TX News Service – Demanda contra Patrulla Fronteriza por fuerza excesiva y detencion ilegal

Published October 23, 2013
John Michaelson, Public News Service – TX
Brownsville, TX

La American Civil Liberties Union (Unión Americana de Libertades Civiles) de Texas presentó una demanda quejándose de un agente de la agencia U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Protección de Aduanas y Frontera de los Estados Unidos), quien usó fuerza injustificada, detuvo ilegalmente y abusó físicamente de una ciudadana norteamericana durante un interrogatorio el otoño pasado.

El incidente sucedió en noviembre pasado, cuando una mujer discapacitada y embarazada fue confrontada por un agente afuera de su lugar de trabajo, en Brownsville. La abogada en jefe del equipo legal en ACLU de Texas, Adriana Piñón, dice que la mujer no había roto ley alguna ni estaba interfiriendo.

“Y sin embargo, cuando hizo algunas preguntas del agente, éste reaccionó violentamente. La tiró al suelo con tanta fuerza que sus jeans se rasgaron y ella sufrió daños físicos. Él le cayó encima con todo su peso y la esposó con tanta fuerza que fue necesario llamar a los bomberos para que le quitaran las esposas.”

Al día siguiente, la mujer tuvo un aborto que, según el médico, fue causado por las lesiones recibidas en el incidente. La oficina de Aduanas y Patrulla Fronteriza no comenta específicamente el litigio pendiente, pero explica que no toleran la mala conducta en sus filas y cooperan completamente con todas las investigaciones.

Piñón dice que este tipo de casos son demasiado comunes y, para revertir esa tendencia, la Patrulla Fronteriza necesita mejorar en su entrenamiento, transparencia y rendición de cuentas.

“Es tan importante que los agentes comprendan que los límites legales en el uso de la fuerza existen porque los incidentes como éste deterioran la confianza de nuestra comunidad y como consecuencia nuestras comunidades fronterizas sufren.”

El año pasado, al auditar el entrenamiento de la Patrulla Fronteriza, el Inspector General encontró que muchos agentes y oficiales no entienden hasta dónde pueden o no pueden usar la fuerza.

aclutx.org. El reporte del Inspector General sobre el uso de la fuerza en la Border Patrol, está en aclu.org. Esta nota está disponible también en inglés.

Public News Service: Reporte – Políticas de Inmigración probablemente influenciadas por motivos de ganancias

p>By Peter Malof/Naihma Deady, published July 26, 2012:

AUSTIN, Texas – En años recientes ha incrementado la aplicación de leyes migratorias, y el gobierno federal ha recurrido a instituciones privadas para la detención de inmigrantes indocumentados mientras esperan su fecha de audiencia ante la corte. Por esta razón el sector privado de instituciones de detención no fue afectado por la recesión económica. Un nuevo estudio de la organización Sentencing Project dice que en los últimos diez años el número promedio de inmigrantes detenidos en instituciones públicas incrementó 26%, mientas que el número de inmigrantes detenidos en instituciones privadas incrementó 188%.

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Editorial de Bloomberg: Arizona no Puede Argumentar un Aumento en las Tasas de Crimen en su Caso de Inmigración ante la Corte Suprema

Arizona tendrá su día en la corte. La Corte Suprema decidió esta semana para revisar las medidas represivas que el estado ha adoptado sobre la inmigración no autorizada. La Administración de Obama ha dicho que esto usurpa el papel del gobierno federal para aplicar las leyes de inmigración.

La Corte de Apelaciones de los Estados Unidos para el 9o Circuito en San Francisco había previamente acordado con la administración, bloqueando la aplicación de cuatro provisiones de la ley de Arizona, incluyendo su requisito que la policía local y estatal tenía que determinar el estatus migratorio de las personas que paran o detienen si la policía sospecha que no están autorizados para estar en el país. Este elemento de “papeles, por favor” de la ley ha sido ampliamente criticado pero emulado también, más recientemente por Alabama.

En su presentación ante la corte, el estado ha dicho que su frontera de 370 millas con México es una puerta de entrada para la mitad de los inmigrantes indocumentados en los Estados Unidos. Esto, el estado ha dicho, impone cargas únicas — tal como altas tasas de crimen y el costo de proveerle cuidado médico y educación a los inmigrantes indocumentados. “Arizona ha pedido reiteradamente al gobierno federal para una aplicación más vigorosa de las leyes de inmigración, pero ha sido en vano,” dice el escrito. Leer más…

Boston Globe/AP: NY immigrant advocates criticize Border Patrol

“BUFFALO, N.Y.—Immigrant rights advocates and the New York Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday accused the Border Patrol in upstate New York of abusing its authority by questioning the citizenship of train and bus passengers, as well as people going about their business in towns miles away from any international crossing.

A report based on a Freedom of Information request suggests agents charged with securing the U.S.-Canadian border have taken advantage of their 100-mile area of jurisdiction to snare and deport illegal immigrants who have been in the country for years, using police-state tactics that allow them to boost arrest rates and justify increased funding.” Read more …

DMN Editorial: Border Patrol should not get a 100-mile exclusive zone

"You may not have heard of the Sonoran Pronghorn antelope, the lesser long-nosed bat or the desert pupfish. But you should be comforted to know that the federal bureaucracy has tried to make sure that the fight against human smugglers and drug couriers along the U.S.-Mexico border does not come at the expense of these and other endangered creatures or their sensitive environment.

How? Surveillance towers are designed to minimize the threat to bats and birds. Wires carrying electricity are buried so as to prevent electrocution. In some places, officials are required to look under heavy construction equipment before moving it to make sure tortoises haven’t sought shelter in the shade.

Is this overkill? We don’t think so. A memorandum of understanding reached under the Bush administration established a protocol to deal with the complex mission of securing the border without doing undue harm to the environment. Among other things, the system has allowed the Border Patrol to set up operations in officially declared wilderness areas, which under normal conditions are off limits to everyone and everything."  Read more …

 

EPT Opinion: Border cameras – Feds should take control

Texas continues to demonstrate the best way to protect our borders. Again we're employing new technology; others contend a fence is the answer.

Our latest step, after one failed project, will be installing some 400 motion-triggered cameras that send instantaneous email pictures to accounts selected by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The cameras cost $300 apiece.

The latest idea seems to be a good one, but we continue to contend border security is a federal responsibility. And the cost should not be placed on the shoulders of Texans.

This has also been the contention of Gov. Rick Perry, who says he has no alternative but to spend Texas money because the border must be secure. He has spent millions of Texas dollars. And one endeavor is generally believed to be a failure. In 2009, few chose to click on to a pilot program that sent live video feeds of border activity to anyone through the Internet. It was a $2 million dud. In fact, only 13 of 200 allotted cameras were even installed.

On Thursday, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Strass told the El Paso Times Editorial Board that border security is an obvious mandate; he echoed that it is the responsibility of the federal government.

Meanwhile, the strategy to maintain border security is caught up in Washington, D.C., politics. In general, comprehensive immigration reform is not on the table because some contend security cannot be maintained without a border fence.  Read more …

SA Express News: Environment key in border bill

Foes see agency causing harm; backers cite smugglers, cartels.

Both sides of a debate over a proposed law giving the Border Patrol more access to protected lands say they're trying to do what's right for the environment.

The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act would waive laws such as the Endangered Species Act and the Clean Air Act on federal lands within 100 miles of the border, affecting protected areas such as Big Bend National Park.

Environmentalists say the law could contribute to the decline of habitat for animals such as the endangered ocelot and jaguarundi, small wildcats whose range extends into South Texas. Proponents of the bill say restricting Border Patrol activity in federally protected borderlands just creates lanes for smugglers, who have no regard for the environment.

The act moved out of a House committee last month. Similar legislation has been introduced in the Senate.

The bill by U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, allows the Border Patrol to build roads and other infrastructure on federally protected lands by waiving more than two dozen environmental and historical regulations. Agents are inhibited in some places by not being able to move freely through federal lands, said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing agents.  Read more …

 

NYT: 76 Arrested as Officials Break Up Mexico-to-Arizona Drug-Smuggling Ring

"PHOENIX — Law enforcement officials on Monday announced the breakup of a large drug-smuggling ring that used lookouts on hilltops in southern Arizona to move huge quantities of marijuana and other drugs across the Mexican border to users throughout the United States.

Over the last month and a half, federal, state and local officials have arrested 76 people, from organizational bosses to stash-house guards to those who transported the drugs in backpacks and in vehicles, the authorities said. All were linked to the Sinaloa cartel run by Joaquín Guzmán, Mexico’s richest and most wanted outlaw, who goes by the nickname El Chapo, officials said.

Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Arizona officials estimated that the ring had been in operation for at least five years and had generated more than $2 billion in profits by smuggling more than three million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the United States. Such large smuggling rings usually use tractor-trailers to get their contraband across, the authorities said, but this operation relied mostly on migrants on foot straining under their loads."  Read more …

 

APNewsBreak: US northern border checks scaled back

"SEATTLE (AP) — The U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped its controversial practice of routinely searching buses, trains and airports for illegal immigrants at transportation hubs along the northern border and in the U.S. interior, preventing agents from using what had long been an effective tool for tracking down people here illegally, The Associated Press has learned.

Current and former Border Patrol agents said field offices around America began receiving the order last month — soon after the Obama administration announced that to ease an overburdened immigration system, it would allow many illegal immigrants to remain in the country while it focuses on deporting those who have committed crimes.

The routine bus, train and airport checks typically involved agents milling about and questioning people who appeared suspicious, and had long been criticized by immigrant rights groups. Critics said the tactic amounted to racial profiling and violated travelers' civil liberties.

But agents said it was an effective way to catch unlawful immigrants, including smugglers and possible terrorists, who had evaded detection at the border, as well as people who had overstayed their visas. Often, those who evade initial detection head quickly for the nearest public transportation in hopes of reaching other parts of the country." Read more …

 

KOSA West Texas: Addressing Border Issues in Marfa Schools 10/28/11

The following is a press release from CBP.gov

Marfa, Texas – The U.S. Border Patrol’s Marfa sector, in collaboration with local and state law enforcement agencies, has kicked off ‘Operation Detour’, a public awareness campaign to prevent a trend by drug trafficking organizations that lure young adults into engaging in criminal activity. Operation Detour was conceived and designed by members of the Border Patrol’s Del Rio sector.

“Drug smugglers have increased their efforts to recruit teenagers as smugglers, scouts and lookouts,” said Chief Patrol Agent John J. Smietana, Jr. “Being lured into their trap is a very real danger to our young people with severe consequences. Operation Detour is an effort to point out those dangers and to give kids an awareness of the help that is available to them.”

“We appreciate the willingness of the schools to provide this opportunity and we certainly couldn’t get the message out without the assistance of our partners from the law enforcement and criminal justice agencies,” he said.

The campaign consists of an hour-long program that includes two videos explaining how the drug trafficking organizations are organized and what the consequences are for participating in these organizations. The presentation also includes a slideshow that explains the various criminal activities associated with drug smuggling. Also included is a panel discussion with law enforcement officials explaining how their organizations enforce the law and what the potential penalties are for getting caught in narcotics trafficking.

The program, which is designed for high school students, was presented in Marfa on Monday and will be presented in Sierra Blanca and Van Horn later this week. During the week of May 11, it will be presented in Fort Davis, Valentine, Alpine and Sanderson. Students in Presidio will receive the program the following week.

Participating with Marfa Sector are the Alpine Police Department, Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Field Operations, the Hudspeth County Sheriff’s Department, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Jeff Davis County Sheriff’s Department and the area’s Juvenile Probation Departments. Also the Presidio County Sheriff’s Department, the Terrell County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Rangers.  Link to article.