El Centro Border Patrol gets new chief

04/09/2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

gloriaEl Centro’s new Border Patrol Chief has experience working on both the border with Mexico and the border with Canada.

She’s also the only woman currently serving as a sector chief for Border Patrol, according to personnel listed on the agency’s website.

Gloria Chavez, who began as the new chief at the beginning of April, started her career in the agency in 1995 at the Imperial Beach station, part of the San Diego Sector. She made her way up the ranks, first in San Diego and then in Washington, D.C..

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Immigration Reform 2016: Border Patrol Sees More Undocumented Immigrants Along US Mexico Border In March

4/26/16 International Business Times

Border fenceAfter a dip in the number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border over the winter, traffic may be getting busier there. New statistics released by the Border Patrol show a rise in the number of apprehensions in the Southwest last month compared to March 2015.

There were 7,259 more crossings and apprehensions last month compared to February, and 4,452 of the 33,335 apprehensions were members of families crossing together, the agency reported. That rise in crossings, mostly composed of people fleeing Central America via Mexico, follows a controversial push by the administration of President Barack Obama earlier this year in which immigration officials raided homes to deport people living in the country without authorization.

That push did appear to depress migration rates at first, and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson last month praised the lower February statistics while mentioning the raids explicitly. The Department of Homeland Security released a statement alongside the March statistics, noting that the number is still much lower than March 2014, when there were 49,596 apprehensions.

“The Department of Homeland Security continues to closely monitor current migration trends and is working aggressively to address underlying causes and deter future increases in unauthorized migration, while ensuring that those with legitimate humanitarian claims are afforded the opportunity to seek protection,” a statement read. “We also continue to support broader regional efforts to address the humanitarian situation in Central America.”


Officials testify on border security in Mexico

9/9/2015  El Paso Times 

fence at borderA congressional hearing Wednesday on border safety branched out into a broader discussion about insecurity in Mexico, with one U.S. representative calling to close down all the U.S. consulates in Mexico and a border official asking for 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents.

“We should close down every one of those (nine) consulates, and put the properties up for sale,” said U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. “There has to be consequences the place (Mexico) is out of control.”

Brandon Judd, a Border Patrol agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, testified that based on feedback from other agents, the agency charged with guarding the border has operational control of only 40 percent of the border.

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Arrest leads to underwater tunnel across US-Mexico border

8/20/15 KLKN – ABC 8

Photo via Flickr user Walter
Photo via Flickr user Walter

The arrest of a drug smuggler in scuba gear led to the discovery of a tunnel from Mexico that’s partially underwater and ends in a canal.

Evelio Padilla pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in San Diego to one count of possession of drugs with intent to distribute.

Border Patrol agents said in court documents that they discovered a soaked Padilla in a wetsuit next to the All-American Canal, about 7 miles east of Calexico, California, on April 25. Near him, they found a breathing tank with a “rebreather” to prevent surface bubbles, and several vacuum-sealed and giftwrapped packages that held a total of 55 pounds of cocaine.

That led to the discovery of the 150-foot-long tunnel, which began at a house in Mexicali, Mexico, and ended under the water of the canal. The drugs were put on a trolley system on the dry Mexico side of the tunnel, and smugglers would use scuba gear to retrieve it from under the canal’s water from an opening that is normally obscured by rocks.

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Immigration 2015: 1 Dead In California Border Patrol-Undocumented Immigrants Boat Collision

6/19/15 International Business Times

Photo via Flickr user Walter
Photo via Flickr user Walter

One woman died Thursday after a boat that was packed with undocumented immigrants collided Thursday with a U.S. Border Patrol vessel in Southern California, according to a new report. At least four other undocumented immigrants were hospitalized after the collision, which happened off the coast of the North County in Oceanside, California, near San Diego, ABC affiliate 10 News reported.

The undocumented immigrants were allegedly being smuggled into the U.S. Thursday morning when agents from the U.S. Customs and Border protection spotted the boat they were in and attempted to stop it. However, the boat ignored the orders despite warning shots from agents before the collision, resulting in all 20 of the people on the smuggling boat ending up in the water and the boat capsizing.

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Are families of cross-border shooting victims a step closer to justice?

09/16/14 Aljazeera

border3It’s been almost two years since 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodriguez was killed in the Mexican town of Nogales as he walked down a street close to his home near the U.S.-Mexico border. According to reports, on the night of Oct. 10, 2012, an unidentified Border Patrol agent opened fire on José through the steel-beamed border fence that stands on a cliff above the street where he was walking. José was shot at least 10 times as he stood on Mexican soil — by an agent standing on U.S. soil. Until recently, José’s family believed it was likely no one would be held responsible for his death.

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Border Patrol sued in fatal shooting of man in Mexico

08/27/14 Los Angeles Times

border patrolThe family of a Mexican man who was shot and killed by U.S. Border Patrol agents two years ago has filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging that the agency sanctioned an unbridled use of deadly force in response to rock throwing.

The suit, filed Wednesday in federal court in Laredo, Texas, is the latest to argue that constitutional civil rights protections against excessive force should apply to noncitizens who are in Mexico.

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