Wednesday, September 27, 2017



Construction of border wall prototypes begins in San Diego
Posted: Sep 26, 2017 7:31 AM MST
Updated: Sep 27, 2017 10:31 AM MST
By CBS News 8 TeamConnect

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Construction began in San Diego Tuesday on prototypes for a new border wall between the United States and Mexico, marking the start of a proposed project that served as a bitterly divisive centerpiece in President Donald Trump's ascension to the White House.

Groundbreaking in Otay Mesa for eight proposed versions of the barrier -- four made of concrete, the others from unspecified alternate materials -- took place this morning, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Each structure will be between 18 and 30 feet tall and demonstrate a proposed design for how best to deter illegal crossings of the international line, according to the federal agency.

"We are committed to securing our border, and that includes constructing border walls," CBP acting Deputy Commissioner Ronald Vitiello said. "Our multi-pronged strategy to ensure the safety and security of the American people includes barriers, infrastructure, technology and people. Moving forward with the prototypes enables us to continue to incorporate all the tools necessary to secure our border."

Completion of the structures is expected within about 30 days, according to federal officials.

This morning, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an urgency ordinance banning items that could be used as weapons, such as baseball bats, knives and rocks, in areas where the border wall prototypes are being built and giving law enforcement the authority to issue misdemeanor citations to those found to be carrying such items.

"We support the right to peacefully protest, but there is no need to bring weapons," said Ron Lane, the county's deputy chief administrative officer.

Supervisor Dianne Jacob said: "We need to make sure our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to protect the people and keep the peace. This is a divisive time in our nation's history and frankly, we already have a border fence in San Diego, so I'm not sure why we were targeted to build the prototypes, but it is what it is ..."

Late last month, the U.S. government announced that it had awarded contracts to the following contractors for concrete wall prototypes: Caddell Construction Co. of Montgomery, Alabama; Fisher Sand & Gravel Co. of Tempe, Arizona; Texas Sterling Construction Co. of Houston, Texas; and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co. of Philadelphia, Mississippi.

The concrete mock-ups will "allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs that could complement the wall and barrier designs we have used along the border over the last several years," according to a statement issued by the federal agency.

Three weeks ago, Customs and Border Protection officials announced contract awards for so-called "other materials" prototypes of the proposed border wall. The following companies were selected to build them: Caddell Construction; KWR Construction Inc. of Sierra Vista, Arizona; ELTA North America Inc. of Annapolis Junction, Maryland; and W.G. Yates & Sons.

"Prototypes constructed from alternate materials will serve two important ends," according to a CBP statement. "First, given their robust physical characteristics -- for example, they will be between 18 and 30 feet high -- the `other materials' border-wall prototypes are designed to deter illegal crossings in the area in which they are constructed. Second, they will provide an innovative perspective in the application of new materials, which will allow CBP to evaluate the potential for new wall and barrier designs to complement the current wall and barrier used along the Southwest border."

Last week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit in San Diego against the Trump administration over its plan to begin construction of the wall, acting on behalf of the state and the California Coastal Commission.

"The border between the U.S. and Mexico spans some 2,000 miles -- the list of laws violated by the president's administration in order to build this campaign wall is almost as long," Becerra told reporters then. "The Department of Homeland Security would waive 37 federal statutes, as well as regulations that are related to those statutes, and he would also violate numerous state and local laws here in our great state of California."

The announcement came one day after the San Diego City Council voted 5-3 to pass a resolution opposing the border wall. That resolution stated the edifice would be detrimental to San Diego's environment and tourism.

"The border wall is a stupid idea," Councilman David Alvarez said. "The border can become efficient and safe with investments in infrastructure and technology instead of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars for a wall, which will accomplish nothing."

The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education, for its part, unanimously approved a resolution in April that supported a bill in the state Legislature that would prohibit California from doing business with contractors who help build a wall.

Before the City Council's vote of opposition to the proposed border barrier, dozens of residents lined up to speak on the topic, most of them denouncing it.

Council members Chris Cate, Mark Kersey and Lorie Zapf voted against the resolution, with Zapf saying the resolution only served as "political posturing."

Port of San Diego Vice Chairman Rafael Castellanos was among those who spoke against the border barrier at the council meeting. He said it was important to stand in solidarity with the immigrant community.

"This is not medieval China," he said. "We are not trying to keep out Mongol hordes. This is not a Matt Damon movie. This is a silly federal frolic that may go down in the `Guinness World Book of Records' as the worst pork- barrel project of all time."

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, who represents California's border region, also has taken a stand against the project, arguing that there are bigger enforcement problems in the border area, such as tunnels used to smuggle people and drugs into the United States.

In August, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it had secured a waiver that would allow it to bypass environmental regulations to speed up the building process in San Diego and Imperial counties.


County bans weapons near border wall prototypes
POSTED 11:57 AM, SEPTEMBER 26, 2017,

Construction began Tuesday in Otay Mesa on prototypes for President Trump's border wall.
SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday banned items that could be used as weapons, such as baseball bats, knives and rocks, in certain areas where border wall prototypes will be built.

With an expectation for protests and demonstrations in response to the border wall construction, county officials unanimously approved the urgency ordinance, which takes effect immediately. The action gives law enforcement the authority to issue misdemeanor citations to those who bring items that could be perceived as weapons to areas authorities deem to face credible threat for violent demonstrations.

"We need to make sure our law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to protect the people and keep the peace," county Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

"This is a divisive time in our nation's history and frankly, we already have a border fence in San Diego, so I'm not sure why we were targeted to build the prototypes, but it is what it is today," Jacob added.

Supervisor Greg Cox said it is important for the county to take precautionary measures since the federal government is moving forward with the "demonstration project."

President Donald Trump's push, via an executive order, for "immediate construction of a physical wall," some portions of which would fall within county lines, has prompted an array of reaction from county and city officials in a region with about 170,000 residents living in the country illegally.

The San Diego City Council passed a resolution last week expressing the city's intent to divest from companies involved in the construction, financing and/or design of the wall.

With construction of wall prototypes nearing, county officials agreed law enforcement needed more authority to keep expected protests peaceful. Prior to restricting any area to the public, though, the county will issue a public notice at least 24 hours in advance.

"We support the right to peacefully protest, but there is no need to bring weapons," said Ron Lane, the county's deputy chief administrative officer.


AZMEX I3 27-9-17

AZMEX I3 27 SEP 2017

Note: The mayor is a democrat who posed as a "independent" to get elected.

Phoenix mayor donates $10K to cover DACA application fees
SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 AT 4:37 PM

PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton announced Tuesday that he would donate $10,000 from campaign funds to pay for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals renewal applications.

"Donald Trump's unfortunate, spiteful decision to end the DACA program has put Dreamers here in Phoenix in a terrible position," he said during a press conference.
"These inspiring young women and men, entrepreneurs and leaders … want to contribute to the only home they know here in Phoenix, here in Arizona, here in the United States of America."

Stanton's donation will cover the $495 application fee for about 20 DACA-eligible people.

"It is the least I can do in my position as mayor," he said.

He announced the donation alongside leaders from Mi Familia Vota, a local immigrant rights group, that has been filling out DACA applications at no charge.

Eligible renewal applicants must submit their paperwork by Oct. 5.

"I, as mayor, stand with you and will fight any attempt by this presidential administration to separate our community from their families and their home," Stanton said.

The mayor called Trump's decision "cruel" in the days after it was announced DACA would be rescinded.
"Dreamers make Phoenix and our country stronger," he said. "Their fight is our fight. They are being used as political pawns by Donald Trump. That's just wrong."


MEXICO: "the decisions of who enters Mexico, are made by Mexico and only Mexico"
Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexican Foreign Minister
10 March, 2017

CANADA: "Our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone."
Justin Trudeau, boy PM of Canada. 20 Aug. 2017

So, Canada and Mexico can decide who enters their countries, but it is only the USA that cannot control who enters our country?
Gracias, Merci, Thx



Note: The disarming of the peons continues. But not the cartels and their accomplices in govt.

Call for arms exchange for money
Details Posted on Monday September 25, 2017,
Written by Marco A. Flores


Vouchers worth up to three thousand pesos, ( $167.65 USD ) for the citizen who decides to be part of the Campaign of Exchange of Firearms 2017, which was launched in Nogales several municipalities in the north of the state.

According to information provided by the Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) through the 45th Military Zone, since September 18, the reception modules have been located in municipalities such as Agua Prieta, Altar, Caborca, Cananea, Sonoyta , Magdalena de Kino, Santa Ana, San Luis Rio Colorado, Puerto Peñasco and Nogales.

The invitation is for citizens in general, to participate in this intensive state project, implemented in coordination with the Government of the State of Sonora, which will be held until November 17, 2017, from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 15:00 hours, through the establishment of the 13 modules mentioned.

In the established modules, the weapons, magazines, cartridges, etc. can be redeemed for vouchers worth up to three thousand pesos for high-powered automatic and semi-automatic firearms, long and short weapons, explosive devices, magazines, cartridges and others.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017



Note: video at link.

Tucson Sector Border Patrol hosting Citizen's Academy
Tuesday, September 26th 2017, 5:08 am MST
Tuesday, September 26th 2017, 11:40 am MST
By Cynthia Washington, Multimedia Journalist

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -
Tucson Sector Border Patrol is looking for people to take part in their Citizen's Academy.

The program starts in October and gives participants a behind-the-scenes look at what agents do daily.

The seven-week course will consist of classes, discussions, scenarios and demonstrations to show participants what agents do to secure the border.

"Although they may not be able to see everything that we do we want to share that bit of national security tasks and what it takes to become an agent and to do the job on a daily basis and some of the challenges agents face on a daily level," said Agent Daniel Hernandez with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol.

The program is free but applicants must be at least 18 years old and meet certain requirements.

Hernandez said this course is a great opportunity for not only people interested in getting a better understanding of U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations and how agents conduct enforcement duties, but also for people who are thinking about becoming agents.

For more information, contact the Tucson Station's Public Affairs Office at (520) 748-4773 or go to




Comment: "No we can't" But govt. will manage your health care.

Fixes to breach in cross-border sewer line slowed by red tape
By Paulina Pineda
Nogales International 11 hrs ago

IBWC Citizens Forum
Ben Lomeli, third from left, a member of the board of the Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum and the Friends of the Santa Cruz River, discusses improvements to the International Outfall Interceptor.
Photo by Paulina Pineda
IBWC Citizens Forum
Chris Stoller, a staffer at Sen. Jeff Flake's office in Tucson, discusses legislation that was introduced in both houses of Congress that seeks to relieve the City of Nogales' financial responsibility for maintainance of and capitol improvements to the International Outfall Interceptor.
Photo by Arturo Gabaldon

Officials with the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) said necessary repairs to fix a broken section of a cross-border sewer line that ruptured north of Nogales in late July have been slow partially because of bureaucratic hurdles the agency has had to overcome after local officials showed an unwillingness to help.

Addressing the board of the Southeast Arizona Citizens Forum, an advisory group working with the IBWC, Principal Engineer Jose Nuñez said that while crews have identified the scope of the work needed to permanently repair the breach, the City of Nogales and Santa Cruz County have been uncooperative, prolonging the process.

"I know a lot of people are saying, 'Well why is it taking so long to do the repairs?'' Nuñez told the roughly 60 people who attended the group's meeting last Thursday evening at the Tubac Community Center.

In addition to the red tape, Nuñez said, crews also had to wait for water in the creek to recede before being able to assess damages and devise a plan to fix the break. IBWC also needs to obtain permission from Union Pacific to carry out the work, which has been a difficult task, he added.

Proposed repairs include replacing a 50-foot section of the pipe and replacing the manhole where the breach occurred. However, in order to carry out the work, crews will first have to stabilize the banks and procure the needed materials, Nuñez said.

Scope of work

A break was discovered in the International Outfall Interceptor, which carries approximately 10-14 million gallons of wastewater from Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, Ariz. to a treatment plant about nine miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border each day, on July 25 after heavy monsoon rains the previous weekend. Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency two days later after testing by state environmental officials found excessive levels of E. coli bacteria in sections of Potrero Creek near the pipeline break.

Raw sewage stopped leaking into Potrero Creek after crews installed a temporary bypass on Aug. 2, effectively rerouting the sewage around Manhole 89 and up to the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment plant just north of the break near Old Tucson Road. It costs $14,000 a day to operate the bypass 24 hours a day, Nuñez said.

The manhole was originally built on dry land but heavy bank erosion led to the manhole shifting into the creek. Once in the riverbed, he said, dead trees and other debris damaged the concrete casing around it, leading it to collapse and subsequently pierce the pipeline.

After the bypass was installed and the water in the creek receded, crews were able to use a camera to inspect the IOI upstream from the break. The video showed significant damage to pipe, and though water prevented the camera from assessing damages in the portion of the pipe downstream from the break, Nuñez said, staff believes it's also damaged.

Proposed repairs include replacing Manhole 89 with a shallow manhole to prevent further damage, and replacing about 50 feet of damaged pipe with a new 30-inch reinforced concrete pipe. Crews also plan to concrete encase the exposed pipe within the wash and the new section downstream of the manhole.

Construction is slated to start Oct. 2 and is estimated to be completed by Oct. 27. However, Nuñez noted that the construction schedule would depend on obtaining the right-of-way from Union Pacific to stabilize the bank and build an earthen berm and a temporary diversion channel to divert water around the work site.

"I think by the time we're going to be finished with this project, it's going to cost anywhere between $1.75 to $2 million," Nuñez said, adding that the hefty costs could have been avoided if the city would have heeded warnings about the state of disrepair of Manhole 89.

Lengthy process

Throughout the months-long process, the IBWC has encountered several roadblocks. Nuñez said the agency asked the city and county to carry out bank stabilization work near the manhole and also construct the temporary diversion channel, but both government entities denied the request. Without stabilizing the bank, he added, it would be too dangerous for crews to begin construction because the creek could collapse.

At first, he said, the two governments said they didn't have the necessary funds to carry out the work. But even after the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs said it would fund 75 percent of the project, the city and county refused to come up with the other 25 percent, he added.

"The response we received from the city was that they couldn't do it. Same response from the county," he said.

The IBWC then approached the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out permanent shoring work. Though the Army Corps agreed to carry out the work at no cost to the city or county, the corps needed a local government agency to sponsor the project and continue maintaining the creek after the work was completed. Again, the city and county refused the offer, Nuñez said.

In the end, the IBWC will carry out temporary shoring work. The design was submitted to Union Pacific for review on Sept. 20.

The project has hit another snag after the county said it would reopen Old Tucson Road on Oct. 1 to accommodate truck traffic with the start of the produce season. However, the pumps that are currently running the bypass 24 hours a day are sitting on the roadway, and Nuñez said relocating the pumps would require shutting them off which would lead to sewage spilling into the creek again.

The allegations drew ire from the audience, with many questioning why the city and county were unwilling to play along.

After being prompted by an audience member to address Nuñez's claims, County Manager Jennifer St. John told attendees that the county does not own any part of the sewer line and it would be a liability to get further involved in the project. She added that county staff had already done what was needed to ensure public safety.

"We felt like … we did what the county could do legally," she said. "I don't want to get into a he said she said, an argument or a fight, and that could be what this gets into if we start with all the allegations. Again, we felt that we did what the county needed to do to protect our citizens."

Aside from Councilman Marcelino Varona, Jr., no other representatives from the City of Nogales attended the meeting. Varona did not address Nuñez's allegations that the city was being uncooperative.

The lack of cooperation also frustrated some members of the advisory board, including Ben Lomeli, who noted that finding a permanent fix to the breach was vital to the overall well-being of the Santa Cruz River and county residents.

"We have a physical system that is legally fragmented by jurisdictions and responsibilities so nobody wants to do the whole thing. We need a comprehensive, holistic, sustainable solution," said Lomeli, a member of the Friends of the Santa Cruz River. "(A)ll of us need to work together and stop this 'This is not my responsibility, it's their responsibility.'"

"We were extremely lucky this time. It was only a partial break, it was only a single break even though several areas, segments were exposed," he said, adding later: "We may not be so lucky the next time."




New cartel seeks to seize Chihuahua
By Ernesto Topete | El Heraldo de Chihuahua
Friday, September 22, 2017 in Republic

A third drug cartel that has emerged after the cell division of the Sinaloa and Juárez cartels operating in the state capital is what has caused the origin of the other criminal group that is responsible for at least 24 deaths in the last 15 days in the city of Chihuahua, although its emergence has been brewing for weeks.

The victims have been people linked to the purchase and sale of the drug, cocaine and crystal.

César Peniche Espejel, State Attorney General, reiterated that the outbreaks of violence that have occurred in recent days in the city are due to the emergence of a new cartel that seeks to seize control of the sale of drugs, for which it is eliminating it's alleged rivals.

"We have detected a group that is disputing the sale of drugs here in the city of Chihuahua and that is where the source of the conflict is, is a group that has tried to control the market and is trying to eliminate its potential rivals in this task said the state attorney.

Peniche Espejel explained that it is a local group, which already has existed but is made up by breaks between other gangs, which have been identified but they reserve the aliases and names of those responsible.



So far this year there have been 612 homicides by gun. In the month of September there have been 128 homicides with firearms, of which 113 were men and 15 women.

With the massacres in the bars "Balconcito", "LTS" and "Todos Santos" on June 30, the state capital registered 50 murders in June, a figure that for Ficosec indicates that the security strategy implemented in Chihuahua is not working as the figure soared with respect to the previous months.

From January to April, the number of intentional homicides increased from 45 to 22, but in May it rebounded to 35. "In the city of Chihuahua, the indicator of intentional homicides is on the rise and in red lights, the strategies of the police authorities are definitely not working "Said Ficosec


Monday, September 25, 2017



Comment: Maybe some of the many thousands of unemployed Americans might want a job?

Local trucking firms butting heads with Border Patrol
By Paulina Pineda
Nogales International 19 hrs ago

Trucking Issues
A group of about 25 trucking and logistics company owners met Wednesday afternoon in Nogales to discuss regulations that are preventing them from using Mexican truck drivers to haul cargo loads within the United States.

Trucking Issues
Jim Watson, Jr. said local trucking and logistics companies want to comply with NAFTA regulations and are seeking a solution to the problem.
Photo by Paulina Pineda

Trucking Issues
Luis Rivera (center) of L&R Trucking discusses obstacles he's faced while applying for visas for his drivers.
Photo by Paulina Pineda

Newly enforced regulations prohibiting Mexican truck drivers from transporting cargo loads picked up at local warehouses to another location within the United States are creating a headache for trucking and logistics companies.

The issue stems from commercial violations of so-called "cabotage" regulations, a provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement that prohibits foreign truck drivers from lugging cargo that originated in the United States to a final destination within the country.

The issue prompted the owners of local trucking and logistic companies to convene a meeting Wednesday afternoon to discuss possible solutions to the problem. More than 25 people attended the gathering at WS Trucklines off Old Tucson Road, with most expressing concerns that if the problem isn't fixed, they may have to close their businesses or lay off employees.

"Long story short, if we don't fix this soon, 100 companies will close in Nogales," said Jimmy Watson, Jr., who runs local trucking company JSJ Enterprises with his father Jimmy Watson, Sr.

Watson said that while the regulations have long been in place, they weren't being enforced by local Border Patrol agents at the Interstate 19 checkpoint.

That changed, however, when Patrol Agent in Charge Sabri Dikman took over the Nogales Station in June, Watson said.

Though the group had until Oct. 1 to comply with the regulations, an email from Eric Lee, watch commander at the Nogales Border Patrol Station, to Luis Velasco of Athena Logistic Solutions, which the group provided to the NI, states: "The Chief of Tucson Sector has agreed to give local companies more time to get their operations in compliance before we start enforcing the regulations."

The group now has until Jan. 1, 2018 to come into compliance.

"This is just an aspirin for the headache that is coming," Watson told the group.

Change in attitude

In an emailed statement Thursday morning, the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector public information office said: "Federal immigration regulations and policies provide that foreign commercial truck drivers may qualify for temporary entry with a B-1 visa to pick up or deliver cargo traveling in the stream of international commerce."

B-1 Temporary Business Visitor visas are meant for people who are participating in business activities in the United States. In the case of truck drivers here on a B-1 visa, they must enter the United States with a trailer loaded with foreign merchandise and deliver it to its final destination, remaining in the stream of international commerce.

They cannot, however, unload the cargo locally and then reload their trucks with merchandise stored at warehouses in Nogales and Rio Rico. Doing so would be a violation of cabotage regulations, also known as point-to-point hauling, because it would be considered domestic commerce and would be in direct competition to U.S. truck drivers.

"These regulations do not allow for commercial drivers in the United States on a B-1 visa to carry cargo in violation of cabotage laws, i.e. domestic point-to-point hauling or other purely domestic service or solicitation," the sector's public information office said. "Should a driver engage in such activity, he/she would be engaging in unauthorized employment in the United States in violation of (federal statutes)."

According to a pamphlet distributed by Border Patrol regarding NAFTA regulations that was provided to the NI by the business owners, drivers in violation of employment laws can have their cargo taken, visas cancelled, and will be arrested and placed in deportation proceedings. Companies in violation can also face civil and criminal penalties.

Asked why the change in attitude, the sector's public information office said: "Border Patrol has exercised agent discretion in the enforcement of this law in the past. Reports from Interstate 19 checkpoint indicate numerous drivers transiting through the checkpoint are in violation of cabotage requirements."

Once regulations are enforced, agents at the I-19 checkpoint will check truck drivers' employment status and ask where the cargo loads originated.

Possible solutions

Among them, the businesses represented at Wednesday's meeting have roughly 500 trucks, Watson said. If they're unable to find a solution by the Jan. 1 deadline, it would mean a significant blow to the local economy, he added.

The group brainstormed various ways in which they could come into compliance with federal regulations, including hiring U.S. truck drivers, obtaining H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Worker visas for their employees and lobbying local, state and federal officials.

However, following through with those suggestions is easier said than done.

Nationwide, there is a shortage of U.S. truck drivers, and the group noted that the older average age of truck drivers on the road means there will be even more vacancies in the coming years.

Watson and others in attendance, including Luis Rivera of L&R Trucking and Salvador Gonzalez Luna of Goza Trucking, said they've run classified advertisements and visited the Santa Cruz County One Stop Career Center, but have been unsuccessful in their search for American drivers.

They said many potential drivers want to work Monday-Friday, drive locally or within the state and be paid in cash, demands that aren't realistic, Gonzalez said. He added that many insurance companies also require that drivers have three years experience, which makes it difficult to attract younger drivers who have recently received their commercial driver's license.

Still, Watson encouraged the group to reach out to the One Stop Center and also sign up to participate in the county job fair next month.

Another obstacle has been obtaining H-2B visas. Isaias Salas, owner of WS Trucklines, and Rivera said despite hiring a lawyer to help them with the application process, they've been denied multiple times. Velasco of Athena Logistic Solutions, who said he applied on his own and received a response from the Department of Labor, encouraged the group to submit the applications themselves before hiring a lawyer.

In addition to seeking American drivers more aggressively and applying for H-2B visas, the group also discussed creating a trucking association, helping to eliminate some of the competition among them, and also working with immigration lawyers and government officials who can help get their needs addressed.

"We're not opposed to the regulations," Gonzalez said. "We want to do things right, but we need help."

Coincidentally, the meeting Wednesday came a day after the Arizona Department of Transportation held a training with Mexican truck drivers in Nogales, Sonora as part of an effort aimed at helping them cross the border more efficiently.

The ADOT effort, which teaches commercial drivers what to expect during safety inspections when they cross through a port of entry, seeks to reduce long lines at the port. It's part of on-going effort to build better relationships between truckers and federal and state transportation inspectors at the Mariposa Port of Entry, which local and state officials believe is crucial to cross-border trade.


Saturday, September 23, 2017



Note: Mission expanded?

Meet the new Special Agent in Charge of ATF in Phoenix
Posted: Sep 22, 2017 8:42 PM MST
Updated: Sep 23, 2017 8:18 AM MST
By Mike Watkiss

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has a new special agent in charge in the Phoenix Field Division.

John Durastanti is taking aim at people he calls "the trigger pullers." He will oversee ATF's criminal and regulatory operations throughout Arizona and New Mexico. "ATF targets behavior," he said. "It's the behavior that's unacceptable. The violence. So no matter what the group is, if they are committing violent acts, we're going to target them."

Durastanti started his law enforcement career in Ohio as a patrol officer with a local police department, began his Federal law enforcement career with the United States Marshals Service in 1996, and transitioned to ATF in 1998.

During an interview Friday afternoon, we asked Durastanti about a number of groups in the headlines and linked to violence. "Those gangs, those groups that are contributing to the most violence in any community, that's one of our priorities. Our primary goals? Go in, infiltrate those gangs and take them off the streets," said Durastanti.

Durastanti says one of his main jobs is providing ATF's unique resources and expertise to local law enforcement, just as ATF did in the serial shooter case.

We also asked Durastanti about speculation that Arizona's own DPS director, Col. Frank Milstead, may be in the running to head up ATF in the Trump administration.

Durastanti said we would probably hear about that before he did.


Friday, September 22, 2017



Briefs: Ammo load seized
Nogales International 13 hrs ago (0)
Police confiscate load of ammo from stolen car

Nogales police officers seized roughly 6,000 rounds of ammunition from a stolen vehicle parked at the Shell gas station near the Mariposa Port of Entry last week.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 14, agents with the U.S. Border Patrol reported that a dark-colored Nissan Versa that had been parked at the gas station all day appeared to have a fake license plate, according to a Nogales Police Department 911 dispatch report.

Upon further investigation, an NPD officer working the Operation Stonegarden detail found that the vehicle was reported stolen in New Mexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release.

The driver, a U.S. citizen, was arrested and police seized the car.

A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up 6,000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition hidden in the trunk, CBP said.


Thursday, September 21, 2017



Monterrey man gets two years in firearms case

7 hrs ago

McALLEN — When federal agents found him unloading boxes in the parking lot of a hotel in Hidalgo, the Mexican man knew he had been caught red-handed.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced 52-year-old Alejandro Cavazos-Torres to two years in federal prison. This comes months after agents found him in the parking lot of a Super 8 Hotel unloading packages containing firearm parts and accessories headed for Mexico, court records show.

According to the criminal complaint, Cavazos-Torres was arrested Oct. 14, 2016, after Homeland Security Investigations special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement interrupted him while unloading the weapons items from a vehicle he was seen driving.

What Cavazos-Torres didn't know was that agents were aware of the packages' contents before his arrest in the Hidalgo parking lot.

HSI special agents were surveilling Cavazos-Torres for some time, specifically after it was learned that he had purchased more than $100,000 worth of firearm components from internet-based dealers — including parts from AR-15 kits and unfinished AR-15 lower receivers, the release states.

More than a week before his arrest, the complaint states, agents executed a search warrant on the parcels he had ordered and found the elements necessary to build firearms, such as AR type accessories. They included 25 ammunition magazines,12 platform upper receivers, bolt carrier assemblies, pistol grips with trigger group components, charging handles and buttstocks with buffer tubes.

On the aforementioned date of arrest, agents observed Cavazos-Torres, who was in possession of a Visa Border Crossing card, entering the United States through the Anzalduas port of entry and making his way to Worldwide Parcel, a parcel business in Hidalgo.

Upon arriving at the business, records show that Cavazos-Torres was observed by agents taking possession of 13 parcels, loading them into the back of his vehicle and leaving the area.

Cavazos-Torres, after having just picked up the parcels, arrived at a hotel in Hidalgo, and while still in the parking lot, agents observed him unloading the packages onto a luggage cart, the complaint states.

The defendant admitted to agents that the packages were his and that they were headed to people in Mexico. A month after his arrest, Cavazos-Torres, who hails from Monterrey, Mexico, pleaded not guilty to one count of smuggling, only to change his mind in February, court documents show.

In exchange for his guilty plea, court records show that federal prosecutors agreed to reduce the final offense level of the charge.

Cavazos-Torres, who is not a U.S. citizen and is expected to be deported once he completes his sentence, will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined at a later date.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017



Note: Yes, another stinking special. " in an area about 300 yards"

McSally chastises IBWC for slow response on Naco sewage spill
Sep 19, 2017 Updated 9 hrs ago (1)
Eric Petermann
Opinions Editor

(Herald/Review photo by Eric Petermann) U.S. Rep. Martha McSally listens to Gerald Eberwein, left, and John Ladd at a bridge immediately west of the Naco Port of Entry. The understream flowing in a wash that connects to Greenbush Draw is raw sewage originating from a broken sewer pipe across the border in Naco, Sonora.

NACO, Ariz. — If weather conditions stay dry, it could be another week before a stream of raw sewage flowing from Naco, Sonora and threatening Bisbee's water supply is "fixed," U.S. Rep. Martha McSally said Monday.

The congresswoman appeared unhappy with the timetable, calling for more oversight of the International Boundary and Water Commission and more investment in infrastructure at the border.

"It's taking way too long. Bureaucracies can be slow, but when you're talking about impacts on a community's health, clean drinking water and other environmental impacts, they need to react much more quickly than this," she said.

A broken sewer main in Naco, Sonora, located close to the fence, west of the Naco Port of Entry, releases a fast-flowing stream of raw sewage that crosses the international border and enters a wash that drains into Greenbush Draw and onto the Ladd Family Ranch in Palominas.

Overflows of the Naco, Sonora sewage treatment system have created the stream each rainy season as far back as the mid-1980s, border property owner Gerald Eberwein said Monday. He said his past experiences working with the IBWC to try and fix the sewage flow "...have not been good."

This year, the sewage flow started in May, Eberwein said, after an early season rainfall caused an overflow. He said the stream has continued without stopping due, in part, to a broken sewer main in Naco, Sonora.

The sewage flow is ponding in an area about 300 yards from Arizona Water Company, which pumps most of Bisbee's water supply from its well and storage operation on W. Zepeda Street, just west of Willson Road.

McSally said she spoke Monday to IBWC Commissioner Edward Drusina who reported a pump has been supplied by the agency to officials in Naco, Sonora. The congresswoman said even with an additional pump and a redirected sewage flow, it could be up to a week before the stream stops flowing into the United States.

"Look, speed is very important when it comes to addressing some of these issues, for the very real health and safety concerns in a community like this," McSally said.

More support is needed for communities on the border dealing with these kinds of problems, she said. "We need greater oversight, greater preventive maintenance, infrastructure investment and immediate responses when we see breaches like this," she added.

Rancher John Ladd criticized the IBWC for failing to address the issue and pointed at the agency's handling of sewage problems in Nogales as another example of its lack of effectiveness.
"This is their jurisdiction but they have their hands full with their problems in Nogales," Ladd said.

Nogales in the U.S. and the IBWC have a longstanding dispute on costs related to repairing and replacing a sewage main that crosses the international border and feeds into a treatment plant operated by the IBWC. In July, the cross-border sewer main ruptured, causing untreated wastewater to pour into Potrero Creek, north of Nogales on the U.S side of the border. In August, Gov. Doug Ducey declared the situation a state of emergency and dispatched the Arizona National Guard to assist state and federal authorities in stopping the sewage flow. Whether the repaired main is the responsibility of the city or the IBWC continues to be in question.

Ladd said the longstanding problem with raw sewage from Naco, Sonora streaming onto his family's ranch angers him. "It's a breakdown in our federal system because we're being binational with it," Ladd said. "We end up, we're going to foot the bill. Whatever happens over there we're going to pay for it."

He said the problem has existed as long as Naco, Sonora has existed, noting that water and sewage from the community flows down hill, referring to the nearby San Jose mountain range on the Mexico side of the border. "I don't care how broke you are," Ladd said. "You're still responsible for your sewage."

He questioned the effectiveness of state and federal environmental efforts.
"We're very hypocritical in our stance where we're spending millions of dollars on clean water projects to have clean water in Arizona and then we got 50 gallons a minute of raw sewage coming in from Mexico," Ladd said.




Note: Thanks to the good folks at Borderland Beat. China is not our friend. There has been a fairly significant Chinese presence in NW Mexico for over a hundred years. Photos at link.

A paradigm shift in illegal border crossings-those aren't Latinos coming across.
by Chivis Martinez for Borderland Beat

In this tunnel, Border Patrol agents discovered 30 illegal immigrants, including 23 Chinese nationals. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

Undocumented Chinese immigrants take the lead in apprehension numbers

At around 1 a.m on Saturday August 26, California Border Patrol agents made a surprising discovery; a crudely constructed tunnel that was being facilitated to smuggle illegal immigrants in to the United States.

And the overwhelming majority of the immigrant group were not Mexican, or even Latino, 23 of the group of 30 were Chinese. There were 21 Chinese males and 2 females. There exists a new human smuggling trend that is setting records, as it did in 2016, when the number of undocumented Chinese migrants, surpassed the number of Mexicans. The steep price tag that Chinese migrants must pay to be smuggled into the U.S. is 50 to 75 thousand USD, making it a very lucrative industry.

Far apart from the sophisticated drug tunnels of El Chapo, the newly discovered tunnel is a simplistic, rudimentary, system that utilized a ladder in place of an elevator, found in many Mexican Cartel tunnels.

Using tunnels to transport migrants into the U.S., is not new or unheard of, but it is atypical and the tunnels used are the throw away tunnels, tunnel projects abandoned for whatever reason. What is new is who they are finding using the tunnels.

Unfinished tunnel projects can present problems. An example is a few years ago when a migrant got stuck in a narrow passage, trapping himself and four others behind him. They were rescued by BP.

Migrants were "stuck" in this narrow tunnel
Joaquin "el chapo" Guzmán, the master and originator of drug tunnels, has perfected tunnel construction projects to include rail car transport, ventilation and lighting systems. The entry is on the Mexico side of the border, and terminates on the U.S. side, typically popping up through the floor of a California warehouse, or single family home purchased specifically for its location.

Not all tunnels are alike. It is dependent on its intended usage of how superior it must be developed. If it is to be an ultra-long tunnel to transport drugs or a prison escapee, it will require all the bells and whistles. In 2016 a record breaking tunnel was discovered in San Diego. It stretched for half a mile and included electric lights, rail and ventilation systems. The tunnel initiated in a house in Tijuana, where an elevator was installed in a closet expediting the entry/exit, and then exiting through a pallet business on the California side. It measured 775 meters in length.

Things became chaotic when agents approached the group. Some ran back into the tunnel, others attempted to run off. They were detained and taken to the Chula Vista Border Station for questioning.
The tunnel was approximately one mile in length.

While illegal border crossings by Mexicans and other Latinos has diminished to record breaking lows, attributed by many to the "Trump effect", [Trump IS the wall], the number of undocumented Chinese immigrants coming to California's south order, has climb sharply in recent years.

Between the months of October to May nearly 700 Chinese nationals were apprehended, compared to 5 in 2014, and 48 in 2015. Before 2014 a spokesperson for Border Patrol said "we just were not getting any Chinese nationals."

The Chinese surge, with the premiums charged them for border crossing, is capitalized on for cartel profits, maximizing revenue derived from a "diversification" apart from a drug trafficking.

Trafficking humans, requires is a much less elaborate method of earning profits, than trafficking drugs, with little loss even if plans end unfavorably.

"Factank" from the PEW Research Center

The number of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. illegally has declined by more than 1 million since 2007. In 2014, 5.8 million unauthorized immigrants from Mexico lived in the U.S., down from a peak of 6.9 million in 2007. Despite the drop, Mexicans still make up about half of the nation's 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants (52% in 2014).

In 2016, a total of 192,696 Mexicans were apprehended in illegal border crossings opposed to 222,847 non-Mexicans.

On the Mexican side of the southern border, some Chinese nationals are electing to stay in Mexico, resulting in a whole different set of issues, mostly social.

Borderland Beat Reporter Chivis Posted at 7:10 AM


Don't forget.
MEXICO: "the decisions of who enters Mexico, are made by Mexico and only Mexico"
Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexican Foreign Minister
10 March, 2017

CANADA: "Our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone."
Justin Trudeau, boy PM of Canada. 20 Aug. 2017

So, Canada and Mexico can decide who enters their countries, but it is only the USA that cannot control who enters our country?
Gracias, Merci, Thx

Tuesday, September 19, 2017



Litigation could stall government's plan for border wall construction
LORENZO ZAZUETA-CASTRO | STAFF WRITER Follow @lorenzozazueta 5 hrs ago (3)
Border Wall Reality Check

A constitutional challenge to the government's border wall waivers in California could impact its construction in the Rio Grande Valley, according to a local environmentalist.

Last week, the Center for Biological Diversity expanded its lawsuit against the federal government's border wall and prototype projects in San Diego, challenging the Trump administration's authority to waive environmental laws and calling for an end to the unconstitutional strategy, according to a news release.

The new filing, made Sept. 6, is the second amendment and expands on the original lawsuit filed by the center in June against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The suit states that former DHS Chief John Kelly did not have authority to waive dozens of laws to rush construction of the border wall and prototypes, according to court records.

The waivers for the construction of the wall and prototype projects the government submitted Aug. 2 would waive more than 30 laws, according the center's release.

"The waiver highlights the Trump administration's dangerous disregard for our environment and the rule of law," Brian Segee, a senior attorney with the center said. "Trump is willing to throw environmental protections out the window to fulfill his divisive and destructive campaign promise. What's to stop him from using this lawless approach to wreck wildlife refuges and beautiful public lands all along the border? We need to halt these unconstitutional waivers once and for all, here in San Diego."

Scott Nicol, executive member of the Sierra Club, also confirmed that his group, along with the Defender's of Wildlife, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a similar lawsuit Sept. 14 against the acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and DHS.

Like the suit filed by the center, the lawsuit filed by Sierra Club, the Defenders of Wildlife and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is based on a challenge to the constitutionality of the government's waivers.

Nicol, whose groups have been at the forefront of the debate locally, said he believes U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been operating with impunity with regard to laws surrounding the purported border wall construction.

He said the outcome of these legal challenges could have an impact on the Valley if and when federal government officials begin their plans for border wall construction.

"It's likely that if they are going to go forward with border walls in Santa Ana (wildlife refuge) they will waive laws the same way they have in California," Nicol said. "It's just easier from their perspective … they don't care about the damage that they do, then why should they have to suffer legal consequences for doing it. I think that's pretty irresponsible. It's pretty absurd to say, 'We need to enforce one set of laws, and we're just going to go ahead and sweep aside another set of laws.' It's not what the whole legal structure should be about."

Nicol said if the Supreme Court were to decide that the waivers are unconstitutional it could be a game-changer for purported talk of border wall construction throughout the country.

"(If) the (U.S.) Supreme Court says, that yes, this waiver power is unconstitutional, then that completely changes the playing-field for border walls everywhere, South Texas included," Nicol said. "They would no longer be able to waive all of these laws."

He said if the government were forced to abide by the laws they tried to circumvent through the waivers, it might be a while before any construction begins.

"If they don't have the ability to waive the national environmental policy act, they're going to have to prepare an environmental impact statement — that's going to take them probably a year, Nicol said. "…All these laws that were waived the last time walls were built in South Texas, they would have to start obeying those laws."

Paulo Lopes, a public lands policy specialist with the Center for Biological Diversity, said the government is utilizing an old law as their basis for the waivers.

"Over a decade ago, Congress granted waiver authority under the REAL ID Act to expedite the construction of a border fence, which has already been completed," Lopes said. "Congress did not grant DHS perpetual unchecked authority to cast aside dozens of laws."

"The 2005 REAL ID Act amended the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to give unprecedented and sweeping authority to the Homeland Security secretary to waive federal, state and local laws to expedite construction of the double- and triple-layer border fencing in San Diego," according to the center's release.

The waiver would speed construction of replacement walls, 30-foot-high prototypes, roads, lighting, and other infrastructure without any analysis of the environmental impacts or any public input. This coastal area of south San Diego is surrounded by communities and contains critical habitat for several endangered species, the center's release states.

Lopes said the government has until October to respond to their amended complaint. The center would then respond in November to the government's motion, with a tentative hearing on the government's motion for dismissal set for Dec. 15.



Note: So why don't they cross legally and get together? As do so many others. Guess?
Photos at link.

BP installs mesh at popular border fence meeting spot
By Arielle Zionts
Nogales International Sep 19, 2017 Updated 5 hrs ago (1)

Border mesh
Julio Santiago, 27, who works in Phoenix but is originally from Nogales, Sonora, visits Nogales, Ariz. on Saturday to talk with his extended family in Mexico, including his nieces and nephews, pictured here. The mesh that now separates them at their usual meeting spot was recently added by the Border Patrol.
Photo by Arielle Zionts
Fence reunion
A family separated by the U.S.-Mexico border gathers at the fence along West International Street for a picnic and get-together on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. The section of fence seen here has now been covered with metal mesh.
File photo by Jonathan Clark
Border mesh
The new mesh along International Street is placed in an area where Ambos Nogales families and friends frequently meet to chat or even share a meal. Border Patrol said the mesh was intalled to prevent contraband from passing through the fence.
Photo by Arielle Zionts
Border mesh
The mesh extends east to a fenced-off area posed with "U.S. Property, no trespassing" signs.
Photo by Arielle Zionts

On Saturday afternoon, Julio Santiago stood up against the border fence on West International Street in Nogales, speaking to his extended family inches away in Nogales, Sonora through the gaps between the barrier's steel tubes.

Santiago, a 27-year-old Phoenix-based construction worker originally from Nogales, Sonora, said he makes the trip to visit with his family through the fence every two or three weeks.

During past visits, Santiago and his family were separated by the fence's "bollards" – interconnected metal tubes that extend up to 30 feet above a concrete footer – but they had an unobstructed view of each other and could hold hands through the four-inch gaps between the tubes.

But now, Santiago and anyone else who meets at this popular visiting spot is also separated by metal mesh that's been attached to the fence. The U.S. Border Patrol, which had adopted a generally tolerant attitude toward gatherings at the fence after the barrier was installed in 2011, says it installed the mesh about two months ago to prevent people from exchanging contraband.

Intended or not, the change has also put a damper on the intimacy of the border fence meetings. Visibility has been diminished and hand-holding is out of the question.

"It gives you a chance to see your family if you behave well," Santiago said of the bollard fence. "But now, you can't even see (through it)."


The meeting spot on West International Street, about 150 feet west of the intersection with West Street, is popular in large part due to its accessibility. The street runs right up against the fence there, offering a smooth, paved surface as opposed to the rock-strewn, 10-foot wide buffer zone just to the east that's posted with signs reading: "U.S. property, no trespassing." Just to the west, the street and fence rise up a hill on the U.S. side, separating the street levels in the U.S. and Mexico and making cross-border meetings impractical.

Especially on weekends, it's not uncommon to see people camped out in plastic chairs on the U.S. side, while loved ones in Mexico set up tables and lay out a family meal on the other. For unlike the busy area of East International Street near the Morley Avenue pedestrian crossing, where eye-level, steel mesh-covered windows allow communication and limited visibility through a concrete border wall, the spot on West International has allowed unobstructed views and physical contact in a relatively quiet area of downtown – until now.

The approximately 75-foot-long segment of new mesh covers the entire meeting area, stretching from the "no trespassing" zone to a spot on the hill where the ground levels on either side of the fence are too far apart for face-to-face meetings.

The Border Patrol's Tucson Sector headquarters did not respond specifically to a question about whether the passing of contraband had become a problem at the location. Instead, a statement from the sector's public information office said: "Smuggling has always been an issue along the U.S.-Mexico border. As with any enforcement effort there are lessons learned and modifications made to address the ever-changing enforcement challenges."

Emilio Gomez, a 54-year-old retiree who lives near the new mesh on West International Street, said he still sees families gather there. Even so, he said: "It's very bad because the people want to be talking with their family and many times they can't. It interrupts."


While the Border Patrol has taken a hands-off approach to people talking and touching through the fence, it has made it clear that people cannot exchange items through the barrier.

"The Border Patrol is primarily concerned with individuals or contraband illegally crossing the international boundary," spokeswoman Colleen Agle told the NI in June 2011 in response to questions about gatherings at the fence, though she added that "no items or people may pass over, under or through the fence."

The Tucson Sector's public information office reiterated that stance in an email last week, noting that passing items through the fence is prohibited. "Although individuals may have innocent intentions, the criminal element may take advantage of the innocence to smuggle or pass contraband across the border," it said.

Technically, hand-holding is also prohibited, though it's not an enforcement priority, the agency suggested in the email.

Santiago, the construction worker from Phoenix, acknowledged that his meetings with family have also included the exchange of food. "Yes, they bring me food as well," he said. "They say you can't, but sometimes I eat, I don't care."

And while the meetings themselves have been tolerated, the Border Patrol said last week that the practice is only allowed with prior permission. That's because all U.S. land within 60 feet of the border is federal property known as the Roosevelt Reservation, an off-limits area established in 1907 through a proclamation by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Back at the fence, Santiago, who did not specify why he doesn't wish to cross into Mexico to visit loved ones, said the new mesh isn't a big problem for him since he's still pleased to be able to see his family. Even so, he said, it's sad that the material prohibits them from touching during their reunions at the popular meeting spot.

Gomez, the neighbor, reiterated his assessment of the mesh as a "very bad" development.
"It's not enough to put up a wall, they have to put up mesh as well," he said.

SIDEBAR: Prior approval

Jesus Maldonado, a supervisor at the Nogales Border Patrol Station, said that if people want to submit a request to gather at the fence, they can contact Supervisor George Schmid at (520) 761-2400 or Steve Passement, the sector's Border Community Liaison, at



Note: photo at link.

Agents seize fake FBI ID cards during human smuggling attempt near Tucson
Seth Pines
10:11 AM, Sep 19, 2017
2 hours ago

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. - Border Patrol agents seized several fraudulent FBI identification cards as they helped thwart a human smuggling attempt near Tucson on Sunday.

According to Customs and Border Protection, Fort Huachuca officials came into contact with a vehicle being driven by a U.S. citizen near an entrance of the Army post.

As agents arrived, they learned that the driver's two adult male passengers were Mexican nationals who were illegally present in the U.S. The two Mexican nationals were placed under arrest for immigration violations and the driver was taken into custody for human smuggling, according to CBP.

During a search of the vehicle, agents located fake law enforcement equipment, including a realistic-looking handgun that fired BB's and fraudulent federal identification cards that showed the driver's photo and information with the FBI logo.



MEXICO: "the decisions of who enters Mexico, are made by Mexico and only Mexico"
Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexican Foreign Minister
10 March, 2017

CANADA: "Our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone."
Justin Trudeau, boy PM of Canada. 20 Aug. 2017

So, Canada and Mexico can decide who enters their countries, but it is only the USA that cannot control who enters our country?
Gracias, Merci, Thx

Monday, September 18, 2017



Note: No, did not make this up. Some may appreciate the irony of Fox's participation.
More details at the link.

Phoenix 2017 - Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo


Keynote Speaker:
Vicente Fox
Fox served as Mexico's president and is a current member of the Global Leadership Foundation.
A leading international advocate for progressive marijuana policy, Fox is a vocal proponent for the decriminalization of cannabis.

OCTOBER 12TH, 13TH & 14TH, 2017


The Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo is coming back to host the most exciting professional and educational medical cannabis conference the Southwest United States Cannabis industry has ever seen.
A business-to-business event bringing together experts from the local, regional and national cannabis industry to network and share the latest industry information is an event where individuals interested in the industry can learn more from these industry experts. Last year was just the introduction, our theme this year: THE CANNABIS WORLD OF TOMORROW

SWCC Expo will be an electric environment for industry members, entrepreneurs, local leaders, companies, job seekers and curious individuals to come learn about the rapidly expanding cannabis industry and our changing culture.

Attendees will hear from speakers there to educate and inspire, not just showcase, their businesses. As always SWCC Expo will create a highly professional environment where the outlines for the future of cannabis will take shape. The conference includes seminars from top industry leaders and an exhibit hall filled with businesses showcasing industry related products and services. I personally look forward to your participation in this groundbreaking event. Come take a look at the future.

Presented By
New Times



Policy change bars Arizona troopers from field-testing drugs
Posted: Sep 18, 2017 10:59 AM MST
Updated: Sep 18, 2017 10:59 AM MST

PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Department of Public Safety changed its policy on field-testing suspected narcotics due to fears that troopers could overdose from contact with the potent opioid fentanyl.

The Arizona Republic reported ( ) on Saturday that troopers are barred from conducting the tests, so the samples are sent to the department's laboratory.

The newspaper reviewed data from August that indicates the policy change has caused a backlog of more than 2,000 controlled substance cases that still require testing.

Officials say that if the delay is left unchecked, it could hinder prosecutors from filing formal criminal charges.

Because of the controlled substance testing backlog, the department's backlog of all other pending tests has increased.

Some medical professionals question if such a testing precaution is necessary.

Information from: The Arizona Republic,


Friday, September 15, 2017

AZMEX I3-2 15-9-17

AZMEX I3-2 15 SEP 2017

CPLC and General Consulate of Mexico in Phoenix will host 3 free DACA renewal events
Ozzy Mora, KPNX
3:42 PM. MST September 15, 2017

Chicanos Por La Causa and the General Consulate of Mexico in Phoenix will be hosting three free DACA renewal events at the CPLC Community Center.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, no initial request for DACA will be accepted.

Only DACA renewals will be accepted starting Oct. 5,2017.

CPLC and the General Consulate of Mexico in Phoenix will assist those in need of DACA renewals by providing; an information session and two application sessions.

Look at the information below for the times and dates of the sessions:

1. Information Session - DACA
WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 21 from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
WHERE: CPLC Community Center 3216 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85009

2. Application Clinic
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 22 from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
WHERE: CPLC Community Center 3216 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85009

3. Application Clinic
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 23 from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
WHERE: CPLC Community Center 3216 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85009


AZMEX I3 15-9-17

AZMEX I3 15 SEP 2017

Phoenix Motel 6 tipped off ICE on undocumented guests
Posted: Sep 13, 2017 9:49 PM MST
Updated: Sep 14, 2017 3:15 PM MST
By Lauren Reimer

There are accusations that a Motel 6 in the Maryvale area was giving its guest list to the Feds for immigration enforcement. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Guests' privacy is up to the discretion of the hotel. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Robert McWhirter said ICE showed up at his clients Motel 6 room because they had been notified by the hotel. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

A man is facing deportation after his attorney says a hotel tipped off Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents he was staying there.

Last June, a man named Jose Renteria Alvarado was staying in the Motel 6 at 51st Ave and McDowell Rd when he had a knock on his door.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were there looking for him.
How they found him? His attorney, Robert McWhirter, believes the hotel was sending its guest list to the federal agency.

"I imagine what went on here is they probably took a look at the names on the guest registry and compared that to a database of people that have been deported," said McWhirter.
Alvarado had been deported once before.
Before that, he had only a minor criminal record, but back in the country, he was now considered a higher priority in the eyes of ICE.

But it turns out his privacy, and everyone else's, is up to the discretion of the hotel.
"The hotel may have a policy that they won't give out their registry without a valid warrant. But if they don't have that policy and they agree that police can search their registries, you don't have any right as a guest to say, 'Wait, I don't want people to know,'" explained McWhirter.

Motel 6 sent us a statement saying:
"Over the past several days, it was brought to our attention that certain local Motel 6 properties in the Phoenix-area were voluntarily providing daily guest lists to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). As previously stated, this was undertaken at the local level without the knowledge of senior management. When we became aware of it, it was discontinued.

Moving forward, to help ensure that this does not occur again, we will be issuing a directive to every one of our more than 1,400 locations nationwide, making clear that they are prohibited from voluntarily providing daily guest lists to ICE.

Additionally, to help ensure that our broader engagement with law enforcement is done in a manner that is respectful of our guests' rights, we will be undertaking a comprehensive review of our current practices and then issue updated, company-wide guidelines.

Protecting the privacy and security of our guests are core values of our company. Motel 6 apologizes for this incident and will continue to work to earn the trust and patronage of our millions of loyal guests."
The company has not shared how long they think this may have gone on for.

When asked about the practice, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice sent the following statement:

"Due to operational security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not typically disclose or discuss specific information related to the source of its enforcement leads. The agency receives viable enforcement tips from a host of sources, including other law enforcement agencies, relevant databases, crime victims, and the general public via the agency's tip line and online tip form. Private citizens who provide enforcement leads to ICE are not compensated for the information.

In carrying out their immigration enforcement mission, ICE deportation officers make arrests nationwide every day as part of the agency's ongoing efforts to ensure domestic security, public safety, and the integrity of our nation's borders. The agency's immigration enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities.

It's worth noting that hotels and motels, including those in the Phoenix area, have frequently been exploited by criminal organizations engaged in highly dangerous illegal enterprises, including human trafficking and human smuggling."

Alvarado will be sentenced Thursday to six months in a federal prison, then deported.

"I'll tell you one thing, I won't stay at a [M]otel 6 now," said McWhirter.


Motel 6 says Phoenix policy working with ICE discontinued

PHOENIX — Motel 6 said its employees in Phoenix will no longer work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents following reports its workers were apparently turning in guests they believed were in the United States illegally.

The hotel chain responded to the reports, first published in the Phoenix New Times, in a Wednesday tweet.

The chain followed its first tweet with a Thursday statement that said it would order all of its more than 1,400 nationwide locations to stop voluntarily providing guest lists to ICE.
"Protecting the privacy and security of our guests are core values of our company," the statement read. "Motel 6 apologizes for this incident and will continue to work to earn the trust and patronage of millions of loyal guests."

The news that Motel 6 workers in Phoenix were tipping off ICE agents thrust the chain into the national immigration debate.

The weekly newspaper reported ICE had arrested at least 20 people at two Motel 6 locations in heavily Hispanic areas of Phoenix, and quoted workers as saying they gave guest lists to agents.

"We send a report every morning to ICE — all the names of everybody that comes in," a front-desk clerk told the New Times. "Every morning at about 5 o'clock, we do the audit and we push a button and it sends it to ICE."

Phoenix Police Department spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard told the New Times in an email that his agency had also received guest lists from hotels and motels on certain occasions.

The KTAR Newsroom contributed to this report.

Thursday, September 14, 2017



Note: video, photos at link.
Comment: The ESA needs to be fixed. KGUN, despite the call letters, is a Tucson TV station.

New video released of jaguar in Chiricahua Mountains
Ina Ronquillo
10:28 AM, Sep 14, 2017
2 hours ago

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Remaining Time-0:26


CHIRICAHUA MOUNTAINS, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The Center for Biological Diversity released new video today of a wild jaguar in Chiricahua Mountains.

The video was captured by a remote-sensor camera and offers a glimpse of the jaguar recently named "Sombra" by students at Paulo Freire Freedom School in Tucson.

The Center for Biological Diversity Facebook page says the rosette spot patterns on the cat suggest this is the same individual photographed by the Bureau of Land Management in the Dos Cabezas Mountains in November 2016.

The sex of the jaguar remains unknown.

According to the Facebook post:

Additional footage from the same remote camera also shows bears, a mountain lion, deer and a coati sharing the same habitat with Sombra.
Since 2015, three wild jaguars have been spotted in Arizona: El Jefe, Yo'oko and Sombra.

Since 1996 wild jaguars have appeared in nine different mountain ranges in Arizona and two mountain ranges in New Mexico.
In March 2014 — as a result of legal action by the Center for Biological Diversity —
jaguars received 764,207 acres of critical habitat in Arizona and New Mexico.

Jaguars have always roamed the U.S. Southwest but were nearly driven to extinction in the 20th century.
One of the greatest single threats to jaguar recovery in the United States is the proposed expansion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall,
which would destroy the big cats' ancient migration paths.




Note: video & photos at link. And far from the first time.

EXCLUSIVE: Leaked Images Show Armed Mexican Cartel Smugglers Crossing into U.S., Feds Confirm
Breitbart Texas/Brandon Darby

Leaked U.S. government surveillance images exclusively obtained by Breitbart Texas show armed Mexican cartel smugglers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and entering into Arizona. Border Patrol officially confirmed the images' authenticity in an exclusive interview. Breitbart Texas agreed to redact portions of the images so that the exact locations of the secret law enforcement border cameras would not be revealed. The images were taken within the past month.

The images were taken in an area of the Tucson Sector in the Huachuca Mountains. The region is controlled by a transnational criminal organization known as Los Salazar. The regional cartel is aligned with the Sinaloa Federation. Other criminal groups in the Sinaloa Federation are warring against Los Salazar and this manifests in this portion of Arizona becoming their battleground. The other groups send "rip crews" into Los Salazar's smuggling turf in efforts to steal their drug loads on U.S. soil. The area is not only full of Mexican cartel smugglers, but other cartels' rip crews are present and U.S. prison gangs and other gangs stalk the area to steal drug loads as well. Such rip crews consist of armed criminals attempting to rip or steal cartel drug loads as they are in transit.

Tucson Sector Border Patrol Chief Rudolfo Karisch spoke with Breitbart Texas on the images and stated, "These appear to be authentic of criminal organizations coming across the border. This is not unique to Arizona, we have seen this in other parts of the country as well all along the Southwest border. Any time you have illicit commodities crossing the border, you will have criminals trying to protect those commodities — both from law enforcement and from other bad guys.

Chief Agent Karisch continued, "We acknowledge that these criminal organizations pose a threat to both U.S. and international security. Border security work is dangerous. We deal with transnational criminals, gang members, and other threats. They are trying to get their product through without encountering the public."

When asked about the threat to the general public from these armed cartel smugglers, the chief agent responded, "The border is a dangerous place, but we train and equip our agents to respond and patrol these areas. We are out there to protect Americans who want to utilize these lands. We have mountain units and air mobile units that deploy on a regular basis. I want to assure the American public we are out there to protect them."


Brandon Darby is managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and Stephen K. Bannon.
Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon.
You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Editor's Note: Breitbart Texas decided to not publish additional photos that were leaked to us.
The images contained context that would risk revealing secret surveillance camera locations.
We determined that risking exposing such camera locations could hurt law enforcement efforts to secure the border.
( Unlike the alleged "mainstream" media. AKA the fascist media. )


Wednesday, September 13, 2017



Note: As of now, have not been able to learn if Mexico is doing anything to correct the problem.
Or intends to.
State Dept.? Long a useless organization.
Video at link.

Stinky situation: Raw sewage from Mexico flows into Arizona
By: John Hook
POSTED: SEP 12 2017 08:44PM MST
UPDATED: SEP 12 2017 09:44PM MST

BISBEE, Ariz. - When talking about the U.S. - Mexico border, national security, illegal immigration or drug smuggling usually come to mind, not raw sewage. But that's the stink happening near Bisbee.

For months, a broken down Mexican sewage treatment plant has been dumping raw sewage into a wash that flows into Arizona. It's a smelly situation that could get serious if the area's water supply is threatened.

"Here we are, three months into the deal and no one's done a thing about stopping it," said John Ladd.
His family's ranch, The San Jose, shares more than 10 miles of land with the U.S. - Mexico border. Most of that border is protected by a fence to keep illegal aliens and drug smugglers out.


"The big thing is when Trump got elected, just his rhetoric.. just the illegals coming.. pretty well stopped here on the ranch because the threat of them going to jail if they got caught," said Ladd.

But so far, no one has stopped this: raw sewage flowing from a Mexican water treatment plant in nearby Naco, Sonora. Until someone invents "smell-a-vision" you're going to have to take our word for it. This really stinks.

"Mexico doesn't spend a lot of money on it, Naco is broke so there is raw sewage flowing into the U.S.," he said.

In this part of Arizona, water flows south to north. So does this sewage. Right into Ladd's ranch and dangerously close to the only water supply for homes in the area.
"It comes in right on the west side of Naco, Arizona from Naco, Sonora, runs down a draw right to the water wells for Bisbee," he said.

And it's been flowing for months now.
"It's been happening since June."

The Border Patrol keeps an eye on it, but "that isn't the Border Patrol's problem.. they've talked to the State Department and everyone else," said Ladd.

One agency no one apparently talked to was Arizona's Department of Environmental Quality, our state's agency responsible for keeping the environment clean. They didn't know about the problem until we told them about it. But after investigating, they told FOX 10, "ADEQ is pleased to report that the agencies with authority are making progress toward both short- and long-term solutions."

Ladd doesn't think anyone cares. He says this remote part of Arizona is used to being ignored.
"If it happened in Scottsdale, what do you think would happen?"

In the meantime, the sewage keeps flowing. The smell keeps smelling. A real stink for those who have to live with the stench.
"It's raw sewage, I've got a problem with that," said Ladd.

FOX 10 reached out to the U.S. State Department, which told us it regularly engages the Mexican government on environmental issues, like raw sewage releases, but it had no time table to solve this particular problem.


Monday, September 11, 2017



Note: video at link.

FLOOD GATE OF PROBLEMS: Border ranchers say gates on the border fence are a security risk
POSTED: SEP 11 2017 10:28PM MST

We all know about the President's promise to build a new wall along the United States-Mexico Border. That plan, however, will have to take into account the flooding we see during the monsoon.

Each year, over two feet of rain that falls on the Mexican side of the border will flows north into Arizona, due to area topography. Arizona ranchers depend on that water, but allowing that water to flow through means opening a big hole in the current border fence.

Some long-time ranchers in the area see that as an open invitation for some to enter the United States illegally.

"We've been here 121 years," said John Ladd of the San Jose Ranch. "We're still raising beef cows, and I'm forth generation. We're still doing good by. We are right on the border."

Illegal immigration and drug smuggling is nothing new to the Ladd family.

"In the early 90s to the early 2000, they are catching 200 or 300 people a day on the ranch," said Ladd.

Ladd said the mesh fence that was put up in 2008 hasn't helped at all, especially when it comes to drug smuggling.

"We've always had some marijuana issues coming back and forth," said Ladd. "In the last five years, predominately, we have more dope than people coming now."

Ladd took our crews to a port on the fence that he calls a "lift gate". During the monsoon, several like it are raised, to allow water to flow into Arizona from Mexico.

"The big watershed is off in the San Jose Mountains, and we depend on that water to irrigate the native grasses," said Ladd. "We're not farmers, but we use flood waters to grow the grass."

The problem is, these lift gates are not easy to open, or close.

"They have to bring a forklift out," said Ladd. "They are pretty crude design. They lift them up with a forklift, pin them up, and lock them open."

For the summer rains that last about three months, the gates stay open, the whole time. Ladd said the Army Corps of Engineers were afraid the fence could fail completely when it floods, so the lift gates were added to avoid embarrassment.

"We are sacrificing national security not to embarrass the Corps of Engineers and their wall failing," said Ladd. "I don't agree with that."

The only things stopping illegal border crossings is a couple of strands of barbed wire, and a vehicle barrier cable beneath the raised gate..

FOX 10 Phoenix reached out to the Border Patrol about the fence, and they responded with a written statement which reads, in part:

"The infrastructure, such as the pedestrian fence or vehicle barriers, are constructed to deter or slow individuals down who are entering the U.S. Illegally...during monsoon season in certain flood prone areas, the pedestrian fence is lifted, in order to mitigate debris buildup and damage to the fence...Although infrastructure is an important tool in border security, agents are also equipped with technology to monitor the border and respond to such incursions accordingly."

Ladd said a new fence completed this year, closer to Naco, works better. He took a photo of the new swing gates that allow flood waters to pass, and can be easily closed by Border Patrol once the water recedes.

"They are hinged like a door, so they can anticipate a flood event and have agents come out and open them up," said Ladd.

Ladd, however, said any wall or fence is vulnerable unless the Border Patrol puts more people on the border.

"We've got a bunch of them in Washington, and agents in Tucson, but we need them down here on the International Boundary, especially during the summer," said Ladd.


Friday, September 8, 2017

AZMEX I3 8-9-17

AZMEX I3 8 SEP 2017

AG Brnovich Files Lawsuit Against Arizona Board of Regents for Unconstitutional Tuition Hikes

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For Immediate Release: September 08, 2017
Contact: Mia Garcia (602) 339-5895 or

PHOENIX – Attorney General Mark Brnovich today filed a lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents ("ABOR") for dramatically and unconstitutionally increasing the price of base tuition and mandatory fees at Arizona's public universities by more than 300 percent since 2003. The Arizona Constitution requires that "the university and all other state educational institutions shall be open to students of both sexes, and the instruction furnished shall be as nearly free as possible."

"Every Arizonan dreams of being able to send their kids to college," said Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "Within the last 15 years, Arizona went from having some of the most affordable public universities to having some of the most expensive. We believe the Board of Regents needs to be held accountable and answer tough questions for Arizona's skyrocketing tuition rates."

The State alleges that ABOR has adopted unconstitutional tuition-setting policies, has abandoned its duty to serve as a check on the university presidents, and has ceased deriving tuition rates from the actual cost of instruction. According to the lawsuit, ABOR has misinterpreted its "nearly free" mandate to mean whatever the market rate is for peer institutions and made itself as the arbiter of "affordability" for Arizona's students and families.

Intertwined with these price hikes, ABOR has also refused to comply with Arizona law prohibiting state subsidies for students "without lawful immigration status." ABOR is causing the illegal expenditure of public monies and the failure to collect tuition in direct contravention of clear and established Arizona law.

For a copy of the lawsuit,

Deputy Division Chief Beau Roysden and Assistant Attorneys General Keith Miller and Evan Daniels worked on this case.

Arizona university bosses sued for immigrant tuition
Associated Press
2:15 PM, Sep 8, 2017

PHOENIX - Arizona's attorney general is suing the state university system over its decision to keep providing lower in-state tuition rates for immigrants granted deferred deportation status.

The lawsuit filed Friday goes much farther and alleges the Arizona Board of Regents is violating the state Constitution through a years-long series of tuition increases. Arizona's Constitution says public universities' tuition must be as close to free as possible.

The action by Attorney General Mark Brnovich comes days after the Trump administration announced it will wind down the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

The board sent a letter to the attorney general's office last month noting its intention to wait for the Supreme Court to decide whether to overturn a lower court's ruling that those immigrants aren't eligible for lower in-state college tuition.