Saturday, May 31, 2014
Posted on May 31, 2014 at 7:30 PM
Updated today at 7:30 PM
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon says a Marine veteran who has been in a Mexico prison on weapons charges is doing well.
Salmon says he was able to visit Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi on Saturday at el Hongo II prison in Tijuana and the 25-year-old seemed in good spirits.
The congressman says he is confident Tahmooressi will be treated respectfully.
Tahmooressi was headed to dinner in San Ysidro, California, on March 31 when he mistakenly wound up at a border-crossing point in Tijuana.
According to Tahmooressi, Mexican authorities found three legally owned guns in his truck.
Meanwhile, KTVK-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1pHSrcQ) Tahomooressi's friends and family held a rally Saturday morning in Phoenix outside the offices of U.S. Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
They are asking lawmakers to help get Tahomooressi released.
Friday, May 30, 2014
Note: go to link for interesting photo, picking up a .50 usually gets more mention, unless it came from MEXGOV sources. Auga Prieta across the fence from Douglas, AZ.
PGR seizes drug, weapons and military equipment in Sonora
There was detained, so the MP began a preliminary investigation against the person responsible
05/29/2014 19:10 Daniel Sánchez Dorame / Correspondent
Federal agents seized more than 140 kilos of various drugs, heavy weapons , thousands of rounds of ammunition , armored vehicles and military clothing. Photo: Special
Hermosillo, Son. May 29 - . Federal agents seized more than 140 kilos of various drugs, heavy weapons , thousands of rounds of ammunition , armored vehicles and military clothing, at an address in Colonia Luis Donaldo Colosio, the border town of Agua Prieta , Sonora.
In a press release , the Attorney General 's Office ( PGR ) announced that through its state delegation said 140 kilos of marijuana; 800 grams of seeds of same weed ; two kilos, 183 grams of cocaine ; and seven firearms of different calibers ; 56 firearms magazines of various calibers ; five thousand 180 rounds of ammunition of different calibers and a grenade .
The search warrant was presented by a Federal Court Judge Criminal Specialized searches, and Intervention Communications and conducted by prosecutors in the Federation with the support of elements of the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC ) and the Mexican Army" , reports the official gazette.
The agents also secured three standard pick up vehicles, one armored ; 10 scales two black ballistic vests four vests black color, a black tactical vest, two blenders, two black tactical holsters.
According to the information no one was arrested , so the MP began a preliminary investigation against the persons responsible for crimes against health, violation of the Federal Law of Firearms and Explosives and the issues .
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Phoenix humanitarian group work to help influx of immigrants released by ICE
By Mac & Gaydos
Originally published: May 29, 2014 - 6:16 pm
This week, hundreds of immigrants who were caught while attempting to cross the Mexico-Texas border are being released in Phoenix by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A local humanitarian group has been working to deal with the consequences of it all.
A guest on 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos on Thursday, Cyndi Whitmore of the Phoenix Restoration Project helped explain the alarming magnitude and intricacies of the situation.
"What we're seeing is an influx of families -- primarily women -- but there are also some fathers with young children, ranging from six months to 12 years of age, that have been released in Phoenix this week," Whitmore explained. "I think Tuesday night was the first time we've seen this happen in Phoenix, but it's been happening in Tucson for some time."
Whitmore, a volunteer with the organization -- which is comprised of others like herself, lacking a 501(c)(3) exemption status -- explained that the immigrants are left at Greyhound stations without bus tickets, food and water. Parents are not given diapers or formula for their children.
"(On Wednesday night), I'd say we had between 50 and 75 and there have already been 100 people released today and we anticipate that more will come today," she said.
According to Whitmore, ICE has long held this practice.
"This is something that happens all over the country," she went on. "When people are released from detention, if they're not local (to) the detention center that they're being released from -- and most of the time they're not -- ICE doesn't, whether they win their case or are released on their own recognizance or posted on bond, transfer them back to where they were picked up or where they were going."
But it's the newer look of the dropoffs that has Whitmore troubled.
"This is actually nothing new; What's new is that we're seeing families with young children.
"Phoenix Restoration Project (has been) responding to this humanitarian need for some time," she said. "We're just used to dealing with smaller numbers of adult men and women being released."
As for the influx in the Phoenix-area dropoffs, Whitmore is as baffled as the rest of the city.
"It's really counter-intuitive that most of these people that need help so far, almost everyone has been headed to the midwest or the east coast -- that's where they're supposed to report in 15 days," she said.
Again, why Arizona? Why Phoenix?
"I'd love to know the answer to that," she said.
But no matter what state the immigrants were detained in, Whitmore holds a belief that it's the duty of all to assist their fellow human beings.
"Regardless of where people are being held in detention centers or where they're being released, it's all of our problem," she said.
"Whether they were detained at the Arizona border or the Texas border, they need help."
And just days into the sudden spike in dropoffs, Whitmore said that help has come.
"We've seen an amazing initial response from the community," she said.
But Phoenix Restoration Project says they could always use more assistance, whether from the general public, other non-government organizations, faith-based charities or otherwise.
Undocumented immigrant surge strains humanitarian group
by Mike Watkiss
Posted on May 29, 2014 at 7:40 PM
Updated today at 7:43 PM
PHOENIX -- Dozens of people who entered the United States illegally were transported to Phoenix this week by federal immigration authorities.
The immigrants were brought to Arizona from Texas and dropped off at the Greyhound bus terminal at 24th Street and Buckeye Road in Phoenix.
"Beginning on Tuesday we started seeing families dropped off including children most under the age of five, some as young as three to six months old," said Cyndi Whitmore with the immigrant help group Phoenix Restoration Project.
The undocumented immigrants from Central America were caught crossing the border in south Texas where illegal entry into the U.S. is reportedly surging.
In response, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement transported more than 400 people, who passed screening tests, to Arizona.
The immigrants were then dropped at the Greyhound bus stations in Phoenix and Tucson.
"They're now being released on their own recognizance which means given authorization to travel and reunite with family members in the United States," said Leah Sarat with the Phoenix Restoration Project.
One man was caught crossing the border in Texas with his wife and four daughters. He said he was escaping violence in his home country of Honduras. He said he is trying to get to Houston where his mother-in-law lives and he has a job waiting for him.
CPB and ICE released a statement that reads in part, "The family units will be released under supervision and required to report in to a local ICE office near their destination address within 15 days, where their cases will be managed in accordance with current ICE enforcement priorities."
Feds transfer hundreds of illegal immigrants from Texas to AZ
Posted: May 29, 2014 6:02 PM PDT
Updated: May 29, 2014 6:57 PM PDT
By Jason Barry -
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A sudden wave of undocumented immigrants has been showing up at the Phoenix Greyhound Bus station, and federal agents are the ones bringing them in.
ICE releases crowds of undocumented immigrants downtown
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants detained as far away as Texas are being released under supervision in Tucson. But getting to their next destination leaves them on their own.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has said that it does not want to put children in detention centers and it dies not want to split up families. ICE releases those families with the condition that they contact ICE for their next court date once they reach their destination in this country.
Continue reading >>
"They had been releasing people through Tucson, but the bus station didn't have the capacity to hold so many people,"said Leah Sarat, a volunteer helping the illegal immigrants. "Just in the last few days we've been seeing upwards of 70 to 80 people within a 24-hour period."
"We're concerned about the condition they're in, said Cyndi Whitmore, with the Phoenix Restoration Project. "After being released, they have very little provisions. They don't have food, water, diapers and formula."
The unexpected guests were among the roughly 400 undocumented immigrants apprehended in Texas, then sent to Arizona for processing this week.
Federal officials said that Texas was overwhelmed with undocumented immigrants over the Memorial Day weekend, so many of them were shipped out.
The U.S. Immigration and Enforcement Office released this statement.
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Tucson Sector is assisting with the processing of illegal immigrants, many of whom are family units, apprehended in South Texas. Upon completion of processing, CBP is transferring the individuals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), where appropriate custody determinations will be made in accordance with ICE enforcement priorities."
"After screening by DHS authorities, the family units will be released under supervision and required to report in to a local ICE office near their destination address within 15 days, where their cases will be managed in accordance with current ICE enforcement priorities."
CBS 5 spoke to a man from Honduras, who is now in Phoenix with his wife and children.
He said that he is seeking political asylum, because of violence back home.
Authorities said that since many of the undocumented immigrants are from Central America, and not Mexico, they cannot be immediately deported.
They have been released to reunite with families in the U.S., while awaiting their court date.
A number of anti illegal immigration groups believe the latest wave of undocumented immigrants will pave the way for countless others to cross our border.
Glenn Spencer is president of American Border patrol, a non-profit group that's pushing for border security.
"I would expect a surge across the Texas border and expect to see a lot more of this," said Spencer."If you are living in Central America in tough conditions, all you have to do is get across the Rio Grande River and you are going to do it. I think it sends the wrong message."
ICE releases crowds of undocumented immigrants downtown
Posted: May 28, 2014 9:49 PM PDT
Updated: May 29, 2014 8:50 PM PDT
By JD Wallace -
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants detained as far away as Texas are being released under supervision in Tucson. But getting to their next destination leaves them on their own.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has said that it does not want to put children in detention centers and it does not want to split up families. ICE releases those families with the condition that they contact ICE for their next court date once they reach their destination in this country.
But last weekend ICE dropped more people at the downtown Greyhound station than there were seats on the buses.
Wednesday afternoon a government van dropped a group of people at the bus station. ICE said that last weekend as many as 400 were left there over the past few days, and that many of them had been stopped in south Texas.
"We've heard through the grapevine that the ICE substations and the Border Patrol substations are absolutely over full and that there's no place for them to put these people. And we've talked to people who were going to Texas, that were trying to make it someplace in Texas, and so they get picked up and driven back to Arizona, and now their family members have to buy them a ticket back to Texas," said Daniel Wilson, a volunteer at Casa Mariposa, which has given some of the stranded families a place to stay for the night.
ICE released this joint statement Wednesday:
"U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Tucson Sector is assisting with the processing of illegal immigrants, many of whom are family units, apprehended in South Texas. Upon completion of processing, CBP is transferring the individuals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), where appropriate custody determinations will be made in accordance with ICE enforcement priorities."
The families, which are from Mexico and Central America, after they are released, contact those who were waiting for them in this country. But sometimes the time is too late to get help from those contacts for a bus ticket. Casa Mariposa has been flooded with people needing a place to stay.
"Releasing people without tickets is endangerment to them and its a public health and safety crisis that Tucson needs to deal with," Wilson said.
ICE said that it is adjusting the rate at which it drops people at the station, and Greyhound is bringing more buses and staying open later. CBP did not have a formal explanation as to why south Texas detainees are being transferred to Tucson. One could be available later this week.
The Greyhound bus station in downtown Tucson was much quieter Thursday than earlier in the week, according to one of the volunteers who helped the people who were dropped off there by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The families that have been left there are from Central America and were picked up by U.S. Border Patrol in south Texas, then flown to Tucson for processing by the U.S. Border Patrol in Arizona.
Wednesday about 50 people total were dropped at the downtown Greyhound bus station by ICE, according to the volunteer who was there to help the people get bus tickets or to find a place to stay. A few families were taken in by volunteers Wednesday night. The families are not considered a threat to the country, and instead of putting children in detention centers or splitting up their families, ICE has been releasing them under supervision. Such a release requires that they get to their reported destination and contact ICE within fifteen days. They will have a court date to determine their future in the country, or if they are to return to their country of origin.
A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman said that Texas facilities have been full from a large amount of people from Central America. Three planes carried about 400 people from Texas to Tucson over the weekend. They were already verified to not have criminal records here. But they still needed to be processed further. Because Arizona has seen a continued drop in illegal immigration, its Border Patrol office has the capacity to aid Texas.
Once Border Patrol has collected the individuals' information, they are then handed over to ICE, which then determines whether to put them in a detention center or to release them under supervision.
"As is, what was the case this weekend, they sent us about 400 unprocessed, undocumented central Americans. What we did here, we received them here at the Tucson airport, we shipped them over to our detention facilities, and we processed them. We processed them, and we turned them over to ICE," said U.S. Border Patrol agent Andy Adame.
Last weekend, so many were dropped off that greyhound didn't have enough buses, or it was too late for families to get help from the people they were planning to meet originally in other parts of the country. Those people were stranded in Tucson for the night. The Greyhound office stayed open overnight Wednesday, according to the volunteer who was helping those who might be stranded.
ICE says it's working to change the pace of releases to avoid that problem in the future.
If and when more detainees could be sent to Tucson is unknown.
Border crosser surge in Texas crowds Tucson bus station
Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star
"One comes here because it's hard in Guatemala. I left seven children to come here and try to do something," said Paula Briseno Rodriguez, holding her son Adrian after being left by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Tucson Greyhound bus station.
8 hours ago • By Perla Trevizo, Luis F. Carrasco
The Department of Homeland Security dropped off close to 200 immigrants — mostly women and children — at the Tucson Greyhound station this week, leaving them to find their own way to cities across the country to report to immigration offices there.
While such releases are not new, the number left here at the same time has put a strain on local immigration advocates and has customs and bus line officials working on a plan to accommodate the unexpected influx of travelers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Arizona is processing 400 people, mostly families coming from Central America and Mexico who were apprehended in South Texas and flown here over the weekend, officials said.
To process the surge of crossers from Texas, the Border Patrol is turning to all available resources at its disposal, said Daniel Tirado , Border Patrol spokesman for the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
In the first six months of the fiscal year, Border Patrol agents in that sector detained more people than Tucson did all of last year, with an average of more than 600 apprehensions a day.
In comparison, Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents have detained about 61,000 border crossers during the same period, with 18 percent coming from a place other than Mexico.
About 100 agents from other sectors, including Arizona, have been sent to Texas to help.
Border Patrol agents in less busy sectors are processing people by taking their biographical information and completing a file online And the Rio Grande Valley Sector is flying apprehended immigrants to other sectors where they can be processed.
The first flight was to El Paso on May 7. Four days later, the second one arrived in Tucson and the third landed here last week, not including those who arrived over the weekend.
The border crossers flown to the different areas of the border are prescreened. The first flights to Tucson were men traveling alone, Tirado said.
Because there's limited bed space for families, women who pose no security risk are released with their children. They must provide the address of their U.S. destination, and they are required to report to a local ICE office near t hat destination within 15 days.
Tirado doesn't know if there will be any more flights, but if agents continue to see the influx in Texas, "those resources available by all means will be utilized," he said.
Tirado couldn't provide a per-flight cost estimate.
A group of about 30 people waited at the station late Tuesday, many thrusting their bus tickets at volunteers as they tried to figure out layovers and departure times to unfamiliar destinations across the country, including Maryland, Alabama and Florida.
Shortly before 8 p.m., two unmarked white vans dropped off about 40 more people in the Greyhound station parking lot.
ICE officials said they are working out a process with Customs and Border Protection to make sure each family is able to place a phone call to make travel arrangements, to provide them sack lunches and work with bus stations to help accommodate the influx.
"Unfortunately, we do not receive prior notice and are unaware of when ICE plans to drop off individuals at our terminal," Lanesha Gipson, spokeswoman for Greyhound Lines Inc. said in an email. "However, we are currently working to establish protocol with ICE in which they inform us of drop-offs several hours in advance to ensure we have the resources to accommodate them once they arrive at our terminal."
For the last eight months, ICE has released large numbers of families at the Tucson Greyhound station while they await their immigration court date, but not in the volume seen this week.
A handful of local volunteers with Casa Mariposa have visited the station every night.
They provide food, phone calls and often put up families overnight when they are unable to get bus tickets.
The group, already operating at capacity, was overwhelmed with the sudden increase of immigrants left at the station.
"We think this is the right thing for ICE to be doing; we think they should be releasing people. But we just feel they could release them in a more respectful and responsible way," said Daniel Wilson with Casa Mariposa.
Jimena Díaz, consul of Guatemala in Phoenix, said her office was trying to find out what was happening Wednesday and had started to reach out to local churches and nonprofits to ask if they could help the families arriving at the bus stations.
"In general, immigration through Arizona has decreased, except for women and children. The same thing is happening in Texas, but the number there is much greater," she said.
"We don't know what's happening. It can be that they are told that if they come with children they are likely to be released for humanitarian reasons," she said.
Art del Cueto, president of the local Border Patrol union, said when agents ask people they just apprehend why they are coming, they often mention they heard about amnesty.
"It's always been our issue, as agents, any time there are rumblings about amnesty it increases the flow," he said.
Paula Briseño Rodríguez waited for her daughter and granddaughter at the Greyhound station Tuesday. She had been released on Monday along with her 3-year-old son and spent the night with Casa Mariposa volunteers.
She had been traveling in a group that also included two nieces, ages 7 and 4, when they were detained by Border Patrol on Saturday. Immigration officials contacted the girls' parents in Florida before taking them from her, she said.
Although she has a brother in Delaware who is a permanent resident and said he would try to bring her into the country legally, she said she couldn't wait any longer.
"One comes here because it's hard in Guatemala. I left seven children to come here and try to do something," she said. "One earns 50 quetzales (about $6) a day. You have to eat, so you're left with 20. How much is that in a week?"
While the dream of a better life pushed many across the border, the fear of violence is also a concern.
"I was talking with a woman from Honduras who said they (gangs) killed three of her relatives on the same day," said Briseño Rodriguez. "Another man told me you can't open a small business anymore because they'll threaten you to get money and if you don't pay they'll kill you or kidnap your child."
Concepción González and her two daughters, ages 7 and 6, also spent the night with a Casa Mariposa volunteer.
González said she was in an abusive relationship that ended when her husband abandoned them. The memories brought her to tears.
"My husband would mistreat me and beat me," she said. "I came here to start a new life. I just want to work, to better myself for my daughters because I'm their mother and their father."
Until last year, Tucson was the busiest sector in the country. At its peak in 2000, more than 600,000 people were arrested.
Back then, San Diego Border Patrol agents came to help here because they had experience dealing with high flows.
The difference, said del Cueto, is that Tucson remains a busy corridor. He said the agents being sent to South Texas are still needed here.
About 120,000 people have been apprehended in the Tucson Sector in the last two fiscal years. The sector still leads the country in the amount of marijuana seized. Last fiscal year, agents seized more than 1 million pounds, compared to about 800,000 pounds in the Rio Grande Valley sector.
"The Arizona border is still very much porous," del Cueto said. "There are still areas where we have no fence — areas like the reservations where it's like open fields."
Boehner Says Obama Monument Designation Undermines Border Security
By: Anthony Kimery, Executive Editor
05/22/2014 ( 1:43pm)
President Obama's designated this week of a new national monument area in New Mexico failed to include important additional protections for border security, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement.
"For many months I have warned that the president's fondness for unilateral action has created widespread doubt among the American people that he and his administration can be counted on to enforce any law he signs, particularly when it comes to securing our nation's borders and reforming our immigration system," Boehner said.
"The president's announcement today intensifies those concerns, demonstrating a level of audacity that is remarkable even for this administration," Boehner declared. "Once again, the president has chosen to bypass the legislative branch -- and, in this case, do so in a manner that adds yet another challenge in our ongoing efforts to secure our Southern border. At a time of continued cartel violence in Mexico, we should not be putting any additional restraints on efforts to protect our borders.
Boehner said "What's particularly disappointing is that even Senate Democrats recognized the need for additional border security protections, including them in their own legislation on this issue. Yet the president and his administration have chosen to ignore those efforts, and the concerns that its new restrictions will place additional burdens on Border Patrol personnel and limit access to high crime areas along the border, making it easier for drug smugglers and human traffickers to move in and out of the country."
Boehner said the president's designation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks as a national monument "will also limit access to these areas by local law enforcement who are vital to our efforts to prevent crime and counter drug activity in our border regions. The president should fix this immediately and make sure that federal and local officials have the access and tools they need to secure our borders and address the violent crime that has become all too commonplace along our Southern border."
The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument comprises 500,000 acres in southern New Mexico near the US-Mexico border, half of which will be set aside as "wilderness."
The designation has ignited heated debate among supporters of the designation and opponents who say environmental and other regulations that come with the designation will prevent Border Patrol from conducting border enforcement operations within the Organ Mountains area.
As Homeland Security Today reported earlier this week, Board Patrol said "This designation will in no way limit our ability to perform our important border security mission, and in fact provides important flexibility as we work to meet this ongoing priority."
Peter Ossorio, a retired Army Officer and Assistant US Attorney that prosecuted drug smugglers in southern New Mexico, said in a statement Tuesday that, "If the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks were an attractive area for illegal border crossing or smuggling, those activities would already be going on. But with current Border Patrol measures in place, this area is nearly impenetrable."
"Instead of being scared off by baseless claims about border security, I am delighted that President Obama has protected these public lands, which will benefit our quality of life, our economy, and future generations," Ossorio said.
Boehner said legislation introduced by New Mexico's two Democratic Senators to create this national monument originally included specific border security protections to ensure Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies have adequate access the southwest border to do their job. In the House, Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) introduced similar legislation, though smaller in scope and size, that enjoyed significant support in large part because it focused on the most environmentally-sensitive areas, took into account state and local concerns and included additional border protection.
But, Boehner stressed, "The president's announcement today does not include similar protections."
"Drug smuggling and criminal activity are known challenges in this area and the designation could put the nation's border security at risk," Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), said Wednesday. "This is an issue that deserves careful examination. Time and again we have seen examples of where restrictive federal land management policies have created security risks including lawless corridors where criminals roam outside of law enforcement's reach."
"If President Obama is going to designate half a million acres as a national monument, then he needs to make sure that the Border Patrol has access to it in order to keep Americans safe from illegal activity along our borders," House Committee on the Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) said Tuesday. "Unfortunately, Obama administration officials have so far prevented Border Patrol agents from securing the border by denying them access to federal lands under the guise of environmental preservation."
Goodlatte said that, "Without law enforcement having access to federal lands, drug traffickers, human smugglers and potentially terrorists are able to exploit yet another loophole created by the Obama administration's lax immigration enforcement. As President Obama moves forward with his decision, I urge him and his administration to allow Border Patrol agents to do their job and gain control of our nation's porous borders."
Goodlatte is an original cosponsor of the SAFE Act and National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, both of which would prohibit the Departments of Interior and Agriculture from preventing Border Patrol agents access to federal lands within 100 miles of the border. The legislation would also prohibit the interference of Border Patrol activities, such as construction and maintenance of roads and barriers, use of patrol vehicles and deployment of tactical infrastructure. The SAFE Act was approved by the House Judiciary Committee last year.
Meanwhile, however, the Department of Homeland Security and New Mexico law enforcement authorities said Border Patrol activities are allowed and unaffected by a monument designation.
Nevertheless, some Border Patrol agents, CBP officers and Southwest border law enforcement officials in recent years have complained that border enforcement activities have been impeded on federal lands by a variety of regulations and environmental concerns.
ONLY CARTELS BENEFIT FROM OBAMA'S BORDER 'MONUMENT,' SAYS FORMER BORDER PATROL ASSOCIATION
by KRISTIN TATE 20 May 2014
On Wednesday the Obama Administration is set to unilaterally designate a 600,000 acre national monument in New Mexico near the U.S.-Mexican border. The sanctuary, which will be called the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, has drawn sharp criticism from law enforcement who say it will impede border security. "By creating this monument, President Obama is ensuring a pathway to get drugs into the country" Zack Taylor, Chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, told Breitbart Texas.
The Obama Administration will ultimately control how much access Border Patrol agents will have to the land, including whether or not they will be able to use vehicles.
Taylor, who has 26 years of border security experience, pointed out that one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Juarez, Mexico, is right across the New Mexico border. Impeding law enforcement near this section of the border could allow Juarez's cartels and violence to enter the U.S. with ease.
"This is the wrong place to put a monument," Taylor said. "The New Mexico border has no river--it's just an imaginary line. If criminal illegal aliens can walk across the border and into the sanctuary area, they will use that land for criminal acitivy and use it extensively. Everything surrounding the monument is in peril."
Advocates of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument claim the land needs to be preserved for environmental reasons. But opponents claim this argument is a deflection from the real issue, which is the safety of U.S. citizens.
"Who benefits form this more than the cartels?" Taylor asked. "The people who live there don't benefit, law enforcement doesn't benefit, the sheriffs don't benefit. The only people who benefit from this monument are illegal illegal immigrants brining drugs into this country. Environmentalists say we're protecting this land by shutting people out, but we're actually doing the opposite."
Obama is creating the monument without approval from the Senate or Congress by using the Antiquities Act, a means by which presidents can unilaterally lock up land for environmental reasons.
Taylor concluded, "The Obama Administration is using 'environmental concerns' as a tool to bypass Congress and take over the land. By doing so, he is completely ignoring national security and public safety."
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Note: Would not suggest trying this anywhere south of the border.
Latest immigration debate: Are churches, schools safe havens?
8 hours ago • By Perla Trevizo
Last September, the U.S. Border Patrol asked Pima County sheriff's deputies for help going after a border crosser who ran from them and possibly went inside Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley.
A deputy walked into the church and saw someone who matched the agents' description. In his limited Spanish, the officer asked the man to follow him outside, where Border Patrol agents were waiting.
But deputies will no longer respond to places such as schools, hospitals or churches solely for an immigration issue, said Frank Duarte, a captain with the Pima County Sheriff's Department and commander of the Homeland Security Division.
The new directive comes after the department "took a look at some of the issues that popped up," Duarte said. That includes an incident in March, first reported by KVOA, where a deputy stopped at the Immaculate Conception Church in Ajo to look into three people he described as wearing "dingy and tattered clothing" and jeans that "appeared several sizes too large."
Based on his training and experience, the deputy wrote in his report that he believed they were not legally in the country. The men tried to hide from him, and the deputy went into the church, spoke with the minister, and asked them to go outside.
The three were from Honduras, and were on their way to Phoenix after traveling for three months from the Central American country to Mexico, then three days from the U.S. border to the church. Border Patrol was called to respond.
With the new directive, Duarte said, the sheriff's department will be better aligned with the Border Patrol.
"We decided that if someone is purely seen as an undocumented crosser, that was not a good reason to go into the sanctity of a church and remove them," he said.
Officials with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol declined a request for an interview, but said in a written statement that their policy doesn't "permit enforcement activities in places of worship, schools, community centers or hospitals without the written approval by the chief patrol agent of the sector.
"The Tucson Sector Border Patrol does not engage in enforcement in these locations," the statement read.
A MATTER OF DISCRETION
Most area law enforcement agencies surveyed by the Arizona Daily Star don't have specific policies regarding how they respond to churches or schools in immigration matters.
Generally, agencies said they respect the sanctity of a church and try not to enter without permission, unless it's an emergency. But if they get calls from a church about suspicious activity there, they are obligated to respond.
"As chief of police, I would not want my officers to disrupt a Mass or church gathering to apprehend someone who is here illegally for that sole purpose," said Derek Arnson, chief of the Nogales Police Department. "I would want my officers to wait or call Border Patrol and allow them to do their job."
The Tucson Police Department changed its policy in 2007, when a Catalina High School student and his family were deported after school officials found marijuana in the boy's backpack and called police. The police learned the family was in the U.S. illegally and notified the Border Patrol.
"In the course of that, we contacted Border Patrol and found out they wouldn't respond to schools or churches," Tucson Police Department Chief Roberto Villaseñor said. "If they are not going to respond, why would we?"
The department changed its policy to prohibit officers from calling immigration officials to churches or schools. But it reversed that after SB 1070 went into effect. The state law requires local police officers to try to check the immigration status of someone they stop for another reason if they suspect that person is in the country illegally.
The department encourages officers to look at the whole picture when making a decision, Villaseñor said, and see if the incident falls under the requirement that they check someone's status only if it is "practicable."
Generally, law enforcement officers "respect the dignity and sanctity of a church," said church leaders, including Diocese of Tucson Bishop Gerald Kicanas. When there has been an issue, such as in the Ajo incident, he calls officials to express his concerns and they understand, he said.
"The position of the Catholic Church is that, certainly, law enforcement has a responsibility to enter a church if there's a public-safety issue involved," Kicanas said. "On the other hand, apprehending an immigrant who happens to be in church like any other worshiping member of the community, law enforcement has always upheld the fact that the sacredness of the church should be respected."
In Pima County, there were at least eight incidents involving a church or school in a 16-month period, records show. Three involved officers responding to calls of suspicious activity. Another three were because the Border Patrol couldn't respond or the deputy was working a shift for Operation Stonegarden, a federal program that pays local law-enforcement agencies to help with border enforcement. And in two others the deputy thought people had crossed the border illegally.
The Star requested details from area law enforcement agencies of incidents from Jan. 1, 2013, through April 15, 2014, where an officer referred someone to the Border Patrol from a church or school. The sheriff's department's reports were a result of a search for "UDA" (undocumented alien) circumstance code and keyword search for school and church. The review might be missing cases classified differently.
TPD couldn't provide any information because its system doesn't allow for keyword searches, but Villaseñor said he is not aware of any recent cases. Most other agencies didn't find any records using similar keyword searches.
In Cochise, a manual review of 48 reports found using "agency assist" and "UDA" yielded one incident in March. It involved two people who jumped the fence east of the Naco Port of Entry and ran to an elementary school. They were found lying in tall grass next to the school's bus lot.
In Nogales, officials can't do keyword searches, but a separate review of hundreds of incidents for the Star's recent SB 1070 investigation resulted in four reports in 2013 and two others in 2012. Two were at a school, one at a faith-based shelter, and the others at churches.
INTENT NOT ALWAYS CLEAR
Immigrants see churches as safe havens, but so do those smuggling them.
"One thing is the humble people wanting a better life; I feel for them," said the Rev. Martin Martinez, the priest at Sacred Heart Church in Nogales. "But then, the other element is quite frightening."
In the 10 years he has been at the church, on a hill less than a 10-minute walk from the border, he said he has seen how human smuggling has become intertwined with drug smuggling.
One time, a group of people was sitting behind an eighth-grade class in the church, he said. When a man walked into the church and motioned with his hand to follow him, the men all stood and left.
"If something had happened to those kids," Martinez said, "I would have to answer for that."
Sometimes, men he suspects are ringleaders walk inside the church with cellphone in hand as if they are walking into a mall, he said.
"See that tall building?" Lt. Sergio Rosas of the Nogales Police Department said smugglers tell the immigrants. "That's where they are going to pick you up."
Not only is the church visible from far away, but it also has bathrooms outside the building, as well as shrubs and trees out back — all places where Rosas has found people hiding.
He said officers respond to incidents — stemming from calls or patrolling — at a church or school at least once a month.
"Nogales is a small town," he said. "We are very familiar with what's normal and what's out of the ordinary."
LOCAL POLICIES VARY
Area churches where incidents have been reported don't have a uniform policy, either.
"If they show up here and are hungry and thirsty, we feed them and give them water," said the Rev. Dane Miller of Serenity Baptist Church in Three Points.
Pima County sheriff's deputies responded to the church twice in the period reviewed by the Star. Miller said church officials call the Border Patrol or the sheriff's office if border crossers are very ill or exhausted, but there's no official policy.
On one of those occasions, a deputy working a Stonegarden shift heard over a Border Patrol radio about possible illegal border crossers. When he got to the back of the church, he found three people trying to drink from the sprinkler system. All had taken off their shoes and were wrapping their feet with bandages, the report read.
The men, who were on their way to Atlanta, had been walking for a week and were lost. The deputy waited about an hour for Border Patrol to arrive.
Miller said a border crosser comes through the church about once a month, and often doesn't seek refuge. Five years ago, it used to be one or two large groups a week, he said, but has since decreased, in part due to the Border Patrol's enforcement of the area.
Some churches, such as Valley Presbyterian in Green Valley, let individual employees or parishioners decide if they want to call the Border Patrol or the sheriff's office in regard to "travelers," as the Rev. Larry DeLong calls people crossing through the desert.
"We offer humanitarian aid when it is asked for or needed and move them on their way," he said. "We are not a sanctuary because we have so much of a spectrum of beliefs here."
The confusion points to the nation's broken immigration system, Bishop Kicanas said.
"If the president and Congress could pass a comprehensive immigration policy reform that would provide access for people who want to come to work to do so legally, find a way to reunite families, address the 11 million or so people who are in shadows," he said, "we could concentrate our efforts on criminal behavior, which does exist along our borders."
Contact reporter Perla Trevizo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4210. On Twitter: @Perla Trevizo
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Note: The "Chiracahua Corridor" is a very active and successful smuggling route that gets high level supervision by the cartel.
May 14, 2014 9:48 PM by Lupita Murillo
Chiracahua park employee recalls near-deadly attack
TUCSON - A park employee left for dead at the Chiracahua National Monument nine months ago, speaks out about her attack.
Karen Gonzales, 60, was viciously beaten in broad daylight in one of the park restrooms.
She suffered a brain injury and is now walking with a limp. She tells News 4 Crime Trackers, "I will never forget his face coming at me."
Gonzales was cleaning the women's restroom at the Faraway Ranch Campground when she heard a noise, looked up, and saw her attacker come at her with a rock.
The DNA evidence left behind tied 33-year-old Gilbert Gaxiola as her attacker. The Cochise Country Sheriff's department confirms Gaxiola is an undocumented immigrant.
According to Cochise Co. Sheriff's investigators, Gaxiola hit her so hard, it broke the rock.
The Sergeant told her, he not only hit her with a rock but he slammed her up against the metal door.
Evidence of the dent remains on the door. Gonzales says her hands are still recovering from the injuries. "Maybe some of it was fending off the blows, I don't know. But I know I hit him." She says she also chased after Gaxiola.
During the attack, she says she heard her husband Bob's voice. Bob had just died two weeks before. They'd been married 34 years. She remembers him saying "Oh dude, that rock is not big enough. You don't know how tough this woman is. Oh yeah, you'll knock her out and that's just temporary then she's going to wake up she's going to realize who did this too her and then she's going beat the ?$#@ out of you."
Detectives say Gaxiola dragged her back into the restroom, and then stole her truck. He was seen in surveillance video going through the drive-thru of two fast food restaurants, and a going to WalMart. "He stole my truck to get back to Douglas and he was caught the very next day with a drug load."
Detectives say he abandoned the truck in Douglas. Border Patrol agents arrested him for drug smuggling the next day.
Besides the scenic rock formations of the Chiricahua National Monument the hiking trails are also used by drug smugglers. In the peaks, drug cartels place lookouts to warn of Border Patrol activity. "I had a gut feeling when I was up at the bone yard that someone was watching me, and he was."
At the same time, Gonzales believes she had people watching out for her as well. "I believe that when this guy did this to me my late son was here my late husband was here and Silas Cochise."
Silas was the great grandson of Cochise the chief of the Chiricahua Apaches. He was also a friend of hers. "It's pretty amazing I survived. It makes me think that there is something else I have to do with my life. I'm still around for a reason. "
One of those reasons, she was there to hold her mother's hand when she passed just a few weeks ago. But it hasn't been easy, she's had her struggles. She said her son told her one morning, "Mom, I just wish one day you'd wake up and be glad you are alive. I started crying and I said me too, me too. But now I am, so I made it, I made it."
Gilbert Gaxiola is charged with attempted first and second degree murder, armed robbery, three counts of aggravated assault kidnapping, and auto theft. He goes to trial this summer.
Gonzales continues to recuperate and credits the love from her friends and family for helping her through this ordeal.
Note: excerpts, go to link for full story.
ICE: Drunken driver in Mesa officer's death was in US illegally
Posted: May 12, 2014 5:06 AM MST
Updated: May 16, 2014 11:22 AM MST
By Steve Stout - email
By Phil Benson - email
By Shawn Kline - email
The Arizona Department of Public Safety said Raul Silva-Corona, 42, had a BAC of 0.238 percent when he was driving Monday morning the wrong way on Valley freeways for almost 33 miles. That's well above Arizona's legal limit of 0.08 percent.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Silva-Corona was a native of the Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, who entered the U.S. illegally in 2003 at the border near Columbus, NM.
Records show Silver-Corona was apprehended by the U.S. Boarder Patrol in May 2002 near Why, AZ. He was then extradited to Adams County, CO, on an outstanding unrelated criminal charge.
The Maricopa County medical examiner said this week that Silva-Corona's death was due to "blunt force injury."
Four dead in accident involving human smuggling, UHP says
By Pat Reavy, Deseret News
Published: Friday, May 16 2014 8:35 a.m. MDT
Updated: 9 minutes ago
THOMPSON SPRINGS, Grand County — Four people were killed and four others critically injured after a van that was apparently involved in a human smuggling operation rolled multiple times on I-70 Friday morning.
About 4:30 a.m., approximately 34 miles west of the Utah-Colorado border, a 1999 Toyota Sienna carrying a driver and eight passengers "lost control, rolled multiple times down the middle of the interstate, ejecting multiple occupants," said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce.
Four men were pronounced dead at the scene, four other men were transported both by ambulance and medical helicopter in critical condition to St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction, Colorado, he said.
Investigators believe a ninth person, possibly a woman, walked away from the scene. That person had not been located as of noon.
"We're looking at this as possibly being a human smuggling case," Royce said.
The Utah State Bureau of Investigations, Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement were assisting the Utah Highway Patrol in the investigation.
All of the accident victims are Hispanic, he said. Royce declined to disclose what state the license plate on the vehicle was from, but said it was not from Utah.
What caused the van to roll was still being investigated Friday.
Troopers continued to look Friday for the ninth person believed to be in the vehicle. Royce said it was unknown whether the person continued walking away from the area or was picked up while hitchhiking.
"One concern is the medical well-being of that person. If they walked away and haven't been checked out by medical, that's a concern of ours. We'd like to talk to whoever that person is," Royce said. "He's a vital piece to this puzzle."
Eastbound I-70 was closed for about three hours. UHP troopers have since been letting groups of vehicles through at intermittent times. Westbound I-70 is open again.
In 2007, eight people were killed and seven injured when an SUV on U.S. 191 near Bluff, San Juan County, went off the road and rolled. Law enforcers said it was another incident of human smuggling.
In 2005, a van carrying 14 illegal immigrants rolled on U.S. 191 near Moab, killing two people.
Contributing: Whitney Evans
Chase Ends in Crash, Leads to School Lockdowns
Posted: May 16, 2014 10:32 AM
Updated: May 16, 2014 12:21 PM
LA JOYA - A chase ended in a fatal accident near La Joya High School. Authorities are searching for four people, including the driver who fled on foot. As a result of the search, La Joya High School, Lorenzo De Zavala Middle School, and West Academy are on lockdown.
Palmview Police Chief Christopher Barrera said Border Patrol agents were following a white SUV. When the driver entered La Joya, La Joya police tried to pull the vehicle over. The driver instead sped off.
The driver lost control and the vehicle rolled over. It happened in a neighborhood near Saloman Chapa Street and Coyote Drive. Palmview firefighters, La Joya police, Border Patrol agents and DPS troopers are on the scene.
Barrera said at least one person, who is believed to be an illegal immigrant, was killed. Sixteen others were taken to the hospital. The driver, who is the suspected smuggler, fled on foot. The search for that person continues. Authorities are also searching for three others who may have bailed from the vehicle before the crash.
Meanwhile, La Joya ISD school officials said all the students are safe.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS will bring you more details as soon as they're available.
Feds nab pot in Nogales, illegal immigrants and pistol in Patagonia
Port officers in Nogales discovered 465 packages of marijuana in a non-factory compartment in the front wall of a trailer.
Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 7:10 pm | Updated: 7:19 pm, Thu May 15, 2014.
Nogales International |
Port officers in Nogales seized yet another million-dollar marijuana load on Wednesday, while Border Patrol agents in Patagonia busted a car full of illegal immigrants, including one from Egypt.
The bust at the Mariposa Port of Entry began when U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers selected a tractor-trailer for further inspection following a positive alert by a drug-sniffing dog. During the search, officers discovered 465 packages of marijuana in a non-factory compartment in the front wall of the trailer.
The pot weighed more than 6,700 pounds and was valued at an estimated $3.35 million. It was the 14th million-dollar marijuana seizure in Santa Cruz County since the start of 2013, according to tallies kept by the NI. The driver of the rig, a 36-year-old Mexican national whose name was not released, was referred to federal investigators, CBP said.
Meanwhile in Patagonia, Border Patrol agents stopped a Mercury sedan and arrested three suspects after learning one of the passengers was an Egyptian national with no legal permission to be in the United States.
In a similar bust in the same area, Border Patrol agents stopped a Cadillac Seville near Patagonia on May 9 and arrested the driver and an illegal immigrant who was in possession of a stolen border-crossing card.
Then, when the agents searched the Seville, they discovered a handgun in the glove compartment, the Border Patrol said.
Note: This one is the murder of Sandra Luz Hernandez, a activist leading a effort to find family members "disappeared". The LeBaron family known on both sides of the border. Comments can apply to both sides also. Some may remember the murder a few years ago on the steps of the state capitol in Chihuahua of activist Maricela Escobedo aka "Rubi's mama". Rubi was murdered by a cartel associate. He was eventually caught, but set free by a court, to everyone's surprise (Not). In Mexico, like the U.S., the constitution is mostly ignored by the ruling class. Mostly computer english
NO DEMAND BY OMISSION AND RESULTS OF AUTHORITY
"Society, responsible for death of activist " LeBaron
The social activist Julian LeBaron says that only social participation will prevent the country from collapsing
José Alfredo Beltrán
Julian LeBaron , Chihuahua social fighter against impunity
Rejects Malova security failure
State case defines attention to Sandra Luz
' Murder shows political scum ' : Gilberto Lozano
Deputies Agree Sandra monitor research
"We are looking for a rebellion" : Julian LeBaron
CULIACÁN._ by default and not require results to the authorities , all are responsible for the murder of Sandra Luz Hernandez, a mother in Sinaloa investigating the disappearance of her son Edgar .
"We are all responsible , we are all who participated in the murder of this woman , including me , I'm from Chihuahua, (which ) has allowed everything ," said Julian LeBaron .
Chihuahua criminals murdered her family and friends, after they formed a social movement against them , in response to government inaction .
Today it is in Sinaloa to participate with local activists, the idea of creating a national network which citizens organize and start generating changes to a completely rotten system .
For the social leader, the murder of Sandra Luz is a warning to all .
" But imagine you, who murder the Sinaloa woman and close all businesses in the city and all citizens are with the authority and tell the President and the Attorney General and all these people that come without delivering results , " have exactly one day to bring or deliver them to the responsible authority. we will no longer allow this "bad stuff"
The sinaloneses , LeBaron said , they have no other choice than to require the Governor Mario López Valdez clear that crime.
Only from the participation of society , he said, it will prevent the country from collapsing .
"We see that the country is collapsing , we have almost 100 percent impunity , we have the worst education in the world ," he said .
In his case, he said , he had to go out and protest against the murder of his brother , his friend and his brother-in-law , because he could not look at the face of his nephews , who were without their dad and he did nothing.
"You can not move from apathy , fear, empathy without fear first , what we want to achieve is that the whole country is pissed , angry , to give you courage to what is happening ," he said .
Mexico's problems , he added, will only be solved from the citizens, when they learn to take over their communities.
And he called for a rebellion against injustice.
" The Constitution clearly says that citizens are the bosses and politicians are the servants . They talk about governors and the governed , but in reality we have bought the idea that we are slaves, and we have to continue paying for all this stupidity" , he said.
POR OMISIóN Y NO EXIGIR RESULTADOS A LA AUTORIDAD
"Sociedad, responsable de muerte de activista": LeBarón
El luchador social, Julián LeBarón, dice que sólo desde la participación social se evitará que el País se colapse
José Alfredo Beltrán
Julián LeBarón, luchador social de Chihuahua contra la impunidad
Fotografía: Noroeste / Iván Contreras.
Rechaza Malova fracaso en seguridad
Delimita Estado atención a caso Sandra Luz
'Asesinato muestra escoria política': Gilberto Lozano
Acuerdan Diputados monitorear investigación de Sandra
"Estamos buscando una rebelión": Julián LeBarón
CULIACÁN._ Por omisión y por no exigirle resultados a las autoridades, todos son responsables del crimen de Sandra Luz Hernández, madre sinaloense que investigaba la desaparición de su hijo Édgar.
"Todos somos los responsables, todos somos quienes participamos en el asesinato de esa señora, incluyéndome a mí, que soy de Chihuahua, (que) todo lo hemos permitido", advirtió Julián LeBarón.
Al constructor de Chihuahua los delincuentes le asesinaron a familiares y amigos, luego de que formaron un movimiento social en contra de éstos, y en respuesta a la inacción del Gobierno.
Hoy está en Sinaloa para participar con activistas locales, en la idea de crear una red nacional ciudadana que se organice y empiece a generar cambios ante un sistema totalmente podrido.
Para el líder social, el asesinato de la señora Sandra Luz es una advertencia a todos.
"Pero imagínate tú, que asesinan a un sinaloense y cierran todos los negocios de la ciudad y todos los ciudadanos se van con la autoridad y le dicen al Presidente y al Procurador y a todas estas personas que cobran sin ofrecer resultados, 'tienes exactamente un día para traernos al responsable o entregarnos su autoridad. Ya no vamos a permitir estas pendejadas'", ilustró.
Los sinaloneses, dijo LeBarón, no tienen otra salida más que exigirle al Gobernador Mario López Valdez esclarecer ese crimen.
Sólo desde la participación de la sociedad, subrayó, se evitará que el País se colapse.
"Vemos que el País se está colapsando, tenemos casi el 100 por ciento de impunidad, tenemos la peor educación del mundo", señaló.
En su caso, dijo, él tuvo que salir a protestar ante el crimen de su hermano, su amigo y su cuñado, porque no podía verle la cara a sus sobrinos, que se quedaron sin su papá y él no hizo nada.
"No puedes pasar de la apatía, del miedo, a la empatía sin encabronarte primero, lo que nosotros queremos lograr es que todo el País se encabrone, se enoje, que le dé coraje de lo que está pasando", subrayó.
Los problemas de México, añadió, sólo se resolverán desde los ciudadanos, cuando aprendan a adueñarse de sus espacios.
Y llamó a una rebelión contra las injusticias.
"La Constitución es clara, dice que los ciudadanos somos los mandantes y los políticos son los mandatarios. Ellos hablan de gobernados y gobernantes, pero en realidad nosotros hemos comprado esa idea de que somos esclavos, de que tenemos que seguir solventando toda esa estupidez", señaló.
Friday, May 16, 2014
Note: In the meantime, many hundreds of "Hispanics" (Mexican and U.S. citizens) remain dead. KIlled with weapons provided directly to the drug gangs by the Obama administration.
Fast and Furious judge receptive to White House's claim of executive privilege
7 hours ago • By Pete Yost The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A federal judge said Thursday she is leaning toward allowing President Obama's claim of executive privilege in Operation Fast and Furious, the failed law enforcement operation at the center of a congressional investigation and subpoena fight between the Justice Department and House Republicans.
At a hearing, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson cautioned that she has not decided how she will rule in the case.
But she said she regards the executive privilege claim as qualified. That view could result in some Justice Department records that House Republicans want remaining confidential, while others might be subject to public disclosure.
Lawyers for the House and the White House argued the case before Jackson. She flayed both sides, chiding the lawyers for turning in legal filings that she called "distressing" for their "vituperative" tone and saying the hearing would not turn into a "press conference."
Ultimately, Jackson will rule on whether the president's privilege claim trumps the congressional subpoena.
In an earlier chapter in the Fast and Furious saga, Republicans led by Rep. Darrell Issa of California made Attorney General Eric Holder the first Cabinet member ever to be held in contempt of Congress over his refusal to provide the documents.
Now in what may be the waning months of Holder's tenure as attorney general, the Issa-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is hunting for information that might explain why it took the Justice Department nearly a year to admit that federal agents in Operation Fast and Furious engaged in a prohibited law enforcement tactic known as gun-walking.
The Arizona office of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives permitted illicitly purchased weapons to be transported unimpeded in an effort to track them to high-level arms traffickers shipping guns to Mexican drug cartels.
Federal agents lost control of some 2,000 weapons, many of which wound up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. Two of the guns that had been allowed to "walk" were found at the scene of the slaying of a U.S. border agent, Brian Terry near Nogales, Ariz.
His death in December 2010 resulted in some of the agents blowing the whistle to Congress about the prohibited tactic.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Note: The drunk driver who killed Mesa PD officer Mendoza had a BAC of 0.238 and from usually reliable source, was "undocumented".
Wrong-way driver in fatal crash was drunk
Posted on May 15, 2014 at 6:15 PM
Updated today at 6:32 PM
PHOENIX (AP) -- A wrong-way driver who crashed into an off-duty Arizona police officer, killing him, had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit for intoxication and a prior criminal conviction.
Officer Carrick Cook of the Arizona Department of Public Safety said Thursday that 42-year-old Raul Silva Corona's blood-alcohol content was 0.238 percent. A driver is presumed to be intoxicated in Arizona at 0.08 percent.
Corona collided with Mesa Police Officer Brandon Mendoza's vehicle after driving 35 miles in the wrong direction on three freeways early Monday morning. Corona also died in the collision.
Court records show Corona pleaded guilty to a 1994 criminal conspiracy charge in Adams County, Colorado.
Details about the crime and Corona's sentence weren't available.
ICE says it won't deport man living in Tucson church
Video report by Rebecca Taylor, KVOA
Posted on May 15, 2014 at 3:22 PM
Updated today at 4:25 PM
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A Mexican man who violated an order to leave the United States by taking sanctuary in a Tucson church will remain there despite immigration officials' announcement that they won't try to deport him.
Daniel Neyoy Ruiz was supposed to leave the country by the end of Tuesday after being caught by immigration authorities following a traffic stop in Tucson.
Neyoy Ruiz refused to leave and instead took sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian Church on Tuesday afternoon. On Thursday, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement said they would not seek to immediately deport Neyoy Ruiz.
"After conducting a thorough review of Mr. Ruiz's immigration case, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has decided to exercise prosecutorial discretion by not taking immediate action on Mr. Ruiz's removal order," spokeswoman Amber Cargile wrote in a statement.
But that doesn't sufficiently keep Neyoy Ruiz safe from deportation, a representative of his said.
The 36-year-old maintenance supervisor at a Tucson apartment complex will continue to live in the church with his wife and American-born son. "The long and short of it is that while it's certainly very comforting to know that the ICE removal operations don't plan on raiding the church and taking Daniel away, this move, while it's a small step, it's just that -- a small step," said Sarah Lanius an immigration rights activist working with Neyoy Ruiz.
Neyoy Ruiz still faces too many risks in Tucson because it falls under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Border Patrol, Lanius said.
The announcement by ICE also only means that the agency won't actively seek him out, not that the order for him to be deported is canceled.
Neyoy Ruiz said he does not want to separate from his family, especially his 13-year-old son, who is an American citizen. He does not have a prior criminal record and contributes to his community and church, Neyoy Ruiz said.
Neyoy Ruiz entered the United States illegally in 2000. In 2011, an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer turned Neyoy Ruiz over to immigration officials after pulling him over because his exhaust pipe released too much smoke, his attorney said.
He lost a series of immigration court cases and was ordered to leave the country.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Note: The Marine still in Mexican jail Re: AZMEX EXTRA 2-5-14
He is said to been moved to another prison near Tecate, BC.
Is anyone of your congressional delegation doing anything to help?
Lawmaker calls on US to suspend aid to Mexico over jailed Marine
Published May 13, 2014FoxNews.com
A key lawmaker on Monday called on the United States to suspend military aid to Mexico in light of the jailing of a Marine Corps sergeant who mistakenly entered the country with firearms.
Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a 25-year-old combat veteran, was jailed in late March after he missed a freeway exit near San Ysidro, Calif., and drove into Tijuana, where Mexican authorities discovered he had three guns in his car. Although the guns were legally owned in the United States, and Tahmooressi had no intention of traveling to Mexico, he's been jailed for more than a month.
On Monday, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a member of the House Armed Services committee, asked Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to suspend military aid to Mexico, including training, intelligence cooperation and equipment transfers.
"You have the authority to suspend cooperation with the Mexican military in a number of areas," said Hunter, who served two tours as a member of the Marines Corps in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. "In light of the Mexican government's incarceration of Andrew, I urge you to immediately consider suspending training and equipment assistance to Mexico until Andrew's case is resolved."
Also on Monday, Hunter authored a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, seeking information about unauthorized incursions by Mexican authorities into the United States, a request he says was motivated by Tahmooressi's jailing.
Hunter has actively tried to secure Tahmooressi's release. He has called on Secretary of State John Kerry to pressure Mexico into releasing him, and earlier this month, his office released a bipartisan letter signed by 21 members of Congress asking the Mexican attorney general to release him.
Tahmooressi was held inside La Mesa Prison in Tijuana after his March 31 arrest, though he was moved to another prison 40 miles east of Tijuana on Thursday, Hunter's office told FoxNews.com. After he allegedly attempted to escape and suffered a self-inflicted stab wound, he was at one point placed in a jail infirmary with his arms and legs restrained.
Proceedings against Tahmooressi are scheduled for May 28, though U.S. lawmakers are urging them to be expedited and for all charges to be dropped.
Tahmooressi, an active U.S. Marine reservist who served two combat tours in Afghanistan, including a 2010 stint in the violent Marjah district, was moving to San Diego with a Marine friend be close to his treatment center for his post-traumatic stress disorder at the time of his arrest.
FoxNews.com's Karl de Vries and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Tucson church ready to offer immigrant family sanctuary today
Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star
Mexican immigrant Daniel Neyoy Ruiz faces deportation and is seeking refuge within the walls of Southside Presbyterian Church. Neyoy Ruiz, seen here on Monday, will begin living inside the church with his family today, barring a change in his status.
8 hours ago • By Luis F. Carrasco Arizona Daily Star
Daniel Neyoy Ruiz might not be fleeing the wars in Central America that led many to the doors of Southside Presbyterian Church more than 30 years ago — but to his family, the situation is no less desperate.
The Mexican immigrant, along with his wife, Karla Neyoy, and his son are set to receive sanctuary today unless U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials decide to let Neyoy Ruiz remain in the country.
In 2011, he was driving to work when he was stopped on Interstate 19 by a state Department of Public Safety officer because his car's exhaust was emitting smoke. Unable to prove he was in the country legally, Neyoy Ruiz was handed over to the U.S. Border Patrol, and has been in removal proceedings since then.
Two months ago, he was given 60 days to leave the country, something Neyoy Ruiz said he is not ready to do.
"I can't leave," he said in Spanish inside the meeting room of Southside Presbyterian. "I'm going to fight until the end, for my family. Because if I give up, what's going to happen to them?"
The church was the birthplace of the sanctuary movement in the early 1980s. While the circumstances of those leaving their countries of origin are not completely the same today, there are still some clear parallels, said Sarah Roberts, a member of Southside Presbyterian's decision-making body.
"The previous history of sanctuary was for many Central American refugees who were fleeing wars in Central America and fleeing for their lives," Roberts said. "People coming to the United States now are fleeing serious economic situations in Mexico and Central America. But also there is violence, there is extortion, and people pressured into gangs."
Roberts said church leaders agreed unanimously to support the family, a stance the Rev. Alison Harrington supports unwaveringly.
"We are a church that deeply values families, and don't believe they should be torn apart," she said. "And so I'm willing to stand in solidarity with this family in order to prevent that from happening."
Unless ICE officials change course, the family will begin living inside the church this afternoon. The family's attorney, Margo Cowan, said she is confident the situation will be resolved quickly.
She cited the push by President Obama to have the Department of Homeland Security prioritize its use of resources regarding deportations and to focus on immigrants who have criminal records.
"Daniel is the kind of man that the president spoke of when he said we shouldn't be tearing families apart," Cowan said.
Neyoy Ruiz and his wife came the United States 14 years ago. They settled in Tucson, and their 13-year-old son is a U.S. citizen. Neyoy Ruiz has worked in construction and has paid taxes since 2005, he said.
"The only thing I ask is that I'm allowed to work. Let me be with my family. I've never done anyone any harm — on the contrary, I've contributed," he said. "It's not just me; it's a lot of people that are in the same situation — fathers, mothers, brothers. That's something that the government has to see."
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Note: A sample of some of the local activity over the past few days. No, not even slowing down let alone stopping.
Agents arrest 9, seize 382 pounds of pot in desert
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to Wellton Station arrested nine suspected drug smugglers and seized 382 pounds of marijuana contained in makeshift backpacks worth an estimated $191,000 Thursday.
Posted: Friday, May 2, 2014 4:41 pm | Updated: 4:50 pm, Fri May 2, 2014.
From Staff Reports
Posted on May 2, 2014 by Amy Crawford
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents assigned to Wellton Station arrested nine drug smuggling suspects Thursday and seized 382 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $191,000.
Agents patrolling near Sentinel found the suspects by following a set of tracks heading toward Interstate 8. As the agents approached, the group scattered in the desert in an effort to avoid arrest. Following a pursuit, seven men were apprehended and eight makeshift backpacks of pot were seized.
Agents later apprehended two more individuals from the same group, found walking along I-8.
The arresting agents reported the suspects were wearing camouflage clothing and carpet over their shoes to make tracking more difficult.
The marijuana and men were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Border Patrol agents nab 10, seize 810 pounds of pot
Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 3:49 pm | Updated: 5:21 pm, Fri May 9, 2014.
By Chris McDaniel
Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents arrested 10 suspected drug smugglers and seized 810 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $405,000, during two separate incidents Thursday.
During the first incident, Wellton Station agents assigned to the All-Terrain Vehicle Unit near Gila Bend were tracking footprints of a group of four individuals who illegally entered into the United States. The four individuals attempted to abscond when agents caught up to them, but were apprehended a short time later. They were allegedly carrying four backpacks of pot with a combined weight of 258 pounds worth an estimated $129,000.
Three of the men and the pot were turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. The fourth individual, a juvenile, will be processed for deportation as a suspected drug smuggler per Yuma Sector guidelines.
During the second incident, agents near Wellton spotted a group of individuals walking towards Interstate 8. Arriving at the location, agents apprehended six suspected drug smugglers and seized 13 backpacks of pot. The marijuana had a combined weight of 552 pounds worth an estimated $276,000.
The smugglers and pot were transported to the Wellton Station for further processing.
Note: Caborca, Son. 6 AK clones, 34 magazines, and 1,248 rounds and tactical equipment and three stolen F-250 Super Duty pickups among the stuff recovered by SEDNA & PESP.
DECOMISAN 6 ARMAS LARGAS Y 3 VEHÍCULOS ROBADOS EN OPERATIVO DE CABORCA
martes, abril 22, 2014
Note: South of Nogales. PF arrest five, recover six long guns, 25 magazines, 10 cell phones, and 605 rounds, and stolen vehicle among stuff recovered
Detienen a cinco en Sonora con armas y equipo táctico
VIERNES, 09 DE MAYO DE 2014 13:14
ESCRITO POR MVALDEZ
Los detenidos por fueron identificados como Jesús Miguel "N", de 20 años; Jesús Valentín "N", de 26; Luis Enrique "N", de 20; Jorge Alberto "N", de 18 y Édgar "N", de 23 años.
Note: Two more added to the growing body count around Lukeville / Sonoyta area. Hearing of more, but nothing making the local media. Also a Chevy pickup found with numerous bullet holes and 15 kilos of pot.
ENCUENTRAN DOS PERSONAS EJECUTADAS EN SONOYTA
martes, abril 22, 2014
Human trafficker, marcos soto mendoza sentenced to 15 years after deaths of 2 crossers in the desert
Note: This one generated some death threats
Man connected to Sierra Vista officer-involved shooting is arrested
May 07, 2014 9:43 am •
Kimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star
A man who fled the scene prior to an officer-involved shooting in Sierra Vista last month was arrested Sunday.
An anonymous tip phoned into the Cochise County Sheriff's Office led to a home in the 1000 block of Carl Hayden Drive in Sierra Vista. That's where officers arrested 42-year-old Marco Antonio Moreno Guerro of Mexico, Cpl. Scott Borgstadt, spokesman for the Sierra Vista Police Department, said in a news release.
Guerro was a passenger in a car April 14 when an officer attempted to make a traffic stop. The driver, Lauro Jesus Avechuco, had been speeding near Golden Acres Drive and State Route 92.
The vehicle fled stopped briefly and Guerro ran from the vehicle. Avechuco then turned around and accelerated toward the officer, who fired his department-issued sidearm, killing Avechuco, Borgstadt said.
Guerro has a felony record and had previously been deported felon. Past convictions include: possession of dangerous drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and DUI from drug intoxication, Borgstadt said.
After being questioned by detectives from the Sierra Vista Police Department Special Operations Bureau, he was turned over to Border Patrol.
Note: have to wonder why he wasn't still in jail?
Fugitive arrested at Arizona-Mexico border
By Associated Press
Originally published: May 10, 2014 - 8:27 am
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Authorities have arrested a Mexican fugitive connected to a California homicide investigation as he attempted to illegally enter Arizona. Border Patrol agents said Friday that Jesus Daniel Sanchez-Bastidas was taken into custody near Nogales.
Agents say Sanchez-Bastidas was caught early Thursday along with a group of other immigrants trying to illegally cross the border.
Sanchez-Bastidas was on a Diplomatic Security Service most wanted list for passport fraud.
The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in California was also pursuing Sanchez-Bastidas for questioning in a homicide. Authorities say Sanchez-Bastidas was arrested in 2010 for conspiracy to commit a felony and being a gang member carrying a loaded firearm.
Gang member wanted in Indiana arrested in Arizona
By Associated Press
Originally published: May 8, 2014 - 5:35 pm
PHOENIX -- A man wanted in Indiana in connection with the fatal shooting of a teenager three months ago has been arrested in Arizona. The U.S. Marshals Service says 19-year-old Lamario Delgado-Gonzalez was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon in the Phoenix suburb of Glendale.
Federal authorities say Delgado-Gonzalez is wanted for murder and attempted murder in East Chicago, Indiana. Delgado-Gonzalez was charged in April in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy and the wounding of an 18-year-old man but he fled Indiana before he could be arrested.
Authorities say Delgado-Gonzalez is a documented member of an Indiana street gang and the Feb. 17 shootings allegedly were part of a drug-related robbery attempt.
A warrant for his arrest was issued April 7 out of Lake County, Indiana. He now is awaiting extradition.
Saturday, May 10, 2014
"Protector" "humanitarians" like these are aiding and abetting the enemy, and should be arrested as accessories to serious crime. Ditto for the "ridge walkers" and "Samaritans."
We have tremendous drug, crime and human trafficking problems all across the US thanks to these "good" people. Here's an example of a drug seminar in my home town last Wednesday, at which some 750 concerned citizens attended. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Jaime J. Shutes, P.E.
West Bend, Washington Co., WI
Activist/advocate for rigorous and sustained law enforcement
of transnational organized crime, U.S. immigration, and for
self-defense/Second Amendment rights
Border News Watch
Self-Defense/Second Amendment News
(BCC'd for security, privacy and reduced spam)
From: Landis Aden [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2014 09:36
AZMEX I3 10 MAY 2014
Note: It remains all about illegal immigration. As not one of the many legal immigrants we are acquainted with ever walked through the desert to get here.
7 hours ago • By Perla Trevizo
Volunteers with a local humanitarian aid group stopped Border Patrol agents from entering their camp outside of Arivaca to search for people whose footprints they said they followed there.
"Our standard practice and policy has always been to dialogue with Border Patrol," said Geoffrey Boyce, a spokesman with No More Deaths. But unless agents have a warrant to search the camp, he said, they have no reason to be there.
The problem, said Art del Cueto, president of the Border Patrol Union Local 2544, is that agents don't know if the people they are tracking are dangerous or are human or drug smugglers.
"Bottom line, you don't know who these people are," he said, and No. 2, they broke the law and an agent's job is to protect the border and arrest people who enter the country illegally.
On Thursday afternoon, two Border Patrol agents went inside the camp, located on private property about 20 miles from the border, without permission and without speaking with any of the volunteers, Boyce said Friday.
A volunteer told the agents they couldn't be there and they left after being asked to do so. But later that evening, another agent returned and asked for permission to search the camp. Volunteers declined. Four Border Patrol vehicles then stayed just outside the camp through Friday morning, when all but one left, Boyce said.
Agents don't go into private houses or the curtilage, Tucson Sector Chief Manuel Padilla said, unless it's an emergency situation or get a warrant, which agents weren't able to secure Thursday. "In this case we can wait it out," he said, and agents will be watching the area closely.
When the agents first arrived at the camp, three people were receiving overnight medical care, Boyce said. That included a 50-year-old man who was lost and arrived vomiting, along with a 17-year-old girl and a 35-year-old woman. The pair had been lost in the desert for about two weeks. The 35 year old also had third-degree burns from a cooking fire.
The camp, which opened in 2004 and sits on property owned by popular children's author Byrd Baylor, is near the Papalote wash, which Boyce said is a high-trafficked area and they don't know if the agents were tracking a different group. The Border Patrol said they followed footprints that led them to the camp and couldn't find any others leaving.
No More Deaths volunteers go on daily excursions on foot looking for people in distress, while medical staff is available on site to provide care, organizers said. People normally get treated and leave on their own or they contact Border Patrol when they want to turn themselves in.
The group's mission is to prevent deaths on the border, said Margo Cowan, their legal advisor. More than 2,000 remains have been found in Southern Arizona since 2001.
But when does it end being medical assistance or rendering first aid and starts going into aiding and abetting or harboring, asked Padilla.
"Getting them first aid that's fine," he said. But when the person no longer needs medical assistance, that's when it becomes a harboring issue, he said.
To del Cueto, the group could be harboring border crossers by not letting agents search.
Case law is not 100 percent clear on what harboring is, said Lynn Marcus, co-director of the immigration law clinic at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona.
"If you are openly allowing somebody into your property to render medical assistance for dehydration," for example, she said, and only for the time the person needs to recover, there's an argument that they are not illegally harboring.
The law is always interpreted on a case-by-case basis, she said, and this argument has never been tested.
In 2005, two No More Deaths volunteers were arrested near Arivaca with three border crossers they were driving to Tucson to get medical care. They were indicted by a grand jury on charges of conspiracy to transport and transportation of an illegal alien.
A federal judge dropped the charges in 2006 because he said they were following guidelines that border volunteers had been using for several years without being arrested.
The incident spurred the campaign "Humanitarian Aid is Never a Crime," printed on yard signs and bumper stickers.
Then in 2009, volunteers were cited by the Fish and Wildlife Service for littering for leaving water jugs out for immigrants. A federal appeals court ruled in 2010 that human-rights activists can't be charged with littering for leaving bottles of water for immigrants on federal property.
The organization has been negotiating with Border Patrol's leadership in Tucson for years to acknowledge their right to provide humanitarian assistance, Cowan said.
"We believe that the work we do in the desert is legal," said Cowan, a migrant-rights activist and local attorney. "We are not sneaking around doing something that's illegal."
The Border Patrol has a working relationship with No More Deaths and other humanitarian aid organizations, Padilla said, but there are still challenges.
"We continue to engage with the community and nongovernmental organizations to achieve the mission of saving lives or rendering medical aid to people who need it," he said, "but we also need to achieve our mission."
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