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76K Migrants Entered Through Southwest Border in February — Most in 12 Years, Says CBP


Reported by Bob Price | Tuesday March 5, 2019

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents apprehend 325 migrants near Lukeville, Arizona. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Tucson Sector

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) reports that 76,103 migrants appeared at ports of entry and illegally crossed between ports in February. This is the largest number of apprehensions and inadmissible migrants for a February reporting period in 12 years, CBP stated Tuesday.

Of the 76,103 migrants who came to the border seeking admission or illegally crossing between ports of entry, 62 percent were family units and unaccompanied minors. This presents both a border security and humanitarian crisis at our southwest border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan said in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

United States Border Patrol Chief of Operations Brian Hastings told reporters that during February, Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 66,000 migrants who illegally crossed the border from Mexico between ports of entry. This is up from nearly 48,000 in January — a nearly 40 percent increase. When compared to the first five months of Fiscal Year 2018, this fiscal year has seen a 97 percent increase, he stated.

“A lot of folks look at that and they say, ‘we have seen numbers like that in the past,” Hastings explained. He said that many people do not understand the “significant change in the demographics of what we are seeing today is what presents us and our partners with a lot of challenges.”

The Border Patrol operations chief said that historically, agents have apprehended about 70 to 90 percent Mexican nationals. “We could apply a consequence to that demographic,” he stated. “We could return them quickly to Mexico.”

“Today, 70 percent of all of those we are arresting are from the (Central American) northern triangle — Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras,” Hastings continued. He explained that under current laws and court rulings there is no consequence to these migrants and they are nearly all released into the U.S. for an indefinite period of time.

“Without being able to deliver a consequence to these individuals for crossing our border, the Border Patrol has no reason to expect that this trend will decrease — in fact, we believe it will increase,” he surmised. “It’s well known at this time that immigrants with children will not be detained during the immigration proceedings. The word of mouth and social media quickly gets back to those in the northern triangle countries that ‘If you bring a child, you’ll be successful.”

Due to these circumstances, the number of cases of people falsely claiming to be family units has increased substantially. “From April 2018 through February 2019 we have had almost 2,400 fraudulent claims of families,” the operations chief explained. “Of those fraudulent claims, some are people who claim they are under 18 and they’re not. Others have actually been fraudulent familial claims.”

So far this fiscal year, Border Patrol agents apprehended 136,150 migrants claiming to be family units and 26,937 people claiming to be unaccompanied minors, according to the February Southwest Border Migration Report released Tuesday afternoon. This is a total of 163,087 family unit aliens (FMUA) and unaccompanied minors so far this year. In all of Fiscal Year 2018, Border Patrol agents only apprehended 157,248, the 2018 Southwest Border Migration Report stated.

Hastings and Commissioner McAleenan explained that these demographics present substantial challenges for the Border Patrol and CBP. In addition to the demographics, they explained that transnational criminal organizations (Mexican cartels) are shifting the crossing points to the most remote areas of the El Paso, Tucson, and Yuma Border Patrol Sectors and are crossing them in much larger groups in order to tie up Border Patrol resources.

The El Paso Sector witnessed a 1,697 percent increase in the number of family units apprehended in remote areas like the Antelope Wells crossing area. The Yuma and Tucson Sectors have both witnessed increases in excess of 230 percent. Other unsecured areas of the border including the Del Rio Sector in Texas saw an increase of nearly 400 percent over the previous February.

Commissioner McAleenan announced the formation of a new migrant processing center for the El Paso Sector to “provide one location for the processing of family units and children.”

The commissioner cautioned that the new facilities for processing migrants “will assist with managing the increased flows … The fact is that these solutions are temporary and this situation is not sustainable. Remote locations of the United States border are not safe places to cross and they are not places to seek medical care.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

ICE ‘Raging Bull’ Operation Leads to Arrest of 267 MS-13 Gang Members


Reported by Bob Price | 16 Nov 2017 | Washington, D.C. 

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/11/16/ice-raging-bull-operation-leads-to-arrest-of-267-ms-13-gang-members/?

Nearly 300 MS-13 gang members are behind bars following the conclusion of a joint international law enforcement effort led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “Operation Raging Bull” resulted in the arrests of 214 MS-13 members and affiliates in the U.S. and 53 in El Salvador.

ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents executed Operation Raging Bull in support of the Department of Justice’s recent prioritization of enforcement actions against violent transnational gangs.

“MS-13 has long been a priority for ICE. However we are now combating the gang with renewed focus and an unprecedented level of cooperation among DHS’s components and our domestic and international partners,” ICE Deputy Director and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Director Thomas Homan said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “ICE has the ability to pursue complex criminal cases using our statutory authorities and to prevent crime by using our administrative arrest authorities to remove gang members from the country. We will not rest until every member, associate, and leader of MS-13 has been held accountable for their crimes, and those in this country illegally have been removed.” 

Phase one of the operation followed up on the results of an 18-month investigation in El Salvador. The probe led to the arrests of 53 MS-13 gang members and affiliates in El Salvador. In early October, the second phase began in the States. Running from October 8 to November 11, law enforcement officers and agents from federal, state, and local agencies arrested 214 gang members and affiliates across the U.S.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions repeatedly stressed the importance of defeating MS-13.

“With more than 10,000 members across 40 states, MS-13 is one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in the United States today,” Sessions said in a statement on Thursday. “President Trump has ordered the Department of Justice to reduce crime and take down transnational criminal organizations, and we will be relentless in our pursuit of these objectives.”

“So far this year, we have secured convictions against more than 1,200 gang members and worked with our partners in Central America to arrest and charge some 4,000 MS-13 members,” the AG explained. “These 267 arrests are the next step toward making this country safer by taking MS-13 off of our streets for good.”

Ninety-three of the 214 arrests made in the U.S. were based on federal and/or state criminal charges, officials stated. Those charges include: murder, aggravated robbery, racketeering influenced corrupt organization (RICO) offenses, violent crime in aid of racketeering (VICAR) offenses, narcotics trafficking, narcotics possession, firearms offenses, domestic violence, assault, forgery, driving under the influence, and illegal entry/reentry. Immigration violations made up the remaining 121 arrests.

Operation Raging Bull – Nations of Origin chart – ICE

Only 16 of those arrested were U.S. citizens, the report states. Illegal aliens made up the overwhelming majority of those arrested. Officials arrested a total of 198 immigrants — 193 of which had no legal status. The MS-13 gang members came from El Salvador (135), Honduras (29), Mexico (17), Guatemala (12), Ecuador (4) and Costa Rica (1).

Of those arrested after entering the U.S. illegally, ICE officials reported that 64 came to the U.S. as Unaccompanied Alien Children — most of those are now adults.

Operation Raging Bull – Arrest Map – ICE

ICE officials provided examples of the types of crimes carried out by these MS-13 gang members:

  • In Baltimore, Maryland, the arrest and indictment of four MS-13 members on charges that include violent crimes in aid of racketeering and conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering.
  • In McKinney, Texas, the arrest of an MS-13 gang member and citizen of El Salvador who is wanted for homicide by the National Civil Police of El Salvador (PNC).
  • In Denver, Colorado, the arrest of an MS-13 gang member and citizen of El Salvador who is wanted on an outstanding warrant for DUI and was found with three machetes in his possession.
  • In Los Angeles, California, the arrest of an MS-13 member and citizen of El Salvador, subject of an INTERPOL Red Notice for gang offenses and involvement with the murder of an PNC officer in El Salvador.
  • In San Francisco, California, the arrest of an MS-13 member and citizen of El Salvador, who is a wanted fugitive in El Salvador on an arrest warrant for violent crimes including homicide.

ICE officials added six MS-13 gang members to their most wanted list, including one wanted in Montgomery County, Texas, on murder charges. The other five fugitives are suspected of murdering Salvadoran police officers.

Operation Raging Bull - Most Wanted List - ICE

Operation Raging Bull – Most Wanted List – ICE

ICE uses the following criteria in confirming MS-13 gang membership or affiliation:

Individuals are confirmed as gang members if they admit membership in a gang; have been convicted of violating Title 18 USC 521 or any other federal or state law criminalizing or imposing civil consequences for gang-related activity; or if they meet certain other criteria such as having tattoos identifying a specific gang or being identified as a gang member by a reliable source.

Gang associates are individuals who exhibit gang member criteria but who are not formally initiated into the gang. Law enforcement officers encountering these individuals will determine whether indications of gang association are present by referring to the gang membership criteria.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTXGAB, and Facebook.

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