Using data from the US Customs and Border Protection agency, this map app plots border crossing points along the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders, indicating estimated wait times as reported by commuters crossing the border. Information is updated hourly.
U.S. and Mexican authorities are preparing for the opening of a customs inspections station in Tijuana that will allow U.S. officers for the first time to screen commercial shipments on Mexican soil before they reach the border.
The facility, built by the Mexican federal government, would have officers from both countries operating out of the same compound near the Otay Mesa border crossing. The aim of the pilot program is to speed up the processing of certain produce items — and thus improve the bottom line for businesses.
Get ready for the very first “unmanned” border station on the U.S.-Mexico border. Slated to open at the end of this month, the Big Bend National Park in Texas will be staffed by, you guessed it, computers.
The station will be equipped with machines that can scan citizenship documents and conduct live video interviews with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at a station in El Paso, Texas, Tech News Daily reports. While Mexican citizens will be able to use the crossing, U.S. officials maintain that Americans tourists to the national park are more likely to do so. When a similar CBP crossing was open in the same location more than a decade ago, few Mexicans used it. In 2002, because of increased security measures, U.S. officials closed the original crossing, forcing tourists to travel more than 100 miles to the next nearest crossing to get to Mexico, according to Nextgov.
CBS News, 10/4/12
The arrests were made in an operation involving Mexican military personnel in the Agua Prieta municipality, also along the U.S. border, just east of where the shooting occurred. No further details were given.
The agents were fired upon in a rugged hilly area about five miles north of the border as they responded to an alarm that was triggered on one of the sensors, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Carol Capas. It wasn’t immediately known whether the agents returned fire, she said.
The agents who were shot were on patrol with a third agent, who was not harmed, said George McCubbin, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing about 17,000 border patrol agents.
The New York Times, 9/8/12
The Mexican federal police announced Friday that they had arrested a suspect in the killing of a United States Border Patrol agent, Brian A. Terry, whose death is at the center of the scandal over a botched United States gun-smuggling investigation known as Operation Fast and Furious.
The suspect, Jesús Leonel Sánchez Meza, is one of the five men charged with killing Mr. Terry in December 2010 during a shootout in Arizona near the Mexico border. One is on trial in Arizona and the other three remain fugitives. Mr. Sánchez was arrested Thursday in Sonora State.
BBC News, 8/29/12
Known as Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS), the technology has been around since the 1970s. But advances mean the sensors are now tiny, solar powered and capable of operating for decades.
They are backed up by watchtowers fitted with infra-red radars and optical sensors purchased under SBInet before it was cancelled…
The sensors are supported by drone aircraft known locally as “desert phantoms”. The unmanned planes are capable of detecting people and vehicles from a height of 6,000 metres (19,685ft).
The Predator comes equipped with radar, seven video cameras, an infra-red sensor and a powerful zoom. Each one costs $20m and, according to the Department of Homeland Security, nine of them patrol the skies over Arizona, Florida, Texas and North Dakota.
Fox News Latino, 8/6/12
Located at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Nogales, Arizona, the avatar, who sports a clean-cut look of thick black hair and a striped gray tie, is part of an expansion of the CBP’s Trusted Traveler Program. The idea behind the program is to “provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low-risk travelers through dedicated lanes and kiosks,” the CBP stated.
The Trusted Traveler program was created after the 9/11 attacks, as security ramped up and became longer. To qualify for the program, travelers must undergo a thorough background check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, agriculture, and terrorist as well as have biometric fingerprint checks and a personal interview with a CBP Officer following their avatar questioning.
The agent was the head of migrant smuggling organization, which operated out of the San Ysidro POE. Héctor Rodríguez, the CBP inspector in question, acted with two supposed accomplices. They offered “guaranteed crossings,” for 10 to 15 thousand dollars; the San Diego Attorney Generals office believes that they permitted at least 37 groups of migrants to cross in this manner. The FBI arrested Rodríguez and two people believed to be his accomplices on Friday.
U.S. Agents Kill a Mexican Citizen according to the Mexican Secretary for Foreign Relations [in Spanish]July 9, 2012
El Universal, 7/9/12
Border patrol agents from Brownsville Texas fired on Saturday after being threatened with a weapon and stones from the Mexican stide of the border. Authorities subsequently announced the death of a youth from Tamaulipas after his body was found near the Rio Grande. The head of the U.S. border patrol in that sector confirmed that his agents had fired after being attacked first.