a change could be far off.

"I don't get the sense that there is a really big push to do anything about the problem of trans-border trafficking," she said.

One way to discourage smuggling is for Mexico to increase its border security, Wall said.

"It's not going to be popular," he said. "We all love to go to Mexico and not have to stop at the border and just get waved on through."

Kinosian advocated for the Mexican government to crack down on gun-trafficking networks, as well as more proactive policing and detection by U.S. customs officers looking for smugglers.

As it stands right now, "if they don't break any laws, then they won't be pulled over," she said.

Wall said the best way to combat the cross-border smuggling is a 'see something, say something' approach.

"If you're a guy in a gun store and you're buying a gun, and you see someone buying 10 AK-47s, report it, the same way you report suspicious narco activity," Wall said. "Because ultimately, if we can reduce the flow of guns, it helps the American gun owner because there's less crime and less pressure on the politicians to do stuff."

Julianne Stanford is a University of Arizona journalism student and apprentice at the Star. Contact her at


Wednesday, November 23, 2016



Comment: As usual, no concern for the actual victims of ID theft.
Can't use I-9 form as evidence? Imposing a very difficult condition?
"almost exclusively immigrant workers." Meaning illegal immigrants.
Some very biased coverage.

Judge upholds laws used to justify Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's work-site raids
Megan Cassidy , The Republic |
9:55 p.m. MST November 22, 2016

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the laws used to back Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's workplace raids will remain on the books, capping off a two-year lawsuit that claimed Arizona's identity-theft statutes targeted immigrant workers.

In his decision, U.S. District Court Judge David Campbell found that while the laws did largely affect undocumented immigrants, they also served as a legitimate law-enforcement tool in combating identity theft.
"The laws were passed in part for their effect on immigration by unauthorized aliens," he wrote, "but the legislature was also addressing a pressing criminal problem that adversely affected Arizona residents."

Arpaio's brand of illegal-im
migration enforcement sparked various legal challenges throughout the last several years, and Tuesday's ruling serves as one of the lawman's rare victories.

"I have taken a lot of criticism for going into the businesses, arresting workers that are here illegally," Arpaio said Tuesday evening. "I said from the beginning my main objective was to enforce the ID laws, so I'm very happy that the judge ruled in our favor."

Unlikely that workplace raids will return

It is unlikely the ruling will resurrect the workplace raids, however. Arpaio recently lost his bid for re-election, and his successor, Paul Penzone, has denounced many of his predecessor's more controversial policies.

Judge weighs whether to halt Arpaio's workplace raids

The decision also comes with a caveat. Campbell ruled that state attorneys cannot use I-9 employment forms to investigate or prosecute state identity-theft or forgery violations. Campbell said such use is pre-empted by federal law.

Annie Lai, a plaintiffs' attorney with the University of California at Irvine School of Law's Immigrant Rights Clinic, said this portion of the ruling "reaffirms the notion that state and local officials may not appropriate the federal employment-verification system to target undocumented workers."

Lai noted that the court said additional details will be briefed at a later date.
"In the meantime, we are considering all available options," she said.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office in court: Attorneys defend ID-theft statutes backing workplace raids

Tuesday's filing stems from a 2014 lawsuit leveled by civil-rights group Puente Arizona, which challenged two identity-theft laws Arizona legislators passed that made it a felony to use false information to gain employment. The laws applied regardless of whether the fake identity was attached to a real person.

Puente's attorneys contended the laws were less about law enforcement and more designed to purge illegal immigrants in the state. The plaintiffs also argued immigration enforcement was the sole responsibility of federal, rather than state, government.

Plaintiffs cited the bills' sponsors to bolster their arguments. During one of the bills' hearings, then-state Sen. Russell Pearce said Arizona needed to do more to address the problem of illegal immigration, and that "attrition starts through enforcement," according to court documents.

Sting operations in Valley

The lawsuit was primarily inspired by Arpaio's sting operations on local businesses.

Largely acting on tips, deputies would raid restaurants, car washes and other places of employment, arresting mostly low-level employees suspected of using false identities to gain employment. Between 2008 and 2014, the agency conducted more than 80 raids and arrested more than 800 people, almost exclusively immigrant workers.

Workers ask judge to halt Arpaio raids pending lawsuit

The suit also challenged the prosecution of the law, as well as the law's underlying constitutionality, a tactic that roped in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the state of Arizona as defendants.

Though Arpaio eliminated the work-site operations in December 2014, Campbell issued a preliminary injunction the following month effectively outlawing prosecution under the laws.

That injunction was reversed by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May of this year. The panel acknowledged that while some applications of the laws may conflict with the federal government, the state and federal authorities didn't overlap when the laws were used to prosecute U.S. citizens.

Judge: Arpaio in contempt of court
Key moments in contempt case
Profiling case costs taxpayers $13M on top of $41M
Arpaio has always done it his way
Arpaio through the years
The man judging Sheriff Joe
Arpaio: PI investigated judge's wife
Arpaio's legal fate hinges on intent
Arpaio charged in criminal contempt
Our view: Sheriff Joe Arpaio must go
See full azcentral coverage

The parties last met in October, when plaintiffs' and defense attorneys both argued that Campbell should rule in their favor without the case going to trial.

Attorneys representing Arpaio and prosecutors argued that the laws offered legal protection for the victims of identity theft. According to court documents, nearly 50 percent of the forgery and identity-theft prosecutions under the Maricopa County Attorney's Office "had at least one identifiable victim."

Mia Garcia, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Attorney General's Office, said the ruling means state attorneys can resume prosecuting individuals accused of job-related identity theft.

"The court refused to accept that they could hide behind the equal-protection clause, which protects against race and discrimination," she said.

Tuesday's ruling has no bearing on another racial-profiling case that has resulted in Arpaio being charged with criminal contempt of court. In that case, another federal judge ruled that Arpaio's deputies had racially profiled Latinos during traffic operations. The judge later found that Arpaio refused to abide by the court's orders that banned the practice.

In a statement on Tuesday, Puente Director Carlos Garcia said that Arpaio lost his re-election bid because of his "unjust immigration policies."

"We will continue to fight — using all tools at our disposal — to make sure that the rights of our community are protected," he said. "The workplace raids began in 2007 and our years-long battle against local politicians' efforts to tarnish our community has only made us stronger. We will not rest until Arpaio's legacy has been thoroughly rejected."

Campbell has asked for both sides' input on the case's remedies to be filed in the coming weeks.




Comment: A long time for any of this to make the media. Well known to us lowly locals.
It is strongly suspected that a effectively secured border would be a problem for many who now profit from the current condition. Including many on this side of the border. The "poll" was in english & spanish.

Arizona's border fencing by the numbers

Posted: Nov 22, 2016 9:13 PM MST
Updated: Nov 22, 2016 11:51 PM MST
By Derek Staahl

The Arizona-Mexico border spans approximately 370 miles, but only a third of it has fencing designed to stop people on foot. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

Another 183.2 miles, or 49 percent of the Arizona-Mexico border, are covered with vehicle fencing. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

The remaining 64 miles has no barrier at all. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)


The Arizona-Mexico border spans approximately 370 miles, but only a third of it has fencing designed to stop people on foot.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the international boundary in Arizona features 123.2 miles of pedestrian fencing, like the tall bollard-style fence in Nogales, Arizona.

Another 183.2 miles, or 49 percent of the Arizona-Mexico border, are covered with vehicle fencing. This type of fencing includes "Normandy fencing," X-shaped barricades used on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day and intended to stop only vehicles.

The remaining 64 miles has no barrier at all. The un-barricaded land is in areas where there are natural barriers, like mountains, Border Patrol officials say.

Still, polling shows nearly half of Arizonans think the border wall proposed by Donald Trump isn't the right move. In a poll of 2,600 Arizonans conducted by Reuters last month, 47 percent of respondents said the wall would be a "waste of money." Thirty-four percent said the wall would be an "effective barrier." The remaining respondents selected "neither."

Inside Nickel's Diner in Nogales, the breakfast crowd was split on the topic.

"We need to have this wall put up," said Mark Gibson, a long-time Nogales resident. "I'm for it, and I think once you put this wall up, it'll make immigration reform come around. Because there's a lot of good people in Mexico and there's a lot of families here. They need to fix it where you can go both ways."

[RELATED: Ranchers hope border security under Trump leads to fewer wildfires]
[RELATED: Border arrests rise as Trump presidency approaches]

A few booths away, Nogales resident Saul Gonzales said the wall would be "a waste of resources."
"No matter how far or how extended that wall is built, there's always going to be some hole. Some loophole and they're going to find it," he said.

Some in this border town are worried about the symbolic message of adding concrete barriers, including Santa Cruz County Assessor Felipe Fuentes.
"My feeling is, we're going back to the Berlin Wall. There's going to be a real dividing wall between the two countries," Fuentes said.

The poll, conducted Oct. 5 to Oct. 19, had a "credibility interval" of 3 percentage points for likely voters, according to Reuters. A credibility interval is a measure of accuracy.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016



Note: From Homeland Security Today

USCIS Continues To Struggle To Ensure Proper Green Card Issuance, DHS OIG Finds
By: Anthony Kimery, Editor-in-Chief
11/21/2016 ( 8:04pm)

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) continues to struggle to ensure proper Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) issuance, a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (IG) audit report concluded. The audit was conducted as a follow-up to a March 2016 audit in which the IG disclosed USCIS had sent potentially hundreds of Green Cards to the wrong addresses.

"It appears that thousands of Green Cards have simply gone missing. In the wrong hands, Green Cards may enable terrorists, criminals and undocumented aliens to remain in the United States," said Inspector General John Roth.

The audit clearly warned that, "Improperly issued Green Cards pose significant risks and burdens for the agency. Errors can result in approved applicants being unable to obtain benefits, maintain employment or prove lawful immigration status. In the wrong hands, Green Cards may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to remain in the United States and access immigrant benefits. It is vital that USCIS ensure better tools and procedures are in place to mitigate such risks."

"The majority of the card issuance errors were due to the flawed design and functionality problems in the agency's Electronic Immigration System (ELIS)," IG reported in its new audit, noting that. "The delays and cost overruns of the ELIS system have been documented in previous IG reports. Although USCIS conducted a number of efforts to recover the inappropriately issued and missing cards, its efforts to address the errors have been inadequate."

According to the IG's new audit, while "USCIS is responsible for secure and accurate issuance of immigration benefits … our March 2016 report identified weaknesses in USCIS' ability to effectively carry out its national security and system integrity goals. Specifically, we disclosed that USCIS had sent potentially hundreds of Green Cards to the wrong addresses due to an ELIS limitation that prevented USCIS personnel from updating customer addresses. We also reported USCIS was unable to identify the exact number of cards sent to the incorrect addresses. New information regarding the scope and volume of improperly issued Green Cards received after publication of our previous report prompted initiation of this current audit."

"In fact, the problem was far worse than originally thought," according to the IG. "Over the last 3 years, USCIS produced at least 19,000 cards that included incorrect information or were issued in duplicate. Additional mistakes included over 2,400 immigrants approved for 2-year conditional residence status being inadvertently issued cards with 10-year expiration dates. The agency also received over 200,000 reports of cards potentially misdelivered, or not being delivered to approved applicants."

"Based on our analysis of the data provided, we determined approximately 13,000 cards were printed and issued with incorrect personal information, such as the wrong name or date of birth. Additionally, over 6,200 duplicate cards were sent out to individuals who should have each received only one card," the IG's audit found.

Although USCIS conducted a number of efforts to recover the inappropriately issued cards, "these efforts also were not fully successful and lacked consistency and a sense of urgency," the IG stated.

Also known as the Permanent Resident Card, the ID serves as evidence that its holder has been officially granted immigration benefits, including permission to reside and seek employment in the United States. In Fiscal Year 2015, USCIS issued nearly 2.1 million Green Cards. Multiple USCIS program offices and directorates participate in Green Card processing and mailing.

The cards contain numerous built-in security features designed to prevent fraud and remains valid for either 2 or 10 years, depending on whether the individual is granted conditional or permanent residence status.

The IG said, "It should be noted that although the number of errors remains a concern, it represents a small percentage of the total number of Green Cards issued by the agency each year. For example, in FY 2015, card errors accounted for .48 percent of roughly 2 million cards that were produced and mailed. Also, the individuals who received incorrect cards in these instances had followed the
proper procedures and security checks and thus were legitimately approved to
become permanent residents."

Nevertheless, the IG concluded, "the number of errors has increased steadily over the past 3 years."

USCIS works with other DHS components, such as Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other law enforcement agencies to prevent card misuse after issuance.


Saturday, November 5, 2016



Note: Photos, video at link:

16 arrested in multiagency operation targeting Tucson-based heroin trafficking ring
Phil Villarreal, Ina Ronquillo, Mac Colson
8:51 AM, Nov 3, 2016
1 min ago

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Pima County Sheriff's deputies are assisting state and federal law enforcement agents to serve warrants across Tucson Thursday.

Sixteen arrests were made and a total of 32 start arrest warrants at 12 locations were served.

Investigators were working to dismantle a local drug trafficking organization suspected of distributing and selling heroin, marijuana, and various firearms.

Investigators from multiple federal and local law enforcement agencies, including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug enforcement Administration, and the Pima County Sheriff's Department participated in the raids.

According to a release, those arrested face state charges, including racketeering, distribution of narcotics for sale, procession of narcotics for sale, use of wire and electronic communication in drug-related transactions, and money laundering.

"We are tirelessly investigating and prosecuting those suspected of bringing heroin and other dangerous drugs into our communities," said Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "By joining forces with local, state, and federal authorities we will continue to take down major drug trafficking operators in Arizona."

During Thursday's raid agents seized about 2 pounds of heroin, 2 pounds of cocaine, more than half a dozen vehicles, computers, cell phones, several ledgers, and scales.

This investigation began in August 2015 when agents received information that one of the men arrested in Thursday's operation, 42-year-old Sean Dixon, was involved in drug trafficking in Tucson.

As the investigation continued, authorities uncovered evidence that linked Dixon to a drug trafficking ring responsible for transporting large amounts of heroin and marijuana in Tucson and to states on the East Coast including Maryland and Virginia.

Several of Dixon's relatives are also charged in the case, including his wife, Pauline Dixon, 42, and his nephew, Terrence Gooden, 34.

The other Tucson residents arrested for their alleged involvement in the trafficking ring are Dixon's nephew, Ricky Manning Jr., 35; his niece, Janeayi Manning-Qualls, 33; Raymond Pro, 39; Virgil Fleming, 45; Teresa Torres, 73; Ezekiel Jackson, 28; Robert Glaspie, Jr., 25; Enrique Estrada, 44; Andres Acedo, 36; Jennifer Ann Estrada, 38; and Rosalva Perez, 56.

The operation is still ongoing and several of the suspects remain at large.


The San Juan Bosco beyond the capacity of attention for Haitian migrants
Details Published on Thursday November 3, 2016,
Written by Marco A. Flores


Wednesday in Nogales already they have served more than 120 Haitian migrants and they keep coming.
Attention to more than 100 Haitian migrants already exceeds the capacity of groups of public initiative, as the Shelter for Migrant San Juan Bosco, especially since the Caribbeans demand certain very different attentions to those offered to other migrants as Mexicans or Central Americans.

Francisco Loureiro Herrera, director and founder of the hostel, said that Wednesday in Nogales to more than 120 migrants are treated, and unknown others when they will be called to be attended to by immigration authorities in the United States, but recognizes that the process is slow and They are arriving every day, more and accumulate.

"The problem is that these people, as they do not speak our language, there are sometimes problems, such as with food, they are different, we already have that problem because we can not do for different groups certain foods, mainly because we lack the ability economic "he said.

He said the city government assigned a couple of agents of Public Security to support safely, while seeking more shelter volunteers as Haitians are directed with order and respect above all internal regulations. "Supposedly one of the leaders said they were promised many things and not been fulfilled, we do not promise, we do offer shelter with whatever is available and in our possibilities," he added.

Loureiro Herrera ruled out receiving support from the three levels of government, plus he asked the help of volunteers to assist migrants during their stay in the shelter, as some volunteers stopped coming and only four people were left to volunteer, because it is an activity 24 hours a day.

"Right now we are informed that eight more arrived and you have to serve them, the ideal plan is that they were not lying, lying on the ground at the checkpoint, not to disturb citizens crossing to the United States, we thought that these people abided our regulations, but it seems that it didn't work and we are taking measures to convince them to respect "he said.

He exemplified that if one wants to go outside to smoke on the street, the come out and fill the street, if one wants to find a shop to buy things, butdo not know the streets and the responsibility if something happens, is the staff at the hostel, where if they remain inside and are safe and do not have to leave.

He also gave the example that in the case of toothbrushes, use it once and thrown away, do not like to wash them to continue using them, contrary to the custom in Mexico situation and Haitians are upset if they are advised to wash them for continuous use, a fact that complicates the delivery of brushes, because you can not give three every day.


Friday, November 4, 2016



Note: Many Arizonans will remember the false hysteria back in 1994 when the CCW program was passed and implemented. Many years later in 2016, still no blood in the streets. Currently 291,386 CCW permits active in AZ, plus uncounted numbers of Constitutional Carry. Still no bloodbaths.

Not everyone will carry a weapon, there will be tests': Jorge Luis Preciado
01/11/2016 11:55 / PHOTO: Cuartoscuro.
Senator reiterated his proposal by saying that tests will be given to applicants to reduce misuse


Senator Jorge Luis Preciado confirmed his proposal to bear arms by ensuring that persons wishing to have the legal use of them have to go through a series of tests of various kinds, in order to qualify the attitudes and skills of stakeholders: 'the chances that misuse would be reduced'.

In a telephone interview with Adela Micha for Grupo Imagen, Preciado Rodriguez stressed that the tests applied are of a psychological nature, fingerprints of citizens, which will be entered into a database and that, unlike what is believed, 'it will not be anything like the old west':

For example, in other countries allow their citizens arm themselves, you can see that not all do; in Uruguay, in Chile, Guatemala, Switzerland, was a decrease in crime rates because criminals know that people can bring a weapon "for purposes of personal protection of loved ones.

He clarified that the National Action Party (PAN) indicated that the proposal is' a personal capacity ', although they have not shown a sharp denial for the same:' but argue that there are other ways to combat insecurity-and - but it must be seen from a complementary aspect 'and not as a belligerent data.

Aspects such as lack of access to education, poverty, hunger (and other basic needs) are responsible for the violence, (ending) in crime; but when the citizens are prepared, we see that the (proposal aims) to defend your life, your loved ones and heritage ".

Rodriguez Preciado intends to amend the General Law on Carrying Firearms and Explosives, so as to harmonize standards and other requirements caliber 'today have a weapon is a very selective practice; unless one possesses money or political influence 'and / or administrative' friends you can access; ordinary citizens can not.

In addition, if we can have firearms at home, but if you want to take it to be repaired , for example, you risk an arrest for possession (...) if this is carried out and that's what the proposal is "remove some topics or legal issues that, together, form a series of contradictions in the field of arms regulation.

The senator recalled a campaign like More Guns Less Crime, which was implemented in the USA where a forum of opinion was conducted with individuals and groups, both pro and con, to serve as reference for the citizens, discussion points, and let the people consider the pros and cons.

We will meet on November 19 at the Monument to the Revolution for the right to life. The respect for others, as others should respect my life and family, "he said.


More: ISBN-13: 978-0226493664
ISBN-10: 0226493660