The items posted in this column are provided by George Taylor, a retired Border Patrol agent.
By Michael Graczyk, Associated Press
HOUSTON (AP) — Three people are charged with human smuggling after a dozen more people believed from Latin America were rescued from a locked box truck where they'd been left to swelter in the Houston summer heat, Harris County authorities said Monday.
Officials said the victims spent hours banging on the inside walls of the truck trying to obtain help.
Joanne Musick, chief of the sex crimes division of the Harris County District Attorney's office, said an alert Houston police officer, Chris Meade, made the discovery Sunday while working an unrelated case, spotting the rental truck in a construction site parking area where it was apparent it should not have been.
"Things just did not appear correct to him," Musick said.
She said the presence of Meade and other officers then spurred some activity near the truck "and really drew his attention."
When he opened the latch of the truck's cargo box, the dozen people inside appeared drenched in sweat, with no food and little water and "looked like they were on the verge of heat exhaustion," she said.
"He was able to realize these were undocumented immigrants that were being potentially smuggled or trafficked into the country," Musick said.
Department of Homeland Security officers and other Houston police were summoned and in the course of interviews three people at the site were detained.
Priscila Perez Beltran, 21, Adela Alvarez, 26, and Nelson Cortes Garcia, 27, subsequently were arrested on three human smuggling charges and were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday. They were each being held on $300,000 bond.
Musick said the charges were being enhanced because of the substantial likelihood of bodily injury or death faced by the victims in the truck. Temperatures in Houston on Sunday were in the 90s and topped 100 degrees inside the truck.
"There is no good season for human trafficking, but summer time in Houston has to be the worst," Harris County First Assistant District Attorney Tom Berg said. "Thirty more minutes and this could have been a dozen homicide cases."
It was not immediately certain if the three charged are part of a larger smuggling ring. The case remains under investigation, authorities said. They three face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Homeland Security officials said the disposition of the 12 victims in the case also was not immediately certain since they could be needed as material witnesses to testify if the case goes to trial. Their exact home countries had not yet been determined but authorities said they were believed from Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.
They were given food and water, were checked out by emergency medical teams and interviewed.
"Each of those people had themselves paid or someone on their behalf paid to get them into the United States," Musick said.
Musick said authorities hadn't determined yet if they were headed for use as laborers or for sex trafficking but said historically they are "exploited in a number of ways."
Houston is a little more than 300 miles (482.78 kilometers) northeast of the Mexican border.
By Daniel Greenfield
ISIS has been defeated. That’s the official word out of Iraq. But don’t count it out just yet.
We beat ISIS twice before. Once in its previous incarnation as Al Qaeda in Iraq and in its even earlier incarnation as Saddam Hussein’s regime whose Sunni Baathists went on to play a crucial role in ISIS.
Each time it was reborn as another murderous monstrosity.
We don’t know what the next incarnation will look like, but considering Saddam Hussein’s rape rooms, Al Qaeda in Iraq’s love of suicide bombings and ISIS taking public torture to a new level, it will be bad.
We beat Saddam, Al Qaeda in Iraq and the Islamic State. But it keeps coming back because we don’t understand what it is. And we don’t get it because we don’t understand what Islamic terrorism is.
Islamic terrorists are not a “tiny minority of extremists” who “pervert Islam”. They are Islam.
ISIS keeps coming back because it’s rooted in the local Sunni Islamic Arab population and the religion of Islam. The Sunni link is why ISIS keeps popping back up. Bush suppressed Al Qaeda in Iraq by allying with Sunni tribes. Obama made a deal with Iran and let its Shiites dominate Iraq. Sunnis flocked to ISIS’ ex-Baathists who promised to bring back the good old days of Saddam’s supremacy for Sunnis.
As long as the Sunni-Shiite tensions in Iraq and Syria, not to mention those between Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen continue to play out, ISIS will stick around in some form waiting to make a comeback. The cycle of Sunnis turning to Al Qaeda/ISIS to beat the Shiites and then to the US to beat ISIS will continue.
Critics who accuse the US of creating ISIS by bombing Iraq miss the point. ISIS is the latest embodiment of Sunni supremacism and historical nostalgia for the Abbasid Caliphate. Both Saddam and the Caliph of ISIS capitalized on that nostalgia the way that Hitler did on Charlemagne. We didn’t create it. And it isn’t going anywhere. We can’t defeat it without breaking the historical aspirations of the Sunni population. That is what we are up against.
We’re not just fighting a bunch of ragged terrorists. We’re fighting against the sense of manifest destiny of a large Muslim population, not just in Iraq and Syria, but in London, Paris and every state in America.
The Islamic terrorist groups of the Middle East are especially dangerous because, as ISIS did with its Caliphate, they can closely link themselves to crucial epochs in Islam. Al Qaeda leveraged its Saudi face to form a visceral connection with Muslims worldwide. ISIS repeated the same trick with its Iraqi link. And large numbers of non-Arabs and converts to Islam rallied from around the world to the Jihad. ISIS is now the new Al Qaeda. It may not be able to run Mosul, but it has become an international terrorist organization that is even more dangerous than Al Qaeda. And that may be what it wanted.
Like the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups, the Islamic State was never very good at running things. The PA won’t make peace with Israel for the same reason that Hamas won’t make peace with the PA: statehood is a compelling imperative, but requires hard work in reality. It’s much easier to send off a few useful idiots to blow themselves up and then collect the Qatari checks.
Civilizations manage societies. Barbarians have more fun destroying things than taking out the garbage or cleaning the streets. That is why ISIS lost and why the Jihad will finally succeed only if civilization implodes too badly to resist its incursions or through the unstoppable force of brute demographics.
The original Islamic conquests wrecked the societies and cultures they overran the way that barbarians always do. They wouldn’t have succeeded if civilization had not been in a state of collapse. Today’s Islamic conquests are a similar reaction to our civilizational decline. But as long as we can send jets and drones to wreak havoc on Islamic terrorists anywhere in the world, the conquests can only work on a demographic, not a military level. ISIS claimed that it could win a military showdown: it was wrong.
But the demographic conquest is going very well. Just ask the frightened natives of Paris and London. The Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy of political and demographic invasion, sneered at by ISIS, may be less glamorous, but it has equally close echoes in Mohammed’s tactics against his non-Muslim foes.
The challenge for Islamic The terrorists is turning that demographic growth into military strength. ISIS emerged as the Uber of Islamic terrorism by unlocking the key to turning Muslims anywhere into terrorists with no training or recruitment. While Al Qaeda had pioneered the strategy, ISIS made it work.
Dismissing the terrorists who have been killing for ISIS in the West as “lone wolves” misses the point.
The Islamic terrorist who goes on a stabbing spree in London or a shooting spree in Orlando is no more a “lone wolf” than an Uber driver who picks up a passenger is just some random eccentric. They’re parts of a distributed network that is deliberately decentralized to better fulfill its central purpose.
CVE and other efforts to tackle “online extremism” fight messaging wars that ignore the demographics. But our targeted strikes on ISIS ignore demographics in the same way. We keep looking at the trees while missing the forest. But the forest is where the trees come from. Muslim terrorists emerge from an Islamic population. They aren’t aberrations. Instead they represent its religious and historic aspirations.
ISIS and Islamic terrorists aren’t going anywhere. Defeating them through patronizing lectures about the peacefulness of Islam, as Obama’s CVE policy proposed to do, was a futile farce. Bombing them temporarily suppresses them as an organized military force, but not their religious and cultural origins.
As long as we go on seeing Islamic terrorism as an aberration that has no connection to the history and religion of Islam, our efforts to defeat it will be pinpricks that treat the symptoms, but not the problem.
Only when we recognize that Islamic terrorism is Islam, that the crimes of ISIS and countless others dating back to Mohammed were committed to achieve the goals of the Islamic population, will we be ready to face the war that we’re in and to defend ourselves against what is to come not just in Iraq or Afghanistan, but in America, Australia, Canada, Europe, India, Israel and everywhere else.
We are not fighting a handful of Islamic terrorists. We are standing in the path of the manifest destiny of Islam. Either that manifest destiny will break against us, as it did at the Gates of Vienna, or it will break us. The attacks were once yearly. Now they are monthly. Soon they will become daily.
Every attack is a pebble in an avalanche. A pebble falls in Brussels, in Fresno, in Dusseldorf, in New York, in Munich, in London, in Garland, in Paris, in Jerusalem, in Mumbai, in Boston and in more places than anyone can count. We are too close to the bloodshed to see the big picture. We only see the smoke and hear the screams. We see the boats bringing armies into Europe. We see refugees fill our airports.
Those are the trees, not the forest: the pebbles, not the avalanche. Those are the battles, not the war.
The Islamic State is not going anywhere. It’s not a name. It’s an Islamic imperative. And it’s here.
This is quite a defense of Donald Trump, from an unexpected source … someone who voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and Jill Stein in the general election. His message is the most articulate, persuasive unexpected defense I’ve encountered.
Take a listen …
I specifically recall personally processing illegal aliens that crossed in the desert west of Nogales, Arizona, who claimed that the Mexican Government put them on buses in CD. Juarez and took them to near Sonoyta, Sonora, to cross into the United States Illegally during the summer months. This information was noted on the I-213 of the aliens that I processed and was a common claim made by illegal aliens. This was at a time when the death count in the west desert was beginning to get strong media attention.
Zack Taylor, Chairman
An increase in the number of dead bodies found on the U.S. side of the southwestern border in Arizona has prompted local border officials in that sector to arrest and prosecute first-time illegal trespassers, a move normally reserved for repeat offenders, in an effort to save lives.
Border Patrol agents at the Tucson Sector Headquarters hope the threat of criminal charges will deter illegal immigrants from making the dangerous trip through Mexico's hottest desert on their trek to the states.
"Under this program, once through the courts, they [first-time illegal entrants] have a lower recidivism rate," Tucson Border Patrol agent and public information officer Daniel Hernandez told the Washington Examiner. "In our area, we find that many times repercussions of this nature would prevent people from entering the country."
The 100,000-square mile Sonoran Desert stretches from Baja, Mexico, to southern California and Arizona. Last month, the Sonoran saw high temperatures up to 120 degrees, making the trek for illegal migrants even more treacherous and just as difficult for border agents trying to secure the large area.
From Jan. 1 through June 30, 81 bodies or skeletal remains were found in the region, putting the sector on target to surpass last year's total of 154 deceased bodies, according to data from the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office.
That increase prompted officials to restart an old program last month that mandates the prosecution of any person caught illegally in the U.S., something they hadn't done in years.
The efforts appear to be yielding major results, judging by the large number of first-time arrests in June despite decreasing apprehension numbers since the beginning of the year.
Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday the single border sector prosecuted 565 people who were arrested for making a first attempt to illegally cross into the U.S., which is a misdemeanor. Prosecution for felony crimes is typically only carried out against repeat offenders.
While short-term, overnight results are not expected, Hernandez said the long-term, seasonal effects are documented.
Tucson Border Sector prosecuted 565 first-time illegal trespassers in June
A single border sector in Arizona prosecuted 565 people who were arrested for making a first attempt to illegally cross into the U.S., the Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday.
Trespassing into the U.S. is a misdemeanor the first time and a felony every time thereafter, though most apprehended trespassers are not charged for the first offense.
The Tucson Sector changed that policy and started prosecuting all illegal entrants June 1, citing the act as a violation of the United States Code.
"The purpose of this measure is to dissuade migrants from risking their lives to cross illegally through the inhospitable Sonoran Desert. By adding criminal consequences to all apprehensions, Tucson Sector plans to make the west desert region even more undesirable place to cross," CBP said in a press release.
Tucson Border Patrol agents rescued 80 people in the west desert who had attempted to illegally enter the country in June alone.
This article was published as an opinion piece in the Boston Herald by Massachusett's U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey and Niki Tsongas, who represents the Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives Saturday, July 08, 2017
Comments from the Immigration Matters columnist:
He quotes from the article:
"But in 2016, fentanyl was present in a staggering 69 percent of the state’s opioid-related deaths, resulting in 1,400 fentanyl-related deaths in the commonwealth.
"The primary sources of fentanyl are outside the United States, principally Mexico and China. The drug is smuggled across the U.S. border."
As the very astute Bob Trent pointed out, Leprechauns and doctors are not responsible for the presence of heroin and fentanyl on the streets of America.
Massachussetts has been particularly hard hit and I am guessing they can't afford to pussy foot around any longer as the political deflection has become apparent.
And, this has all been specifically brought to the attention of Congress by NAFBPO for well over a year.
I suspect that the main reason that the full statistics for 2015 and 2016 are not being released is because the evidence does not fit Congress' narrative of the need for counseling and attacking pharmacies and doctors. Heroin, fentanyl and carefentanyl have thrived because the political and media elites have suppressed the truth about the crisis for years.
It is fair to call this supression and deflection political protection for transnational crime.
So, how long before Ohio and Wisconsin start talking about the facts ? Illinois and New York are lost causes and one has to wonder who is benefitting from the trafficking of these drugs in America.
Zack Taylor, Chairman
Editor's Note: Massachusetts may seem a long way from New Mexico, but we have a border with Mexico, across which these drugs are likely traveling.
Posted on July 7, 2017 by Matt Agorist
It’s become a near-weekly occurrence. Somewhere in some state, the FBI will announce that they’ve foiled yet another terrorist plot and saved lives. However, as the data shows, the majority of these cases involve psychologically diminished patsies who’ve been entirely groomed, armed, and entrapped by FBI agents. Simply put, the FBI manufactures terror threats and then takes credit for stopping them.
But what happens when they take it too far? What happens if the FBI actually tells someone to conduct a mass shooting? Well, in Milwaukee, WI, we are seeing this unfold first hand.
A little over two years ago, Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, 25, found himself in the midst of an FBI sting. Little did he know that he was being groomed for terrorism by the same government who claims to fight terrorism.
Hamzeh was born in the U.S. but lived much of his childhood in Jordan before moving to Milwaukee when he was 19. For four years, Hamzeh lived an entirely normal life, until one day he was contacted by people who wanted to radicalize him and give him weapons.
The group, entirely controlled by the FBI, was plotting to shoot up the Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center during an event.
In February of 2016, the FBI announced they had foiled a terror plot by a man who was planning to kill at least 30 people to “defend Islam.” Americans cheered, and everyone felt safer — the FBI had saved us from extremists once again.
However, that’s not how things actually happened.
For months, two corrupt FBI informants goaded Hamzeh into obtaining weapons. According to his attorneys, hundreds of hours of recorded conversations show the FBI pressed Hamzeh into getting these weapons and eventually began pushing him to carry out a mass shooting.
Despite the intense peer pressure from people pretending that they were mass murderers, Hamzeh resisted. He didn’t even want the guns. Now, his attorneys have filed a motion to get him released on bond because they say he’s been set up.
The informants, the motion states, “frequently lobbied Hamzeh to get a machine gun despite his repeated protests that all he wanted was a legal handgun to protect himself.”
In spite of the FBI claiming Hamzeh was going to carry out a mass shooting — they were attempting to force him to do — the recordings, according to his attorneys, show he resisted and adamantly refused to ever participate in violence.
Even after the FBI announced their foiled terror plot, they were unable to charge Hamzeh with anything other than possessing a machine gun and a silencer. And even these items had been essentially shoved into his lap by the FBI.
As the Journal-Sentinel reports, a psychiatrist who evaluated Hamzeh in jail concluded he does not fit a profile of someone who would kill strangers and “has a strong moral code with a very prominent conscience and empathy.”
“There is also no evidence that Hamzeh ever made any plans or was doing anything other than making empty boasts to express his resentment about Israel or to gain attention,” reads their brief in support of the bond motion.
Hamzeh has now been in jail for a year and a half because the FBI tried to make him carry out a mass shooting that he didn’t want to do. And, he could be there much longer as each of the charges for the weapons — that he also did not want — carry 10 years a piece.
If Hamzeh never had any intention of carrying out a terror attack and the weapons were forced on him by the FBI, why on Earth would this be on the news and touted as some foiled plot?
Well, the answer to that is simple.
Former FBI assistant director Thomas Fuentes actually reveals the answer as he defends the tactics used by the FBI to set up poverty-stricken men by offering them large sums of money and weapons to commit crimes.
After he defended the FBI’s role in bribing poor, mentally diminished people to get them to commit crimes, he let out a bombshell statement, confirming what many of us already know.
“If you’re submitting budget proposals for a law enforcement agency, for an intelligence agency, you’re not going to submit the proposal that ‘We won the war on terror and everything’s great,’ cause the first thing that’s gonna happen is your budget’s gonna be cut in half,” states Fuentes. “You know, it’s my opposite of Jesse Jackson’s ‘Keep Hope Alive’—it’s ‘Keep Fear Alive.’ Keep it alive.”
There you have it. The FBI puts Americans in danger by grooming otherwise entirely innocent people into doing harm — so they can keep fear alive.
But what would’ve happened if Hamzeh would’ve actually carried out this shooting that the FBI was trying to force on him? Would the FBI still claim they had informants attempting to groom him? Would they admit to forcing him to accept weapons?
David Steele, a 20-year Marine Corps intelligence officer, the second-highest-ranking civilian in the U.S. Marine Corps Intelligence, and former CIA clandestine services case officer, had this to say about these most unscrupulous operations:
“Most terrorists are false flag terrorists, or are created by our own security services. In the United States, every single terrorist incident we have had has been a false flag, or has been an informant pushed on by the FBI. In fact, we now have citizens taking out restraining orders against FBI informants that are trying to incite terrorism. We’ve become a lunatic asylum.”
Indeed, we’ve become a lunatic asylum.
Drugs, money & murder update, OR, why America needs to pass the Davis-Oliver Act.
Las Cruces Sun-News 5:48 a.m. MT June 25, 2017
In this June 22, 2016, photo, Border Patrol agent Eduardo Olmos walks near the secondary fence separating Tijuana, Mexico, background, and San Diego in San Diego. U.S. immigration authorities caught barely half the people who illegally entered the country from Mexico last year, according to an internal Department of Homeland Security report that offers one of the most detailed assessments of U.S. border security ever compiled. The report found far fewer people are attempting to get into the U.S. than a decade ago and that 54 percent of those who tried were caught in the year ending Sept. 30, 2015. (Photo: Gregory Bull/The Associated Press
I am responding to Sunday's article “Immigrant dad speaks out” by Carlos Andres Lopez.
For context, 1,050,031 foreign nationals entered the United States legally for permanent residence in 2015 (latest numbers). Another 180,000,000 entered legally as non-immigrant visitors for pleasure, business, students, government workers and a host of other designations.
We welcome legal immigration.
According to the article, Mr. Taborda, Francia Elena Benitez-Castano, along with a 4-year-old son, Jefferson, came to the United States in 1998 on some sort of visas. We can assume they were not visas for permanent residence or we wouldn't be talking about them now. They then applied for asylum and were denied. After four years of legal process they were ordered to return to their home country. They likely had outstanding warrants of deportation from which there is no relief. Taborda and Benitez-Castano made a conscious decision to ignore the order and chose instead to stay in violation of law, living here illegally ever since.
The notion that because you have no other criminal record somehow insulates you from deportation is false. This idea was created by President Barack Obama when he arbitrarily decided to exercise unprecedented “prosecutorial discretion” through edict instead of Congress. It is true that criminal aliens are the first priority, mainly due to limited detention space and manpower. If an ICE agent in the field encounters and ignores a final order of deportation, that act would be a dereliction of duty.
In the 1980s, the federal government implemented a policy not to conduct immigration enforcement operations in schools, hospitals or places of worship except in exigent circumstances. The fact that Mr. Taborda has been utilizing the church as a safe haven from the law is hardly admirable and certainly not a legal solution. If you or I harbor an illegal alien, we can be charged with a felony under 8 USC 1324.
The reporter says Taborda left a hospital for a reason not explained with the younger son when he was confronted by the ICE agents doing their jobs as investigators. Supposedly they told him that if he followed them to El Paso (where the detention center is located) they would release the mother to care for the youngest son in Las Cruces and, presumably, keep him, Mr Taborda, in custody. This would make some sense from the standpoint of not separating the youngest child from his mother until other arrangements could be made. For example, the younger child could return to Colombia with his mother. The agents did not go in the school or take an enforcement action in the school which would have been a violation of policy but, rather, waited outside.
Afterward, Mr. Taborda, instead of driving to El Paso under escort as he agreed to, fled from the agents and ran to the sanctuary of a church. The reason the agents “followed aggressively” is that they had just been made fools of by trusting Mr. Taborda to do what he agreed to do and was now attempting to escape federal custody! I bet they had fun explaining that to their boss.
Vicki Gaubeca is a paid activist who sensationalized the events. The agents did not “blatantly” violate any internal policies. From reading the article, you know that the agents neither harassed Taborda in the hospital nor in the school (they stayed outside), and that Taborda was escaping from custody when he went to the church. The agents showed admirable restraint by not using exigent circumstance to arrest him in the church parking lot.
There is nothing “sinister” about enforcing immigration law unless, I guess, you are a lawyer for the ACLU.
Paul F. Wells is a retired US Border Patrol field operations supervisor.