Posted: 10/12/2005 8:39:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/12/2005 11:16:51 PM EDT by 22bad]
Perry to give $9.7M to Texas border security
October 12, 2005
LAREDO (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry vowed Wednesday to provide $9.7 million for a sheriff group's security plan along the Texas-Mexico border, money he said would meet immediate needs until the federal government decides on permanent funding.
"It's a one-time thing right now, but the fact of the matter is we're going to be counting on our federal counterparts," Perry said while making the announcement across the border from Nuevo Laredo, which has been plagued by drug-related violence this year.
"Operation Linebacker," the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition plan to boost border security, would get $3 million to hire additional deputies, $3 million for overtime pay and $3.7 million for other initiatives from Perry's criminal justice fund.
The plan also would establish four rapid deployment teams, each with 50 Department of Public Safety troopers, and permanently assign 54 DPS criminal investigators on the border to support local law enforcement.
"Enforcement of our border is a federal responsibility, but the consequences of inaction is suffered by border states," Perry said. "The state of Texas cannot wait for the federal government to implement needed border security measures."
Perry said he has been in talks with governors of Mexico's border states about the plan. He said he will ask the Legislature next session to expand wiretap authorities for border investigations.
Perry said he will not support a particular federal plan. "I'm for the one that frankly brings the most money to our sheriffs," he said.
U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn have pursued federal help along the border.
Hutchison last week introduced a bill that seeks to give arrest powers of illegal immigrants to state and local police currently granted only to federal immigration authorities. Cornyn recent sent a letter asking Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to examine the situation on the border and reallocate resources as necessary.
The Senate also is considering two immigration reform bills that seek to create guest worker programs and tighter border enforcement, among other measures.
Perry called for more federal detention space and expressed concern about the growing number of illegal immigrants beyond Mexico, saying 120,000 from other countries had entered Texas in the first seven months of the year. Perry said that number included people from countries with ties to al-Qaida, such as Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
Perry said he hoped the federal homeland security department would declare the border a "high threat" area, making it eligible for the same grants that go to highly populated regions.
U.S. Sending Agents To Texas To Fight Border Crime
Oct 12, 2005
The U-S is dispatching federal agents to Texas to combat violent crime along the Mexican border.
U-S Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says the issue will be the focus of his meeting tomorrow in San Antonio with his Mexican counterpart, Daniel Cabeza de Vaca. Gonzales today said the Violent Crime Impact Team will travel to Laredo, which is across the border from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Numerous killings this year in Nuevo Laredo are blamed on a drug turf war. Gonzales says President Bush has expressed concerns about border violence. Mexican president Vicente Fox has said the problems are not just
And, here is mexico's response
Mexico Reacts Coolly to U.S. Sending of Team to Combat Violent Crime Along Border
The Associated Press
Oct 13, 2005
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico late Wednesday reacted coolly to a U.S. announcement it was dispatching federal agents to Texas to combat violence along the Mexican border, saying it will watch closely for human rights violations.
In a statement released shortly before midnight, the Foreign Relations Department said the government of President Vicente Fox "takes any threat to its national security or the region of North America with the greatest seriousness" and for that reason has sought to work closely with U.S. authorities on making the border region safer.
Specifically addressing the U.S. decision to send agents to the Texas-Mexico border, the department said it would "remain vigilant that the human rights of our co-nationals are respected," apparently referring to Mexican migrants crossing the border legally or illegally.
The statement mistaken referred to the deployment of agents by "the government of Texas." It was actually announced Wednesday at the Justice Department in Washington by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
Gonzales said the issue would be the focus of his meeting in San Antonio on Thursday with his Mexican counterpart, Daniel Cabeza de Vaca.
The Violent Crime Impact Team will go to the border city of Laredo. Such teams previously have been sent to about 20 U.S. cities that are struggling with violent crime problems despite a dropping U.S. crime rate.
The teams typically include agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Marshals Service; FBI; and Drug Enforcement Administration. A Justice Department prosecutor handles cases of those charged.
Investigators focus on prosecuting people for firearms violations, which often accompany gang activity, illegal drug organizations and organized crime groups.
In August, U.S. and Mexican officials traded accusations over who is to blame for problems in border security.
U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza said he closed the American consulate in Nuevo Laredo, just over the border from Laredo, partly to punish the Mexican government for not stopping violence there. The closure followed dozens of drug-related killings, the assassination of the police chief and a city councilman, and a machine-gun, grenade and rocket attack on an alleged drug safe house.
Fox has said the problems are not just Mexico's. "On that side and this side there is organized crime. On that side and this side there is drug consumption," the Mexican said at the time.
Cool, B-52 strkes on the Rio Grande................the border will be heating up.
Although what I'd like to post is fully within CoC, I still can't post it because the thread would get locked and I would get banned.
9.7 million is nothing. this is all just hype. some real steps need to be taken to increase border security. but i think it'll take a major terror attack before any of our politicians get off their fat asses and do something about it.
It's something when EVERY Governor on the U.S. side of the border has to do something to shore up the border, since el Jeffe won't.
I would like to see Perry declare a state of emergency, like the other Governors... but I'm sure there's been too much pressure from Washington for him to do so. Fuckin politics...
Our "co-nationals"? What the heck does that mean? I guess if you want to work in Mexico, it's okay for you to sneak in to their country illegally? Must be like having illegal dual citizenship.
Agreed. $9.7 Million is like throwing a nickle at the problem. The first step is to have the political resolve to fix the problem. The next step is to implement the solution.
The politicians are STILL too spineless to have the resolve.
Because WE (the people) don't make illegal immigration enough of an issue.
[gstar15] Oh yeah? Why don't you move to a free state? [/tgsar15]
we have thousands of tons of aging iron bombs and other weapons rusting away in storage...time to crack em open, reactivate some Nam vets and let them carpet bomb 'Charlie' on the border...scare the Mexicans at least.
Well, don't friggin keep us in suspense, what steps do Texans need to take to follow your example
we don't have as many illegals as you do(but, we are catching up)we need a good plan, what is yours?
I am glad to see the border states at least trying to make a difference. Hopefully the Senate and House can do something worthwhile in this area (they need to get re-elected) since it is very obvious that the executive branch has no interest in making any changes. Vicente Fox will ask GW to veto any worthwhile legislation anyway. ETA: forgot he doesn't veto anything.
This article pretty much says it all, a CURRENT SHERIFF says the feds are awol.............
Texas sheriff slams lax federal border security
By Jerry Seper
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
October 14, 2005
ZAPATA, Texas -- The sheriff in this southern Texas border community, overrun with illegal aliens and drug smugglers, sees little evidence that the Department of Homeland Security can control the nation's borders or stop terrorists from entering the U.S.
Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez Jr., who has spent 30 years with the Zapata County Sheriff's Office and leads its 24-member force, said his outmanned deputies do daily battle with alien and drug smugglers who have better weapons, vehicles, radios, computers, telephones, Global Positioning Systems and night vision equipment.
"It's the federal government's responsibility to ensure border security, and I would think that after September 11, the government would be concerned about making sure these borders are secure," he said. "But I assure you, the border here is very, very porous. How can anyone honestly say we are doing our best to prevent another terrorist attack from happening?"
Sheriff Gonzalez said the federal government's failure to control the border and to curb the growing violence along the 1,200-mile Texas-Mexico boundary led to the creation this year of the Texas Border Sheriff's Coalition.
Sheriffs from Texas' 16 border counties formed the alliance to create what Sheriff Gonzalez said would be a "single voice" in seeking funding from federal officials to help pay for their rapidly escalating border-enforcement costs.
"We tried everything we know, with little success, to make the federal government aware of the problems we face and how they have affected us," Sheriff Gonzalez told The Washington Times while checking established alien and drug smuggling sites less than five miles from his headquarters.
"The creation of the Department of Homeland Security has done nothing to help us," he said.
The sheriffs want federal help in funding a multimillion-dollar effort to increase the number of deputies along the border and to buy the necessary equipment for them to get the job done.
A major coalition concern, Sheriff Gonzalez said, is the possibility that terrorists will pay Mexican alien and drug smugglers for help in crossing the border. He said federal authorities told his office that al Qaeda terrorists are looking to use alien smugglers, including members of the violent street gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, to get militants into the United States.
The same authorities said would-be terrorists were going to Central America to learn Spanish so they could blend in with illegal aliens headed into the United States, Sheriff Gonzalez said.
"If smugglers can bring a hundred people or 2,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States, how simple would it be to bring terrorists into this country, or a suitcase loaded with a dirty bomb?" he said. "I am very surprised it hasn't already happened."
Zapata County, with 13,000 residents, is 50 miles south of Laredo, Texas, along the Rio Grande. The county's two dozen deputies are responsible for nearly 1,000 square miles, including 60 miles of the Texas-Mexico border.
Compounding that effort is that Nuevo Laredo, across the river from Laredo, has been the site of a deadly war between drug cartels in which more than 135 people have been killed this year. In Nuevo Laredo, a gang of Mexican military deserters known as the "Zetas" works to protect cocaine and marijuana being brought into the United States.
The violence in Nuevo Laredo, the sheriff said, has filtered down the river into his county.
"We need help, and the federal government has got to start listening to us," he said.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales said this week that a special team of federal agents will be dispatched to Texas to combat violent crime along the Mexican border.
And, now.......they all agree to work together towards a common goal
US, Mexico agree on plan to thwart border violence
Oct 13, 2005
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - The top law enforcement officials from the United States and Mexico on Thursday vowed to boost police presence and cooperation along their shared border to combat a surge in violence fueled by the drug trade.
U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he would send a "Violent Crime Impact Team" to Laredo, Texas, that would double the federal law enforcement presence in the border city.
"These rapid response teams target hot zones for violent activity, and identify a community's worst offenders," Gonzales said at a press conference.
"They will work with our international partners to investigate and prosecute violent crimes."
Hundreds of people have been killed in the past 18 months in northern Mexico as organized crime gangs battle for control of the lucrative drug trade into the United States.
That violence, which has paralyzed the northern Mexican cities of Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Ciudad Juarez and Tijuana, is increasingly spilling across the border.
"Mexico and the United States will act as a single unified chokehold whose efforts will overwhelm organized crime that threatens the border area, a sensitive region of shared interest to both countries," Mexican Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said.
Among the victims of the crime wave have been a Mexican police chief killed after less than a day on the job and 23 Americans who have been kidnapped and are still missing.
The U.S. team heading to Laredo will include agents from the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Marshals Service and Department of Homeland Security.
Gonzales said the strike forces have been successful in curbing violence in Miami, Baltimore and elsewhere.
Cabeza de Vaca and Gonzales also agreed to establish several partnership programs to improve security in the border cities.
The United States will help train Mexican customs officials, the FBI will provide advanced forensic testing of evidence and will provide equipment to Mexican officials, and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons will offer new technologies to reduce contraband in Mexico's notoriously corrupt prison system.
U.S. victim and witness protection programs will be expanded to help Mexican officials secure the testimony needed to prosecute drug criminal in Mexico.
Cabeza de Vaca acknowledged reports that former Mexican Army Special Forces troops, known as "Zetas," had worked as hired killers for drug cartels, but denied they were currently operating in the area or were responsible for murders in the United States.
"We do not today have reports of Zeta operatives acting within the United States territory, and as regards their operations within Mexican territory, it is either notably reduced or eliminated," Cabeza de Vaca said.