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Thread: Our Escalating Border War

  1. #241
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Chihuahua officials seek extradition of border agent in the '10 shooting death of teenager

    By Marisela Ortega Lozano and Aaron Bracamontes \ El Paso Times
    Posted: 05/04/2012 08:32:44 AM MDT



    Maria Guadalupe Guereca, mother of 15-year old teenager Sergio Adrian Guereca, a Mexican national shot and killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent from El Paso, right, speaks with Chihuahua Gov. Cesar Duarte, who said he wants to prosecute Jesus Mesa Jr., the U.S. Border Patrol agent. (Photo courtesy Chihuahua state government in Juárez)



    Chihuahua's governor on Thursday demanded that a U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with murder in Juárez in the shooting death of a teenager on the banks of the Río Grande be sent to Mexico to stand trial.

    The agent's El Paso lawyer said that will not happen.

    "He is a U.S. citizen, and he was an agent of the United States Border Patrol acting in his capacity," said lawyer Randy Ortega. "I don't believe there is any treaty or pact that would allow him to be extradited."

    On Thursday, Chihuahua Gov. César Duarte said he wants the agent, Jesus Mesa, extradited to answer for the death of Sergio Adrián Güereca, 15.

    Mesa has been charged with murder by the Chihuahua officials and faces 20 to 25 years in prison if convicted.

    "From here (Juárez), we demand that the Mexican government seek extradition of border patrol agent Jesus Mesa to be prosecuted in Chihuahua," Duarte said in a news release. "We have enough evidence to put Mesa on trial here in Chihuahua."

    On June 7, 2010, Mesa was patrolling on a bicycle along the Rio Grande when he came upon a group of boys, who included Güereca. The boys were running up a concrete spillway of the Rio Grande and touching a chain-link fence on the U.S. side.

    When Mesa took one of the boys into custody, the rest of the group allegedly began to throw rocks at the agent. Mesa then fired at the group, striking Güereca twice, once fatally in the head.

    The incident was recorded on a cellphone and shown on Mexican television.

    "Since the U.S. often claims human-rights alleged violations against their citizens abroad, that is enough for President Obama to surrender this agent," Duarte said.

    Duarte asked Mexican Interior Department Secretary Alejandro Poiré to demand extradition of Mesa. At this point, it's not known whether Mexico has officially asked that the U.S. government hand Mesa over to Mexican authorities.

    In recent years, Mexico has extradited to the United States many Mexican citizens who were wanted on drug-smuggling, murder and other charges.
    "There will be justice" for Güereca, Duarte vowed. "Chihuahua's government is starting this fight and we are going to make justice; there is already a warrant arrest against Mesa."

    However Mesa's lawyer, Ortega, said he does not think his client will be extradited.

    "I always believed they would do this in order to gain media publicity," Ortega said. "I think it's more a deflection tactic."

    Mesa has been cleared of any wrongdoing by U.S. authorities, including all civil and criminal charges, and he is no longer under investigation in the U.S.

    If Mexico does ask for an extradition, Ortega said, he will work with the Justice Department, but he fully expects the extradition to be dismissed.

    According to Chihuahua officials in Juárez, the boy's mother, María Guadalupe Güereca, approached Duarte during a law and safety forum in Juárez and asked him to prosecute Mesa.

    "I hope you can help us," Güereca was quoted as saying in the news release. "I don't want money, but justice for my son. I want the agent to be punished. My son was not a smuggler at all. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    23 More People Dead in Bloody Mexican Drug Wars





    Yesterday, three Mexican journalists’ bodies were discovered, dismembered and stuffed into plastic bags. They apparently had been asking the wrong questions in a country where drug violence is already dangerously high. Fox News reported at the time:
    It was a bloody start to World Press Freedom Day in Mexico as authorities in the eastern state of Veracruz discovered the bodies of three news photographers slain and dumped together in plastic bags near a canal, less than a week after the killing in the same state of a reporter for an investigative newsmagazine.

    Press advocates called for immediate government action to halt a wave of attacks that has killed at least six current and former reporters and photographers in Veracruz over the last year, most of them among the few journalists still working on crime-related stories in the state. The deaths have spawned an atmosphere of terror and self-censorship among journalists.

    The problem isn’t confined to Veracruz. Mexico is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists, with reporters and photographers suffering a rising number of attacks in recent years as the country grapples with tens of thousands of killings, kidnappings and extortion against the backdrop of a militarized government offensive against drug cartels.

    Prosecutions in the cases are all but unknown, as is the case with almost all homicides and other serious crimes in Mexico.
    Today, an even more grisly discovery has surfaced, as 23 total people were found dead in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

    14 of the corpses were beheaded and wrapped in plastic bags, with their heads preserved in separate ice boxes. The other 9, however, were discovered in a truly horrific state. WTOP Washington describes the carnage:
    The bodies of nine people were found hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, just 6 miles from the U.S. border. Five were men and four women.

    Pictures showed the nine bound, gagged and hanged.
    A message left with the bodies identified them as members of the Gulf cartel. A rivaling cartel, Los Zetas, is believed to be responsible for the deaths.

    All of the victims showed signs of torture. Their hands were tied and their eyes covered, sources tell WTOP.

    The Hideous Sight in Full
    The increased violence comes as Mexican President Felipe Calderon has been waging a war on the Mexican drug cartels using government resources – a war where only one side is following any rules, and where apparently only one side cares who gets caught in the crossfire. So far, more than 50,000 casualties have occurred from this standoff between the cartels and the Mexican government. These 23 are simply a particularly gruesome sample.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Latest Mexican Drug War Escalation: 49 Mutilated and Decapitated Bodies Left on Highway




    Federal police on a vehicle guard one of the three forensic trucks where several bodies were placed after dozens of bodies were found on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border found in the town of San Juan near the city of Monterrey, Mexico, Sunday, May 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)


    MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated bodies were found Sunday dumped on a highway connecting the northern Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the U.S. border, officials said.

    The bodies of 43 men and six women were found in the town of San Juan on the non-toll highway to the border city of Reynosa at about 4 a.m. (5 a.m. EDT; 0900 GMT), forcing police and troops to close off the highway.

    Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene said a banner left at the site left a threatening message in the name of the Zetas drug cartel.

    The identities of the victims were not immediately clear. Domene said the fact they were found with their heads, hands and feet cut off will make identification difficult.

    Attorney General Adrian de la Garza told a news conference he did not rule out the possibility they could be migrants. He said they could have been killed as long as two days ago at another location.



    Mexican drug cartels have been waging an escalating war of terror as they battle to control smuggling routes, the local drug market and extortion rackets, including shakedowns of migrants seeking to reach the United States.

    A drug gang allied with the Sinaloa cartel left 35 bodies were left at a freeway overpass in the city of Veracruz in September, and police found 32 other bodies, apparently killed by the same gang, two days after that. The goal apparently was to take over territory that had been dominated by the Zetas. Twenty-six bodies were found in November in Guadalajara, another territory being disputed by the Zetas and the Sinaloa group.

    So far this month, 23 bodies were found dumped or hanging in the city of Nuevo Laredo and 18 were found along a highway south of Guadalajara.

    Officials last year found 183 bodies in mass graves in the Tamaulipas state town of San Fernando. They were believed to have been migrants killed by the Zetas drug cartel. Another 72 migrants, many of them from Central America, were found slain in San Fernando in 2010.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    When are the governments going to actually declare war on these fucks and take them out? This isn't a joke any more. WTF is wrong with the Mexican government?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Is there really a Mexican government still? Hard to understand how this could keep going on without public outrage, but then again I guess if people fear that they will end up dead they just keep to themselves.

    If the people are too afraid, the "government" officials are too afraid, and their friendly bordering countries won't do anything then I guess they're just screwed.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Companion Thread:



    There Are 1.4 MILLION Gang Members In The United States And More Pour Into The Country Every Single Day




    A vast army of heavily armed criminals has embedded itself in every major city in the United States. In fact, nearly every community in America is now affected by these thugs. Drugs, theft and brutal violence are all part of the every day lifestyle of the members of this army. They aggressively recruit our young people and floods of illegal immigrants are joining their ranks. Once civil unrest erupts in America, they will go on a crime spree that will be absolutely unprecedented and they will burn large areas of some U.S. cities to the ground.

    So who am I talking about? I am talking about the rapidly growing gangs that are terrorizing cities all over the nation.


    The FBI tells us that there are now
    1.4 million gang members involved in the 33,000 different gangs that are active inside the United States. The number of gang members in the U.S. has increased by 40 percent since 2009. Just think about that. That is absolutely astounding. Just since 2009, the number of gang members has increased by 40 percent. The FBI says that 48 percent of all violent crime in this country can be directly traced to gangs and that this is a national crisis that is progressively getting worse. Unfortunately, the federal government refuses to secure our borders and is allowing new waves of illegal immigrants to enter the United States every single day. A substantial number of those illegal immigrants end up involved in these gangs. Yet the federal government just stands by and allows it to keep happening. One day, the foolishness of this policy will be evident to all.

    In many areas of America today, families live behind windows that have bars on them and they won't ever go out at night because it is just too dangerous. There are some communities that have pretty much been entirely taken over by the gangs, but instead of addressing the problem the federal government continues to spend a massive amount of resources checking out what might be in our underwear at U.S. airports.


    Meanwhile, criminal gangs are thriving. They are becoming incredibly powerful and increasingly sophisticated. The following is
    from an FBI press release....
    Gangs are increasingly engaging in non-traditional gang-related crime such as alien smuggling, human trafficking, and prostitution. Gangs are also engaging in white-collar crime such as counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud.
    You can find much more background information about gang activity in the United States from the FBI right here.

    You have probably heard of some of the largest of these gangs.


    For example, the 18th Street Gang is the largest gang in the state of California. It is said that they have 15,000 members in California alone, and that on average they are responsible for at least one major crime in Los Angeles County every single day.


    It has been reported that police in Los Angeles are extremely hesitant to ever venture into the areas most heavily controlled by the 18th Street gang. They are absolutely brutal and they do not back down to anyone. The following is what
    Wikipedia has to say about the 18th Street Gang....
    A US Justice Department report from 2009 estimates that the 18th Street gang has a membership of some 30,000 to 50,000 with 80% of them being illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America and is active in 44 cities in 20 states. Its main source of income is street-level distribution of cocaine and marijuana and, to a lesser extent, heroin and methamphetamine. Gang members also commit assault, auto theft, carjacking, drive-by shootings, extortion, homicide, identification fraud, and robbery.
    Another very prominent gang that you may have heard of is the Latin Kings. It is reported that they have 18,000 members in the city of Chicago alone. They are believed to be the largest Hispanic gang in the entire nation.

    One of the gangs that has law enforcement authorities the most concerned is MS-13. There are chapters of MS-13 in 42 states now, and if you cross a member of MS-13 there is a good chance that you will lose a limb or be hacked to death with a machete.


    This tough economic environment has made it even easier for these gangs to recruit new members. Today, there are way too many young people sitting around with nothing to do.


    Back in the year 2000, more than 50 percent of all Americans teens had a job. This past summer, only
    29.6% of all American teens had a job.

    When you have lots of teens and young adults sitting around with nothing but time on their hands, bad things are prone to happen.


    As the family unit continues to decline in America, young people are looking for a sense of belonging. For many youths, a gang becomes a new "family" for them.


    But unfortunately, these new "families" do not exactly teach "family values". Instead, they teach our young people about how to be brutal and violent.


    And we are seeing evidence of this out on the streets every single day. For example, a group of 6 young thugs recently attacked a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran in Philadelphia and beat him up so badly that he
    almost died....
    Kate Schaefer, the victim’s wife, told Eyewitness News, 'They just smashed every bone in his face. I can’t tell you the words. I guess I was just happy that he was alive.'
    During 2011, we saw a large increase in "group crime" behavior. Some of the incidents have been absolutely horrific. For example, the following is how one local ABC News affiliate described the "flash mob" attacks that took place at the Wisconsin state fair earlier this year....
    Milwaukee police said that around 11:10 p.m., squads were sent to the area for reports of battery, fighting and property damage being caused by an unruly crowd of "hundreds" of people. One officer described it as a "mob beating."

    Police said the group of young people attacked fair goers who were leaving the fair grounds. Police said that some victims were attacked while walking. They said others were pulled out of cars and off of motorcycles before being beaten.

    Can you imagine taking your kids to the state fair and having them witness that?

    But this is just the beginning.


    These gangs are becoming very organized and they are becoming very heavily armed.


    The FBI says that rifles, machine guns, grenades and even artillery rounds are being found in the possession of gangs more frequently than ever.


    Some examples of this were recently posted
    on military.com. These gangs seem to have a particular affection for AK-47s....
    In late July, 27 AK-47s were stolen from a Fort Irwin warehouse, officials said. Those close to the case, who would speak only under the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subject, said investigators believe gang members were involved in the theft.
    Sadly, that same article noted that members of the U.S. military have even been arrested for trying to sell weapons to these gangs....
    In November 2010, three former Marines were arrested in Los Angeles for selling assault weapons to members of the violent street gang, Florencia 13, according to the NGIC report. That same month, a Navy Seal from San Diego and two others were arrested in Colorado for smuggling about 18 military-issued machine guns from Iraq and Afghanistan to be sold and shipped to buyers in Mexico.
    Those that want to steal guns are becoming increasingly bold. For example, 21 machine guns were stolen a while back right out of an LAPD training facility.

    Down in Miami, thieves have become so bold that they have actually been
    breaking into parked police cruisers and stealing guns and ammo out of them.

    When people are stealing guns directly from the police, that is a sign that it is very late in the game.


    Our politicians spend so much time talking about the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the truth is that the area right along the U.S./Mexico border is far more dangerous.


    Just check out the following information
    from CNSNews.com....
    According to the Mexican government, from January through September 2011 2,276 deaths were recorded in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, which borders Texas and New Mexico.

    A Nov. 2011 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report states that over nearly the same period – January through October 2011 – 2,177 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, where a U.S.-led war against the Taliban is underway. It did not provide a breakdown of responsibility for that period, but said that in 2010, 75 percent of civilian deaths were attributed to the Taliban and other “anti-government elements.”


    Per capita, a person was at least nine times more likely to be murdered in Chihuahua last year than in Afghanistan.

    Many of the areas along our border with Mexico are open war zones.

    But do we hear about this much in the mainstream media?

    Of course not.

    Just across the U.S. border lies the city of Juarez, Mexico. Juarez is considered to be
    one of the most dangerous cities on the entire planet because of the brutal drug war being waged there. In fact, Juarez is the murder capital of the western hemisphere.

    But most Americans have never even heard of Juarez.


    Complete and total chaos reigns in vast areas of northern Mexico, and yet most Americans don't even realize that there is a problem.


    Overall, more than
    35,000 people have been killed since the Mexican government declared war on the drug cartels back in 2006.
    You would think that would warrant some significant news coverage.

    But no, the mainstream media can't talk much about that because then the people might actually start demanding that we secure our borders.


    Amazingly, instead of securing our borders the Obama administration has been busy sending guns down to the drug cartels in Mexico.


    That is what this whole "Fast and Furious" scandal is all about. As I have written about
    previously, ATF agents purposely allowed thousands of guns to be sold to individuals that they believed would get them into the hands of Mexican drug cartels.

    But so far, nobody in the Obama administration has been held accountable for this.


    During 2009 and 2010,
    70 percent of the 30,000 guns that were recovered by authorities in Mexico were determined to have come from inside the United States.

    That is a major problem.


    These Mexican drug cartels and the gangs that work with them have become very heavily armed and they have become very bold.


    It has been reported that Mexican drug cartels are now
    openly conducting military operations inside the United States. Scouts for the cartels maintain strategic lookout bases in the hills of southern Arizona, and the federal government has even put up signs that warn tourists to say out of certain areas. The cartels very much try to avoid any confrontations with our border patrol or with our local police, but once they are approached they are not afraid to open fire.

    One very frustrated border patrol agent
    told Fox News the following about what is going on in his area....
    "To say that this area is out of control is an understatement."

    So how in the world can the federal government allow this to go on?

    Well, a big part of it is that Barack Obama does not want to do anything that could scare away his Hispanic voters.


    In fact, he is doing just about everything that he can to portray himself as "Hispanic-friendly".

    A few months ago, I
    wrote about how the Obama administration has announced that there will now be a case-by-case review of all deportation cases involving illegal immigrants. Those involving "criminals" will be prioritized and almost all the rest will be thrown out.

    Yes, you read that correctly.

    If you are an illegal immigrant and you have not been convicted of a crime that means that you almost certainly get to stay in this country.


    So that is basically a big green light for even larger waves of illegal immigrants to enter this country.


    That means that the ranks of the gangs will swell even more.

    The chaotic drug war that is going on in northern Mexico has spread into many areas of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. With each passing day, the gangs that are embedded in all of our major cities are getting stronger. They are a ticking time bomb that eventually will go off.

    One day, when mass civil unrest erupts in the United States, the gangs will have a field day. Given the opportunity, most gangs will gleefully indulge in brutal violence, looting, arson, rape and mindless property destruction.


    Sadly, this all could have been avoided.


    Instead of strip-searching old women at airports, this is what we should have been dedicating our law enforcement resources to.


    Instead of spending billions of dollars
    spying on the American people, the federal government should have spent billions of dollars on securing our borders.

    Unfortunately, we made the wrong choices as a nation and so now we are going to pay the price.



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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Report: MS-13 Smuggles Missile Launchers, Teams Up With Zetas Cartel






    Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, became El Salvador’s deadliest gang through force of numbers and the power of the handgun — while inking some pretty crazy tattoos. Now if they weren’t deadly enough, the gang is transitioning into adopting heavier weapons while teaming up with Mexico’s Zetas.

    It’s not easy tracking guns inside the gangster’s paradise of El Salvador, as the Maras are not prone to advertising their alliances and hardware. But according to a recent report (.pdf) from Douglas Farah and Pamela Phillips Lum of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, a hawkish national security think-tank, the gang is moving “away from a dependence on handguns via the acquisition of automatic rifles such as AK-47s, along with grenades, rocket propelled grenade launchers, and Light Anti-Tank Weapons,” or LAWs. The report’s conclusions also draw straight from the source: MS-13 gang members themselves.

    Worse, the authors write that the gang recently funneled multiple shoulder-fired SA-7 anti-aircraft missile launchers “to a clandestine arms market that operates in the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador.” According to the authors’ sources, these SA-7s were first taken from stockpiles in Nicaragua left over from the country’s civil war, transferred to the arms market in Bajo Lempa, and “were eventually sold to the FARC for use in Colombia.” Going price? About $15,000.

    Danger Room can’t independently corroborate these claims, but the report notes an SA-7 was seized by Colombian troops in November. Last summer, the FARC also released a video showing what appears to be a rebel with an SA-7 launcher shooting down an airplane – likely a Colombian Air Force Super Tucano.

    Ironically, the Maras’ upgrade to automatic rifles is being inadvertently helped by the Salvadoran government. Gun buy-back programs, drawn up by the government to get guns out of the hands of street gangs, have allowed MS-13 to exchange old guns for cash, and then buy newer weapons — albeit in smaller quantities. Most of these weapons come from war-era stockpiles — many of them in Nicaragua — or by stealing (or even buying) them from the Honduran and Salvadoran armies. The MS-13 trade in firearms, whether for themselves or for selling them to larger and more organized groups like the FARC and the Mexican drug cartels, “appears to now be one of the primary activities of the MS-13 in El Salvador and beyond.”

    The report also details a growing link between the MS-13 and the Zetas — one of Mexico’s most powerful and bloody cartels. This link hasn’t always been well-established. An Associated Press story first made the connection last year, and quoted a Guatemalan interior ministry official who said the Zetas trained 18 MS-13 members at a camp in the Mexican state of Veracruz before sending them to Guatemala to conduct kidnappings. Days later, the chief of the Interior Ministry in Guatemala City dismissed the report, saying there was no evidence of a connection and denied the AP’s source was an employee at the ministry.

    But the connection does exist, according to Farah and Lum. Gang members told the authors that the Zetas and MS-13 reached an agreement “in the past few months” to arrange for MS-13 to smuggle drugs, weapons and human beings for the Zetas. MS-13 members are being trained at Zetas camps outside the Salvadoran capital of San Salvador, and then go on work for the cartel in Mexico for $400 per month. But the total numbers of MS-13 members trained “has not been so many,” according to one MS-13 member. The monthly salary doesn’t always go to the individual gangsters, instead being sent to the gangster’s clique back in El Salvador.

    This new partnership was also a way to patch-up some prior beef between the cartels. In 2010, the Zetas attacked MS-13 extortion gangs operating along railroad tracks in Mexico, where immigrants from Central America often travel to the U.S. border. The two sides fought for several months, with multiple people killed, until reaching a truce that divided up the territory. “We can’t let ourselves be run off by anyone in our territory,” said one MS-13 member. “We can work with anyone, but we won’t work for anyone.

    That was what the fight was about.”

    It’s very pragmatic-minded. MS-13 is also in a strong position to work with the Zetas, or pretty much anyone who wants illicit access to cocaine and automatic weapons. Their ability to do so, and cross borders with “relative impunity makes their organization ideal for the movement of guns,” the authors note.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 15 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    well... I guess I need to get me an SA-7 too.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    'Four trucks filled with bodies' after Reynosa firefight

    Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013 9:09 pm
    Ildefonso Ortiz | The Monitor
    Posted on March 11, 2013




    REYNOSA — Fear and panic filled the streets of Reynosa on Sunday night as rival gunmen battled during a three-hour firefight that saw automatic weapons and grenades used. Surprisingly, Mexican authorities were absent for most of the melee.

    The opening clashes were reported just before 9 p.m. Sunday, when rival factions of the Gulf Cartel consummated what appeared to be a yet another rift within the criminal organization.

    During the protracted gunbattle, dozens of gunmen were killed, but authorities Monday would only confirm the deaths of two bystanders and the injury of a third.

    A Tamaulipas law enforcement official, who asked to not be named citing security reasons, confirmed that the death toll was about three dozen, however the exact figures were not known because cartel gunmen picked up their own people’s bodies during the struggle.

    In a news release, the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office, known as the PGJE, confirmed that the two slain bystanders were a taxi driver and a teenager who was riding a vehicle with his father. The release confirms one person was injured and seven gunmen arrested, and it states that authorities seized 22 vehicles that were used in the melee, but it doesn’t mention any gunmen dying.

    The Tamaulipas law enforcement agent called the new release issued by his superiors an insult to common sense.

    “There were four trucks filled with bodies that (members of organized crime) picked up,” the official said. “That is not counting the (bodies) that were left behind.”

    The news release doesn’t mention a bullet-riddled SUV that was left along Boulevard Hidalgo, one of the city’s main avenues, just south of Vista Hermosa Avenue near the local headquarters of Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, known as the PGR. Inside the truck, four bloodied bodies could be seen from a distance hours after sundown Sunday.

    Just north of that location near the Fiesta Inn Hotel along Boulevard Hidalgo, another bullet-riddled vehicle could be seen with three bodies inside.

    Most of the city’s main avenues had been blocked off with hijacked trailers or buses, and road spikes were littered in other areas to stop traffic.

    MEDIA BLACKOUT

    While online the shootout in Reynosa has become common knowledge, mainstream news media have remained mum about it, said Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, chair of the Government Department at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

    “This has me very worried because this blackout is coming from both sides,” Correa Cabrera said. “Not only are we seeing organized crime shushing the media but now we are seeing the government at all levels put a lid on the media where you now have virtually no mainstream coverage of a battle of this magnitude.”

    TAKING CARE OF STRANGERS

    In a city where the constant threat of extortion by criminal organizations has caused citizens to be wary of their own shadow, when the shots started flying Sunday night, the community came together in an effort to protect bystanders.

    While social media users began pointing out the areas of potential danger, average citizens took matters into their own hands to warn the public. In a gated community along Boulevard Hidalgo, a man stood by the gate warning residents to stay inside because of the ongoing firefight.

    In the Wal-Mart store just a few blocks away, also along Boulevard Hidalgo, store employees locked the doors and asked their customers to remain calm as gunmen chased each other up and down the road.

    “Please don’t go out, young man,” an employee said in Spanish to one patron. “It’s really ugly out there and it’s been going for more than 30 minutes.”

    In a shopping plaza called Soriana Periférico near the city’s Southwestern side, the customers were also asked to stay inside for more than three hours until the roads cleared.

    “It was a very long night,” said a Reynosa teenager who refused to give his name. The teen had gone to the movies with his friends but was not able to leave. “I already called my mom so she won’t worry.

    “What the hell is going on?” he exclaimed.

    GRILLING

    As gunmen battled it out in the streets Sunday night, Ramiro Hernandez was busy in his garage. The maquila supervisor didn’t have work the next morning, so he was firing up the grill to cook a few steaks.

    “What can you do?” Hernandez said in Spanish. “I’m not going to go out there right now. (My family and I) are all here so I might as well just go on and enjoy my day off.”

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    No, you won’t accept
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    Default Re: Our Escalating Border War

    Another "isolated" Mexican military incursion...


    Mexico Confirms Confrontation With Border Patrol Agents

    Two armed Mexican soldiers crossed into Arizona in January and faced off with the U.S. officers.

    April 1, 2014

    Two heavily armed, camouflaged Mexican soldiers crossed 50 yards inside Arizona in January and drew their guns against U.S. Border Patrol agents who confronted them in a tense standoff, according to documents obtained by The Times/Tribune Washington Bureau.

    U.S. officials said it was one of nearly two dozen border incursions by Mexican soldiers into southern Arizona in the last four years.

    The Jan. 26 confrontation, described in a Border Patrol foreign military incursion report and confirmed in a separate letter from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske, ended when the Mexican soldiers retreated back over the border after U.S. agents — who also drew their weapons — summoned assistance. The soldiers, who misidentified themselves to border agents, claimed to be pursuing drug smugglers, documents show.

    U.S. officials characterized the incident as one of the most serious incursions in recent years. Though gunfire was averted, the 35-minute confrontation underscored the continuing friction between the U.S. and Mexico when it comes to policing the often chaotic and violent Southwest border. It also raised questions among some U.S. officials about whether the Mexican soldiers were chasing drug smugglers, as they claimed, or protecting cartels as they used drug routes to Arizona.

    Early Tuesday, officials at the Mexican Embassy in Washington — as they had for the last two weeks — denied that Mexican soldiers were involved, suggesting that the men were smugglers in military uniforms. But when presented with the U.S. confirmation of the incident, the embassy later called a Times/Tribune reporter and confirmed that the men were soldiers.

    "Those individuals were part of a counter-narcotics operation, which had taken place a few minutes prior on the Mexican side of the border," said Ariel Moutsatsos, minister for press and public affairs at the Mexican Embassy. "The two members of the Mexican army did not see any sign notifying them that they were crossing the border."

    He called the incident "an isolated and unintended occurrence." He noted that U.S. border agents also crossed the border from time to time.

    "Both U.S. and Mexican agents have sporadically and accidentally crossed our common border during their patrols," he said. "Both countries understand that this is something that happens as part of normal activities."

    Eduardo Sanchez, a spokesman for President Enrique Pena Nieto's security cabinet, confirmed the January incident and said the Mexican soldiers spotted what they believed to be men carrying backpacks with drugs. They pursued the men and recovered the backpacks, only to find themselves on the U.S. side of the border.

    "It's desert there, there are no fences, no walls," Sanchez said in explaining how the soldiers could have crossed unawares. He said the error was realized within minutes, and the soldiers returned. Their commanders spoke to U.S. officials in Tucson to explain, and it was chalked up as an error.

    A U.S. Embassy spokesperson in Mexico City said: "We have raised the issue of incursions onto U.S. territory with Mexican authorities both in Washington and in Mexico. We will continue to do so. There have been incursions by the Mexican military but they were unintentional. U.S. border officials work closely with their Mexican counterparts to ensure respect for the border and to return them quickly to Mexican territory. The bilateral collaboration in these incidents testifies to the strength of our security cooperation."

    Kerlikowske, in his letter to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said military incursions from Mexico were infrequent. But his letter cited 23 such incidents in the Tucson and Yuma sectors of Arizona since 2010, including three in this fiscal year.

    The January incursion was reported the same day to the commissioner's situation room and generated a "significant incident report." But U.S. border officials deemed that no further action was necessary, Kerlikowske wrote.

    Nevertheless, disclosure of the incursion is likely to cause border advocates such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others to demand a stronger U.S. defense along the four states that constitute this side of the 1,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

    In July 2011, the Mexican Defense Ministry confirmed that its soldiers had crossed into Texas over the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge. The crossing was unintentional and the soldiers were trying to find their way back into Mexico while on routine patrols, the ministry said. The U.S. Border Patrol apparently accepted the explanation.

    The latest encounter began at 8:53 a.m., when Border Patrol Agent Justin Hays spotted "two subjects entering the United States approximately 2.5 miles west of the Sasabe (Ariz.) Port of Entry," according to the report. Agent David Olaya responded to the area and reported seeing subjects who appeared to be Mexican military personnel about 50 yards north of the border.

    At 9:20 a.m., Olaya said, he "positively identified the two individuals in tan, digital camouflage uniforms, on foot traveling westbound, on the United States side of the International Boundary Fence Line," the report states.

    Confronting them, "both parties drew their weapons," the report said. The Mexican soldiers were carrying what was described as "G3 long arms" — an apparent reference to assault-style weapons — and identified themselves as members of the Mexican military's 80th Battalion.

    The report said the men identified themselves as Carlos Antique Juarez and Jorge Alberto Hernandez-Morales. But Olaya noted that the name tapes on their uniforms "did not coincide with the names provided. One, in fact, was partially covered." Juarez's name tag said "Diaz"; Hernandez-Morales' tag showed only "Rue."

    The soldiers told U.S. agents that they had been pursuing three suspects from Mexico. But when Olaya called for backup from the Border Patrol's Tucson sector, the two Mexicans retreated over the border.

    In his letter, Kerlikowske noted that Border Patrol agents at that time had been actively pursuing three suspects in the isolated, rugged terrain, and had recovered three bundles of marijuana. But he said no arrests were made and the three subjects escaped.

    Kerlikowske said the U.S. later determined that the two Mexican soldiers were "confirmed members of the Mexican military."

    In response to a question from Coburn about whether the soldiers might have been providing security to drug smugglers, Kerlikowske said his agency "does not have intelligence that directly connects (Mexican military) personnel to criminal activity."

    But border experts say that Mexican soldiers have frequently been hired to assist drug smugglers.

    "It's pretty easy to co-opt them," said James Phelps, a border and homeland security professor at Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. "Many are essentially a functional asset of the cartels."

    He recalled an incident a few years ago in which a Mexican army captain was helping to transport a five-ton truck loaded with methamphetamine until he stopped just before reaching El Paso.

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    Report: Mexican Military Chopper Crosses Into US, Shoots At Border Agents

    June 27, 2014 7:40 AM
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    File photo of Border Patrol agents. (Photo credit: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)


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    TUCSON, Ariz. (CBS Las Vegas) — Border Patrol agents in Arizona were reportedly fired upon by a Mexican military helicopter that traveled across the border.
    KVOA-TV reports that Mexican authorities were conducting a drug interdiction operation when the incident happened early Thursday morning on the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation. The Mexican chopper fired at the agents and then flew back into Mexico.
    Art del Cueto, Border Patrol Tucson Sector union president, tells KVOA that they called and apologized for the incident.
    “The incident occurred after midnight and before 6 a.m. Helicopter flew into the U.S. and fired on two U.S. Border Patrol agents,” del Cueto said in a statement to KVOA. “The incident occurred west of the San Miguel Gate on the Tohono O’odham Indian Nation. The agents were unharmed. The helicopter went back into Mexico. Mexico then contacted U.S. authorities and apologized for the incident.”
    Andy Adame, Border Patrol spokesperson, said that Mexican authorities fired two shots at the border agents.
    “Two shots were fired from the helicopter but no injuries or damage to U.S. property were reported,” Adame told KVOA.
    The incident is under investigation.
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    June 27, 2014, 10:02 am Immigration activists to occupy House

    By Mario Trujillo
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    Immigration activists plan to occupy House office buildings on Friday to protest GOP positions on illegal immigration.


    United We Dream, a youth-led group that supports expanding protection for illegal immigrants, announced members would protest inside the Rayburn House Office Building at 12:30 p.m.


    The group said it would target members from Arizona, California, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Washington and Virginia. The group did not include a list of specific lawmakers.


    The House is not in session on Friday, however, and most lawmakers have returned to their home districts for the July 4 recess.


    The group accuses Republicans of using "harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric," and says the party is using the large influx of child immigrants coming from Central American countries as an excuse not to act on immigration reform.


    The group is pushing for the Obama administration to expand a 2012 program that allows some children brought to the country illegally to be deprioritized for deportation. The group wants the program to include the family members of those children as well.

    Similar protests have been staged before. The group shows video on its website of its members being arrested in House office buildings in the past.


    More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have filtered into the country from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras this year, as crime in the region increases and misperception about U.S. immigration policy has made them believe they can stay in the United States.


    Republicans say they will not act on immigration until the administration cracks down on border security.


    The administration has held off on a review of deportation policies to give Congress room to negotiate a deal. But as hope of immigration reform fades, Democrats are warning that President Obama is not bluffing on using executive authority to make changes to deportation policy.



    Immigration reform, Deportation
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    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2014/06/27/r...ng-rio-grande/

    Border Patrol Looking To House Immigrants In Abandoned Warehouses Along Rio Grande

    June 27, 2014 5:21 AM
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    Male undocumented immigrants sit in a holding cell at the U.S. Border Patrol detainee processing center on April 11, 2013 in McAllen, Texas. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


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    SOUTH TEXAS (KRLD) – More than 52,000 children have entered the country illegal in recent months, many of them coming into the U.S. through South Texas. Former Zapata County Sheriff Gonzales, who now works as a consult with law enforcement agencies along the Texas border, says space is running out to house the children and adults that are coming across.
    “The local governments are being overwhelmed because of the possibilities for diseases. There are people that are being apprehended that are coming in with warrants for murders or prior convictions for child abuse, and these are the guys that are coming in the same groups with 12 year olds and 5 year olds,” says Zapata. “They’re looking at some centers in the valley… abandoned buildings where they’re going to put fences inside the buildings to create detention cells and just throw people in there. “
    Zapata says the situation is unprecedented, but the closest comparison would be to how the Astrodome in Houston was used during Hurricane Katrina, when 25,000 evacuees were housed inside of it.
    “They’re going to go in there and divide the whole building into 4 pieces or 8 pieces using a hurricane fence or a cyclone fence and just put people in… until they’re processed.”
    Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), who works closely with agents along the border, confirmed the border patrol’s intentions to create additional housing areas.
    “Its basically a former warehouse and they’re working on retrofitting that to re-house the kids,” says Cuellar. “There’s really no other places to do this, but we’re trying to do the best that we can.”
    Customs and Border Patrol has been shipping illegal immigrants to facilities all over the country and reportedly are even looking at using an abandoned Walmart in New York, according to Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY).
    “It is unacceptable the federal government is trying to force the hardworking taxpayers of New York to foot the bill to house undocumented immigrants,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “The President’s actions have fueled the current crises along the southern border, and now New York residents are being directly impacted by his irresponsible actions. If President Obama was committed to enforcing the immigration laws currently in place, this would not be an issue. Instead, the President has decided to pick and choose which laws he wants to enforce, creating an environment where wrongdoing goes unpunished.”
    In San Antonio, federal officials say a child in a temporary shelter is still recovering from swine flu.
    Kenneth Wolfe, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, says the unaccompanied child was recently hospitalized after being diagnosed with swine flu, or H1N1. Wolfe says officials believe this is an isolated incident but are closely monitoring all children at Lackland and other similar shelters the agency is operating around the country.
    “That tells you that when you’ve got kids coming in from some of these countries where they don’t have great health systems, we gotta watch out,” says Cuellar. “I’ve talked to border patrol down in McAllen. They’ve seen TB; they’ve seen chicken pox; they’ve seen scabies. And according to Border Patrol, 4 or 5 of their agents have tested positive for those diseases.”
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    White House Press Secretary: 'We’re Not Just Going to Sit Around and Wait' for Congress to Write Laws



    by Charlie Spiering 26 Jun 2014 5259 post a comment

    President Obama, tired of waiting for Congress to act on immigration reform, is currently exploring ways to address issues with Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

    During an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that the Obama administration was getting impatient with Congress.
    “[W]e’re not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress,” he explained. “We’ve been waiting a year already. The president has tasked his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with reviewing what options are available to the president, what is at his disposal using his executive authority to try to address some of the problems that have been created by our broken immigration system.”
    Earnest added that, although Obama was exploring executive action, it was “not a substitute for robust Congressional action” on immigration reform.
    “That’s why we’re trying to focus on getting that done,” he concluded.
    Obama has been heavily criticized after his 2012 executive decision to defer the deportations of some young illegal immigrants, which critics argue was a key incentive for more children to cross the border illegally.
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    Democrats: No bluff, Obama will go it alone on immigration

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    By Mike Lillis - 06/26/14 03:00 PM EDT

    The Obama administration is "not bluffing" in its intent to take executive action on immigration policy if House Republicans don't act soon, top Democratic leaders warned Thursday.
    President Obama has delayed any potential changes to his deportation policy to allow House GOP leaders time to bring legislation to the floor this summer. But if the Republicans don't act in July, the Democrats say, unilateral changes by Obama are inevitable.
    "We're at the end of the line," Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Thursday during a press briefing in the Capitol. "We're not bluffing by setting a legislative deadline for them to act.
    "Their first job is to govern," Menendez added, "and in the absence of governing, then you see executive actions."
    Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) piled on. Noting that a year has passed since the Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill with broad bipartisan support, he urged House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to bring a similar bill to the floor.
    "I don't know how much more time he thinks he needs, but I hope that Speaker Boehner will speak up today," Durbin said. "And if he does not, the president will borrow the power that is needed to solve the problems of immigration."



    The remarks come a day after Boehner announced his intent to push legislation allowing the House to sue Obama for what the Republicans say is a habitual inclination to overstep his constitutional authority.
    "When there is a failure on the part of the president to faithfully execute the law, the House has the authority to challenge this failure," Boehner wrote Wednesday in a memo to House lawmakers.
    Boehner did not name specific examples of alleged overreach, but Republicans have long been up in arms over Obama's 2012 program allowing some high-achieving illegal immigrants brought to the United States as kids to stay in the country and work without fear of deportation.
    Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking Democrat in the upper chamber, said Boehner and other Republican critics of Obama's executive actions have "a very good antidote" for their fears: "Put a bill on the floor."
    "He's, like, shooting his parents and then throwing himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan," Schumer said. "Pass a bill, and that won't happen.
    "If they don't bring any bill to the floor, the president has no choice — on a humanitarian basis and on a policy basis — to act where he can on his own," Schumer added.
    Boehner on Tuesday said the current influx of immigrant children across the southern border will only make it tougher to pass legislation this year. The Speaker blamed Obama for the crisis.
    "The president's making this harder and harder every day for us to try to deal with this in a responsible way," Boehner told reporters in the Capitol. "We've got a humanitarian disaster on the border. Most of it, at the president's own making, in my opinion, and so it makes our jobs much more difficult because of the actions he's taken or not taken with regard to the border."
    Some immigration reformers have been hopeful that the recent shake-up in Republican leadership, which will have Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) soon replacing Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) in the majority leader spot, could lead to action on immigration reform this year.
    But McCarthy on Sunday seemed to throw cold water on that notion, telling Fox News that he plans to do "nothing about immigration until we secure the borders" — a sharp change from January, when he promoted "legal status" for illegal immigrants "that will allow you to work and pay taxes" without fear of deportation.
    House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that he spoke with McCarthy on Wednesday, urging the incoming majority leader to bring an immigration bill to the floor.
    Hoyer did not reveal McCarthy's response.
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    Nancy Pelosi to travel to border, meet detained minors





    She will meet with children held at the South Texas Detention Facility. | Getty




    By LAUREN FRENCH | 6/26/14 6:42 PM EDT
    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will travel to the southern border of the U.S. on Saturday to be briefed by Customs and Border Protection on the flood of unaccompanied minors entering the country.
    The California Democrat will also meet with a group of children held at the South Texas Detention Facility.

    “The humanitarian crisis unfolding across our nation’s southern border demands Congress come together and find thoughtful, compassionate and bipartisan solutions,” Pelosi said. “We must ensure our laws are fully enforced, so that due process is provided to unaccompanied children and the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children is protected. We must also work to address the root causes of the problem.”
    (Also on POLITICO: Gutierrez: Immigration reform prospects dead)
    More than 50,000 unaccompanied children from central America have crossed the border into the United States since last October, but federal law says the U.S. cannot immediately turn the minors away if they are from non-contiguous countries such as Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
    The rush of children has turned into a crisis for Customs and Border Protection, which does not have the capacity to house the children for the 72 hours before they are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services to await an immigration hearing.
    Pelosi will be joined by Democratic Reps. Filemon Vela of Texas, Rubén E. Hinojosa of Texas and Steven Horsford of Nevada. Hinojosa is the chairman of the Chairman, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Vela sits on the House Homeland Security Committee.
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    Long Island Facility Eyed to House Influx of Immigrant Children

    Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 | Updated 7:29 PM EDT

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    A Long Island facility is being eyed as possible temporary housing for some of the thousands of children streaming over the U.S.-Mexico border without guardians. Sheldon Dutes reports.


    A Long Island facility is being eyed as possible temporary housing for some of the thousands of children streaming over the U.S.-Mexico border without guardians.
    The federal government is considering using Peregrine Business Park at 15 Grumman Road, a former Grumman Corp. facility in Bethpage, according to Newsday. It's one of five New York facilities that the government has examined, the paper said.
    Rep. Steve Israel, a Democrat representing Huntington, said "it is not a viable solution to simply place unaccompanied children from Central America in temporary shelters."
    The General Services Administration told Newsday that no decision has been made.


    Border Patrol agents have apprehended more than 52,000 immigrant children crossing the border alone since October. Most are from Central America and have been caught in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress this week that the influx has overwhelmed the system.
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    Abandoned Wal-Mart Considered as Feds Explore Immigrant Shelter Options

    Feds look more than 1,500 miles inland to warehouse with leaky roof


    [IMG]http://hw.********.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/walmart3.jpg[/IMG]


    by Adan Salazar | ********.com | June 26, 2014






    Scrambling to secure accommodations for the overwhelming surge of Central American minors crossing into the U.S. illegally, the federal government is looking at several sites in New York as potential shelters, including a rundown former Walmart building.

    Though the location has been vacant for about seven years, and is in many respects what some might term a “fixer-upper,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and General Services Administration are looking at an old Walmart store in Sweden, New York, “to determine whether it may be used as a facility for temporarily housing children who have come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian.”
    The proposal is not without opposition, however. The town’s supervisor, a New York congressman and residents all say it’s a terrible idea.
    “It’s an old retail store that’s been empty for seven years and has had quite a few roof leaks,” says Sweden Supervisor Robert A. Carges. “I just couldn’t get behind it, no way. … It’s just a warehouse.”
    Congressman Chris Collins, in whose district the potential shelter lies, says New York taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to cover the costs of another Obama administration policy failure.
    “It is unacceptable the federal government is trying to force the hardworking taxpayers of New York to foot the bill to house undocumented immigrants,” Collins said in a statement.
    “I don’t believe New York should be on the list,” Collins elaborated. “..[B]ecause ultimately, if not immediately, I’m convinced there will be a cost that will be passed on to the New York taxpayers.”
    While the community is told the shelter wouldn’t lead to any immediate expenses, NBC affiliate WHEC correctly notes “the costs will be covered by the federal government, but those costs will be covered by your federal tax dollars.”
    Collins says feds should try to keep immigrants close to the border they illegally penetrated.
    “I would just suggest not here. My comment is, they’re crossing the border in Texas and Arizona, that’s where they should be,” Collins told WHEC.
    Residents are also worried housing the immigrant influx could raise the town’s taxes and could bring a criminal element.
    “I mean if they could get over into the United States without any help, they could be out on the streets and getting into trouble. It’s hard to tell,” one worried resident said.
    Two of the five sites considered in New York, Byblos Niagara Resort in Grand Island and the Lexington Commerce Center in Greece, have already failed the sniff test.
    In more government bumbling, the feds erroneously believed the fully-occupied Byblos resort to be a vacant structure.
    HHS says only three military bases, Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Naval Base Ventura County-Port Hueneme in Oxnard, California and Fort Sill in Oklahoma, have been converted to temporary shelters, however, earlier this month Judicial Watch.org revealed from a high-level inside source that a hanger on the Biggs Army Airfield, in El Paso, Texas, was also being used as an immigrant processing facility. Unsurprisingly, the Pentagon refuted the report.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  19. #259
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    http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/06/...tion-shelters/

    First Lady Of Honduras To Tour South Texas Immigration Shelters

    June 27, 2014 7:37 AM
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    Nacional party presidential precandidate for the Azules Unidos (United Blue) movement, Juan Orlando Hernandez (L), greets supporters alongside his wife, Ana Garcia de Hernandez (R), in Tegucigalpa, on July 15, 2012. (credit: ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)


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    MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — The first lady of Honduras is to tour South Texas immigration shelters to learn the plight of thousands of Hondurans who entered the United States illegally.
    Ana Garcia de Hernandez already has met Thursday morning with McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. Starting Friday, she is scheduled to visit several Border Patrol stations in the Rio Grande Valley and plans to remain in the area through Saturday.
    The Border Patrol has been overwhelmed in the region by the number of immigrants entering the country illegally. About three-quarters of them are from Central America, with the most coming from Honduras. More than 15,000 unaccompanied children from Honduras have been apprehended since October.
    Many of the immigrants say they are fleeing widespread gang violence and lack of job opportunities.
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    http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2014/06...al-immigrants/

    Dems block GOP bills to verify status, block tax credits to illegal immigrants

    Pete Kasperowicz
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    Senate Democrats blocked Republicans on Thursday from passing two bills that would require companies to verify the legal status of people before they hire them, and stop the government from handing out child tax credits to illegal immigrants.
    Sessions tried to get approval for the two bills after saying illegal immigration is swamping the U.S., which is leading to reduce wages for Americans and higher costs as these immigrants start improperly receiving federal tax benefits.

    He first tried to pass the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa.) That bill would require companies to verify whether possible employees are legally able to work in the country.
    But Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) argued that this e-verify provision was in the Senate’s broad immigration bill that passed a year ago, and said Democrats aren’t looking to negotiate passage of sections of that bill.
    “We are not going to take that bill apart piece by piece, as the senator from Alabama suggests,” Durbin said. “I object.”
    Sessions said if the e-verify program can be accepted by Democrats in the larger bill, they should be able to approve it quickly this week.
    “[I]f it’s so good, why don’t we bring it up and pass it now?” Sessions asked. “Why do we have to pass along with it a bill that will double the number of guest workers in the country, and would increase immigration?”
    Sessions then tried to pass the Child Tax Credit Integrity Preservation Act, which would change the law to ensure illegal immigrants cannot receive child tax credit benefits. But Durbin objected again, and seemed to indicate he believes these benefits should flow to non-citizens.
    “I want to make sure that working families with small children have the helping hand of our tax code,” he said. “I want to stop any fraud in any program in our tax code, but I don’t believe this bill is a balanced approach to solving the problem, and I object.”
    That left a stunned Sessions to note that the Treasury Department’s Office of Inspector General has said $4.2 billion in child tax credits were given to illegal immigrants.
    “I am flabbergasted, amazed that we would sit by and $4 billion in child tax credit payments to go out that are not justified,” he said.
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