Saturday, May 25, 2013

AZMEX I3 25-5-13

AZMEX I3 25 MAY 2013

Note: Don't need no stinking walks in the desert.

Pilot accused of ferrying illegal immigrants to Chandler
7 hours ago • Perla Trevizo Arizona Daily Star
Related Documents
PDF: Criminal complaint against James Bissell

A pilot is accused of using the Bisbee-Douglas International Airport
to smuggle illegal immigrants to the Phoenix area.

Border Patrol agents arrested James Bissell and three other U.S.
citizens, who haven't been identified, when Bissell was getting ready
to load into a single-engine plane three people from Mexico who had
crossed the border illegally, according to a criminal complaint filed
in federal court.

Bissell told authorities two women were paying him to fly late in the
evening the one-way trips to Chandler, the complaint said.

He had been flying three times a week with about three to four
passengers per flight for a year.

He said the women had paid him $900 for Monday's trip, in addition to
another $900 for a prior flight, court documents show.

That would be transporting in one year about 500 people in 156
flights for more than $140,000.

The illegal immigrants told authorities they crossed the border fence
and were taken by smugglers to a residence where they were picked up
and driven to the airport.

Bissell is charged with alien smuggling and had his first appearance
Wednesday in the Tucson federal court before Magistrate Judge Bruce

Customs officials said it's unusual to find smugglers using planes to
transport illegal immigrants.


Florence busiest initial stop for ICE detainees
7 hours ago • Perla Trevizo Arizona Daily Star

Arizona is home to the facility where the largest number of
immigration detainees are initially held in the nation, new data show.

More than 7,600 people were initially detained at the Florence
Staging Facility between November and December 2012, according to a
new report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a
research group. That's followed by two locations in Texas: Brooks
County jail in Falfurrias where 4,615 people were initially held, and
the Rio Grande Valley Staging Facility, with 4,556 detainees.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, is a
nonpartisan research organization associated with Syracuse University.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials wouldn't comment on the
report this week citing a need to review it.

Individuals were first processed at these locations and then
deported, released or transferred to more permanent detention
facilities. The Florence Staging Facility is also used as a regional
transportation hub to fly individuals who are from countries other
than Mexico to their places of origin.

The number of people picked up by Customs and Border Protection and
transferred into ICE's custody may be a contributing factor to the
high number at the Florence facility, said Maurice Goldman, a local
immigration attorney.

Seven out of every 10 individuals were originally detained in states
along the Southwest border.

The biggest share comes from Texas, where 24,811 people were detained
between November and December last year - more than twice as many as
in Arizona or California.

Still, Goldman says his law firm has seen an increase in the number
of people being picked up and detained by immigration officials in
the last several months.

"It seems like not a day goes by that we don't get a least one phone
call from a family member of someone who has been picked up by Border
Patrol or ICE," he said. "We are still seeing a good amount of people
who get turned over to (ICE) based on traffic violations."

TRAC based the state location on the place where ICE recorded the
person as entering its custody since the agency hasn't released
information on where the person was initially apprehended, the report

Nearly 8,500 individuals were picked up across the country and
detained by ICE during a typical week, TRAC reported, "If activity
levels continue at this pace, ICE will detain around 400,000
individuals during the current fiscal year."

And what happens to detainees in immigration custody also varies
widely by state.

Arizona has the second-highest state removal rate at 84 percent, only
after New Mexico, with 88 percent, TRAC reported Wednesday.

On StarNet: Find extensive coverage of immigration issues at

ICE Custody


Total number of individuals detained by ICE in November and December


Texas 24,811

Arizona 11,373

California 10,230

Florida 1,931

Georgia 1,590


Where people were initially detained

• Florence Staging Facility (Arizona): 7,650

• Brooks County Jail in Falfurrias (Texas): 4,615

• Rio Grande Valley Staging Facility (Texas): 4,556

• The Laredo Contract Detention Facility (Texas): 2,022

• San Diego District Staging Facility (California): 1,857

Source: Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse


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