Archive for the “Homeland Security” Category

Colonia Libertad is a violent, drug infested sewer, right along the border fence in San Diego. I’ve driven through there with Border Agents at night and it truly is a war zone. There needs to be an Israeli style border wall to shut this area off completely. There’s no reason to put our agents in harms way.

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Racist Hispanic Caucus

Daily Pilot

As soon as a bipartisan resolution hit the floor of Congress last week calling for the pardon of two Border Patrol agents convicted of a shooting in 2005, the Democratic leadership bottled it up in committee, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said Monday

The bill, sponsored by William Delahunt (D-Mass.) with co-sponsorship from Silverstre Reyes (D-Texas) and Rohrabacher, was the first such bipartisan gesture since agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean were served with 11 to 12 year prison sentences for shooting an accused smuggler in the back, Rohrabacher said.

?The significance of the resolution is that it is truly a bipartisan effort,? he said. ?Up until this point, this has basically been a conservative Republican cause.?

The bill was shelved this week after Rohrabacher lamented the efforts of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, whom he blamed for lobbying the resolution into political limbo.

?The [Democratic] leadership has gone along with the Hispanic Caucus and their claim that Ramos and Compean are guilty of police brutality,? he said.

?Instead of being proud Mexican-Americans who are defending our border, the Hispanic Caucus is portraying them as simple, brutal cops who are committing police brutality.?

The shooting victim, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, was charged last month with possession with intent to distribute marijuana in September and October 2005.

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Tucson Citizen

A dead man found on the South Side has been connected to the armed invasion of the home of an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent and his family.

Tucson police Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said investigators have determined that Christian Gomez, 20, who had been shot to death, was one of the suspects in the invasion, which occurred at 4:50 a.m. Dec. 9. His body was found almost five hours later in a desert area south of Irvington Road and First Avenue, Pacheco said.

A Border Patrol agent, whom police would not identify, said four armed intruders forced their way into his home and one fired a gun at him as the agent retreated.

(more…)

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Chron.com

WASHINGTON ? A key U.S. senator wants Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to explain why he ordered environmental studies on a planned border fence in Texas, but bypassed such a study in Arizona.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland and Governmental Affairs Committee, also is questioning Chertoff’s decision to waive environmental laws to build a stretch of fence in the San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area on the Arizona-Mexico border.

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Chertoff: Allow fencing or lose land
Seattle Times
December 9, 2007

WASHINGTON ? The Bush administration has warned landowners along the southern border that it will seize their property if they refuse to cooperate with federal efforts to build a fence meant to slow illegal immigration.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he would give landowners 30 days to indicate if they will allow federal officials on their land to survey whether it is suitable for fencing. If they decline, he said Friday, he would turn to the courts to gain temporary access.

If the agency determines the land is appropriate for fencing and landowners refuse to cooperate, the department will turn to the courts to get title.

“The door is still open to talk, but it’s not open for endless talk,” Chertoff said of the time-frame landowners have in which to respond.

He added, “We won’t pay more than market price for the land.”

Chertoff said access to 225 miles of noncontiguous land, most of it in Texas and Arizona, was essential to meeting the administration’s goal of building 370 miles of border fencing by the end of 2008.

Reaction was swift.

“I tell you, on this one issue, the Farm Bureau, the United Farm Workers, Democrats and Republicans, white, black, brown, everybody is against the border fence. It just doesn’t make sense,” said Juan Salinas, the county judge of Hidalgo County in Texas.

Salinas, chief administrator of the local government, said objections stem from economic, cultural and environmental concerns. “We’ve been trying to talk to them about using other ways,” he said. “It’s a disappointment that, again, the Department of Homeland Security is not listening to local taxpayers.”

Chertoff also said his agency has given conditional approval to an experimental, 28-mile combination of technology and physical fencing in Arizona that allows border agents to detect intrusions and to see what or who has crossed onto U.S. land. Cameras in the system are so powerful that they can distinguish between cattle and people from 10 miles away and can show whether those people are toting packages or guns……

To read entire article click here.

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Chron.com

Judge E. Grady Jolly, one of three judges from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the case of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, questioned whether the two agents would have been charged if they had reported the shooting.

“For some reason, this one got out of hand, it seems to me,” Jolly said of the agents’ prosecution.

A federal jury in Texas convicted Ramos and Compean of assault, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations in the wounding of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila on the Texas border near El Paso in 2005. A federal judge sentenced Compean to 12 years in prison and Ramos to 11 years.

The agents’ attorneys are asking the 5th Circuit to throw out the convictions. The judges didn’t indicate when they will rule on the appeals.

“It does seem to me that the government overreacted here,” Jolly said, noting the severity of the charges and the lengthy sentences prosecutors sought, as he questioned Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Stelmach.

Jolly said that if the agents had reported the shooting, as required, “this prosecution never would have occurred, in all likelihood.”

Read more.

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Newsday.com

Bricks, concrete, barbed wire, all that: overrated! We don’t need physical boundaries between us, only virtual boundaries. That’s why we’d never put up a real fence, for instance, if we wanted to keep our children or pets from wandering away.

So why should our government do any differently? Why clutter up the border vista - it’s a great view, from Laredo to Nuevo Laredo, and vice versa - with some big ugly wall?

Maybe you think I’m kidding. But don’t take my word for it: Here’s Giuliani, quoted in an Associated Press story from last week, headlined, “Giuliani promotes virtual fence.” Explains the former mayor, “Frankly, the virtual fence is more valuable because it alerts you to people approaching the border, it alerts you to people coming over the border.”

That sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it? After all, you use a virtual lock on your front door, right? That way, when intruders approach your house, you can spot them. And when they walk in, well, a police SWAT team is on the way. The key to this enforcement strategy, to be sure, is to respond after the crime has occurred. So it’s strange, therefore, that Giuliani insists that he wants to build at least some physical wall.

Because virtuality works better, Giuliani assures us. After all, that’s why we have virtual prison walls and jail cells, right? You see, when the bad guys escape, an alarm goes off, satellites up in space look down, and helicopters fly over and scoop them up. And if the inmates try it again, well, we just repeat the apprehending process till they cry uncle.

So that’s the plan for fending off terrorists from around the world - not to mention any of the 500 million South and Central Americans who might wish to come to this country illegally. We’ll spot ‘em and nab ‘em before they get to Des Moines.

I like this idea of “virtuality,” as opposed to “reality.” So here’s another modest proposal: Let’s have a virtual border patrol. I mean, sending out actual law enforcers to interdict unknown persons coming across the border - that’s a formula for trouble.


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Boston.com

BURLINGTON - After dozens of residents denounced the federal government’s plan to relocate its regional immigration headquarters here, the Board of Selectmen voted last night to call a special Town Meeting to consider ways to fight the move.
more stories like this

The Department of Homeland Security hopes to open by Jan. 1 a 40,000-square-foot headquarters for Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Detention and Removal Operations, which processes people accused of violating immigration laws and identified for possible deportation. The project is nearly complete. The Immigration Enforcement agency needs to obtain a certificate of occupancy from the town.

After a forum with federal officials that drew about 150 people last night, selectmen responded to calls for action by voting unanimously to plan a special Town Meeting session. The selectmen will set the date of the session Monday. Officials did not know what the warrant would look like, but it could include a request for legal fees to fight the project, or for a detailed explanation of how it was allowed to proceed.

Federal officials last night tried to ease concerns about the center, which they said would be an administrative office that would not hold detainees overnight. But that did little to appease those who criticized the proposal, said they felt deceived by federal officials, and expressed misgivings about the location - between the Burlington Mall and the Lahey Clinic.

At a selectmen’s meeting that immediately followed the forum, several residents called on the board to try to stop the project.

“I think I speak for most people here that we don’t want this facility in our town,” Mark Casey said, drawing applause. “I just hope you’ll do the right thing.”

Bruce E. Chadbourne, New England field office director for the Immigration Enforcement agency, said the office would employ about 120 law-enforcement agents and staff and would process about a dozen alleged illegal immigrants a day before they are transported to county jails to await the conclusion of their cases.

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He’s a very hard worker. He just needed some money to feed his sick starving family in Mexico.

KVOA

YUMA, Ariz. (AP) - A Mexican citizen with a lengthy rap sheet who’s been deported three times previously has been arrested after illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. Border Patrol in Yuma, Ariz., says Pedro Alvarado Suarez has been arrested 23 times since 1986 and served about eight years in jail. It says the arrests involved various charges, including, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft, assault, as well as drug-related charges.

Alvarado and two other illegal immigrants were arrested near Winterhaven, Calif., after agents had tracked them for three hours from the All-American Canal, about 2 miles west of Andrade, Calif.

The Border Patrol says the 41-year-old Alvarado’s criminal record includes arrests in Arizona, California, Montana and Washington state.

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“But since three SBInet towers went up nearby, he says, the traffic through his ranch has plunged. The 1,500 became more like 300, he guesses, and there’s a lot less trash. Even if it’s not fully operational, Kay says, SBInet is a deterrent, and the coyotes and drug smugglers find another way.”

Boeing’s ‘virtual fence’ raises hope, concern
STL Today
11/25/2007


One of nine 98-foot-tall surveillance towers that Boeing is testing along the Mexican border as part of the Secure Border Initiative. This one is just outside the town of Arivaca, Ariz., and holds cameras and radars that Border Patrol agents will use to watch the area.

The Altar Valley, Ariz. ? It used to be, you didn’t have to lock your doors around here. Now people encase their windows in wrought iron and their yards in razor wire.

In the quiet night, people say, you can sometimes hear the AK-47s of drug smugglers battling over loads of marijuana.

And every year now, there are hundreds of bodies found in the desert, Mexicans who died walking north for a better life.

This is the front line of our national dilemma over immigration. And it’s the place where Boeing is launching a project that just might be part of the solution.

Here in Arizona’s Altar Valley, a sea of mesquite and dusty creek beds stretching southwest from Tucson, Boeing’s St. Louis-based defense unit is testing something called SBInet. It’s a network of ground sensors, radar and high-powered cameras that will scan the desert constantly and could help the Border Patrol “gain operational control” of this vast and wild land.

It’s the technological piece of a dramatic hardening of the border that’s begun in the last few years, a supplement to fencing, vehicle barriers and thousands of new Border Patrol agents. That hardening, in turn, is key to the broader efforts at immigration reform in Congress: Secure the border, the theory goes, and allow more people to enter the country legally.

But so far, SBInet has been a disappointment.

Only a year old, the 28-mile pilot phase called “Project 28″ is already five months behind schedule, bogged down by the difficulties in making cameras and radars work together properly. Critics in Washington say Boeing oversold what it could do. And federal officials are holding back payment until they’re satisfied that Project 28 works as intended.

But testing is scheduled to wrap up soon, perhaps as early as this week. And the Border Patrol still has high hopes for this “virtual fence,” planning to build it out from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas, over the next few years, and eventually over the northern border, too.

“If it works here, we can be pretty sure it’ll work nationally,” said Osborne Wilder, a Border Patrol agent who’s helping oversee Project 28……

To read entire article click here.

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They overwhelming passed this bill to fund 700 miles of fence before the last election and before their failed attempts at amnesty. Now they’ve taken away the funding in committee. These Democrats and Republicans aren’t fooling anyone. They all need to be thrown out of office!

CAPS

Political maneuverings are threatening appropriations that are essential to construct a fence and provide other components of border security.

The House-Senate conference committee dropped a $3 billion plan for border security from the 2008 Defense Appropriations Conference Report. The measure, which had passed both houses, would have been used towards completion of 700 miles of border fence, added 23,000 more border patrol officers, and beefed up surveillance along the US border with Mexico.

A similar level of funding is included in the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, but that bill is currently awaiting conference consideration, and its passage is less certain than that of the defense bill. Moreover, there may be attempts to remove the requirement for constructing a fence.

Please CLICK HERE to learn more and to help keep us secure.

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LAREDO ? After pleading guilty to entering the country illegally, the Mexican immigrant from Veracruz told a federal judge here last week he came to the U.S. to earn money to pay for his mother’s funeral. Yeah right!
”It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to pay off funeral expenses, or take care of a sick family member,” explained U.S. Magistrate Diana Saldaña, referring to the plight of another immigrant. ”When you cross the Rio Grande, you’re going to be spending time in prison if the Border Patrol finds you ? that’s the bottom line.”

The frank courtroom exchange has become a daily occurrence since Oct. 30, when the Border Patrol launched Operation Streamline-Laredo, a zero-tolerance campaign that prosecutes, jails and deports nearly every adult illegal immigrant that border agents catch.

The controversial operation has jammed local jails to capacity, strained the staff of the federal public defender’s office and sparked charges that immigrants’ due process rights are being violated. But it has been applauded by those favoring strict enforcement of immigration laws.

Before the crackdown, agents with the Laredo patrol sector routinely allowed illegal immigrants from Mexico to return home voluntarily. And a lack of detention space resulted in a ”catch-and-release” policy that allowed non-Mexican illegal immigrants to post bond pending a hearing, but few showed up for their court dates.

But at the Laredo federal courthouse last week, a mere two weeks after the program began, scores of ordinary people shared the halls where crooked officials, drug kingpins and human traffickers are brought to justice.They included (terrorists), bricklayers, (rapists), construction workers, (child molesters), dishwashers, (violent gang members), and waitresses, all snared by agents after crossing the Rio Grande illegally.

The immigrants, in the same rumpled clothing they wore when arrested, were escorted up to the judge’s bench in groups of 18 or 20. After a Border Patrol officer read a charge that applied to the entire group, each immigrant called out ”Culpable” ? the Spanish word for guilty.

Read more.

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Gimmicks like this are not going to secure the border. Rick Perry is a conspirator of the North American Union and he knows it. We need more Border Patrol Agents on the border so we can quickly respond to border crossings. Right now we average one agent for every mile of border in highly trafficked areas. The majority of the border has maybe one agent for every ten miles of border. It’s probably less than that.


Another pointless dog and pony show.

Chron.com

EL PASO ? Gov. Rick Perry’s proposal to broadcast live video footage from the border over the Internet should be up and running again by January now that new funding has been secured, a spokesman said.

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said the governor has found $3 million in federal grants to install about 200 mobile cameras along the Texas-Mexico border.

The cameras were pitched during Perry’s 2006 re-election campaign as a way for anyone via the Internet to become a border patroller and help root out border crime and illegal crossings.

A $200,000 test run that lasted about a month last year led authorities to 10 undocumented immigrants, one drug deal and one human smuggling route.

But earlier this year, lawmakers rejected Perry’s request for $5 million to restart the program and add more cameras.

“Lawmakers felt unanimous that immigration is a federal issue,” said state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh, D-El Paso. “Why burden local and state taxpayers with a federal obligation?”

Castle said the new cameras will be installed in “strategic high-traffic areas along the border.” The system should be running by January, although it may be longer before the footage is available online, she added.

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drug smuggler
Worthless POS

Associated Press

EL PASO, Texas (AP) â?? A Mexican man shot by a pair of U.S. Border Patrol agents who were later convicted in the shooting has been indicted on federal drug smuggling charges, authorities said Thursday.

Osvaldo Aldrete Davila was arrested Thursday at an international port of entry in El Paso, according to U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton.

A sealed indictment was issued in October charging him with smuggling marijuana in September and October of 2005, several months after he was shot in the buttocks while fleeing from a pair of Border Patrol agents.

The agents, Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, were convicted last year of shooting Aldrete and lying about it.

Aldrete is scheduled to appear in federal court in El Paso on Friday.

Sutton noted that critics of the prosecution of the agents have complained that Aldrete, “the fleeing, unarmed drug smuggler they shot,” should have been prosecuted.

“I have repeatedly said that if we obtained sufficient competent and admissible evidence against Aldrete, we would prosecute him,” Sutton said in a statement.

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Nada Nadim Prouty

Detroit FBI.gov

DETROITâ??Nada Nadim Prouty, a 37-year-old Lebanese national and resident of Vienna, Va., pleaded guilty today in the Eastern District of Michigan to charges of fraudulently obtaining U.S. citizenship, which she later used to gain employment at the FBI and CIA; accessing a federal computer system to unlawfully query information about her relatives and the terrorist organization Hizballah; and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

“This case highlights the importance of conducting stringent and thorough background investigations,” said U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Murphy. “It’s hard to imagine a greater threat than the situation where a foreign national uses fraud to attain citizenship and then, based on that fraud, insinuates herself into a sensitive position in the U.S. government. I applaud the excellent investigative work of the FBI, ICE, and DHS, which led to the successful prosecution today.”

“It is a sad day when one of our public servants breaches our security and trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth L. Wainstein. “This defendant engaged in a pattern of deceit to secure U.S. citizenship, to gain employment in the intelligence community, and to obtain and exploit her access to sensitive counterterrorism intelligence. It is fitting that she now stands to lose both her citizenship and her liberty.”

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