Border Patrol uses flight to ease backlog in Texas

May 12, 2014

immigrantsAzCentral, 5/7/14

Overwhelmed by the number of immigrants crossing illegally into in South Texas, the U.S. Border Patrol was scheduled to send a planeload of recent arrivals across the state to El Paso for processing for the first time on Wednesday. Immigrants who cross the Rio Grande and enter the state illegally increasingly find themselves covering great distances to provide their basic information to an agent at a computer.

The flight of more than 100 detainees from Brownsville is the most recent way that the agency is trying to expedite processing under a surge of arrests that has recently averaged 1,000 per day in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, the busiest along the U.S.-Mexico border. The effort began with busing immigrants to less-busy stations within the sector, then expanded to hours-long bus rides to the Laredo and Del Rio Sectors for processing.

“We’re utilizing all of the resources that we have available,” said Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Tirado. “We’re going to take advantage of that and farm out some of those detainees.”

He said it was unclear if the flight would become regular.

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WOLA Report: Border Security and Migration in South Texas

January 24, 2013

border_at_Tijuana Tomas CastelazoBy Adam Isacson and Maureen Meyer, 1/24/2013

Since 2011, WOLA staff have carried out research in six different zones of the U.S.-Mexican border, meeting with U.S. law enforcement officials, human rights and humanitarian groups, and journalists, as well as with Mexican officials and representatives of civil society and migrant shelters in Mexico. As part of this ongoing work, the authors spent the week of November 26-30, 2012 in south Texas, looking at security and migration trends along this section of the U.S.-Mexico border. Specifically, we visited Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico.

We found that unlike other sections of the border, the south Texas sections have seen an increase, not a decrease, in apprehensions, particularly of non-Mexican migrants; migrant deaths have dramatically increased; and there are fewer accusations of Border Patrol abuse of migrants. We also found that the Zetas criminal organization’s control over the area may be slipping and drug trafficking appears to have increased, yet these U.S. border towns are safer than they have been in decades. Lastly, in spite of the ongoing violence on the Mexican side of the border and the failure of the Mexican government to reform local and state police forces, U.S. authorities are increasingly repatriating Mexicans through this region, often making migrants easy prey for the criminal groups that operate in these border cities.

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Gangs deeply rooted on U.S. side of Mexico border

April 23, 2009

Reuters, 4/23/2009

As violence spirals across the border in Mexico, law enforcement officials on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas say they have not seen significant spillover.

But while American border towns have not seen anything remotely approaching the blood-stained carnage of some north Mexican cities where rival drug cartels are in a high-stakes war that killed over 6,000 people last year, criminal street and prison gangs have long been a way of life in south Texas.

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