Tuesday, September 17, 2013
AZMEX I3 17-9-13
AZMEX I3 17 SEP 2013
Note: "Less" people crossing, more deaths?
Border-crossing deaths up from 2012
By: Elisa Cordova/Cronkite News
Originally published: Sep 17, 2013 - 5:00 am
Greg Hess, Pima County's chief medical examiner, points to the region where many cross the border illegally into the U.S. (Photo by Elisa Cordova/Cronkite News)
TUCSON -- Following brutal summer heat, deaths of border crossers in Pima County so far this year are up from 2012, the chief medical examiner said.
As of Sept. 11, 146 bodies had been found, up from 125 through that date in 2012, Dr. Gregory Hess said.
His office reported 29 deaths in June and 36 in July, though he said deaths decreased during cooler weather in August.
"The summertime is the busiest for us in terms of undocumented border crosser deaths in the desert," he said.
Hess said he can't pinpoint the reasons for this year's increase, but he noted that June was particularly hot. He noted that in many cases his office can't prove that dehydration or heat was the cause of death, though they may be suspected.
"It's the absence of a logical explanation and a story that essentially fits with that environmental exposure," he said.
Since 2000, the most deaths of border crossers in a calendar year in Pima County was 225 in 2010.
Hess said that aside from the weather, a person's physical condition prior to crossing the border contributes to what he or she is able to endure.
According to the National Foundation for American Policy, even though the number of those crossing the border illegally has diminished the number of deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border increased by 27 percent in fiscal 2012.
Tighter enforcement in other sectors has pushed many border crossers to the rugged desert near Tucson, driving up deaths in Pima County in recent years.
At the Tucson office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a man who would identify himself only as a spokesperson said there are a lot of factors that contribute to desert deaths, heat and terrain among them.
"Criminal organizations guide individuals into remote areas such as Tucson, and it's impossible to carry enough water," he said. "They are guiding them through rough terrains."
As lead minister at The Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita, organizes effort to place drinking water in the desert to help border crossers in distress. He said it keeps them from drinking water in cattle troughs, ponds and streams that can make people ill.
"It's very dangerous to be drinking that water," he said.
Note: Then we have this: Good report from Kimery. Not only in the border states.
ICE Arrests Sexual Predator While 3,000 Deportable Alien Sex Offenders Released
September 16, 2013
By: Anthony Kimery
Less than 36 hours after US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) announced the availability of its new Operation Predator smartphone app to solicit information from the public about wanted child predators, a Michigan man profiled in the app was arrested.
Meanwhile, however, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress' investigatory and audit branch, disclosed in an audit report that according to ICE, of the 59,347 aliens under an order of supervision as of September 2012, 2,837 (5 percent) were deportable aliens who'd been convicted of a sex offense" who had been released from detention.
GAO explained in its report, which was redacted because it contains law enforcement sensitive information, that there are circumstances in which criminal aliens who have been ordered deported from the United States -- including those convicted of a sex offense -- cannot be removed. For example, a criminal alien may not be removed because the designated country will not accept the alien's return, GAO determined.
This untenable situation exists largely because of the decision of the US Supreme Court in Zadvydas v. Davis that imposed strict limits on ICE's ability to detain aliens beyond six months after the issuance of a final order of removal if removal is not significantly likely in the reasonably foreseeable future."
And "in these instances," GAO informed lawmakers, the "ICE-Enforcement and Removal Operations directorate [ICE-ERO] may release the alien into the community under an order of supervision," but then fails to inform local law enforcement of the person's whereabouts or fails to keep track of the person altogether.
In July 2012, the House Committee on the Judiciary released a report that said thousands of illegal and criminal immigrants released by federal authorities as a result of the Obama administration's lax immigration policies have gone on to commit more crimes, including murder, rape, kidnapping and child molestation.
The report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) contained an analysis of crosschecked data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that was subpoenaed by the House Judiciary Committee. The Committee subpoenaed the agency following the Obama administration's announcement to stop deporting certain illegal immigrants flagged by Secure Communities, a law enforcement program that identifies illegal immigrants arrested and booked in local jails.
The data provided to the committee by DHS included 276,412 records of charges against illegal and criminal immigrants identified by Secure Communities between October 27, 2008 and July 31, 2011. There were 159,286 unique individuals in the database and 205,101 unique arrest incidents.
Of those released, CRS found that about 17 percent of illegal and criminal immigrants, or 26,412, were rearrested on criminal charges. These 26,412 recidivists accounted for a total of 42,827 arrests and 57,763 alleged violations.
The categories of crimes charged include nearly 8,500 DUI (14.6 percent), over 6,000 drug violations (10.9 percent), more than 4,000 major criminal offenses (7.1 percent), which included murder, assault, battery, rape and kidnapping, nearly 3,000 theft (4.9 percent), and over 1,000 other violent crimes (2.1 percent), that included carjacking, child cruelty, child molestation, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking and torture.
These crimes committed by both illegal and legal immigrants included 59 murders, 21 attempted murders, and 542 sex crimes.
Of those persons rearrested, nearly 30 percent, or 7,283, were illegal immigrants. Since 46,734 illegal immigrants were released, this means the recidivism rate of this group was 16 percent. Although these illegal aliens should have been deported, under Obama administration immigration policies they were released them back into US communities.
The crimes charged against these illegals included nearly 2,000 DUIs (11.9 percent), over 1,400 drug violations (8.8 percent), and more than 1,000 major criminal offenses and violent crimes (6.9 percent) including murder, assault, battery, rape, kidnapping, child molestation, domestic abuse, lynching, stalking and torture.
The crimes committed by illegals included 19 murders, 3 attempted murders and 142 sex crimes.
In its 5-4 decision in the case of Zadvydas v. Davis, the Supreme Court ruled that the indefinite detention of deportable illegal aliens for greater than six months is unconstitutional unless there is "significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future."
"Freedom from imprisonment lies at the heart of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause," said Associate Justice Stephen Breyer in the majority opinion. Breyer was joined in this opinion by Justices J.P. Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter.
But in the dissenting opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that, "Insofar as a claimed legal right to release into this country is concerned, an alien under final order of removal stands on an equal footing with an inadmissable alien at the threshold of entry: He has no such right."
Justice Anthony Kennedy agreed, saying, "the authority to detain beyond the removal period is to protect the community, not to negotiate the aliens' return … An alien's admission to this country is conditioned upon compliance with our laws, and removal is the consequence of a breach of that understanding."
Justices Clarence Thomas and William Rehnquist also dissented from the majority opinion.
Because of the risk that some individuals previously convicted of a sex offense may pose, in July 2006, Congress passed -- and the President signed -- the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006 (SORNA) that provided a new set of sex offender registration and notification standards, including criminal penalties for those who fail to comply with these standards.
These standards require convicted sex offenders to register and keep their registration current in the state, territorial or tribal jurisdictions in which they live, work and attend school, and for initial registration purposes only, in the jurisdiction in which they were convicted, if such jurisdiction is different from the jurisdiction of residence, GAO explained.
"On the basis of our analysis of a representative sample of 131 alien sex offenders under ICE supervision, and for whom ICE had a record of the alien's complete date of birth, we estimate that as of September 2012, 72 percent of alien sex offenders were registered in the jurisdictions where they lived, 22 percent were not required to register, and 5 percent did not register but should have."
Further, GAO told lawmakers, "We found that ICE-ERO informs alien sex offenders who are removed from the country about potential registration requirements, but ICE-ERO does not consistently inform alien sex offenders who are released under ICE-ERO supervision about these requirements. Further, relevant jurisdiction officials may not be notified about the whereabouts of an alien sex offender when an alien sex offender is removed from the country or when an alien sex offender is released under ICE-ERO supervision, which could have an impact on jurisdictions' ability to monitor these offenders if they return to the jurisdictions' communities."
The inherent problem is glaring, critics say. GAO stated in its sanitized audit report that "State registry and local law enforcement officials in our review also provided examples of how their lack of awareness about removed alien sex offenders, in particular, could pose a risk to public safety."
"For example," GAO reported, "registry officials in one state said that there have been instances when they were not aware that an alien sex offender had been removed from the country until the sex offender subsequently returned to the United States, committed another offense, and ended up back in the state criminal justice system. Local law enforcement officials from another state described an instance in which they were not aware that an alien sex offender had been removed from the country until the offender returned to the United States and was subsequently arrested for committing another sex offense against the same child that he had previously victimized."
In many cases, this problem has been especially acute with deported members of the savage Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 Latino street gang, which has become a major cross-border human trafficking organization, especially of young women kidnapped and forced into prostitution. In recent years, there's been a handful of murders of young women believed to have been forced into MS-13 gang-run juvenile prostitution rings, according to law enforcement officials. In recent years, numerous members of MS-13 have been convicted for a variety of crimes, including sexual assault, rape and prostitution.
In addition, the decapitation and dismemberment of several young women in the US discovered to have been trafficked for sex have been directly tied to individuals involved in prostitution and drug trafficking tied to both the MS-13 and the Mexican-based Los Zetas criminal cartel, whose trademark is the savage torture, killing and decapitation and dismemberment of its adversaries and individuals within its ranks who get out of line, according to federal and state authorities who have investigated the deaths of these young women.
By July 2006, for example, of the more than 3,000 members of gangs arrested by ICE-HSI, more than 1,000 were members of MS-13 with violent criminal histories with arrests and convictions for crimes including assault, rape and murder. Of the 1,524 gang members arrested by a task force between 2003 and July 2006, nearly 20 percent, or 303, had been arrested for criminal and administrative immigration violations.
In February 2006, ICE Special Agents arrested Edwin Fuentes Alvarez, a native and citizen of El Salvador where MS-13 originated, and a high-ranking member of Mara-R in Washington, DC, for removal proceedings. Alvarez had a criminal history that included a conviction for second degree child sexual abuse and arrests for assault with a deadly weapon, possession of narcotics with intent to distribute and destruction of property. Based on his criminal history, if he returns to the United States illegally, he could be prosecuted for illegal reentry after deportation and face 20 years in prison.
According to the data ICE-ERO provided to GAO, of the 4,359 alien sex offenders who were removed from the country between January and August 2012, 220 of them (5 percent) had previously been removed but subsequently returned to the United States and were arrested for another offense. GAO had reported in February 2013 that the FBI is in the process of developing a mechanism by which the US Marshals Service and relevant jurisdiction officials will be notified when a sex offender who has been registered in the United States legally reenters the country."
Federal law states that the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and federal probation officers are to notify the jurisdiction in which the sex offender will reside that the offender has been released. However, the law does not specify that ICE is also required to do so. Consequently, local law enforcement officials in the three states included in GAO's review said that, from their perspective, the best way to ensure that they are aware of alien sex offenders whom ICE-ERO has in custody, removed from the country or released under supervision is for ICE-ERO to tell the officials."
Yet, while GAO found that ICE-ERO plans to review options to help address notification gaps pertaining to alien sex offenders who are released under order of supervision, it has not established a deadline for when it will complete this review, and that it "does not plan to consider options for notifying jurisdictions when an alien sex offender is removed from the country, which, as discussed previously, could have an impact on a jurisdiction's ability to monitor these individuals if they return to the United States."
GAO reported that "ICE-ERO stated that it is assessing options to best accomplish the goal of sex offender notification programs, including incorporating notification requirements for all alien sex offenders released under ICE-ERO supervision," but noted that "ICE-ERO has not identified a deadline for when it will complete its assessment of the various options," nor does it plan to notify jurisdictions when an alien sex offender is removed from the country."
Continuing, GAO pointed out that "Alien sex offenders are not consistently informed of potential registration requirements, and relevant jurisdiction officials -- that is, state, territorial and tribal sex offender registry and law enforcement officials -- are not consistently notified when an offender is removed from the country or released. The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act of 2006 and other federal laws identify when sex offenders and relevant jurisdiction officials should be notified."
"However, the agencies that have these notification responsibilities are limited in their ability to provide information to and about alien sex offenders, in part because they do not know when ICE-ERO will release or remove these offenders," GAO noted. "ICE-ERO has a procedure in place to inform alien sex offenders who are being removed about potential registration requirements, but not alien sex offenders who are being released into the community under supervision, primarily because ICE-ERO is uncertain whether it has a responsibility to do so."
"ICE-ERO also does not consistently notify relevant jurisdiction officials when an alien sex offender is removed or released under supervision, for similar reasons. However, officials from the Department of Justice's Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) Office said that state correctional facilities, in the interest of public safety, have notification processes in place, even though sometimes not required to do so."
GAO informed lawmakers that ICE-ERO currently "is reviewing options for informing alien sex offenders under supervision about their potential registration requirements and notifying jurisdictions when alien sex offenders are released under supervision, but has not established a deadline for completing its review, which is inconsistent with project management standards."
And without a deadline, GAO warned, "it will be difficult to hold ICE-ERO accountable for providing these notifications. Further, ICE-ERO does not plan to notify relevant jurisdictions when an alien sex offender is removed," although "providing such notification could help jurisdictions ensure public safety and avoid unnecessarily spending resources trying to locate the offender."
Congress' investigative arm concluded that "Without mechanisms in place to consistently inform alien sex offenders who are released under ICE-ERO supervision about their registration requirements, and consistently notify jurisdictions when an alien sex offender has been removed from the country or released under supervision, the risk that alien sex offenders will reside in US communities without being registered is increased."
ICE-ERO is in the process of a review to determine whether continued use of the Form I-220B addendum as a means to notify alien sex offenders of their potential registration requirements is warranted. However, GAO stated, "ICE-ERO has not set a deadline for timely completion of this review," and a deadline "will help enhance accountability for completion of this effort, which is important because until this review is completed, there will continue to be uncertainty as to whether and how ICE-ERO should be notifying alien sex offenders who are released under order of supervision of their duty to register."
In addition, GAO said "a time frame for when ICE-ERO will complete its assessment of options for notifying alien sex offenders of their potential registration requirements will help provide accountability for completing this important effort. Also, communicating the results of ICE-ERO's assessment with federal stakeholders will help provide clarity going forward with regard to who has responsibility for notifying alien sex offenders of their potential registration requirements."
"Moreover," GAO stressed, "given the threat that alien sex offenders who are removed from and return to the United States may pose to public safety, developing an appropriate mechanism for informing relevant jurisdictions when an alien sex offender has been removed will assist jurisdiction officials in ensuring that all alien sex offenders are registered. This will facilitate the monitoring of these sex offenders in the event that they return to the United States. Such notification would also prevent jurisdictions from spending limited resources trying to locate these offenders because they were not aware that the offenders had been removed from the country."
GAO concluded that "given the threat that alien sex offenders who are removed from and return to the United States may pose to public safety, developing an appropriate mechanism for informing relevant jurisdictions when an alien sex offender has been removed will assist jurisdiction officials in ensuring that all alien sex offenders are registered. This will facilitate the monitoring of these sex offenders in the event that they return to the United States. Such notification would also prevent jurisdictions from spending limited resources trying to locate these offenders because they were not aware that the offenders had been removed from the country."
Human trafficking arguably is the fastest growing organized criminal enterprise in the world. An estimated 27 million people are trafficked globally at an annual profit of more than $30 billion, according to the US State Department's 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report.
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), "human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries," and that "US government and academic researchers are currently working on an up-to-date estimate of the total number of trafficked persons in the United States annually."
"It is clear," NHTRC stated, "that the total number of human trafficking victims in the US reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated."
An estimated 100,000 children are trafficked in the sex trade in the United States each year. According to the FBI, the average age of a child first used in prostitution is 11 to 14, with some as young as nine years of age.
Most of the victims are women and children, who are used either for cheap labor or sexual services by organized TCOs, according to a European Union commission report.
In recent years, the trafficking of young women for sex throughout the US has also been linked to Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) like the notorious Los Zetas whose initial criminal enterprises centered around narco-trafficking.
But as US and Mexican law enforcement efforts have disrupted their narco-trafficking operations north and south of the border, Mexico-based TCOs have become involved in all sorts of criminal activities. The trafficking of young woman for sex has become one of their more lucrative criminal enterprises.
Joseph Burke, unit chief of ICE's National Bulk Cash Smuggling Center, told Homeland Security Today "approximately 50 percent of the Zetas revenue is derived from non-narcotics activity."
It's no surprise, then, that thousands of women and children are trafficked to the US largely from Mexico and Central America for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation, according to a June 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report by the US State Department.