Border Patrol

Film delivers gritty look at drug cartels

About 80 people and several uniformed police officers attended the showing of “Drug Wars: Silver or Lead” on Saturday afternoon at Salem Public Library.

Hosted by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, the showing was originally scheduled to have the film’s director, Rusty Fleming, on hand. But Fleming was called away to Oklahoma City due to a family issue.

The Salem Police were in attendance, however, with several officers on site following threats of disruption, according to OFIR’s Jim Ludwig.

The movie delivered a pointed message that suggested Mexican drug cartels, abetted by corrupt military, law enforcement and border patrols, are delivering a virtually unstoppable stream of drugs into the United States. Gangs within the states are coordinating the efforts locally, lured by money, power and glamour despite the dead-end and potential life-ending inevitability of the trade.

The film stressed the brutality of the cartels, portrayed as criminal organizations that use murder, torture, kidnapping and bribery as modus operandi. Fleming was quoted throughout the film, which was primarily sourced by pundits, peppered with a few anonymous press people, victims of cartel and/or gang crimes and a few television clips.

“(This film) is live, it’s true, it’s gruesome, it’s brutal,” OFIR President Cynthia Kendoll forewarned before the showing.

Kendoll cited apathy as a huge part of the drug problem, and brought the issue home with a photo of Jorge Ortiz-Oliva, whom she said is currently serving 30 years in prison for major drug distribution crimes, and his base of operations was in Salem.

Fleming noted that the “silver or lead” in the title comes from the Spanish “plata o plomo.” The reference, he said, was to cartel bribes: take our money or take our bullets. He said there was hardly an institution in Mexico that was untouched by corruption, in large part because the cartels spend 50 percent to 60 percent of their earnings corrupting the people who can keep their drug-running operations streamlined.

Legalization as a combative method was brushed upon in the movie and in the ensuing discussion. OFIR officials, for the most part, dismissed the tactic. Ludwig referred to legalization as making a pact with the devil.

OFIR’s overriding recommendation to those on hand was to contact their local representatives to air their concerns about drug cartels and illegal immigration’s part in it.
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Missing the point on immigration

A recent report on immigration enforcement from the Migration Policy Institute, touted in these pages by one of its authors Beyond secure borders, op-ed, Jan 7, was both mistaken and missed the point. The news release about the report announced: "The U.S. government spends more on federal immigration enforcement than on all other principal federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined."

This finding was the basis of widespread media coverage and will, as intended, be cited in the coming congressional debate over President Obama's plans to legalize the illegal-immigrant population and increase legal immigration beyond the level of 1 million people each year. The political purpose of the report is to enable supporters of the president's approach, both Democrats and Republicans, to claim that the "enforcement first" demand that sank President George W. Bush's amnesty effort in 2007 has finally been satisfied, so no legitimate objection remains to "moving beyond" enforcement.

The first problem with this is that the report's central claim is false. As the names of the relevant agencies suggest — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — much of what they do has nothing to do with immigration. Recent ICE news releases, for instance, highlight a drug seizure, the sentencing of a child pornographer and a guilty plea by someone trying to smuggle dinosaur fossils. Important activities, no doubt, but ones clearly unrelated to immigration enforcement.

Beyond that, the report focuses on the wrong thing. In typical Washington bureaucratic fashion, it confuses resource inputs with policy results. There has indeed been a significant increase in funding for immigration enforcement, and this increase was desperately needed after decades of neglect — something that became undeniable after 9/11. But to claim, as Doris Meissner wrote in The Post, that a certain percentage increase in appropriated funds has allowed the nation to build "a formidable immigration enforcement machinery" is incorrect.

The report suggests that the billions spent on immigration enforcement have reached a point of diminishing returns. But take the example of the U.S. Border Patrol, a CBP agency. The number of agents has doubled over the past decade, to more than 21,000. That seems impressive until you consider that the Border Patrol is still smaller than the New York Police Department — and has 8,000 miles to monitor. It's certainly possible that the Border Patrol doesn't need more agents, but that's not evident merely by doubling the previously small number of agents.

Something similar can be said of deportations: As the report and administration spokesmen have pointed out, the number of people deported (technically, "removed") is at a record level: about 400,000 per year. But the steady growth in the number of deportations, starting in the Clinton administration, came to a halt with Obama's inauguration. Perhaps 400,000 deportations a year, out of 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants, is enough but not just because it's a record.

And although one might be able to argue that the U.S. immigration enforcement machinery is adequate at the border or for deportations, fundamental pieces are still not in place despite the money that has been spent. For instance, the online E-Verify screening system is still not used for all new hires. The Social Security Administration and the IRS know the identities and locations of millions of people who are in this country illegally but shield them based on a fanciful interpretation of privacy law. The United States has only the most rudimentary system for tracking the departures of foreign visitors — and if you don't know who has left the country, you can't know who is still here. This is important because nearly half of the illegal-immigrant population came here legally but then didn't leave.

These are not trivial, last-minute agenda items designed to postpone consideration of an amnesty. An immigration enforcement machinery that lacks these elements is simply incomplete.

And any law enforcement infrastructure is only as effective as the use to which it is put. The Obama administration has made clear that it views immigration violations as secondary matters, like not wearing a seat belt, which can lead to a citation only if some other, "real" law is violated. The most lavishly funded, gold-plated enforcement system in the world can't make up for systematic nullification of the immigration law through prosecutorial discretion, deferred action and other means used by this administration to protect illegal immigrants.

Mark Krikorian is executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
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Gov't spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration spent more money on immigration enforcement in the last fiscal year than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined, according to a report on the government's enforcement efforts from a Washington think tank.

The report on Monday from the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan group focused on global immigration issues, said in the 2012 budget year that ended in September the government spent about $18 billion on immigration enforcement programs run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the US-Visit program, and Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol. Immigration enforcement topped the combined budgets of the FBI; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Secret Service by about $3.6 billion dollars, the report's authors said.

Since then-President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986 — which legalized more than 3 million illegal immigrants and overhauled immigration laws — the government has spent more than $187 billion on immigration enforcement. According to the report, "Immigration Enforcement in the United States: The Rise of a Formidable Machinery," federal immigration-related criminal prosecutions also outnumber cases generated by the Justice Department.

The 182-page report concludes that the Obama administration has made immigration its highest law enforcement priority.

"Today, immigration enforcement can be seen as the federal government's highest criminal law enforcement priority, judged on the basis of budget allocations, enforcement actions and case volumes," MPI Senior Fellow Doris Meissner, a co-author of the report, said in a statement released with the report.

Critics are likely to bristle over its findings, especially those who have accused the administration of being soft on immigration violators.

"There has been some progress," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul of Texas. "But the bottom line is that we are far from having operational control of our borders, particularly the Southwest border, and there are no metrics to quantify progress."

Meissner said since the 1986 law was passed, immigration enforcement "is a story of growth. The sum of its parts is growth."

Demetrios Papademetriou, MPI's president, said that the authors reviewed immigration enforcement policies and spending from 1986 on amid ongoing disagreements in Congress on whether border security and enforcement efforts needed to be solidified before reform could be tackled.

"No nation anywhere in the world has been as determined, has made as deep and expensive a commitment to or has had as deep a reach in its enforcement efforts as the U.S. has had," Papademetriou said. "The reach spans from local court rooms and jails all the way to the ability of goods and travelers to the United States to actually be able to travel to the United States."

According to federal budgets reviewed by MPI, CBP spent about $11.7 billion on its enforcement operations while ICE had a budget of about $5.9 billion in 2012. US-Visit accounted for about $307 million.

As spending has risen in recent years, the number of arrests at the border has steadily dropped. In 2011, agents made about 327,000 arrests at the southern border, the fewest in nearly 40 years. The Homeland Security Department also removed a record 396,906 immigrants that year. In 2012, nearly 410,000 people were removed from the United States.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has repeatedly touted those statistics as evidence that the border is now more secure than ever.

Experts have attributed the drop in arrests to a combination of factors, including record numbers of Border Patrol agents stationed along the Mexican border. Meissner said that the growth of illegal immigration in the U.S. is now at a standstill.

The report also highlighted workplace enforcement changes from raids targeting illegal immigrants to paperwork audits designed to root out employers who routinely hire illegal immigrant workers and the volume of people removed annually.

The report by MPI's Meissner, Muzaffar Chishti, Donald Kerwin and Claire Bergeron, comes amid renewed interest in immigration reform from Congress and the White House. In the immediate aftermath of the November election, congressional Republicans suggested the time was right to begin reform talks anew. President Barack Obama, who won a record share of Hispanic voters, renewed a previous pledge to make immigration reform a priority.

In the lead up to the election, Obama made several administrative changes to the immigration system, including launching a program to allow some young illegal immigrants to avoid deportation and work legally in the country for up to two years. His administration also refocused enforcement efforts to target criminal immigrants and those who posed a security threat. And just last week, the administration announced a rule change to allow some illegal immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens to stay in the country while they ask the government to waive 3- or 10-year bans on returning to the United States. Immigrants who win the waiver will still need to leave the country to complete visa paperwork, but will be able to leave without fear of being barred from returning to their families for up to a decade. The rule, first proposed last year, goes into effect in March.

Republican lawmakers have widely criticized the policy changes, routinely describing them as "backdoor amnesty." Many of those same lawmakers have said the border needs to be secured before reform can be taken up. Read more about Gov't spent $18 billion on immigration enforcement

Appeals court continues border agent's 'Twilight Zone'

Advocates for a U.S .Border Patrol agent sent to prison for arresting a suspect carrying 75 pounds of drugs into the United States are seeking a presidential pardon after an appeals court affirmed the agent’s 24-month sentence.

Jesus E. “Chito” Diaz Jr. was convicted of using extra force in the apprehensive of the suspect, identified as “MBE,” despite the fact the juvenile suspect was returned to Mexico almost immediately without any complaint “that he was injured, hurt, or in pain.”

The Mexican government, which several times has gotten involved in U.S. prosecutions of U.S. Border Patrol agents over its treatment of Mexicans caught carrying drugs into the United States, then demanded a prosecution by the U.S. because MBE was arrested “with excessive force” and he “complained about the incident.”

On appeal, Diaz’ defense argued the trial judge said the case looked like nothing more than a misdemeanor, but the conviction was on a felony.

“Yet, the court affirms the lower court’s decision?” wrote Andy Ramirez, president of the Law Enforcement Officers Advocates Council. “Just as it has in prior cases where the government has been hellbent to make victims out of illegal alien narco-terrorists, and turn law enforcement officers into out of control, vicious thugs with badges? We don’t buy it, for this case fits the pattern and does not pass the smell test.”

The reaction came after the conviction of Diaz was affirmed by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Ramirez said his organization now will seek a presidential pardon “as this purely political case against Agent Diaz is a travesty sought out by the Mexican government in another message prosecution.”

“The Diaz case and decision by the appellate court to affirm the conviction against him continues a pattern of overreaching prosecutions by the U.S. Department of Justice especially in the Western District of Texas that include well documented cases against former USBP Agents Gary Brugman, Ramos and Compean, Noe Aleman, former FBI Special Agent in Charge Hardrick Crawford, Jr, and former Edwards County Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez,” Ramirez said.

Diaz issued a statement through the organization: “My family and I are deeply disappointed in the 5th Circuit’s decision on my appeal considering the fact that the presiding judge during oral commented during oral arguments that this looked more like a misdemeanor than a felony.”

Sign a petition demanding Jesus Diaz be freed from a case launched because of pressure from the Mexican government.

E. Grady Jolly, the trial judge, said: “Nobody’s arguing, really, that the officer did the right thing or that it can be justified so much. The question is it just sounds more like a misdemeanor instead of a felony to me.”

Ramirez said the goal is a presidential pardon, after Diaz’ trip through the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution and an El Paso Texas halfway house and since he’s just days ago been restored to his wife and children.

“It is unconscionable that the case, which was pushed by the Mexican government, and included documented suborned perjury, could be affirmed in the favor of the so-called victim, MBE, a narco-terrorist illegal alien,” said Ramirez.

The organization said the drug-running suspect was covered with gang tattoos and had been the subject of a “be on lookout” warning from the Border Patrol already.

Also, far from being injured in the arrest, the only “markings” on MBE were “those from the straps on his shoulders … while carrying 75 lbs of bundled marijuana,” the organization said.

WND reported Diaz was found guilty of denying the teenager his constitutional rights by applying excessive force during the arrest. He was accused eventually of violating the smuggler’s rights by forcing him to the ground during his arrest, handcuffing him, then pulling on his arms to coerce him into complying with orders.

 


Jesus Diaz Jr.

The audio of the trial judge’s comments have been posted on the LEOAC site.

In it, Jolly stated, “Nobody’s arguing, really, that the officer did the right thing or that it can be justified so much. The question is it just sounds more like a misdemeanor instead of a felony to me.”

According to the FreeAgentDiaz.com website, Diaz was “maliciously prosecuted at the request of the Mexican consul in Eagle Pass, Texas.”

The legal case against the officer was “solely motivated by politics and is yet another example of prosecutorial abuse and misconduct while protecting Mexico’s narco-terror influences,” organizers of the website said.

According to the discovery documents, other agents, hours after the alleged incident, claimed to an off-duty Border Patrol officer that Diaz used “excessive force” on the drug smuggler. That’s even though the suspect “was processed for voluntary return to Mexico by BPA Marco A. Ramirez, and subsequently returned to Mexico on the same date.”

None of the other agents thought the case significant enough to try to stop it at the time.

Several members of Congress, including Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Lamar Smith of the House Judiciary Committee, had been asked to look into the case.

Diaz’ wife earlier said she was outraged because the government told her that her husband would not be allowed to return home even after serving his prison term.

That’s because she also is a Border Patrol agent and is armed.

“I have to ask what does the DOJ want me to do? I can’t retire, I’m too young. Divorcing him is not an option as he would still have to come around for the children. What is Chito going to do about his brother, not see him for the next five years? He carries a gun,” Diana Diaz said in a statement released at the time.

The group has called for the U.S. House of Representatives to investigate the case.

WND reported when the federal government started reaching into the prison commissary fund belonging to Diaz to address part of a $7,000 fine imposed by the judge. That’s even though the court earlier told Diaz the fine would not be paid until after his jail sentence.

 

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean

Border watchers will remember the extended battle fought by Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean after they were prosecuted, convicted and jailed, again at the request of the Mexican government, for shooting at and striking a drug smuggler who reportedly dropped a load in the U.S. and was fleeing back to Mexico.

Their punishments ultimately were commuted by President George W. Bush, although they did not receive pardons, leaving the convictions on their records.

Their original case stemmed from the Feb. 17, 2005, shooting of Oswaldo Aldrete-Davila. The two officers said they thought Aldrete-Davila was armed and made a threatening move.

WND was among the first to report Aldrete-Davila then committed a second drug offense, smuggling a second load of 750 pounds of marijuana across the border while he was under the protection of immunity from federal prosecutor Johnny Sutton’s office and in possession of a border-pass card authorized by the Department of Homeland Security.

WND also reported when Aldrete-Davila admitted to federal drug smuggling charges, was convicted and sentenced to federal prison for 57 months.

Aldrete-Davila was granted immunity for his drug smuggling by federal prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against the agents. He had crossed the Rio Grande and picked up a marijuana-loaded vehicle near El Paso. After a car chase in which he fled from the officers, he abandoned the vehicle and ran back across the border on foot. He was shot in the buttocks as he ran. Read more about Appeals court continues border agent's 'Twilight Zone'

Fugitive returned to Oregon after 17 years

A man sought for 17 years in connection with a 1995 fatal traffic crash in Marion County was returned to Oregon on Thursday after his arrest about a year ago on federal charges after entering the country illegally from Mexico. In January 2012, border patrol agents from the Casa Grande, Ariz., Station took a man into custody for illegally entering the United States. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System notified agents about an active warrant for vehicular homicide hailing from 1995 in Marion County, Ore. The Marion County District Attorney’s office, in collaboration with Tucson Sector Border Patrol Agents, identified the man as Jose Luis Sanchez, 38.

At the time of the crash, Sanchez was 21 years old and lived in Prineville. Oregon State Police reported that the single vehicle crash occurred at 1:20 a.m. on Highway 22 about six miles west of Idanha. Sanchez was driving a passenger car westbound at a high rate of speed when it failed to negotiate a curve, OSP reported.

The car traveled across the highway and collided with several trees. The passenger in the vehicle, Jesus Gonzalez-Sanchez, 22, of Prineville, was pronounced dead on the scene. Sanchez was seriously injured and taken to a Portland-area hospital.

Since Sanchez was arrested he had been held in federal custody and pleaded guilty on federal charges. After he was sentenced, he was taken to Oregon for an arraignment in Marion County Circuit Court on charges related to the fatal car crash. Read more about Fugitive returned to Oregon after 17 years

Administration’s focus is on what the president can do for illegal aliens, not on securing the border

During the Obama administration, outside of pursuing a direct amnesty policy, ancillary policies have purposefully weakened enforcement mechanisms throughout the entire immigration system.  In a letter to The Washington Times, Janice Kephart, director of national security policy at the Center for Immigration Studies explains what has happened over the past four years and what will happen if Obama is re-elected. Read more about Administration’s focus is on what the president can do for illegal aliens, not on securing the border

Trooper Fired From Chopper To Stop Truck, Kills Two

LA JOYA, Texas (AP) -- A Texas state trooper who fired on a pickup truck from a helicopter and killed two illegal immigrants during a chase through the desert was trying to disable the vehicle and suspected it was being used to smuggle drugs, authorities said Friday.

The disclosure came a day after the incident that left two Guatemalan nationals dead on an isolated gravel road near the town of La Joya, just north of the Mexico border.

State game wardens were the first to encounter the truck Thursday. After the driver refused to stop, they radioed for help and state police responded, according to Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman Mike Cox.

When the helicopter with a sharpshooter arrived, officers concluded that the truck appeared to be carrying a "typical covered drug load" on its bed and was travelling at reckless speeds, police said.

After the shots were fired and the truck's tires blown out, the driver lost control and crashed into a ditch. State police said a preliminary investigation revealed that the shots fired from the helicopter struck the vehicle's occupants.

Eight people who were in the truck were arrested. At least seven of them were also from Guatemala. No drugs were found.

The Guatemalan consul in McAllen, Alba Caceres, told The Associated Press that the surviving witnesses told her "one died immediately, the other was apparently taken to a hospital and died on the way."

The sharpshooter was placed on administrative leave, a standard procedure after such incidents.

An expert on police chases said the decision to fire on the truck was "a reckless act" that served "no legitimate law enforcement purpose."

"In 25 years following police pursuits, I hadn't seen a situation where an officer shot a speeding vehicle from a helicopter," said Geoffrey Alpert, professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina. Such action would be reasonable only if "you know for sure the person driving the car deserves to die and that there are no other occupants."

In general, he said, law enforcement agencies allow the use of deadly force only when the car is being used as a weapon, not "just on a hunch," Alpert added.

The Texas Department of Public Safety referred questions about its policy governing the use of deadly force to its general manual, which says troopers are allowed to use such force when defending themselves or someone else from serious harm or death. Shooting at vehicles is justified to disable a vehicle or when deadly force is deemed necessary.

Other law enforcement agencies that patrol the border say they have similar limits on the practice.

For instance, federal Customs and Borders Protection agents "are trained to use deadly force in circumstances that pose a threat to their lives, the lives of their fellow law enforcement partners and innocent third parties," agency spokesman Doug Mosier said.

But a report presented Thursday to the United Nations by the American Civil Liberties Union said shootings and excessive force by Customs and Border Protection agents on the border have left at least 20 individuals dead or seriously hurt since January 2010.

Of those, eight cases involved agents responding to reports of people throwing rocks. Six involved people killed while standing on the Mexican side of the border.

In recent years, Texas state police have increased their presence in the border area, deploying more agents, more helicopters and more boats to patrol the Rio Grande.

Troopers are regularly involved in high-speed pursuits, often chasing drug smugglers into the river and back to Mexico.

Agency Director Stephen McCraw has said state police were pushed into that role because the federal government's efforts to secure the border have been insufficient.

Diplomats quickly began their own investigation into the chase.

The head of the Guatemalan Consulate in McAllen said she is demanding federal and state authorities provide an explanation.

"I am baffled. I can't understand how this could happen," Caceres said. "I understand that the agents are doing their job, that they are protecting their border. But if there is someone who is responsible for this, he has to pay."

The Guatemalans started their journey 19 days ago near Guatemala City, with plans to stay with friends and relatives in New York, New Jersey and Houston, she said.

They were covered with a tarp, but as the car sped away from the game warden and the helicopter, the men "were having lots of trouble holding on to that tarp, Caceres said. "They must have seen them."

---

Associated Press Writer Romina Ruiz-Goiriena in Guatemala City contributed to this report.

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Babeu: Docs prove Obama officials treated bounties on agents as acceptable risks

As the investigation into the Oct. 4 shooting of two border patrol agents continues, an Arizona borderlands sheriff condemned President Barack Obama for treating turmoil and danger caused by his policies as acceptable risk.

“We now have further evidence that the Obama administration at every level thinks the border situation is entirely acceptable,” said Pinal County Sheriff Paul R. Babeu, whose jurisdiction is nearby Cochise County, where the agents were shot and one, Nicolas Ivie, was killed, although the shooting was actually on federal lands designated by the Interior Department as environmental sanctuaries, and thus off-limits to both federal and local law enforcement officers.

Babeu said he has read documents that contained exchanges where Obama officials acknowledge that creating environment areas will create zones of lawlessness.

“They lack full border enforcement security within designated wilderness areas that risks our border patrol agents and law enforcement deputies’ safety,” said the native of North Adams, Mass.

“The responsibility for securing this international border is the core primary responsibility of the United States government and I believe the federal government has failed to do that,” said Babeu, whose county lies outside of Phoenix, 70 miles north of the border.

“They have failed to adequately protect the citizens of my county and my state. That threat to our country is not just the volumes of illegals and drug cartels, but more importantly, the threat that is posed when people of countries of interest cross our borders,” he said.

These people harbor or sponsor terrorism and are not friendly to the United States,” the sheriff said, who as an Arizona National Guardsman, deployed to Iraq and commanded a battalion-sized border task force.

“Leadership failed and everything I’ve learned as a rank-and-file police officer, Army private and field grade officer; whoever’s in charge is responsible in the end,” he said.

Babeu said Atty. Gen Eric H. Holder Jr., must be held responsible for Justice Department failures on his watch, including the failed Fast and Furious scandal.

“Whether he knew it or whether he should have known, Eric Holder created an environment and a dynamic that resulted in the murder of not only one agent that we can prove, but also hundreds of Mexicans have been killed with Fast and Furious weapons,” he said.

“This guy was not held accountable; he has not resigned so he should be fired. I believe he, and others in the government, should be held accountable even criminally,” he said.

Documents cited by the sheriff and made available to this reporter buttress Babeu’s charges and depict administration officials as determined to leverage federal environmental regulatory authority to open up the Mexican borderlands regardless of warnings from border patrol agents assigned to the region, local law enforcement, activist groups and border region ranchers.

These warnings by personnel with ties to the borderland, made through emails, meetings and videotapes, specifically cited threat to national security breaches and homicidal violence.

The documents prove that Obama officials were aware of national security issues, agent safety issues, bounties placed on Border Patrol agents by drug cartels, and the trafficking of drugs and humans.

Heavily redacted emails acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request by the National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents, confirm that before the Dec. 14. 2010 death of Brian A. Terry, a member of the elite Border Patrol Tactical Unit, parties to the inter-agency planning for the wilderness sanctuaries, including officials from Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, Interior, congressional representatives were warned about national security and law enforcement concerns regarding the sanctuaries.

Some of the personnel taking part in exchanges captured in the documents: David Aguilar, deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection; Michael J. Fisher, chief of Border Patrol, Sen. Jesse F. “Jeff” Bingaman (D.-N.M); Alan D. Bersin, then-CBP commissioner and previously dubbed the “border czar” because of his international affairs portfolio at Interior and then-Rep. Mark E. Udall (D.-Colo.), who is now a senator and is a native of Arizona.

In one email, a border patrol agent said it was ridiculous to suggest that the human traffickers, or coyotes, would not use the wilderness areas as safe passage for their crimes.

“Do you really think that the coyotes or drug cartels are going to read a little sign in English/Spanish declaring it is unlawful to enter a federal preserve?” he said. “No. That means one thing to these banditos, Border Patrol will not be patrolling.”

Federal officials were also told that the creation of wilderness reserves in the Mexican borderlands would facilitate the “bounty program,” where Mexican crime organizations incentivized smugglers to kill agents and other law enforcement officers.

Babeu said the bounties should have been a top priority for the Obama administration.

“The primary concern for agents is, of course, the bounties placed on their lives for patrolling the border. Justice for murdered agents is extraordinarily slow; the Terry family is still waiting for his murder to reach a trial and government officials to be held accountable,” he said.

“When it was discovered that the New Orleans Saints football team coaches put bounties on the heads of opposing players, the league held the coaches responsible and they were rightly disciplined,” he said.

Babeu said in his dealings with Bersin, it was clear he favored environmental considerations over national security and public safety.

In a July 2010 video watched by this reporter, Bersin said to a questioner that he was aware of the bounty program, including a $250,000 prize for a law enforcement officer kidnapped or killed along the southern border.

The sheriff said Bersin, who left office when the Senate refused to confirm his recess appointment to his post, should have done more.

“Bersin and other high level cabinet members acknowledged that there are bounties placed on federal and even local law enforcement members by the drug cartels and what we have seen in Pinal County, which is 70 miles north of the border,” he said.

“This continuation is proof of the threat that illegal immigration and drug smuggling have not subsided,” he said.

“It should not be a surprise that that we have had four Arizona border patrol agents murdered in the last two years and the Obama administration, even some members of the media, do not want us to talk about this and say we make this political,” Babeu said. “These are deaths of our heroes!”

The sheriff said he rejects claims by administration officials, such as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, that the border is more secure and he thinks Washington meddling has made the borderlands more dangerous.

“The four border states risk their lives to a more significant degree than we need to because of the failures of this administration and bureaucrats who make decisions thousands of miles away without our safety and security in mind,” he said.

“Contrary to Janet Napolitano’s proclamations that the border is more secure than ever, last year in October we had the largest drug bust in Arizona history with “operation pipeline express” that netted nearly $3 billion in product, money and weapons that we seized from the Sinaloa drug traffickers,” he said.

Officers’ recovered 108 weapons, including two came tagged as from the Operation Fast and Furious program, he said.

“These were not handguns that our police and sheriffs carry, these were scoped rifles and AK-47s, semi automatic weapons. These are all prohibited processors for violent criminals from a foreign country and they think they own the place,” he said.
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Border Patrol agent shot, killed on patrol in Ariz

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another wounded in a shooting early Tuesday in Arizona near the U.S.-Mexico line, according to the Border Patrol.

The agents were shot while patrolling on horseback in Naco, Ariz., at about 1:50 a.m. MST Tuesday, the Border Patrol said in a statement.

The agents who were shot were on patrol with a third agent, who was not harmed, according to George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing about 17,000 border patrol agents.

The shooting occurred after an alarm was triggered on one of the many sensors along the border and the three agents went to investigate, said Cochise County Sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas.

Authorities have not identified any suspects, Capas said. It is not known whether the agents returned fire, she said.

The wounded agent was airlifted to a hospital after being shot in the ankle and buttocks, the Border Patrol said. He is in surgery and expected to recover, McCubbin said.

Authorities have not identified the agents who were assigned to the Naco station, about 100 miles southeast of Tucson.

The last U.S. Border Patrol agent fatally shot on duty was Brian Terry, who was killed in a shootout with Mexican bandits near the border in December 2010. The shooting was later linked to the Fast and Furious gun smuggling operation.

The border patrol station in Naco was recently named after Terry.

The FBI, which also is investigating the shooting, did not immediately return calls Tuesday.
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What happens on the border...

A recent trip to "Border School and Tour" in El Paso, Texas by two sheriff's from Oregon has created quite a stir in the media.
Groups that support the illegal alien population in our state are attempting to divert attention from the real issues and danger of the cartel presence and the related crimes, drug use, murder and violence. Does that mean that these groups, such as CAUSA, support the drug cartels foothold in Oregon?

Pro-illegal alien groups are attempting to put the focus on the cost of sending two sheriffs to Border School but avoid talking about the incredible cost to our state caused by the presence of Mexican drug cartel traffickers. Where is their outrage about that?

Oregon citizens should be proud that two sheriff's from Oregon attended, learned and can share what they learned with other law enforcement agents.

Read the Oregonians report here.

Read the Willamette Week's report here.

 


  Read more about What happens on the border...

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