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Entries in border patrol (10)

Thursday
Mar212013

Report: Deaths Increasing at US-Mexico Border

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The number of immigrants who died while attempting to illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border saw a large increase in 2012, even though there seem to be far fewer people attempting the crossing.

According to a report released by the National Foundation for American Policy, immigrant deaths at the border rose by 27 percent in 2012. Despite the fact that the border patrol has nearly twice as many agents as it did 15 years ago, the number of deaths in crossing has more than doubled.

The 477 immigrants who died trying to cross the border in 2012 is the second highest annual total, behind only 2005.

The border patrol captured over 350,000 undocumented immigrants in 2012, as compared to over 1.5 million in 1999. With a dramatic decrease in the number of immigrants attempting the journey, it is staggering that such a large number of them are dying.

The NFAP says that these numbers suggest that the border is getting more dangerous for immigrants. Testimonies from organizations that work along the border seem to confirm this.

Geoff Boyce, a spokesman for an Arizona nonprofit called No More Deaths, told USA Today that immigrants are now crossing the border in more remote areas of the desert comprised of 900 square miles with just two paved roads.

He said the crossing takes three to four days, and is made in temperatures as high as 110 degrees, in the summer, and below freezing in winter time.

"Even the healthiest person is going to have a hard time surviving in those kinds of conditions," Boyce told USA Today.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct022012

Slain Border Agent Identified, Drug Traffickers Suspected

Slain border patrol agent Nicholas Ivie. Dept of Homeland Security(NACO, Ariz.) -- Two U.S. Border Patrol Agents were shot today near Naco, Ariz., leaving one agent dead and another badly wounded.

The gunshots were possibly fired by drug traffickers, federal and county officials said.

The slain agent was Nicholas Ivie, 30. His partner was not immediately identified. A third agent was unharmed.

The agents were part of a three man patrol in the area and were responding to a motion detection sensor when they encountered gunfire, according to Homeland Security officials. Authorities did not know if the agents returned fire.

The agent who was wounded was transported by helicopter to a hospital.

"Border Patrol agents on patrol in Naco, Ariz., were involved in a shooting Tuesday at 1:50 a.m.," U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. "One agent died from his injuries and another, who sustained non-life threatening wounds, was airlifted to a hospital."

Cochise County Deputy Chief Rod Rothrock told ABC News affiliate KNXV, "Due to the time of day and the location, we suspect some kind of narcotics trafficking, but at this point that is speculative."

"Cochise County has been a smuggling corridor for many, many years and that seems to be unabated in modern times," he said.

Rothrock warned, "The danger zone can extend pretty far north of the border."

He said a manhunt was launched in the area, but came up empty.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a statement saying, "I am deeply saddened by the death of Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie and the attack on another Border Patrol Agent early this morning. Both agents were on patrol near Bisbee, Ariz., when they came under fire from an unknown assailant."

She vowed to bring the assailants to justice and ordered flags flown at half staff.

Sources familiar with the sensors in the area said they are set to be triggered by a certain weight so that agents don't end up chasing rabbits or coyotes. The sensors are primarily intended to catch smugglers and some have cameras deployed with them. It is not yet know if a camera was operating in the vicinity of the sensor.

The last Border Patrol agent shot and killed along the border was Brian Terry, who was killed by bandits in a rugged part of the U.S.-Mexico border. The guns that killed Terry were linked to a gun trafficking operation run by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau in Arizona called Operation Fast and Furious.

The agents killed and wounded today were assigned to a Border Patrol station that was recently named after Brian Terry.

Rothrock was asked whether any of the Fast and Furious weapons could have been used in today's shooting. "I can't say that's impossible, but at this point it would be purely speculative... As we speak it is not known."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep302012

California Woman Valeria Alvarado Fatally Shot by Border Patrol Agent

(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) -- Authorities are investigating the fatal shooting of a 32-year-old woman in the suburban San Diego area after she allegedly hit a Border Patrol agent with her car.

Investigators said Valeria Alvarado ran down the agent with her car as border patrol agents were in a Chula Vista neighborhood to serve a felony warrant on Friday.

The agent said he had no choice but to defend himself and fired at Alvarado get her to stop the car.

Alvarado was hit by five bullets.

According to eye witnesses, the shooting left the mother of five with bullet holes in her face, arms, and chest.

"She literally ran our agent down, the agent actually was impacted, was hit by the vehicle and carried several hundred yards on the hood before fearing for his life and did discharge his weapon to get the vehicle to stop," said Border Patrol Deputy Chief Rodney Scott.

Alvarado's husband, Gilbert Alvarado said he wants the shooting investigated.

"I want justice. Yes. Whoever shot my wife, that guy whoever that is, that guy needs to get shot," he said.

Alvarado's family called the killing senseless.

"Where's the evidence that my wife threatened a trained officer? You know? He's a trained officer to use lethal force, shoot my wife like that and just not even call an ambulance?" said Gilbert Alvarado.

The FBI and Chula Vista Police are investigating the shooting. Officials have not released the name of the agent involved in the incident.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul182012

Border Patrol Applicant Admits to Molestation, Bestiality in Job Interview

Yuma County Sheriff's Office(YUMA, Ariz.) -- Cody Slaughter may have been a little too forthcoming while interviewing for a job with the border patrol.

The 22-year-old from Somerton, Ariz., was arrested last week after U.S. Customs and Border Protection notified the Yuma County Sheriff's Office (YCSO) that during a July 2 "pre-employment screening" Slaughter admitted that he had molested a 2-year-old girl eight years ago, had sexual interactions with a dog, horse and pig, and had a history of drug use.  Slaughter later confirmed his statements to sheriff investigators, YCSO Maj. Leon Wilmot said in a police report.

Slaughter was arrested on charges of one count of criminal sexual conduct with a minor when he was 14 and three counts of bestiality between 2004 and 2012, but he was released on July 10 because the Yuma County Attorney's Office had not yet filed criminal charges against him.

Prosecutors have sent the case back to the YCSO for further investigation, and Chief Criminal Deputy County Attorney Roger Nelson said charges will likely be filed eventually, the Yuma Sun reported.

Justice of the Peace Jorge Lozano told Slaughter that charges could still be filed later, in which case he would be summoned back to court, the Sun reported.

According to the police report, the YCSO obtained a search warrant based on Slaughter's statements and searched his house.  Investigators recovered "several items that directly link the suspect to his prior statements and admissions," Wilmot said in the report.

The state has one year to file a misdemeanor charge and up to seven years to file other charges, Lozano said, according to the Sun.

Slaughter did not respond to multiple calls placed on Monday and Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr242012

Report: Fewer Mexicans Coming to US, More Returning Home

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A report by the Pew Hispanic Center reveals that the influx of Mexicans into the U.S. that began during the 1970s has slowed down to a trickle over the past five years for various reasons, including the American economic downturn and tougher enforcement of the border.

There are currently 11.2 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., the majority of them Mexican.  In 2007, it was estimated that seven million Mexicans were undocumented aliens.  Last year, that number fell to 6.1 million.

Mexicans living in the U.S. legally has only climbed slightly from 5.6 million in 2007 to 5.8 million last year.

According to the report, "The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill."

[ CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REPORT ]

It's estimated that 1.4 million Mexicans went back to their home country from 2005 through 2010 -- twice as many as a decade earlier -- while around the same number came to the U.S during that time span -- half as many as the previous decade.

Other reasons for the drop in Mexicans coming to the U.S. are declining birthrates and the Obama administration's stepped up deportation policies, which have come under attack by immigration advocates but might convince Republicans to work on a broad immigration overhaul plan.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun172011

National Guard to Remain at Southwest Border until September

Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The 1,200 National Guard troops serving in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas will stay through Sept. 30; the deployment was to end at the end of June.
 
Department of Homeland Security press secretary Matthew Chandler Friday issued a statement about the extension saying that the National Guardsmen will continue to be responsible for providing law enforcement support in countering the illegal smuggling of people, drugs and weapons.

In addition to the extension, DHS will implement new technologies and hire more personnel to beef up the current border security.  

The National Guard, at the border since last summer, have already assisted the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in seizing more than 14,000 pounds of drugs and the discovery and apprehension of over 7,000 illegal border-crossers, according to Chandler's statement Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr062011

Border Patrol Told to Scare Away Immigrants, Not Arrest Them?

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- An Arizona sheriff's explosive allegation that border patrol agents are "chasing people away" rather than arresting illegal migrants has drawn a scathing rebuke from top Homeland Security officials.

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said in an interview on Fox News last week that a senior border patrol agent told him agents were under orders to reduce border arrests during specific reporting periods.

"The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back," Dever said.  "I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away.  They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone.  Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back."

Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher sent a letter to Dever Tuesday strongly refuting his claim, which appears to have been based on a single, unidentified source.

"That assertion is completely, 100 percent false," Fisher said in the letter obtained by ABC News.  "And most disturbingly, it unfairly casts a negative light on the hard work done each day in service to the nation and at risk to themselves by the men and women of the Border Patrol."

"That it comes from a fellow law enforcement official makes it especially offensive," he wrote.

Fisher said the Border Patrol's policy is to apprehend and arrest every illegal border crosser, and he invited Dever to ride along with border agents to see the reality of the work they do.

"It is possible notwithstanding your position, that you may remain unaware of the scope of our enforcement efforts across the Southwest Border, particularly in Arizona," Fisher said.

But Dever insists the information he received is credible -- and alarming.

"I do not make this stuff up," he said in a statement following the interview.  "I can unequivocally say what I have told you comes from Border Patrol agents who work the problem every day and other federal government officials from various organizations."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan242011

Supporters of Slain Border Agent Seek Justice, Answers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Less than one month before a gunman went on a bloody rampage in suburban Tucson, killing six and wounding 13, a similarly gruesome scene played out in a dark canyon just outside the city.

Bandits armed with AK-47s attacked a group of U.S. Border Patrol agents, including Brian Terry, a three-year veteran of the force who was shot in the back and killed.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers, friends and family of Terry gathered Friday for a memorial service at a Tucson sports arena. And some voiced frustration that justice for their fallen comrade hasn't come fast enough.

"The FBI is being completely mum on where the investigation is at," said National Border Patrol Council President T.J. Bonner in an interview. "We're pressing to get some answers not only for our organization but the family."

Bonner said the lack of details on the investigation was particularly troublesome in light of federal investigators' robust response to the shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords at an event two weeks ago.

"It's incumbent upon the FBI to be more forthcoming about what they know and what they don't know," he said.

Federal law enforcement officials contacted by ABC News said four suspects are in custody, detained immediately following the shooting Dec. 15, but that a fifth suspect remains at large. Some observers believe he likely escaped to Mexico.

"We've got to hunt them down and put them in jail, whether they're drug traffickers, alien smugglers or, in this particular case, people who shoot and kill border patrol agents," said Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton.

An FBI spokesman declined to discuss the ongoing investigation or identify the names of the men in custody but said that the suspects were being held on "immigration charges."

No murder charges have been filed in Terry's death.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan122011

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Hiding Illegal Immigrants, Drugs in Basement

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) – A border patrol agent has been arrested after a search of his home uncovered an underground room allegedly used to hide illegal immigrants and drugs, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Marcos Gerardo Manzano, 26,  has been charged with harboring illegal immigrants, one of whom was his father, Marcos Gerardo Manzano Sr., a twice-deported illegal immigrant with a criminal record.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara McGrath said during the raid the FBI discovered an illegal immigrant hiding in the room along with 61 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec152010

Border Patrol Agent Shot, Killed Near U.S. Mexico Border

Photo Courtesy - John Moore/Getty Images(RIO RICO, Ariz.) -- A border patrol agent was shot and killed late Tuesday in an area 15 miles north of the U.S. border with Mexico, authorities said.

Agent Brian Terry was on patrol when he encountered a group of suspects in the Peck Canyon area near Rio Rico, Ariz., before he was shot, according to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Officials detained four suspects and are still pursuing a fifth. Border patrol agents and local law enforcement officers have been fanning out across the area with K9 teams to track down the suspect.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Terry family for their tragic loss," said CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin. "Our commitment to Agent Terry and his family is that we will do everything possible to bring to justice those responsible for this despicable act."

It is unclear whether the suspects were believed to be illegal immigrants or engaged in illicit trafficking or smuggling.

The FBI and Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office are leading the investigation into Terry's death.

The Arizona National Guard, which presently has 560 troops dispersed along the border to support the Border Patrol, said its members were not involved with the incident.

Terry's murder is the first death of a border patrol agent in the line of duty since July 2009, when Agent Robert Rosas was killed on patrol along the border in southern California. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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