Government is Dismantling the Border Patrol

The Obama administration is moving to shut down nine Border Patrol stations across four states, triggering a backlash from local law enforcement, members of Congress and Border Patrol agents themselves.

Critics of the move warn the closures will undercut efforts to intercept drug and human traffickers in well-traveled corridors north of the U.S.-Mexico border. Though the affected stations are scattered throughout northern and central Texas, and three other states, the coverage areas still see plenty of illegal immigrant activity — one soon-to-be-shuttered station in Amarillo, Texas, is right in the middle of the I-40 corridor; another in Riverside, Calif., is outside Los Angeles.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it’s closing the stations in order to reassign agents to high-priority areas closer to the border.

“These deactivations are consistent with the strategic goal of securing America’s borders, and our objective of increasing and sustaining the certainty of arrest of those trying to enter our country illegally,” CBP spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement. “By redeploying and reallocating resources at or near the border, CBP will maximize the effectiveness of its enforcement mandate and align our investments with our mission.”

But at least one Border Patrol supervisor in Texas has called on local officers to “voice your concerns” to elected officials, warning that the “deactivation” will remove agents from the Texas Panhandle, among other places. Several members of Congress have asked Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher to reconsider the plan. And local officials are getting worried about what will happen once the Border Patrol leaves town, since they rely on those federal officials to assist in making immigration arrests.

“It could impact us tremendously since we’ve only got two agents up here now for 26 counties,” Potter County Sheriff Brian Thomas told FoxNews.com.

Potter County, in the Texas Panhandle, would be affected by the planned closure of the Amarillo station.

Thomas said that while his area is far from the border, it’s still a major “corridor” for illegal immigrants — and he said his office depends on Border Patrol to respond to their calls.

Read more here.

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DHS: ‘CBP Stops Thousands of Unsafe Hair Dryers’

President Obama’s border enforcement officials prevented over 13,000 dangerous hair dryers from entering the country, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) trumpeted today.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized thousands of hair dryers recently that were determined to constitute a “substantial product hazard” under U.S. law, for failing to have adequate immersion protection,” DHS announced. “The potentially dangerous hair dryers were identified through a nationwide targeting operation by the CBP Import Safety Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center (CTAC).”

CBP seized the hair dryers at the ports of Los Angeles (9,768 hair dryers) and Miami (3,614) because they “lacked shock protection for consumers” in the event of the hair dryers’ immersion in water.

Allen Gina, CBP’s assistant commissioner for public trade, praised the CPB officers who helped seize the hair dryers. “The concerted targeting efforts of CTAC and the vigilance of CBP officers at our ports of entry will help ensure that products like hair dryers are safe for consumers and that substandard product from overseas does not reach store shelves,” he said.

Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front

Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.

Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.

He also called in a Predator B drone.

As the unmanned aircraft circled 2 miles overhead the next morning, sophisticated sensors under the nose helped pinpoint the three suspects and showed they were unarmed. Police rushed in and made the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with help from a Predator, the spy drone that has helped revolutionize modern warfare.

But that was just the start. Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said.

“We don’t use [drones] on every call out,” said Bill Macki, head of the police SWAT team in Grand Forks. “If we have something in town like an apartment complex, we don’t call them.”

Read more here.