By Miriam Raftery
June 29, 2014 (San Diego) – The Border Patrol has announced that starting this week, it will bring undocumented Central American immigrants from Texas to California. The first groups will include families, not unaccompanied minors, to ease overcrowding of facilities due to an influx of children fleeing violence in Central America.
The families will be brought to San Diego and El Centro to ease what President Barack Obama has called a humanitarian crisis.
ABC News this week interviewed a 17 year old girl who was among those immigrants apprehended attempting to cross into the U.S. In a tearful voice, she told them that she fled her home in Central America after her brother was murdered and a gang threatened her with harm if she would not join. On her journey here, she was gang-raped by several men before reaching the U.S. She was detained after reaching the U.S. but eventually released into custody of a relative in Florida, where she awaits an asylum hearing to determine if she can stay in the U.S. or not.
By Trevor Hill
June 11, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--This year, the number of minors illegally crossing the border north through Mexico into the United States has increased to approximately 48,000 (92% higher than last year) and is projected to reach over 60,000 by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. The vast majority of these children is not coming from Mexico, but in fact is fleeing Central American countries like Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.
To deal with the influx, immigrant minors and adults alike are being shipped to warehouses and other facilities in order to hold them until they can be deported or granted a green card. About 700 minors are currently being held in a warehouse Nogales, Arizona, where living conditions have become deplorable due to overcrowding and lack of supplies. Fortunately, this is only a temporary housing for the children who will spend only enough time in Nogales to receive vaccinations and be checked medically before being sent to facilities in Ventura, California; San Antonio, Texas; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
This overcrowding is due to a lack of legal representatives willing and/or able to represent these children in Immigration Court. Because courts are not required to fund lawyers for the children, they must find a legal representative through advocacy groups or pro bono law programs.
By Trevor Hill
June 5, 2014 (San Diego)--Last week, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) finally released a report written by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) in February of 2013, which criticized the Border Patrol’s Use of Force policies. The release comes after months of public pressure applied by faith leaders, border communities, and law enforcement since the leakage of some of the report’s findings last November. This event marks a significant victory for those who oppose excessive use of force and support increased transparency in government agencies.
Updated February 24, 2014 with identities of agent and suspect
February 18, 2014 (Otay)—A U.S. Border Patrol agent who was struck by a thrown rock shot and killed Jesus Flores-Cruz, 43 , who died at the scene. The shooting occurred at 6:40 this morning in the White Cross area of the Otay Mountain Range. The identity of the deceased, who sustained two gunshot wounds, was confirmed by comparing fingerprints from a 1996 arrest by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
According to San Diego Sheriff Homicide Lt. Glenn Giannatonio, the agents were attempting to detain a group of suspected illegal aliens. “The two agents were out of sight of each when one of the agents was struck in the face by a rock thrown by one of the suspects. Fearing for his safety, the agent fired,” he said, adding that the agent suffered minor injuries.
By Miriam Raftery
February 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – The San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium (SDIRC) issued a press release last week headlined “Disturbing images show border agents encouraging children to shoot at migrant effigy.”
In response, U.S. Border Patrol Assistant Chief Patrol Agent Rosario “Pete” Vasquez called statements in that release “unfortunate and false propaganda.”
January 1, 2013 (Pine Valley ) – Steven Brian Keith, 58, died in a holding cell on Christmas morning shortly after midnight after being detained for possession of three pounds of marijuana at a Border Patrol checkpoint near Pine Valley. A pipe with methamphetamine traces was also found in the trunk.
According to the County Medical Examiner, Keith was found unresponsive in his holdng cell. Paraemedics were summoned and CPR was initiated, but he failed to respond.
November 28, 2013 (San Diego)-- Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Office of Air and Marine (OAM) and the Border Patrol interrupted a drug smuggling attempt involving air drops of marijuana bales from an ultra-light aircraft Monday. Authorities seized over 260 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $157,000. Two suspects were arrested, said Mary Beth Caston with the Border Patrol.
November 27, 2013 (San Diego) – This week, led by Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), 20 members of Congress wrote to the Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) requesting a meeting to discuss the agency's use of force policies.
Their letter (see below) comes a week after it was reported that CBP has elected not to implement a key recommendation made by the Police Executive Research Forum. The widely respected law enforcement policy organization had urged the agency to restrict the use of deadly force in situations involving rock throwers and people in vehicles. CBP also continues to resist full public disclosure of its use of force policies despite a series of deaths and widespread allegations of abuse involving CBP personnel.
November 27, 2013 (San Diego) --Border Patrol agents working near the U.S. /Mexico International Border yesterday were assaulted with rocks and bottles after pepper spray was used in an effort to stop a large crowd trying to enter the U.S.
According to the Border Patrol, on November 24, more than 100 people illegally crossed the International Border from Mexico one-quarter-mile west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry in the Tijuana River channel.
By Miriam Raftery
Photo courtesy ECM news partner 10 News
June 5, 2013 (Campo) – A Border Patrol agent discharged his weapon during a pursuit in Campo early this morning. A suspected drug smuggler was injured by flying glass when the vehicle window shattered, according to a Sheriff’s report, which indicated the agent claims to have fired in self-defense.
Lieutenant Glenn Giannantonio with the San Diego Sheriff’s Homicide Detail said the suspect was treated at a hospital and released to custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.
By Miriam Raftery
April 19, 2013 (San Diego) – A jury today has acquitted U.S. Border Patrol agent Luis Fonseca of using unreasonable force. Fonseca was shown on Border Patrol video strangling a migrant to unconsciousness while the undocumented migrant, Adolfo Cesar Escobar, tood with his hands against a wall waiting to be fingerprinted at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station. Jurors found the video evidence inconclusive.
“This sends the wrong message to Border Patrol and fuels a culture of impunity in the agency,” said Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego in a statement released today. The rights activist added, “It should never be acceptable to strangle someone who poses no threat, then kick him while he is down and walk away as if no harm had been done.”
By Nadin Abbott
March 20, 2013 (San Diego)—Federal employees and their families at a rally outside the 32nd Street Naval Station today came to bring attention to the effects of the federal sequester in their lives. This is a reality for them right now, not just a headline in a paper.
So how exactly will this affect East County residents in the near future?
March 13, 2013 (San Diego)-- In separate incidents this week, two U.S. Border Patrol agents were assaulted while performing patrol duties in San Diego County, the Border Patrol reports.
The first assault occurred Monday at approximately 8 p.m. in the Otay Mountain area, when a Border Patrol agent attempted to arrest a male undocumented Mexican national who had entered the U.S. illegally. During the arrest, the suspect became assaultive and struck the agent in the face and head, according to a release issued by the U.S. Border Patrol today. After a brief struggle, the agent was able to detain the man. The suspect is being held by the Department of Homeland Security pending charges for assault on a federal agent.
November 28, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:
- Refugee grateful for new life in new country (U-T San Diego)
- San Diego Congressmen get campaign contributions for domestic drone support (San Diego Free Press)
- Report: We’re in the midst of a housing recovery (U-T San Diego)
- Witness to deadly shooting by border patrol agent disputes official account (10 News)
- El Cajon working to reduce pedestrian deaths (U-T San Diego)
- Border economy to see greater emphasis under Filner administration (San Diego Free Press)
- David Copley dies at 60; heir to Union-Tribune fortune was once worth $1.2 billion ( La Jolla Patch)
- Republican activist seeks ouster of Tony Krvaric as GOP Chairman (Ramona Patch)
- New Lakeside fire station opens (East County Californian)
- El Capitan cross country team runs to state championship (East County Californian)
- Deputies break up 20-man brawl at Carlton Oaks bar (Santee Patch)
- Ocotillo: worker airlifted after falling ( IV Press)
- SDG&E makes last push to bill users for wildfires (U-T San Diego)
- Unemployment checks to stop for 400,000 Californians (U-T San Diego)
- Erin Brokovich town faces new threat from utility company (NPR)
- Democratic power in state capitol has its limits (Sacramento Bee)
- California elected officials set to take pay cut (Sacramento Bee)
- First cap and trade auction a bust for California budget (Sacramento Bee)
- California man accused in plot to join al Qaeda denied bail (Reuters)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
Additional details released by Chula Vista Police
October 3, 2012 (Chula Vista)- A young mother of five who was shot to death September 28 after striking a plainsclothes Border Patrol officer with her vehicle was on probation for possession of drug paraphernalia in a 2011 offense, Captain Gary Wedge with the Chula Vista Police told ECM today. “She also had a prior conviction for possession of methamphetamine.”
Chula Vista Police Department is continuing its investigation into the death of Valeria Munique Tachiquin-Alvarado. Today, the Department released additional details on the shooting.
September 25, 2012 (San Diego ‘s East County) – With the fires in the East County all to recent, many emergency providers were called in to action. What about other sorts of emergencies? Who do you call to get help in an emergency? How can you report abuse, find road reports, file a noise complaint, or report a mountain lion sighting in your neighborhood? The Alpine Sheriff’s office as provided this handy list of phone lines to help in these situations and many others. Read more for the full list:
Compliments of the Sheriff’s Alpine Deputies:
September 17, 2012 (San Diego) – Daphne Hearn, Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego FBI Office, and Chris Maston, Director of Field Operations, Customs Border Protection (CBP) announced the arrest of CBP Officer Thomas Silva, age 33, a nine-year veteran with the CBP. Silva was arrested on Friday, September 7 2012, at approximately 8:30 a.m, at the San Ysidro Port of Entry by CBP and FBI Agents assigned to the FBI Border Corruption Task Force (BCTF) pursuant to a federal arrest warrant based on a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, case number 12MJ3305. The complaint charges Silva with wire fraud and concealing a person from arrest.
- City races start to heat up in East County (UT San Diego)
- 11-year-old accused of fatally stabbing friend found mentally incompetent to stand trial (Santee.Patch.com)
- Retired Border Patrol union president indicted (10 News)
- Group hoping to save ECPAC continues fight (UT San Diego)
- Where parolees live in San Diego: map (Voice of San Diego)
- San Diego Gas & Electric wind projects draw national notice (KCET)
- As heat dries land and lake, asthma fears rise in Imperial County(KPBS)
- Summer of hate concert came to El Cajon (San Diego Citybeat)
- High costs of bonds shocks Poway Unified School District (UT San Diego)
- Democratic lawmakers move to oppose rewriting CA environmental laws (Sacramento Bee)
- SoCal groves report new cases of lethal citrus bug (Sacramento Bee)
- Man dies after contracting rare rodent disease at Yosemite (CBS)
- Hundreds of dead fish found in Lakeside’s Lindo Lake Park (10 News)
- County’s top job filled with no public notice (KPBS)
- Have your schools done a Poway? (Voice of San Diego)
- Violence continues at San Diego juvenile hall (CityBeat)
- Lemon Grove to put 2 medical marijuana ordinances on November ballot(UT San Diego)
- Protective order issued against Border Patrol agents (10 News)
- City Council receives mostly low grades on environmental issues (Voice of San Diego)
- E. County tribal officer arrested for assault (UT San Diego)
- La Mesa bank teller thwarts robbery (UT San Diego)
- New trolley routes coming next month ((UT San Diego)
- Assembly passes corporate tax hike (Sacramento Bee)
- 3 park officials disciplined in vacation buyout scandal (Sacramento Bee)
- Despite falling gas prices, California’s gas prices soar in wake of refinery fire (Sacramento Bee)
- Chevron facility deemed hazardous (UT San Diego)
Exclusive: Bond insurer sues California over development agencies (Reuters)
- Health insurance rebates due next week across California (Sacramento Bee)
- California Parks Director resigns amid scandal (Sacramento Bee)
- Prop 32 opponents blast measure as flawed, unfair (Sacramento Bee)
- 4th night of unrest in Anaheim as protesters confront police (San Diego Free Press)
- Will California’s controversial desalination plant get off the ground? Here’s the last hurdle it faces (Alternet)
- Foreclosures plummet in San Diego County (UT San Diego)
- Council won’t sign PBID yet (La Mesa Today)
- San Diego: America’s Olympic capital (UT San Diego)
- Lakeside’s Long new face of Olympics (UT San Diego)
- Abuse of power allegations levied against Border Patrol (10 News)
- Video shows border agent destroying water for migrants (10 News)
HOUSE PASSES BILL THAT WOULD WIPE OUT ALL PROTECTIONS ON FEDERAL FORESTS AND RECREATIONAL LANDS OUR REGION
Bill also jeopardizes national parks along U.S.-Mexico and Canadian borders;
2 local Congressmen vote to kill environmental protections for all federal lands within 100 miles of borders--encompassing vast swaths in San Diego
April 20, 2012 (San Diego) – San Diego resident Anastasio Hernandez Rojas was beaten and Tasered to death in a 2010 incident involving Border Patrol. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. members of his family, civic and faith leaders will gather to watch new footage on “Need to Know”, a film that will raise the issue of border brutality to national attention.
Update March 25, 2012: The victim has been identified as Avel Michael Jordan Edgar, 21. According to the San Diego Medical Examiner, he died of a gunshot wound to the head.
March 17, 2012 (Lemon Grove) – Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call to a home at 8232 Mount Vernon Street in Lemon Grove, where a man had been shot, the evening of March 14. Paramedics determined that the man was deceased.
There were several people inside the home at the time of the incident and they are being interviewed to determine what occurred. There are currently two suspects in the case described as adult black males.
Deadline to R.S.V.P. is Friday, March 16
March 14, 2012 (San Diego) – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Citizen’s Academy is offering classes beginning March 24 to provide the community with information which will familiarize them with CBP’s mission and goals. CBP is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S.
December 11, 2011 (San Diego) — U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to San Diego area checkpoints and highways have seized a total of $683,090 of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine since Monday. The busts included seizures in East County, with drugs found hidden in vehicles and in the soles of shoes.
September 19, 2011 (San Diego)--U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers confiscated more than 8,800 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine valued at $8.2 million at San Diego border stations in just two days this past week, also halting entry of over 116 undocumented immigrants.
July 16, 2011 (San Diego) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility discovered 1,420 pounds of marijuana in boxes of serrano chili peppers Wednesday evening.
On July 13, a Mexican citizen, 27, entered the cargo port driving a 2000 International tractor and pulling a refrigerated trailer with cargo manifested as chili peppers. A CBP officer noticed the driver’s nervous demeanor and referred the conveyance for an intensive examination.
SENATE APPROVES ANDERSON MEASURE TO DEDICATE “BORDER PATROL AGENT ROBERT W. ROSAS MEMORIAL HIGHWAY” IN EAST COUNTY
June 15, 2011 (Sacramento)-- Senate Concurrent Resolution 37, authored by State Senator Joel Anderson (R - El Cajon) has been approved by the California State Senate. The measure would dedicate a portion of Interstate 8 in honor of f Border Patrol Agent Roberrt Rosas Jr., who was murdered while on duty in the Campo area of San Diego’s East County on July 23, 2009.