Homeland Security

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

ICE: Illegal aliens must now commit at least three crimes to be deported

On Friday, the Obama administration quietly issued a memo stating that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency will no longer detain or seek to deport illegal aliens charged with misdemeanor crimes.

Among the conditions under which ICE agents are now allowed to issue a detainer, is if "the individual has three or more prior misdemeanor convictions."

Supposedly, there are a few exceptions to the new policy, including those charged with, or convicted of a DUI and sexual abuse.

The memo was signed by John Morton, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and released on Friday evening.

The Obama administration has become very fond of the infamous so-called 'Friday night document dump,' a long-practiced attempt to not draw attention to the unpopular or damning information contained in the release.

This latest policy, Morton said, restricts action "against individuals arrested for minor misdemeanor offenses."

Read the latest 'Morton memo' in its entirety...

What are some of the crimes that will now be overlooked by ICE?

The following is a partial list of misdemeanors as defined by the state of California:

-Trespassing
-Petty theft
-Disorderly conduct
-Shoplifting
-Receipt for stolen property
-Probation violations
-Driving without a license
-Prostitution
-Reckless driving
-Assault and battery without minimum injury

See a more complete list of California misdemeanors...

Not surprisingly, this decision from the Obama administration has been completely ignored by the mainstream press.


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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

Zetas cartel occupies Mexico state of Coahuila

SALTILLO, Mexico — Few outside Coahuila state noticed. Headlines were rare. But steadily, inexorably, Mexico's third-largest state slipped under the control of its deadliest drug cartel, the Zetas.

The aggressively expanding Zetas took advantage of three things in this state right across the border from Texas: rampant political corruption, an intimidated and silent public, and, if new statements by the former governor are to be believed, a complicit and profiting segment of the business elite. It took scarcely three years.

What happened to Coahuila has been replicated in several Mexican states — not just the violent ones that get the most attention, but others that have more quietly succumbed to cartel domination. Their tragedies cast Mexico's security situation and democratic strength in a much darker light than is usually acknowledged by government officials who have been waging a war against the drug gangs for six years.

"We are a people under siege, and it is a region-wide problem," said Raul Vera, the Roman Catholic bishop of Coahuila. A violence once limited to a small corner of the state has now spread in ways few imagined, he said.

What sets the Zetas apart from other cartels, in addition to a gruesome brutality designed to terrorize, is their determination to dominate territory by controlling all aspects of local criminal businesses.

Not content to simply smuggle drugs through a region, the Zetas move in, confront every local crime boss in charge of contraband, pirated CDs, prostitution, street drug sales and after-hour clubs, and announce that they are taking over. The locals have to comply or risk death.

And so it was in Coahuila. One common threat from Zeta extortionists, according to Saltillo businessmen: a thousand pesos, or three fingers.

With the Zetas meeting little resistance, wheels greased by a corrupt local government, there was little violence. But the people of Coahuila found themselves under the yoke of a vicious cartel nonetheless.

"It was as if it all fell from the sky to the Earth," said Eduardo Calderon, a psychologist who works with migrants, many of whom have been killed in the conflict. "We all knew it was happening, but it was as if it happened in silence."

The "silence" ended in rapid-fire succession in a few weeks' time starting mid-September. Coahuila saw one of the biggest mass prison breaks in history, staged by Zetas to free Zetas; the killing of the son of one of the country's most prominent political families (a police chief is the top suspect); and, on Oct. 7, the apparent slaying of the Zetas' top leader by federal troops who say they stumbled upon him as he watched a baseball game.

"Apparent" because armed commandos brazenly stole the body from local authorities within hours of the shooting. The military insists that the dead man was Heriberto Lazcano, Mexico's most feared fugitive, acknowledging that he had been living comfortably and freely in Coahuila for some time.

"He was like Pedro in his house," former Gov. Humberto Moreira said, using an expression that means he was totally at home and could go anywhere.

The Zetas had such confident dominion over the state that Lazcano, alias the Executioner, and the other top Zeta leader, Miguel Angel Trevino, regularly used a vast Coahuila game reserve to hunt zebras they imported from Africa.

Since their formation in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a paramilitary bodyguard for the then-dominant Gulf cartel, the Zetas operated primarily in Tamaulipas state on Mexico's northeastern shoulder and down the coast of Veracruz and into Guatemala.

For most of that time, Coahuila, rich in coal mines and with a booming auto industry, was used by cartels as little more than a transit route for drugs across the border. The Zetas maintained a presence limited to Torreon, the southwestern Coahuila city that served as a bulwark against the powerful Sinaloa cartel that reigned in neighboring Durango state.

In 2010, the Zetas broke away from the Gulf cartel, triggering a war that bloodied much of Tamaulipas and spilled over into neighboring states. Coahuila, with its rugged mountains and sparsely populated tracts, became a refuge for the Zetas, and they spread out across the state, including this heretofore calm capital, Saltillo.

Even if the violence hasn't been as ghastly as in other parts of Mexico, nearly 300 people, many of them professionals, have vanished in Coahuila, probably kidnapped by the Zetas for ransom or for their skills.

The man in charge of Coahuila during most of the Zeta takeover was Moreira, the former governor. After five years in office, he left the position a year ahead of schedule, in early 2011, to assume the national leadership of the Institutional Revolutionary Party on the eve of its triumphant return to presidential power after more than a decade.

But scandal followed Moreira, including a debt of more than $3 million he had saddled Coahuila with, allegedly from fraudulent loans. He was eventually forced to quit the PRI leadership, dashing what many thought to be his presidential aspirations.

Tragedy followed when Moreira's son Jose Eduardo was shot twice in the head execution-style in the Coahuila town of Acuna early last month. Investigators believe that most of the Acuna police department turned Jose Eduardo over to the Zetas as a reprisal for the killing of a nephew of Trevino. The police chief was arrested.

Killing the son of a former governor — and nephew of the current one, Humberto's brother Ruben — was a rare strike by drug traffickers into the heart of Mexico's political elite.

In mourning, Humberto Moreira gave a series of remarkably candid interviews in which he accused entrepreneurs from Coahuila's mining sector of sharing the wealth with top drug traffickers who in turn used the money to buy weapons and pay off their troops. They killed his son, he said.

Mining in Coahuila is huge and notoriously dangerous, with companies routinely flouting safety regulations and workers dying in explosions and accidents. The depth to which drug traffickers have penetrated the industry is being investigated by federal authorities.

The question on the minds of many Mexicans was: If Moreira was so aware of criminal penetration, why didn't he stop it?

Critics suggest that during his tenure, he was happy to turn a blind eye to the growth of the Zetas as long as he could pursue his business and political interests. He denies that now and says fighting organized crime was up to the federal government; the federal government blames state officials, in Coahuila and elsewhere, for coddling the drug lords.

"The northern governors have long cut deals with the cartels that operate in their domains. The pattern in the north is cooperation," said George W. Grayson, a Mexico scholar at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va., who has written extensively on the Zetas and Mexican issues.

"The Coahuila police are among the most corrupt in all Mexico."

The extent to which the Zetas' tentacles had penetrated state government became clear this year when federal authorities discovered a protection racket that dated well into Humberto Moreira's administration and was led by none other than the brother of the state attorney general. According to the federal investigation, he and 10 other state officials were being paid roughly $60,000 a month by the Zetas to leak information to the gang.

The nearly 3 million residents of Coahuila, meanwhile, find ways to survive and accommodate.

In rural areas where the Zetas are most commonly seen on the streets, people have learned to be mute and blind. In cities such as Saltillo, they change their habits, don't go out at night, send their children to school in other cities.

A businessman whose family has lived here for generations said, "We are in a state of war, without realizing when or how we got there."

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Talk about missing the big picture - even more proof

In a recent article it becomes even more clear that the United States is being penetrated by the malignancy of drug cartels.  Last month I attended National Sheriff's Border School and Border Tour in El Paso, Texas.  Sixty sheriff's from around the country gathered to learn about what they, as law enforcement officers, will be faced with in the very near future.  It was shocking and overwhelming. 

It was disappointing, however, to read the angle the Oregonian chose to take on the story.  Even after extensive interviews, providing the Border School agenda and disturbing maps outlining the penetration of the cartels into several cities along the I-5 corridor, the Oregonian, clearly being led by their noses by Francisco Lopez of Causa, focused on the minimal cost of sending an undersheriff to the intensive training.

Talk about missing the big picture!  It's here now folks...coming soon to a neighbor or family member you know.  What a shame the Oregonian missed an opportunity to educate their readers about such a dangerous situation. Read more about Talk about missing the big picture - even more proof

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...

Cleric accused of planning Oregon al-Qaida camp can be sent to U.S., court says

LONDON — A European court ruled today that radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, including allegedly trying to set up an al-Qaida training camp in rural Oregon.

The decision means that al-Masri, considered one of Britain's most notorious extremists, could be deported within weeks.

Al-Masri and four other terrorism suspects in Britain had argued before the European Court of Human Rights that they could face prison conditions and jail terms in the U.S. that would expose them to "torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" in breach of the European human rights code.

In April, the Strasbourg, France-based court rejected those claims. Al-Masri and the others lodged an appeal, but the court refused to hear it. "Today the Grand Chamber Panel decided to reject the request," the court said in a brief statement. It did not give a reason for refusing the appeal.

Britain's Home Office and the U.S. Department of Justice welcomed the decision. "We will work to ensure that the individuals are handed over to the U.S. authorities as quickly as possible," said the Home Office.

The suspects, who are accused of crimes such as raising funds for terrorists, could face life sentences in a maximum-security prison.

The U.S. accuses Al-Masri, who is blind in one eye and wears a hook for a hand, of assisting the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998 and of conspiring to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., between 2000 and 2001.

He is also accused of preaching jihad — holy war — in Afghanistan.

The cleric, who is known for his fiery anti-Western and anti-Semitic outbursts, claims he has lost his Egyptian nationality, but Britain considers him an Egyptian citizen. He is currently serving a seven-year prison term in Britain for inciting hatred.

In Washington, Dean Boyd, spokesman for the National Security Division of the U.S. justice department, said: "We are pleased that the litigation before the European Court of Human Rights in these cases has come to an end, and we will be working with the U.K. authorities on the arrangements to bring these subjects to the United States for prosecution."

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