News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Internet Server down

My Internet server is down and being that I live in Mexico I am not sure when it will be back up.

Keep checking back.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Man gets 24 years in railcar deaths case

Centre Daily

Associated Press

HOUSTON - The accused leader of a smuggling ring was sentenced Monday to more than 24 years in prison for his role in the train car deaths of 11 illegal immigrants in 2002.

Juan Fernando Licea-Cedillo bought information about train schedules from a former Union Pacific train conductor so he could know when to put immigrants on trains northbound from the Rio Grande Valley.

Earlier this month Licea-Cedillo tried to withdraw his guilty plea to conspiring to transport and harbor illegal immigrants, but U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt on Monday determined his plea would stand and handed down a term of 24 years and four months.

Hoyt also sentenced the former conductor, Arnulfo Flores Jr., 35, to three years and five months in prison. He had pleaded guilty to conspiring to transport illegal immigrants.

Prosecutors say Licea-Cedillo, 28, from Mexico, led an international smuggling ring from January 2000 through February 2003, charging up to $1,000.

On June 15, 2002, 11 mostly Central American immigrants were loaded into a grain hopper in Harlingen. It couldn't be opened from the inside.

Prosecutors said Licea-Cedillo lost track of the rail car after Border Patrol agents raided the train, but the trapped immigrants escaped detection and the train continued north. Shortly thereafter, they died of dehydration and hypothermia.

The rail car sat in a storage facility near Oklahoma City for four months, and was then sent to Denison, Iowa. A cleaning crew there discovered the mostly skeletonized remains. It took about seven months before the victims were identified through DNA tests.

Licea-Cedillo pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge last year, but tried to withdraw his plea, claiming his lawyers didn't explain to him the consequences. He told the judge through an interpreter he didn't know he would be held responsible for the deaths.

Licea-Cedillo and Flores were among four members of the ring indicted on charges of smuggling and hiding illegal immigrants. The other two, both from Mexico, remain fugitives.

Border water, sewage troubles highlighted

The Tucson Citizen

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Population increases and inadequate water systems are among the top environmental concerns along the Mexico-U.S. border, an Arizona environmental official says.

The population within 60 miles of the border is growing by about 7 percent a year and is expected to double by 2025, and the influx is putting pressure on water systems in the region, especially in Mexico, said Placido dos Santos, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality's border coordinator.

"If there's no planning and no additional water supply, there's going to be conflict," dos Santos told a group of about 20 water professionals in Tucson yesterday.

One key issue is the flow of sewage – treated and untreated – from Mexico into the United States. Because of inadequate sewer systems in Mexico, raw sewage flows from time to time into the U.S. in Naco and Nogales.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has helped deal with the problem by funding chlorine tablets used to disinfect the sewage.

"In August we had some serious events, and they went through 4,000 pounds," he said.

Treated sewage flows into the U.S. through the Nogales International Waste Water Treatment Plant, which treats all of the sewage captured in Nogales, Son.

The plant recently got $59.5 million from the EPA's Border Environment Infrastructure Fund. The money will be used to help ensure that the plant's effluent, which is discharged into the Santa Cruz River, meets Arizona's environmental standards, dos Santos said.

The two nations have been working toward solving border environmental problems through several binational efforts, including Border 2012, a binational effort launched in 2002 to improve the border environment.

"This Border 2012 program is focused on environmental quality for the purpose of improving public health," dos Santos said.

In a communique released in March, Border 2012 officials highlighted a need for more stringent efforts to improve the environment for the seven Mexican and 26 American tribes within 60 miles of the border.

Though recent EPA projects have provided safe drinking water and wastewater management for more than 8,000 Indian homes in California and Arizona, conditions are worse south of the border.

Few indigenous people in the Mexican border region have access to clean water or basic sanitation, the report says. Priorities for tribal lands include seeking funds through the EPA's Tribal Border Infrastructure Program for both sides of the border. Tribal lands need about $60 million in water improvements, the report said.

Mexico arrests major cocaine kingpin from Juarez

AZ Central
Associated Press

Nov. 21, 2005 08:30 AM

MEXICO CITY - Mexican federal agents have arrested a top drug kingpin who seized control of the powerful Juarez cartel and is accused of smuggling five tons of cocaine a month into the United States, Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said Monday.

Ricardo Garcia Urquiza, known as "the Doctor" was detained in Mexico City along with 11 other people, Cabeza de Vaca said.

He said that Garcia was responsible for bringing up to 20 percent of the drugs into the United States.

Lawmaker: Border road might stem illegal immigration

AZ Central
Associated Press
Nov. 22, 2005 07:05 AM

Building a road along Arizona's border with Mexico could stem the flow of illegal immigrants entering the United States, a state lawmaker says.

Rep. Doug Quelland, R-Phoenix, said U.S. Border Patrol agents would be able to head off groups of immigrants before they enter the country if there were a road.

Once in the country, Quelland said the illegal immigrants are afforded certain rights that waste the time of border agents and taxpayers' money.

Quelland filed a bill last week asking Arizona to spend about $6 million on the road that would wind its way from Douglas to Yuma.

The road, which would not be open to the public, would be a lane-and- half wide and would also help to deliver medical assistance quickly to those needing it.

"This is not just me being an ultraconservative, or whatever you want to label me," Quelland. "This is also about me being a humanitarian."

Each year, dozens of immigrants die in the Arizona's remote desert regions after crossing the border.

Money for the road would be evenly divided among the state's four border counties - Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz, and Yuma.

However, the bill severely restricts the state from building on Indian reservations, military bases, federal land and private property without the owner's permission.

Jose Garza, a spokesman for the Border Patrol, said the bill's restrictions would do little to help his agency where it needs it the most.

Garza said agents have access to most of the border except for federal lands and mountainous regions where it's nearly impossible to build a road.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Border Wars

U.S. News and World Report

More illegal immigrants. More violence. More death. The public has had it. Now the Bush administration has a new plan. But will it matter?

By Angie C. Marek

YUMA, ARIZ. --When Border Patrol agents here meet for "the muster," their gathering before the night shift, they've got a lot to talk about. On a recent evening, shift commander Tony Martinez ticked off a laundry list of events from the night before. Scores of illegal immigrants had rushed the 8-foot metal fence that separates San Luis, Ariz., from Mexicali, Mexico--a tactic known as the "banzai run." A routine checkpoint stop turned up 251 bundles of marijuana in a rental car. And a report out of Miami indicated that some illegals were getting plastic surgery on their fingertips so their prints wouldn't be recognized by the FBI's database. "Remember Casa Grande," Martinez warned, referring to an incident when an agent found three axes and three loaded guns in an illegal immigrant's duffel bag. "And please, be careful.

Read the entire article at U.S. News and World Report

Inheriting a Nation

November 20,2005
Daniel Perry
The Monitor

GOP-led push to end birthright citizenship brewing in U.S. House

McALLEN — A Republican-led effort in the U.S. House of Representatives seeks to change a constitutional amendment that grants American citizenship to any child born on the nation’s soil.

In an effort to deal with illegal immigration, some congressmen are actively discussing the possibility of banning birthright citizenship, also known as "anchor baby provisions," claiming undocumented women have babies on U.S. soil so their children can gain access to this country’s services and benefits.

When those children turn 21, they in turn can petition the federal government for citizenship for their parents and siblings.

The 14th Amendment gives citizenship to anybody born within the United States. To change this or any other amendment, there has to be a proposal in Congress or a constitutional convention from two-thirds of the nation’s state legislatures. Thirty-eight of 50 states must approve any changes to the constitution.

Read the entire article at The Moniter

Lawmaker: Terror war spilling acros the border

Concern rising following arrest of al-Qaida suspect in Mexico

Posted: November 16, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Jon Dougherty
© 2005

A U.S. lawmaker says elements of the war on terror are now spilling across the nation's southwestern border, and that colleagues he's spoken to who have seen the problem first-hand, as he has, say they felt safer "during trips to Iraq than they would have in a pickup truck on our southern border."

Rep. John A. Culberson, R-Texas, also says there has been an increase in apprehensions of so-called "special interest aliens," or SIAs – aliens from countries where al-Qaida is known to be in operation – along the U.S.-Mexico border, and that American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are aware of it.

Read the rest at World Net Daily.


Newsletter for the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services.


-ICE has arrested more than 6,500 predators nationwide and 465 in the New York metropolitan area under Operation Predator-

BOHEMIA – Martin D. Ficke, Special Agent-in-Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in New York today announced the arrests of 18 predators and sex offenders in Nassau County (NY).

The arrests were made by ICE special agents and officers from the Nassau County Probation Departments. All of the men arrested today had prior convictions in Nassau County for sex offenses. Among the arrested was a citizen of Guyana and a legal permanent resident of the United States, who was twice convicted of rape in the 3rd degree for having raped the same 15-year-old girl on two separate occasions. Also arrested was a citizen of El Salvador who is illegally present in the country and convicted of sexual abuse in the 2nd degree. His victim was a 13-year-old girl.

“We have zero tolerance for those that prey on our children. All of the heinous criminals arrested today forfeited their privilege to remain in this country,” said Ficke. “ICE is committed to restoring integrity to our nation’s immigration system by identifying, arresting and removing criminal aliens who terrorize our community. We will continue to work closely with local and state law enforcement agencies to take these criminals off our streets.”

Those arrested today represent the following countries: Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and the Dominican Republic.

All of those arrested are at an ICE detention facility in Monmouth County, New Jersey where they will be scheduled for removal hearings before an impartial immigration judge. Since July 2005, 55 predators and sex offenders have been arrested in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Ficke expressed his appreciation to the Nassau County Criminal Justice Coordinator Kevin Lowry for assisting ICE in today’s enforcement action. He also expressed his appreciation to the Nassau and Suffolk law enforcement communities for their continuing cooperation and participation in this ongoing initiative.

These actions are the latest under the Department of Homeland Security’s “Operation Predator.” Operation Predator protects children by investigating and presenting for prosecution pedophiles, Internet predators, human traffickers, international sex tourists and other predatory criminals. Since Operation Predator was launched on July 9, 2003, ICE agents have arrested over 6,500 child predators and sex offenders nationwide and removed more than 3,100 criminal alien predators. With today’s operation, the New York ICE Office has arrested over 465 predators.

ICE has a toll-free number for the public to provide leads to its enforcement team on any violations, including tips about child pornography, child sex offenders and others preying on children. The toll-free number (1-866-DHS-2ICE) is monitored 24 hours a day by officers at the ICE Law Enforcement Support Center. For more information on Operation Predator, please visit the ICE website at

-- ICE --

Inside ICE

The latest newsletter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Frontline News

This is the latest issue from U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Two Mexican police killed in city on U.S. border

The San Diego Union-Tribune
10:05 a.m. November 19, 2005
CHIHUAHUA, Mexico – Unidentified attackers killed two Mexican police officers in Ciudad Juarez on the U.S. border in a resurgence of drug-related violence this week, authorities said Saturday.

Hit men armed with assault rifles gunned down municipal police officer Jorge Luis Carrillo as he patrolled the streets of the city, which lies south of the border from El Paso, Texas, Friday. More than 30 shots were fired in the attack.

Later in the day police found the body of a second local officer, Oscar Lucero, in an abandoned car in the city. He had been suffocated with a plastic bag and his body showed signs of torture, Chihuahua state prosecutors said.

The killings came less than a month after police found the bodies of a former Interpol chief and his lawyer crammed into oil drums and sealed with concrete in a residential area of Juarez. Both had been suffocated with a plastic bag.

The industrial city of 1.3 million is a notorious drug trafficking hub controlled by the so-called Juarez cartel, a loose affiliation of drug gangs from the western state of Sinaloa that are prone to bloody feuding.

Last year there was a spike in drug-related killings in the city triggered by a round of high-value cocaine and marijuana seizures there, although gangland violence has been eclipsed in recent months by a turf war further east on the U.S. border.

More than 160 people have been killed since January in Nuevo Laredo, across from Laredo, Texas, most in a battle between the local Gulf Cartel and rival gangs from Sinaloa.

Border Patrol follows migrants to mountain east of San Diego

The San Diego Union Tribune
By Elliot Spagat


10:39 a.m. November 19, 2005

DULZURA – Immigrant smugglers once avoided the rugged, chaparral-covered canyons east of San Diego for easier crossing points – but now the Otay Mountains are one of the busiest areas along California's border with Mexico.

As smugglers try to stay a step ahead of the law, the U.S. Border Patrol has followed with its only unit of agents who are ferried around in helicopters and then set out on foot in search of illegal immigrants.

The Border Patrol formed its Air Mobile Unit in 2003 to monitor remote parts of western California, where tens of thousands of immigrants cross each year.

Increased enforcement in San Diego and El Paso, Texas, has squeezed border crossers into less hospitable corridors, including deserts where hundreds die each year. The Otay Mountains are not the deadliest point along the 2,000-mile border, but they are treacherous.

Dehydration threatens as summer temperatures race past 100; hypothermia is a danger during winter. Broken wrists and twisted ankles are common and it's easy to get lost on the lattice of trails. In the last year, 23 migrants have been reported dead in the Border Patrol's San Diego sector, which includes Otay (pronounced OH-tie).

Given their outdoor office, the agents must be fit.

Mark Cary, a former Marine, once took nine hours to trek seven miles from the dilapidated border fence to the nearest major road, California Route 94. Migrants typically take two days to cover the same route, he says.

All but two of the Air Mobile Unit's 54 agents are men. All but one is under 40 years old – and he's a supervisor with a desk job.

One recent evening, two of the agents broke thick sweats as they sped downhill over granite boulders and branches burned during California's 2003 wildfires.

It was hardly more than an hour before they found what they were looking for.

One agent pointed excitedly to the right, stepped off the narrow trail, clutched his rifle and peered through the dense brush. Within moments, 14 Mexicans were in U.S. custody.

The agents' shift began shortly before sunset at San Diego's Brownfield Municipal Airport, where nearly every night Black Hawk helicopters take agents into mountains where one canyon is known among migrants as "La Espina del Diablo" – the devil's spine – and trails are named Dead Cow and Tequila Draw.

Though flying saves time, noise from choppers hovering ahead can alert smugglers to hide.

Just outside Dulzura, a hamlet about 25 miles east of San Diego, Cary and fellow agent Jeff Mielke struck out on one of the countless footpaths blazed by migrants.

Words were few and flashlights kept off to avoid drawing attention. After hitting a plateau midway down the canyon, the agents found the 14 migrants – their guide has abandoned them – resting on rocks near one of the makeshift shrines scattered along the border.

The shrine – a cave-like boulder formation just over a mile from Mexico that can fit one squatted adult – contained three burning candles, dozens of extinguished candles and hundreds of prayer cards. One card bore Santo Toribio Romo, the Mexican patron of migrants.

"You're all illegals?" Cary asked in Spanish, as he emptied backpacks of tuna cans, water jugs, pills and prayer cards and frisked each person for weapons. Several nodded yes. Cary said everyone was under arrest.

Jose Ambrosio Ruiz, a 23-year-old construction worker who was headed to Los Angeles, said the group had been waiting near the shrine for four hours.

"I'm tired," said Ruiz, who flew the night before from southern Mexico to the border city of Tijuana, where he spent the night in a hotel. He was to pay his smuggler $1,500 when he arrived in Los Angeles.

The agents used white, plastic bands to tie the wrists of 11 men into pairs or threesomes to prevent them from running. A 41-year-old woman and her teenage daughter and son were allowed to walk untied.

The Mexicans walked quietly, occasionally cracking jokes but mostly keeping to themselves. Many had backpacks filled with water, tuna and pain relievers.

With one agent leading and the other behind, the migrants walked six hours over moonlit rocks and scrub. They trekked briskly through the oak-lined canyon floor and past a rusted cattle fence about 30 yards north of the unmarked border. The fence has holes big enough for cows to walk through. During their only rest stop, an agent passed around beef jerky and water.

As the migrants turned uphill on a switch-back trail around 10 p.m., the 13-year-old boy began to limp. He collapsed on the trail every five minutes, muttering "I can't" in Spanish.

Cary sighed in exasperation.

"You play soccer. ... You walk to school," he told the boy. "This is nothing."

Another group of agents in the same canyon called periodically by radio to report their arrests – first a group of 15, then eight, finally two.

At midnight, the agents converged near three paddy wagons, which took the migrants to a Border Patrol station for interviews and processing. Back at the airport hangar, the agents calculated that they walked 4.2 miles over eight hours, dropping 2,900 feet in altitude and then climbing 200 feet.

All told, the two teams arrested 64 people, adding to the unit's total of about 16,000 to date.

Typically, nearly all migrants return voluntarily to Mexico without facing charges, escorted in vans to the main border station at the Tijuana-San Diego crossing. This night is no different.

One Mexican had been deported three times before. Another said he was a foot guide for the smugglers and was to be paid $200 a person. Neither met federal prosecution guidelines.

"That's what's so demoralizing," said Chuck Albrecht, the Air Mobile Unit's field operations supervisor. "You know a lot of them are just going to try again eight hours later."

Four arrested in Mexican border city on child selling charges

Read the article here.

Cowboys take up AK47s to combat drug runners on Mexican frontier

The Telegraph via The Drudge Report
By Philip Sherwell, near Nogales, Arizona
(Filed: 20/11/2005)

As he careered along the rock-strewn gulley towards his silver mine deep in the Sonoran desert of southern Arizona, Roger McCaslin first checked his bowie knife, then his pistol, and finally his Kalashnikov. From the road, he had already noticed that something was wrong.

"The gate's broken and the door on the trailer's open. They've been here, I know it," he said ominously. "I just hope they've moved on - for their sake."

Under the harsh sun, Mr McCaslin's black cowboy hat cast a shadow over his droopy moustache and a face so deeply creased that it resembled cracked saddle leather.

Welcome to the Wild West 2005, where modern-day cowboys still guard their land from interlopers - but using AK47s and four-wheel drives instead of Winchester rifles and horses.

Mr McCaslin's small mine sits on a knoll of red earth and scrub near the Mexican border. Like his 19th-century predecessors, he is sure there is money in "them thar hills" after a geological survey indicated there may be rich veins of silver.

Today, however, he has other priorities. For the mine also sits in the middle of a network of trails used by heavily-armed Mexican trafficking gangs to smuggle people and drugs into America.

Notoriously porous, the border has reached new levels of lawlessness this year as smugglers, known as "coyotes", have become increasingly brazen, willing to fire on anyone - from border patrols to the likes of Mr McCaslin - who gets in their way.

President George W. Bush plans to announce a border security initiative in coming weeks as part of his effort to win back support for his presidency from doubting conservatives.

The political row about America's "soft southern underbelly" - bolstered by fears that terrorists may slip in through it - has led to growing support among Republicans for a radical plan to build a 2,000-mile steel and wire fence along the entire border. The Homeland Security Department says that such a fence would be a waste of money, however.

Meanwhile, in a high-profile campaign launched earlier this year, hundreds of volunteers flocked to Arizona from across America to join the Minuteman Project of civilian "monitors" patrolling the border to record illegal crossings. Denounced as "vigilantes" by President Bush and as dangerous amateurs by the United States border patrol (many of the volunteers carried legal side-arms), they have drawn further attention to the problems of border security.

Mr McCaslin, 50, says US patrols have increased in recent weeks as public pressure has mounted - and as he edged up the track towards his land, a helicopter swept repeatedly over a nearby patch of bush.

Kalashnikov in hand, he strode up to the 1950s-style Airstream trailer home where he stays when working at the mine. He kicked open the door which swung on broken hinges. Clearly there had been overnight visitors: the interior had been ransacked, shelves pulled out, coffee and biscuits scattered across the carpet and the bed torn apart.

They had already left, to the apparent disappointment of Mr McCaslin, whose regular job is as a wrangler (horseman) at a "dude ranch" where visitors saddle up for rides through the desert.

Not every day passes without confrontation, however. He recounted several gunfights with the "coyotes", including one occasion when he and his business partner came under fire at dusk as they barbecued steaks.

"They started the war when they started shooting at us. One time, my partner definitely hit one of them. The guy got away, but I doubt he got far. His friends won't have taken him to hospital. They probably just left him out there somewhere," said Mr McCaslin, gesturing to the inhospitable terrain where rattlesnakes and tarantulas add to the dangers.

From his vantage point at the mine, he has watched long lines of illegal immigrants traipsing north through the desert, leaving their detritus as they passed. Discarded everywhere, in disused mines and beneath bushes, are the cheap clothes and bags that they abandon to travel faster and less conspicuously. Empty water bottles litter the landscape.

Once Mr McCaslin found a 300lb stash of marijuana hidden in a hollow. "I called up the border patrol who came and took it away. Then that night I sat up here and watched the car lights of the coyotes as they searched and searched for the stuff. Boy, they must have been mad," he said with a satisfied grin.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

U.S. Representatives John Culberson and Silvestre Reyes Introduce Border Law Enforcement Act

Today, Representatives John Culberson (R-TX) and Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) introduced H.R. 4360, the Border Law Enforcement Act, which will provide authority and direct federal funding for border county Sheriffs to support Border Patrol agents in securing our Southern border. The bill implements a plan called “Operation Linebacker” proposed by the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition to form a secondary line of defense to protect the border.

Culberson praised the knowledge and expertise of the bill’s coauthor, Representative Reyes, saying “Congressman Reyes proved as Chief of the McAllen and El Paso sectors of the Border Patrol that criminals and illegal border crossings can be deterred by a highly visible law enforcement presence. Our bill expands on the model he established as Border Patrol Chief with Operation Hold the Line.”

“As a former Border Patrol Sector Chief, I know from experience that local law enforcement officials can help the Border Patrol carry out their important mission,” said Reyes. “This bill will provide them with adequate funding to do so, and as we know from Operation Stonegarden in El Paso, this strategy has already been proven.” El Paso’s Operation Stonegarden enlisted local law enforcement to assist federal law enforcement officials in the fight against narco-terrorism and potential terrorists in 2004.

The bill would authorize $100 million to pay the direct costs of training, equipping and deploying Sheriffs and reserve deputy Sheriffs, as well as overtime costs for these personnel. The bill also allows up to 20 percent of the authorized funds to be used for building detention beds to house illegal aliens who are taken into custody.

Culberson also announced a down payment of $5 million for the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition that he secured in the conference report for the FY2006 Science, State, Justice, and Commerce Appropriations Bill. “I want to thank Chairman Frank Wolf for providing this critical funding and for his commitment to securing our borders,” Culberson said.

America needs boots on the ground to protect our Southern border from armed and dangerous criminals, violent gang members, drug smugglers and potential terrorists. We have seen that the best response to emergencies is providing local officials with the resources they need to do the job. Border county Sheriffs have assured me they can have additional men on the ground within 90 days of this bill becoming law, working closely with Border Patrol agents to protect our lives, safety and property,” Culberson added.

The bipartisan bill has been endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas, the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition, FAIR, NumbersUSA, and 9/11 Families for a Secure America. Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Henry Bonilla (R-TX), Lamar Smith (R-TX), and Michael McCaul (R-TX) joined 26 Members of Congress as original cosponsors of H.R. 4360.

Tuberculosis along the Mexican Border

Here is the link to an article in the Mexican Newspaper La Cronica.

It states:

“El área más problemática en México para el contagio de la tuberculosis es la frontera, por lo que se considera un problema de salud binacional”.

"The most problematic area in Mexico for the contagion of tuberculosis is the border, for it is considered an problem of bi-national health."

Explicó que para México el reto es atender adecuada y oportunamente a un promedio de 22 mil pacientes de tuberculosis pulmonar, y 25 mil de tuberculosis extrapulmonar que es la cifra actual del sector salud, y disminuir la mortalidad anual que se ubica en cinco mil casos.

He explained that for Mexico the challenge is to give adequate attention and appropriately to an average of 22 thousand patients of pulmonary tuberculosis and 25 thousand of extrapulmonary tuberculosis which is the actual health sector figure, and to diminsh the annual mortality tha is right around five thousand cases.

In contrast, according to the CDC, TB rates in the US have decreased from 84,304 or 52.6 cases per 100,000 people in 1953 to 14,517 cases or 4.9 per 100,000. Whereas the death rates in the US have dropped from 19.707 or 12.4 cases per 100,000 in 1953 to 704 or 0.2 deaths per 100,000 in 2003.

Even if the reported number from Mexico are correct, they had 47,000 cases of TB and 5000 deaths in a country of 110,000,000 compared to the US, a country of 296,000,000 with 14,517 cases of which over 4,000 were of Hispanic origin.

But, again, I caution that any numbers coming from Mexico are probably greatly underestimated and are undoubtedly much higher in Mexico and amoung the illegals in the US who are not cgoing to seek out medical attention for "a cough".

NBC's Law & Order smears Minuteman Project

Read the entry here at the Immigration Blog.

Illegal Workers at Wal-Mart Site Deported

Read the entire story here.

Agents seize more than 400 pounds of pot

Yuma Sun
Nov 18, 2005

The U.S. Border Patrol made three marijuana seizures valued at more than a quarter-million dollars in total Thursday at Interstate 8 checkpoints around Yuma.

At 8 a.m., a Dodge Caravan entered the westbound I-8 checkpoint near Winterhaven and a drug-sniffing dog alerted to the vehicle, according to a Border Patrol release. Further investigation revealed 48 bundles of marijuana, weighing 143.7 pounds, concealed in the gas tank. The drugs had a street value of $114,960.

Two hours later, the same drug-sniffing dog alerted agents to a Chrysler sedan that entered the checkpoint.

During a search of the vehicle, agents discovered 175.6 pounds of marijuana in 104 packages concealed in various compartments throughout the interior of the car. The marijuana had a street value of $140,480.

"We see this as a sign of effectiveness with our checkpoints in that the narcotics seizures we're making are not just vehicles with large amounts thrown in the back," said Michael Gramley, spokesman for the Border Patrol's Yuma sector. "Smug- glers have to resort to smaller amounts of marijuana in hidden compartments, which is more time-consuming to the smugglers and more costly."

The driver of the Caravan, a U.S. citizen, and the driver of the Chrysler, a lawfully admitted permanent resident alien, are both in custody for pending criminal charges. The drivers, marijuana and vehicles were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

At 7:30 p.m., a 1992 Chevrolet Lumina entered the eastbound I-8 checkpoint east of Yuma and a dog alerted agents to the rear of the vehicle, Gramley said.

On secondary inspection, agents found that the inside of the rear seat, rear door panels and the area below the rear seat were filled with packages of marijuana weighing 92.5 pounds.

The estimated value of the drugs was $74,000. Gramley said the 38-year-old driver of the vehicle was a lawfully admitted permanent resident. The driver, drugs and vehicle were all turned over to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Gramley said.

Jeffrey Gautreaux can be reached at or 539-6858.

© Copyright,

Friday, November 18, 2005

125 Illegal Workers Found at Wal-Mart Site

Read the story here.

Kidnapping Charges for Seven Mexican Cops

Fox News

Friday, November 11, 2005

MEXICO CITY — Mexican prosecutors announced Thursday they have filed kidnapping and organize crime charges against seven police officers accused of protecting hit men working for the feared Tijuana-based Arellano Felix drug cartel.

The men served in the police department in Ensenada, a tourist town 45 miles south of the California border, and they allegedly kidnapped people involved in the drug trade and held them for ransom, the Attorney General's Office said in a press statement.

They also protected members of the "Black Commando," a group of hit men working for the Arellano Felix cartel, authorities said.

They are being held at a prison in Mexico City pending trial.

Authorities arrested the group in Ensenada in August on suspicion they were operating a kidnap ring and prosecutors say they were involved in at least three recent kidnappings, one of which ended with the slaying of a captive.

The group includes the former deputy director for operations of the Ensenada police, Francisco Javier Barriga, the department's Tactical Group chief, Jorge Alberto Cisneros, and five other police officers.

Designer giving $215 specialty sneakers to illegal immigrants for border run

San Diego Union Tribune (pictures on line)

By Elliot Spagat


12:24 a.m. November 17, 2005

SAN DIEGO – The high-top sneakers cost $215 at a San Diego boutique, but the designer is giving them away to migrants before they cross to this side of the U.S.-Mexico border.

These are no ordinary shoes.

A compass and flashlight dangle from one shoelace. The pocket in the tongue is for money or pain relievers. A rough map of the border region is printed on a removable insole.

They are red, white and green, the colors of the Mexican flag. On the back ankle, a drawing of Mexico's patron saint of migrants.

On this side of the border, the shoes sit in art collections or the closets of well-heeled sneaker connoisseurs. On the other side, in Tijuana, it's a utilitarian affair: Immigrants to be are happy to have the sturdy, lightweight shoes for the hike – or dash – into the United States.

Their designer is Judi Werthein, an Argentine artist who moved to New York in 1997 – legally, she notes.

On recent evening in Tijuana, after giving away 50 pairs at a migrant shelter, Werthein waved the insole and pointed to Interstate 8, the main road between San Diego and Phoenix.

"This blue line is where you want to go," Werthein, 38, said in Spanish.

"Good luck! You're all very courageous," she told the cheering crowd of about 50 men huddled in a recreation room after dinner.

"God bless you!" several cried back.

Werthein has concluded that shoes are a border crosser's most important garment.

"The main problem that people have when they're crossing is their feet," Werthein. "If people are going to cross anyway, at least this will make it safer."

Only 1,000 pairs of the "Brinco" sneakers (it means "Jump" in Spanish) have been made – in China, for $17 each. The shoes were introduced in August at inSite, an art exhibition in San Diego and Tijuana whose sponsors include nonprofit foundations and private collectors.

Benefactors put up $40,000 for the project; Werthein gets a $5,000 stipend, plus expenses.

Some say Werthein is encouraging illegal immigration – but she rejects the criticism, saying people will cross with or without her shoes.

Eloisa Haudenschild, who displays a pair of the sneakers at her resplendent San Diego home, said the shoes portray an uncomfortable reality about the perils of crossing the border.

"It's a reality that we don't like to look at," she said. "That's what an artist points out."

Across the border, several curious migrants waiting for sunset along a cement river basin approached Werthein as she took white shoe boxes out of a sport utility vehicle. One man already wore a dirty pair of Brincos. Another, Felipe de Jesus Olivar Canto, slipped into a size 11 and said he would use them instead of his black leather shoes.

"These are much more comfortable for hiking," said Olivar Canto. He said he was heading for $6.75-an-hour work installing doors and windows in Santa Ana, about 90 miles north of border. "The ones I have are more dressy."

From there, Werthein went to Casa del Migrante, a Tijuana shelter that will receive a share of the proceeds from Brincos sold in the United States.

"Does it have a sensor to alert us to the Border Patrol?" joked Javier Lopez, 33, who said he had a $10-an-hour job hanging drywall waiting for him in Denver.

To research the best design over two years, Werthein interviewed shoe designers, migrants, aid workers, even an immigrant smuggler. She joined the Mexican government's Grupo Beta migrant-aid society on long border hikes. She heard from a Salvadoran woman in Tijuana who said she was kidnapped and raped by her smuggler.

Based on those interviews, she added a pocket – migrants told her they were often robbed. She also added the flashlight – many cross at night.

Some get lost – hence, the compass and map.

"If you get lost," she told the men at the shelter, "just go north."

In downtown San Deigo, a boutique called Blends displays the shoes on a black pedestal. Werthein says Blends and Printed Matter, a store in Manhattan, have sold about 350 pair.

"I wouldn't wear them and I wouldn't want my husband to wear them," said Blends browser Antonieta LaRussa, 28. "But the cause is awesome. There's so much opposition to immigration. She's looking at it from the other side of the fence and asking why."

8,000 counterfeit sports jackets seized in Nogales

The Tucson Citizen
Tuesday, November 8, 2005


Eight thousand fewer counterfeit Duke Blue Devils, Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees jackets will be making their way to Mexican markets after federal agents stopped a truck at the Nogales Port of Entry.

Early last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the jackets, as well as fake jackets for other teams, in a Mexico-bound truck. The jackets were manufactured in Korea, shipped through Long Beach, Calif., and trucked into Nogales.

Agents were tipped off about the jackets' cheap quality, said U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Brian Levin. It was the first time in years agents had found such a large quantity of counterfeit goods headed to Mexico, he said.

In the United States, the authentic jackets go for between $80 to $150, but counterfeit ones sell for a fraction of that in Mexico.

Counterfeit goods sold in the United States cost sports teams around $60 million a year in lost revenues, said Cortney Martin of the Coalition to Advance the Protection of Sports Logos.

'Paisano' program protects migrants

The Tucson Citizen

Friday, November 11, 2005

'Paisano' program protects migrants

The Mexican government wants to stop abuse dealt out by officials during holidays.

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY - Mexican President Vicente Fox inaugurated this year's "Paisano" program on Wednesday to protect migrants and other Mexicans returning to their homeland from the United States for their holidays.

Fox promised to set up a hot line so that migrants who face abuse or discrimination from Mexican officials can call directly to the his office to make their complaints heard.

Because migrants often return for the holidays bearing gifts, cash and new cars, they are often the target of extortion or robbery, sometimes involving police or other officials. The Paisano program, started in 1989, is intended to prevent such abuse and ensure a warm welcome for returning countrymen.

"Woe to any public servant at any level who we catch treating returning paisanos badly," Fox told a meeting of representatives of Mexicans abroad at the Mexico City international airport, where many migrants arrive.

Fox said he would personally oversee the program.

"The president will be traveling constantly from now through the end of the (holiday) season, without announcing the date or place of visits, to ensure that all public servants are fulfilling their duties," Fox said.

The program will also use undercover inspectors to ensure nobody is shaken down for bribes at airports or border gates.

During the program, which runs through January, about 1,300 volunteers will staff 113 posts around the country to help guide and orient returning migrants.

Migrants swell ranks of uninsured, study says

The Tucson Citizen
Friday, November 11, 2005

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - The increase in the number of people without health insurance has occurred largely because of illegal immigration, a study found.

Researchers at the RAND Corp., a nonpartisan think tank, analyzed data received from about 2,400 people in Los Angeles County in 2000 and 2001, and applied that information to the nation's undocumented population at large.

The number of uninsured adults in the United States grew by about 8.7 million between 1980 and 2000. If the trend for Los Angeles County held true for the rest of the country, about a third of that growth can be attributable to illegal immigrants.

The study does not diminish the severity of the problem of the uninsured. Nor does it call for some sort of health insurance coverage for illegal immigrants.

"That's where I don't go," said James Smith, a senior economist at RAND. "That's not a scientific question."

Rather, the study shows that any meaningful impact on reducing the number of uninsured has to take into account the issue of illegal immigration, he said.

"There are pros and cons of providing insurance to the undocumented that should be debated openly," he said. "Undocumented immigrants make up too much of the issue to be ignored or hidden by polite silence."

The study also indicates that, since the number of illegal immigrants is growing rapidly, "we can expect that the uninsured population is going to grow rapidly as well," said another study co-author, Neeraj Sood.

The researchers said about one in five illegal immigrant adults have some health insurance coverage through their work, but virtually none of them purchase it on their own. Also, they rarely make use of public insurance through programs such as Medicaid.

The study was published in the journal Health Affairs.


To see Health Affairs journal online, go to:

Agents make cocaine seizure at San Luis port

The Yuma Sun
Nov 17, 2005

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis seized 61 pounds of cocaine Wednesday — the third cocaine seizure in a month.

CBP spokesman Brian Levin said officers are not doing anything differently during inspections but the frequency and size of cocaine seizures are definitely up.

"It's looking like it's going to be a banner year," he said.

At 10:20 a.m. Wednesday, an officer questioning the driver of a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche noted discrepancies in the driver's answers and requested an intensive inspection of the vehicle, according to a CBP release. A trained CBP dog, Nelo, sniffed the truck and alerted agents to the vehicle.

Officers then used an X-ray to scan the vehicle and found 25 packages of cocaine hidden inside. The driver was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

On Nov. 3, 45 pounds of cocaine was seized at the port, and 60 pounds was found Oct. 15. The three seizures have a street value of $1.5 million.

"There's no particular reason I can attribute it to," Levin said of the increased seizures. "I'm sure that's something that our officers are looking into."

During fiscal year 2004, officers seized more than 700 pounds of cocaine at the port of entry, according to CBP.

© Copyright,

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Rep. Duncan Hunter on Border Security

Wednesday, November 09, 2005
This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 8, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight, a new FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll says 78 percent of Americans believe the government is not doing enough to secure the borders. And 51 percent want a wall built on the Mexican border.

So last week, legislation was introduced that would build such a barrier. It's called True Enforcement and Border Security Act.

And joining us now from Washington is California Congressman Duncan Hunter, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.

Now in your district, you fought against, I guess, environmental interests and other special interest groups to complete a fence. And then, that fence is almost completed south of San Diego, correct?

Read the rest of the transcipt of here.

Tijuana-Otay Mesa tunnel discovered


November 17, 2005

Mexican and U.S. authorities are investigating a cross-border tunnel found yesterday near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry.

The Tijuana police department, in a statement released last night, said the tunnel was about 50 feet long, and its entrance was accessible from a street on the Mexican side.

The tunnel, which was found about 5 p.m. Wednesday, is connected to a sewage or water drain line on the U.S. side, Tijuana police officials said.

Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, said the passageway was being guarded overnight on both sides, and U.S. authorities would learn more about it today.

"Once morning comes then we will be able to bring equipment in to start digging it up to know more about what we got," she said.

Mack said the tunnel's discovery was part of the agency's ongoing investigation on secret passageways along the border. Mexican authorities said it was a collaborative effort.

Tijuana's police chief, Genaro Carrillo Elvira, said in the news release that the tunnel appeared to be used to smuggle people or drugs across the border.

Read the Union Tribune article here.

Momentum builds for fence along U.S.-Mexican border

A once-radical idea to build a 2,000-mile steel-and-wire fence on the U.S.-Mexican border is gaining momentum amid warnings that terrorists can easily sneak into the country.

In Congress, a powerful Republican lawmaker this week proposed building such a fence across the entire border and two dozen other lawmakers signed on. And via the Internet, a group called has raised enough money to air TV ads warning that the border is open to terrorists.

Even at the Homeland Security Department, which opposes building a border-long fence, Secretary Michael Chertoff this fall waived environmental laws so that construction can continue on a 14-mile section of fence near San Diego that has helped border agents stem the flow of illegal migrants and drug runners.

“You have to be able to enforce your borders,” says California Rep. Duncan Hunter, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He's proposing a fence from San Diego to Brownsville, Texas. “It's no longer just an immigration issue. It's now a national security issue.”

Colin Hanna of says “there is incredible momentum on this issue,” fueled by the specter of another Sept. 11. His group aired TV ads in Washington, D.C., this fall and plans more next year.

Fencing the border, originally proposed in the debate over how to stop illegal immigration, is controversial. The Bush administration argues that a Berlin Wall-style barrier would be a huge waste of money — costing up to $8 billion.

Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar says it makes more sense to use a mix of additional agents, better surveillance and tougher enforcement of immigration laws — and fences.

But Hunter points to the experience in San Diego, where the number of illegal migrants arrested is one-sixth of what it was before the fence was built.

“People have made stupid editorial comments about the Great Wall of China,” he says, “but the only thing that has worked is that fence.”

Find the original article here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Homeland Security: Red Alert

November 15, 2005


By Michelle Malkin

Things are going from bad to worse at the Bush Department of Homeland Security.

Do not be fooled by DHS chief Michael Chertoff’s tough-sounding rhetoric.

While the Washington muckety-mucks pay lip service to reforming the nation’s broken detention and deportation system, catch-and-release of immigration lawbreakers remains the order of the day-­not only at the border, but all across the country’s interior.

The rudderless and overwhelmed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency still does not have a new chief. Which is just as well since Bush nominee Julie Myers (a nice Bush lawyer with virtually no immigration or customs enforcement experience who happens to be the niece of recently retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers/wife of Chertoff's chief of staff/former employee of Chertoff and former colleague of outgoing ICE head Michael Garcia) would provide as much leadership and morale-boosting ability as a pair of junior high pom-poms. Her nomination is still pending.

Meanwhile, as illegal immigration continues unabated, the White House has seen fit to award the chief of the Border Patrol, David Aguilar, a presidential “Meritorious Executive” award, which comes with a cash bonus, for his outstanding performance. I kid you not. [ note: The Customs and Border Protection website describes Chief Aguilar as a" trusted spokesperson within the Hispanic community, communicating border-crossing policies that have a profound impact on Hispanic communities along the border."]

It’s not much better over at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers all immigration benefits, from citizenship applications to asylum requests to work permits, and is responsible for overseeing all amnesty, student visa, and marriage visa applicants. The head of the agency, a nice banker named Eduardo Aguirre whose only experience in immigration law was his own personal background as a Cuban refugee, left in June after two years in office to become ambassador to Spain. Aguirre’s biography says that under his “leadership,” CIS “made significant and measurable progress towards eliminating the immigration benefit application backlog, improving customer service, and enhancing national security.”

Mission accomplished? Don’t make me laugh.

A new report by the DHS inspector general’s office showed that Aguirre’s agency has failed miserably to crack down on the estimated 4 to 8 million foreigners who have overstayed their visas­a supposed priority in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which highlighted how lax enforcement against visa overstayers has enabled many al Qaeda operatives to stay in the country.

Of the 301,046 leads the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency received in 2004 on possible visa violators, the inspector general found, only 4,164 were formally pursued, resulting in just 671 apprehensions­-few of which will actually result in deportation.

In these trying times for conservatives in Washington, you’d think the last thing the Bush administration might do is send up yet another crony/diversity nominee to fill a sensitive post. But Aguirre’s proposed replacement, Emilio T. Gonzalez, is just such an embarrassment. He appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee recently and was endorsed by two Florida Republicans—Sen. Mel Martinez and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who said Gonzalez would “'bring an understanding of national security and my own personal immigration experience to bear.” [Cuban exile likely to direct bureau, By Frank Davies, Miami Herald, October 19, 2005]

Gonzalez is a Cuban refugee who arrived in the U.S. at the age of 4, achieved the American dream, and served honorably in the Army for 26 years. This makes him a remarkable success story. It does not make him a good candidate to head the of Citizenship and Immigration Services agency in a time of war.

Scouring his resume, one finds no immigration law experience whatsoever outside his personal experience.

No indication that he has any clue about how to curtail rampant asylum fraud.

No indication that he has any idea how to deal with those massive numbers of visa overstayers and immigration benefit fraudsters, let alone root out terrorist operatives among them.

And no indication that he would have the ability or willingness to ensure that the millions of “guest workers” under Bush’s proposed amnesty plan would be competently screened, registered, and deported after their “guest” terms are up.

Zip. Nada. None.

This has been the Bush plan on immigration enforcement and border security: Recruit the clueless. Reward the failures. Those who abide by the law lose. The con artists, the criminals, the ideological border saboteurs, and the terrorists win.

Michelle Malkin [email her] is author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin's latest book is "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild."


Michael Chertoff Discusses Border Security

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This is a partial transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," November 14, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: For the past year, we've been reporting extensively on this program about the crisis of illegal immigration and the threat that it poses to America. Now, our travels have taken us from the desert south to Tucson, Arizona, to the banks of the Rio Grande River, and we've walked along the fence in El Paso, Texas.

We rode along with the Border Patrolin the hills overlooking Tijuana.

And as we continue our search for answers to all the problems that we've seen this year, my latest trip has brought me here, to our nation's capital, where earlier today I had the chance to speak exclusively with the man in charge of securing our borders, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

You can read the rest of the transcript here at Fox News.

Plan for border barrier gains momentum

Knight Ridder Newspapers
Nov. 14, 2005 06:15 AM WASHINGTON - As mayor of Eagle Pass, Chad Foster presides over a thriving Texas border town that takes pride in a robust economy, a spectacular view of the Rio Grande and a warm relationship with Piedras Negras, its municipal neighbor and trading partner across the river in Mexico. Now talk out of Washington has Foster worried.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, a powerful California Republican, wants to build a security wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border, an old idea with new momentum in the security-minded post-Sept. 11 era.

Hunter envisions a barrier stretching across four states, from the Pacific Coast in California to the Gulf Coast in Texas, following a 1,951-mile route that presumably would edge along Foster's riverside town of 25,000.

Article from

Body found in Mexican border city

9:25 a.m. November 11, 2005

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico – The body of a man who had been shot at least 10 times was found at a ranch on the outskirts of this violent border city, increasing the number of homicides this year to 156, police said.

Guadalupe Villareal, 54, was found late Thursday at a ranch 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Nuevo Laredo, said Javier Sepulveda, an investigator with state police.

Sepulveda said the assailants used R-15 assault rifles and that investigators found 15 shell casings at the scene.

Relatives told investigators that Villareal was a cattle rancher but police were looking into possible links to organized crime.

The killing brings the number of homicides this year to 156. In 2004, there were 64 slaying victims in Nuevo Laredo, a city of 300,000 people across the border from Laredo, Texas.

The area has seen an increase in drug-related killings following the capture of the region's alleged drug lord, Osiel Cardenas, who was arrested in 2003 during a shootout in Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas.

Authorities say the violence has intensified in recent months because another reputed drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, has been fighting smugglers loyal to Cardenas to gain access to prized smuggling routes into the United States.

Mexican woman freed by captors


November 12, 2005

The kidnapping and extortion that until recently was associated with immigrant smugglers in Arizona is showing up in the San Diego-Tijuana region, federal immigration officials said Thursday.

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the arrest of a Tijuana municipal police officer suspected in the kidnapping for ransom of a 26-year-old Mexican woman, who had hoped to be smuggled from Tijuana into the United States. An investigation into a possible extortion ring continues.

It is the second such case in a week. Nov. 3, San Diego police officers arrested two men after they attempted to extort money from the mother of a 15-year-old girl who was smuggled across the border.

Such cases are typical in the Phoenix area, where in the past two years, federal authorities have investigated at least 800 cases of smuggled migrants being held against their will for ransom.

"Whether this is spilling over to this side of the United States, time will tell," said Frank Marwood, acting deputy agent in charge of ICE in San Diego.

The tactics used in the latest case, which included threats of violence against the kidnapped woman, are similar to those used in Arizona, Marwood said. On Monday, the sister and brother-in-law of the kidnapped woman contacted authorities in Ventura County, where the family lives. They reported receiving a phone call from someone claiming the woman had been smuggled into San Diego, but would not be released until the family wired $3,200 to her captors via Western Union.

The Ventura County Sheriff's Department contacted the San Diego office of ICE, the branch of Homeland Security in charge of investigations. Mexican authorities also became involved in the investigation.

During the next two days, while no money was received, the calls to the family became increasingly hostile. They were told that if they didn't pay the ransom, the kidnapped woman would be forced into prostitution, then shot in the head.

As part of the investigation, the family agreed to wire money. Tuesday night around 7:30, federal agents conducting surveillance outside a money wiring service in San Ysidro apprehended the man, who according to Marwood carried evidence linking him with the extortion attempt.

The man indicated that the woman was being held in Tijuana, not in San Diego. More than a dozen Mexico city and state officers and federal intelligence officers searched for the woman, said Juan Dania, senior ICE agent at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana.

About 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mexican authorities found the uninjured woman in Tijuana, after she had been released by her captors. She was escorted to the San Ysidro Port of Entry and paroled into the United States, where she will remain as a material witness.

The man arrested is Isaias Limon de la Rosa, 33, who U.S. immigration officials say is a veteran of the Tijuana police department. He crossed legally into San Ysidro with a border-crossing card. Yesterday, he was taken to Ventura County, where he will be held while awaiting trial on felony kidnapping and extortion charges.

According to Mexican officials, Limon began working for the Tijuana police in 1994, but he was sentenced or spent six months in prison because of a 1996 property damage complaint, according to police department personnel records.

He re-entered the police department, though he was under investigation recently for accumulating a suspiciously high number of days on medical leave, said the city's director of public security, Ernesto Santillana Santillana.

Santillana said his agency is cooperating with U.S. officials, and it has opened an investigation into whether other police officers were working with Limon, who was based at the city's La Presa Rural office.

Santillana said it was unclear if the woman's captors were involved in smuggling, or if she was kidnapped from her smugglers by another organization. He said the case has the earmarks of organized crime.

"It is certainly an organization, there is no doubt about that," Santillana said, adding that immigration officials have received reports of similar cases, though he wouldn't say where the reports came from.

He said, however, that immigration officials are not linking this case with last week's involving the minor, in which two men in their 20s were arrested by San Diego police officers and charged with false imprisonment.

A police department spokesman said the two suspects in that case are 27-year-old Jose Amparo Palomares and 21-year-old Manuel Amparo, both of whom were in the U.S. illegally. They have been charged with false imprisonment and are next due in court Tuesday.

Read the entire article from the San Diego Union Tribune here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Customs claiming success

Customs claiming success

Immigrant captures, as expected, are down in Tucson sector, up elsewhere.

Illegal immigrant apprehensions in the Border Patrol's Tucson sector are down during the new fiscal year while those on its flanks have increased as expected, a spokesman said yesterday.

"The reduction of apprehensions so far this year in Arizona is a good indication that the enforcement strategy that we initiated is working," said Mario Villarreal, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington.

Apprehensions in the Tucson sector, the nation's busiest for several years, were down 15 percent over the first 33 days of fiscal 2006, Villarreal said. A total of 28,750 illegal immigrants were caught, compared to 33,950 for the same period in fiscal 2005.

The Tucson sector covers all but about the 50 westernmost miles of Arizona's 377-mile border with Mexico.

To its west, the Yuma sector had 9,950 apprehensions from Oct. 1 through Wednesday, 7 percent more than the 9,275 arrested over the same period a year earlier, Villarreal said.

Meanwhile, apprehensions in the El Paso, Texas, sector, including Deming, N.M., have shot up from 7,930 for the same period a year ago to 11,680 for the period that ended Wednesday, an increase of 47 percent.

The rise was expected, Villarreal said.

In March, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Robert Bonner predicted such a shift to the east and west of the Tucson sector's heavily trafficked west desert corridors in announcing the second phase of an initiative aimed at gaining operational control of the Arizona-Mexico border.

Bonner said officials anticipated that smugglers would shift operations toward El Paso and Yuma as the number of Border Patrol agents rose in the Tucson sector and more surveillance aircraft were added.

But Villarreal added that in anticipation of the shift, "We were already deploying additional resources" as well to the El Paso and Yuma corridors in fiscal 2005.


The TRUE Enforcement and Border Security Act of 2005 was announced on November 3 by Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Virgil Goode (R-VA) and is currently “moving toward introduction this week or next”, according to FAIR’s Stein Report.

Read more at The Immigration Blog.

Border Patrol amps up arsenal

Border Patrol amps up arsenal
Nov 14, 2005

The Yuma sector of the U.S. Border Patrol showed off some of its newest equipment and newest agents Monday morning.

Flanked by some of the new manpower, Yuma sector Chief Patrol Agent Ronald Colburn unveiled two new boats that will be used to patrol the Colorado River and an armored vehicle to be used in dangerous situations.

"We've already seized marijuana through the use of the Border Patrol boat deployment," Colburn said.

Since the two shallow draft boats began patrols in October, they have been used to arrest two people in a boat with 245 pounds of marijuana and apprehend more than 140 illegal aliens, according to the Border Patrol.

The boats are effective in apprehending illegal aliens who attempt to cross the river using rafts or sandbag bridges, Colburn said. They will be deployed on an as-needed basis, and Colburn said they would likely patrol both during day and night.

The boats, which were formerly used by the Border Patrol on the Rio Grande in Texas, are added to the two hovercrafts that the Yuma sector has been using for three years to patrol canals.

Here is the beginning of my post.
The armored vehicle will generally not be used for regular patrols but rather for special situations, such as the recovery of an injured person or agent or for Border Patrol SRT (Special Response Team) operations in particularly volatile areas.

The sport utility vehicles equipped with cages, known as “war wagons,” will continue to be used for patrols in the San Luis, Ariz., area, Colburn said.

"There have been dozens of (rock-throwing) incidents," Colburn said. "It costs tens of thousands of dollars to replace the glass that is broken. With the armored vehicle, it protects us from small arms fire and allows us to patrol the border and get someone out of a high-risk situation."

The Border Patrol said agents were assaulted 119 times last year. The majority of the assaults were from rocks but also included several shootings and 15 incidents of border banditry.

The armored vehicle was acquired at no cost through the federal government's Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO), which inventories excess military equipment and attempts to find buyers. The only cost to Border Patrol was to retrofit the vehicle, Colburn said.

The vehicle was used by the U.S. Air Force in the 1980s, and in 1991 it was transferred to the Baltimore Police Department.

The new equipment was unveiled Monday morning at the West Wetlands Park in Yuma.

All new equipment that is added to the Yuma sector is being outfitted with a new logo. The new vehicles have a large solid stripe, the logo of the Department of Homeland Security and the words U.S. Customs and Border Protection painted on the side.

While the new tools are important, ultimately there must be a "human interceptor" to apprehend illegal aliens who cross the border, Colburn said. The Yuma sector is in the process of receiving a significant boost in its number of boots on the ground.

The number of agents in the sector has doubled in the seven months Colburn has been on the job. An additional 250 agents are scheduled to be added this fiscal year.

"That should bring us to 850 agents by 2007," Colburn said. "That would be two and a half times the manpower we had in March."

A recent graduate of the Border Patrol academy, Frank Ceraso, 26, of Lake Worth, Fla., has been in Yuma for three and a half weeks, learning the lay of the land and how to be an agent in this area.

Ceraso made his first trips out to the field this past week. "It looks like it's going to be very exciting," Ceraso said. "There's a lot to learn."

Since Ceraso was part of the initial wave of trainees, he expected to see the danger on the border increase while he is an agent. He said it would probably get worse before it got better.

Colburn said that would likely be the case.

"Historically, violence tends to increase first," he said. "It's because we're taking back turf on the border and whether it is the Wonder Boys or other gangs, they feel that they own it. And when this happens, they will try us."

Colburn said eventually the violence will decrease because Border Patrol will take control of the border. But for the time being, every agent who goes out on a shift has the chance of being attacked, Colburn said.

In meeting those dangers, Ceraso said it was nice to be among a large group of new agents. He said they can help each other to learn the job.

"If you don't know something, you can look to your left or right and your classmates will know," he said. "It means a little less pressure."

Jeffrey Gautreaux can be reached at or 539-6858.

© Copyright,
And here is the rest of it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Patrol puts kink in smugglers' plans

Patrol puts kink in smugglers' plans
Published on: November 14, 2005

Federal authorities on Monday charged three Mexican men with felony drug smuggling charges in connection with the second largest marijuana seizure made along the Yuma County-Mexico border this year.

Javier Ruelas, 23, David Marquez, 27, and Victor Nogales, 27, are each charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Yuma sector Border Patrol agents arrested the three men around 1 a.m. on Saturday south of Sentinel after a brief vehicle pursuit involving two stolen pickup trucks.

Border Patrol agents using spikes stopped one of the stolen pickup trucks near Interstate 8. The second stolen pickup truck, in the course of trying to cross back into Mexico, got stuck in a wash.

Agents found a combined total of 3,672 pounds of marijuana valued at $2.9 million in the vehicles.

Yuma sector Border Patrol spokesman Michael Gramley said two suspected drug smugglers who fled on foot eluded capture. Gramley said agents traced footprints north to I-8 and believe the two men were picked up by accomplices.

Ruelas, Marquez, and Nogales appeared in Arizona District Court on Monday before U.S. Magistrate Jay Irwin who ordered all three remain in temporary custody.

"All three defendants stated that they knew they were transporting marijuana and intended on being paid to do so," according to court records.

Each charge carries a 10 year mandatory minimum prison sentence, a $4 million fine or both.

The three have not yet entered pleas and are slated to appear in court on Wednesday for a detention hearing.

This seizure is the second largest marijuana seizure made in the Yuma sector this year.

Agents in late August seized 4,872 pounds of marijuana valued at nearly $4 million in two separate smuggling incidents.

Three Mexican men were charged with federal felony drug smuggling charges in those incidents. One of those men, Jose Quesada, 20, plead guilty to a lesser charge in mid-October and is in custody awaiting sentencing, according to court records.

Border Patrol agents arrested Quesada and his alleged accomplice, Jose Popoca, 20, on Aug. 22 after observing a pickup truck cross the desert from Mexico into the U.S. near Avenue 3E and County 25th Street. Agents saw two men run from the vehicle after it came to a stop and found 2,159 pounds of bundled marijuana in the pickup truck. Agents found both Quesada and Popoca about a half-mile away from the truck, according to court records and The Sun archives.

In a separate unrelated smuggling incident that same day, Border Patrol agents arrested Joel Gonzales, 23, another man and an adolescent after they observed a Jeep cross into the U.S. from Mexico near Avenue 5E and County 23rd Street, according to court records.

Agents stopped the Jeep using spikes and found 2,713 pounds of marijuana inside.

Federal authorities charged Gonzales with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance but did not charge the minor or the other man, nor did they give a reason why those two were not charged, according to The Sun archives. The two were deported back to Mexico, according to archives.

Federal prosecutors have made plea offers to both Gonzales and Popoca, according to court records.

Their cases are pending in federal court.

Gramley attributed the increase in marijuana seizures to the federal government’s build up here in an effort to gain control of the Arizona-Mexico border.

On Sunday, Border Patrol agents arrested two Mexican men who allegedly led authorities on a brief vehicle pursuit along County 14th Street that ended in a crash along Avenue G.

Rodolfo Perez, 23, and Hector Gomez, 19, are each charged with one count of possession to distribute a controlled substance and one count of conspiracy with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Each charge carries a minimum five years in prison, a $2 million fine or both.

Agents found 230 pounds of marijuana valued at $184,000 in a Jeep after it crashed into a fence on the west side of Avenue G, according to court records. Agents found Perez and Gomez "hiding in the bushes approximately 500 yards" from the Jeep, records stated.

Both men, according to court records, gave agents conflicting statements as to how they became involved in the smuggling incident.

Gomez stated he and Perez were approached by an unknown man driving the Jeep and agreed to assist that man in exchange for payment and transportation to Yuma, records stated.

Perez told agents he and Gomez were recruited in Los Algodones, Baja Calif., on Saturday to "smuggle stuff into the United States," records stated.

The two appeared in Arizona District Court on Monday before Irwin who ordered they remain in temporary custody.

Both men are slated to appear on Wednesday for a detention hearing.

Jonathan Athens can be reached at or 539-6857.

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