March 5, 2014
The Wall Street Journal, 3/4/14
On a January night in the Arizona desert, a U.S. Border Patrol agent pursued and killed an illegal immigrant named Gabriel Sanchez. The border agency said Mr. Sanchez tried to grab the agent’s gun, prompting him to shoot. The lawyer representing the victim’s family said the circumstances of the shooting remain uncertain. “The only thing we have to speak for the deceased is physical evidence,” said Phoenix attorney Daniel Ortega.
Mr. Sanchez, who has two U.S.-born children, is among at least 22 civilians killed by agents in the field or while in custody since 2010 on the Southwest border, according to immigrant advocacy groups. The majority of those killed have been Latin American immigrants who were unarmed, and a few were U.S. citizens, the groups say. Some victims were throwing rocks at Border Patrol agents, which can prompt a lethal-force response under current policy.
October 21, 2013
New York Times, 10/19/2013
Lauded last year as a model of cooperation and a means to boost Texas’ robust trade relationship with Mexico, a rail project here in the Rio Grande Valley has hit a snag over the relocation of an X-ray machine.
And if Cameron County and United States Customs and Border Protection remain at an impasse, the opening of the Brownsville West Rail Bypass International Bridge — the first new rail bridge to connect the countries in more than a century — could face a months long delay, preventing an expansion at a crucial land port.
October 11, 2013
The Washington Times, 10/10/2013
The federal agent who blew the whistle on the Fast and Furious scandal is suddenly unwelcome at the very Border Patrol agency he sought to protect. For months, John Dodson, a special agent at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has been his agency’s liaison to U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a local office in Arizona.
April 2, 2013
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.
Click here to view the map…
January 3, 2013
U-T San Diego, 1/2/2013
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.
January 3, 2013
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.
October 4, 2012
CBS News, 10/4/12
Mexico arrested two people Wednesday over the fatal shooting of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Nicholas Ivie earlier in the week, a Mexican military official confirmed to CBS News.
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.
October 3, 2012
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.
September 10, 2012
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.
August 30, 2012
BBC News, 8/29/12
According to the US government, some 7,500 sensors were acquired between 2003 and 2007, to create a movement detection perimeter.
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.