Thursday, July 9, 2015
AZMEX UPDATE 9-7-15
AZMEX UPDATE 9 JUL 2015
Note: disinformation? Does BLM not keep records of the agency's weapons?
Land agency: Agent's gun may have been used in pier slaying
July 8, 2015 @ 10:24 am
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management said Wednesday that it is investigating whether an agent's gun was used in the shooting death of a woman walking on a popular San Francisco pier.
BLM spokeswoman Dana Wilson said the agency is trying to determine who owned the gun and whether it was a personal or service weapon -- the latest twist in a case that has become a flashpoint in the country's debate over immigration.
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr says the weapon was stolen from a federal agent's car.
Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, who has been deported to his native Mexico five times and is suspected of living in the United States illegally, told television news stations that he found the gun on the pier and that it accidentally fired. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to murder charges in Kathryn Steinle's death.
Steinle, 32, was gunned down last week while strolling with her father along San Francisco's popular waterfront area.
Federal officials transferred Sanchez to San Francisco's jail in March to face a 20-year-old marijuana charge after he completed his latest prison term for entering the country illegally.
The San Francisco sheriff, citing the city's "sanctuary city" policy, released Sanchez in April after prosecutors dropped the drug charge, despite an Immigration and Customs Enforcement request to hold him for federal authorities so deportation proceedings could begin.
He told two television stations who interviewed him in jail that he found the gun used in Steinle's killing wrapped in a shirt on the pedestrian pier she was walking on. Sanchez said the gun went off in his hands, and his public defender, Matt Gonzalez, said Tuesday that the San Francisco woman's death appeared accidental.
The shooting has touched off criticism from leading Republican lawmakers and from top Democrats, including California's U.S. senators.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told CNN that San Francisco was wrong to ignore the ICE detainer request and release Sanchez from custody.
"The city made a mistake not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported," Clinton said.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein called on San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to start cooperating with federal immigration officials who want to deport felons such as Sanchez.
"I strongly believe that an undocumented individual, convicted of multiple felonies and with a detainer request from ICE, should not have been released," Feinstein said.
The mayor's office said it has reached out to Homeland Security officials to determine if there's a way to cooperate while still upholding the city's sanctuary policy.
"Mayor Lee shares the senator's concerns surrounding the nature of Mr. Sanchez's transfer to San Francisco and release," said Christine Falvey, a spokeswoman for the mayor.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer said she asked Gov. Jerry Brown if state law was followed in Sanchez's release.
"For decades, I have supported deporting violent criminals, and I have always believed that sanctuary should not be given to felons," Boxer said.
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has defended Sanchez's release and the city law requiring his office to ignore ICE detainer requests. The sheriff said ICE could have obtained a warrant or court order to keep Sanchez in custody. "ICE knew where he was," Mirkarimi said Monday.
State and federal Republicans, meanwhile, said they would look into the matter.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, who chairs the Senate's homeland security committee, criticized federal officials and demanded to know why Sanchez was not deported.
"Does that make any sense to you?" Johnson demanded to know at a hearing Tuesday. "Because I'll tell you it doesn't make any sense to the American public."
At Sanchez's arraignment Tuesday, prosecutor Dianna Garcia argued against releasing Sanchez on bail, saying, "This was an act of random violence, shooting an innocent victim in the back."
The judge set bail at $5 million, which Sanchez's public defender said will keep him jailed pending trial.
Note: Still would be very interesting to get the data on age and gender of the "children".
Anyone in Congress interested? Media? A shortage of "homeboys" in the U.S.?
Few unaccompanied immigrant minors returned to home countries
CRONKITE NEWS/AUBREY RUMORE | July 8, 2015 @ 10:03 am
WASHINGTON -- Fewer than 2,000 of the 51,000 unaccompanied immigrant children who showed up at the Southwest border last year have been repatriated, a Senate panel was told Tuesday, a pace that critics said may have "incentivized" more migration.
Border officials testified that the number of unaccompanied minors showing up at the Southwest border is less than half of what it was last summer, when a flood of children led to what President Barack Obama called a "humanitarian crisis" at the border.
But members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee were clearly frustrated by delays in sending those children back home, after administration promises last year to "show these Central American countries we are sending people back."
Failure to do so just creates an incentive for immigrant children to make the dangerous journey to cross the border where "90 percent or more of you will be able to stay," said Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, the committee chairman.
Witnesses from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security said many of those children face persecution back home and most will qualify for asylum here. But they are caught here waiting for a hearing in backlogged immigration courts to hear their asylum pleas, the officials said.
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Delaware, said that while the "numbers are clearly down" at the border from last year, he said some of the immigrants who showed up then were recently told they might not get a hearing until November 2019. "Clearly, this is unacceptable," Carper said.
Juan Osuna, the director of the Justice Department's Executive Office for Immigration Review, said immigration courts had a backlog of 449,569 cases pending on May 26, a "101 percent backlog increase over the past five years." "The immigration court system is facing many challenges," Osuna testified. He said the department is "engaged in a focused process to hire many more immigration judges to adjudicate these cases."
But Carper said the backlog is only part of the problem. The government still has "humanitarian responsibilities to protect the children in our custody" while they're awaiting a court date, he said.
While many children remain, the committee was told that fewer are showing up.
After jumping from 12,000 in 2012 to 23,000 in 2013, the number of unaccompanied children at the border spiked to nearly 58,000 last year, said Philip Miller, assistant director of field operations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The number was down to 18,246 through the first three quarters of fiscal 2015, he said.
Johnson blamed the increase directly on the president's 2012 announcement of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that delays deportation of immigrants who were brought here illegally as children. "There's one dramatic event that occurred in 2012 - the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals," Johnson said, adding that while there were many contributing factors, DACA was "the primary cause for that surge."
But Mark Greenberg, an acting assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, said that violence in their Central American home countries plays a large part in the decision to migrate.
Johnson agreed that violence and threats are an underlying cause, but noted that homicide rates in most Central American countries have actually decreased in recent years. He again pointed to DACA as the cause for the continuing migration.
Whatever the cause, Greenberg said the government is better positioned now than it was last year "to be prepared to provide humanitarian care as rapidly as possible, given the myriad of factors that can impact migration flows."
Johnson concluded by saying the government needs to start making "incremental improvements." He called for a "step-by-step, continuous improvement plan," to address the issue.
Note: close today's AZMEX UPDATE with this stinking story.
Dille: Video shows drug bundles blocking sewer line
Courtesy City of Nogales
A video feed shows the blockage in the sewer line. City Manager Shane Dille called it "drug bundles and some sort of rack."
Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2015 2:34 pm | Updated: 5:34 pm, Tue Jul 7, 2015.
By Manuel C. Coppola
The plug in the cross-border sewer line that caused a home on Morley Avenue to flood with up to three feet of raw sewage appears on video footage to be drug bundles, City Manager Shane Dille said Tuesday.
"We were able to capture video inside the IOI and determined that what was blocking the line were drug bundles and some sort of rack" possibly used to try to haul the bundles out of the pipe, Dille said.
In an 8 a.m. interview on Tuesday at the home on 470 N. Morley Ave., Dille explained that crews were cutting out a section of the street asphalt to clear the pipe and conduct repairs on the International Outflow Interceptor (IOI), as the sewer line is called. He also gave a reporter an exclusive look inside the home just south of the Nogales Clinic.
The walls still had the markings indicating the depth the sewer water reached inside the home. The opening to a tunnel that led to a concrete-boxed area of the Nogales Wash was visible in the corner of the living room.
Officials believe the tunnel was dug for the purpose of extracting drugs being smuggled across the border through the sewer line, but the culprits damaged the pipe in the process.
Dille pointed to oxygen tanks and what appeared to be a hose used to pump air into the tunnel as further evidence of the illicit activity. A drill was discovered as well.
The home first flooded on Sunday afternoon, and while city officials immediately suspected the problem was caused by smuggling activity, conditions at the scene made investigation difficult.
The U.S. Border Patrol, which generally handles drug-tunnel discoveries in Nogales, has yet to issue a statement on the incident.
Crews blocked the pipe at a manhole upstream and diverted the sewer into the Nogales Wash, which is damned near Hohokam Drive so that the sewage water drains back into the IOI. The line runs along the Nogales Wash and carries at least 10 million gallons of sewage per day from Mexico to the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant in Rio Rico.
Video footage on Tuesday also pinpointed an 18-inch breach in the pipe near the tunnel, Dille said. Material is on order and expected to arrive Wednesday morning to affix a "sleeve" over the hole to stop the leak. He said he hopes the line repair to be completed by Wednesday. Repaving will probably not be completed until Thursday.
Meanwhile, the neighboring Nogales Clinic at Morley Avenue and La Castellana Drive remained open. Patients were detouring up through East Adams Street and down to La Castellana to get to their appointments on Tuesday.