By Miriam Raftery
April 19, 2013 (San Diego) – A jury today has acquitted U.S. Border Patrol agent Luis Fonseca of using unreasonable force. Fonseca was shown on Border Patrol video strangling a migrant to unconsciousness while the undocumented migrant, Adolfo Cesar Escobar, tood with his hands against a wall waiting to be fingerprinted at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol station. Jurors found the video evidence inconclusive.
“This sends the wrong message to Border Patrol and fuels a culture of impunity in the agency,” said Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego in a statement released today. The rights activist added, “It should never be acceptable to strangle someone who poses no threat, then kick him while he is down and walk away as if no harm had been done.”
March 13, 2013 (San Diego)-- In separate incidents this week, two U.S. Border Patrol agents were assaulted while performing patrol duties in San Diego County, the Border Patrol reports.
The first assault occurred Monday at approximately 8 p.m. in the Otay Mountain area, when a Border Patrol agent attempted to arrest a male undocumented Mexican national who had entered the U.S. illegally. During the arrest, the suspect became assaultive and struck the agent in the face and head, according to a release issued by the U.S. Border Patrol today. After a brief struggle, the agent was able to detain the man. The suspect is being held by the Department of Homeland Security pending charges for assault on a federal agent.
FILNER TO NRC: RESTARTING SAN ONOFRE WOULD BE A “DANGEROUS EXPERIMENT” THREATENING 8.2 MILLION PEOPLE
February 14, 2013 (San Diego) – In a letter sent to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on February 8, San Diego Mayor Bob Filner urged denial of Southern California Edison’s request to restart Unit 2 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station for five months at 70% as a test to see if similar problems that caused failure of a steam generator at Unit 3 would occur.
Mayor Filner stated bluntly, “The NRC has previously determined that both Unit 2 and Unit 3 steam generators had similar serious design flaws and errors in the computer models used for design. The restart of Unit 2, even at reduced power, is a dangerous experiment that threatens the safety of the 8.2 million Southern California residents living within a 50-mile radius, including much of San Diego.”
January 10, 2013 (Alpine) – The public is invited to the U.S. Border Patrol’s East County Community Forum on January 16 at 6 p.m. The forum will be held in the Alpine Elementary School auditorium, 1850 Alpine Boulevard in Alpine.
The forum will include discussion of community concerns, East County security threats, and the 2012-2016 Strategic Plan. RSVPs are requested to Michael Scappechio, Border Community Liaison Coordinator, at (619)216 4259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 19, 2012 (Jamul) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents intercepted a smuggling attempt on State Route (SR) 94 in Jamul yesterday, resulting in seizure of nearly 26 pounds of methamphetamine.
Agents encountered a U.S. citizen, 49, driving a 2000 BMW at the SR 94 checkpoint near Jamul at 2:45 p.m.. Agents became suspicious of the man’s nervous demeanor and referred him for secondary inspection. A Border Patrol K-9 performed a cursory inspection of the vehicle resulting in an alert.
November 3, 2012 (Tijuana) -- On November 1, 2012, the new border crossing from San Ysidro to Tijuana began operations. The crossing, known as El Chaparral, will have 22 lanes equipped with the latest technology for fast access to Mexico.
Vehicles headed southbound on I-5 will turn right once they reach the border onto the modern facilities which create a more convenient crossing into Tijuana and other locations.
“There is a troubling and growing pattern of abuse and excessive use of force committed by Border Patrol agents; our community demands to know what led to such a brutal act by that plainclothes agent.” – Pedro Rios, director of the American Friends Service Committee U.S. Mexico Border Program
October 1, 2012 (Chula Vista)—Family members and human rights advocates seek answers from authorities following the bizarre shooting death of Valeria Tachiquin-Alvarado, 32, mother of five young children, by a Border Patrol officer in plainclothes. A candlelight vigil for the victim is planned tonight at 6 p.m.
Witness accounts vary sharply from the initial report released by authorities. The San Diego Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide.
September 17, 2012 (San Diego) – Daphne Hearn, Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego FBI Office, and Chris Maston, Director of Field Operations, Customs Border Protection (CBP) announced the arrest of CBP Officer Thomas Silva, age 33, a nine-year veteran with the CBP. Silva was arrested on Friday, September 7 2012, at approximately 8:30 a.m, at the San Ysidro Port of Entry by CBP and FBI Agents assigned to the FBI Border Corruption Task Force (BCTF) pursuant to a federal arrest warrant based on a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, case number 12MJ3305. The complaint charges Silva with wire fraud and concealing a person from arrest.
PAN also rebuked in governor races
By Nadin Abbott
July 2, 2012 (San Diego)-- Enrique Peña Nieto has been declared the winner of Mexico’s federal election yesterday. Mexico, unlike the United States, has a one-term limit for every office, from Mayor to President. His defeat of the PAN counterpart, Josefina Vazquez Mota, was not unexpected. All polling going into the election had Peña Nieto ahead by five to ten points.
By Miriam Raftery
June 26, 2012 (Washington D.C.) – By a 5 to 3 ruling yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that key provisions in an Arizona law targeting immigrants is unconstitutional. The court upheld a controversial police powers provision, however.
Justices made clear that immigration policy is a federal matter which must be determined nationally, rejecting arguments for allowing 50 states to set a patchwork of separate and conflicting immigration policies.
April 20, 2012 (San Diego) – San Diego resident Anastasio Hernandez Rojas was beaten and Tasered to death in a 2010 incident involving Border Patrol. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. members of his family, civic and faith leaders will gather to watch new footage on “Need to Know”, a film that will raise the issue of border brutality to national attention.
Deadline to R.S.V.P. is Friday, March 16
March 14, 2012 (San Diego) – The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Citizen’s Academy is offering classes beginning March 24 to provide the community with information which will familiarize them with CBP’s mission and goals. CBP is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components, with a priority mission of keeping terrorists and their weapons out of the U.S.
UNDOCUMENTED PULITZER PRIZE WINNER JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS GIVES KEYNOTE SPEECH AT ALL PEOPLE’S BREAKFAST HONORING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING
By Manuel Ocana (Spanish translation below)
January 19, 2012 (San Diego) --Philippino undocumented immigrant and Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Jose Antonio Vargas was the keynote speaker for the All People's Breakfast honoring Dr Martin Luther King on Monday, January 16.
Vargas, who published his article "My Life As Undocumented" in the New York Times last summer, spoke in front of over 1,200 people attending the breakfast. View a video of his interview with ECM, and scroll down for highlights.
January 18, 2012 (Tecate) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Tecate port of entry in East County have apprehended a 21-year-old fugitive, Jose Legaspi Jr., with an outstanding felony warrant for homicide.
December 15, 2011 (Washington, D.C) -- Congressman Duncan Hunter has reported that he was informed by Major General David Baldwin, the Adjutant General for the State of California, that on February 29, 2012, the presence of National Guard troops on the Southwest border will be cut by half, at a minimum, and reapportioned along the border. Specifically for California, the state share of National Guardsmen will be reduced from 264 Guardsmen to only 14 Guardsmen.
December 11, 2011 (San Diego) — U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to San Diego area checkpoints and highways have seized a total of $683,090 of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine since Monday. The busts included seizures in East County, with drugs found hidden in vehicles and in the soles of shoes.
November 30, 2011 (Otay Mesa)--A drug tunnel discovered Tuesday between Tijuana and San Diego was described by U.S. authorities as one of the most elaborate ever found beneath the U.S.—Mexico border. The passageway, the second major one uncovered in the past two weeks, connected a warehouse in Mexico to another in Otay Mesa.
October 15, 2011 (San Diego) -- United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Marcos Rodríguez-Perez, one of five individuals charged with being involved in the death of Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Agent Robert W. Rosas, Jr., was arraigned today in federal court in San Diego.
Rodríguez-Perez , 22,was arrested by Mexican authorities on April 11, 2011, in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico and was extradited from Mexico on October 13, 2011, escorted by special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The extradition of Rodríguez-Perez leaves only one suspect involved in the murder of Agent Rosas at large.
September 19, 2011 (San Diego)--U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers confiscated more than 8,800 pounds of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine valued at $8.2 million at San Diego border stations in just two days this past week, also halting entry of over 116 undocumented immigrants.
September 16, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-El Cajon) has introduced H.R, 2952, a measure requiring immigration officials to expedite deportation of undocumented immigrants.
By Miriam Raftery
September 14, 2011 (San Diego) – I-5 is now open and a SIG alert cancelled following collapse of a construction platform that landed on vehicles and injured 11 people, one seriously, at the San Ysidro border crossing this afternoon.
David Burnight, a ECM reader from Crest, describes his close call—and how the accident impacted his plans to return to the U.S. following a dental appointment in Tijuana.
Border crossing closed to northbound traffic; multiple injuries reported
September 14, 2011 (San Ysidro) – All northbound lanes are closed at the San Ysidro border crossing, where a construction platform has collapsed onto vehicles. At least one southbound lane is also shut down to allow access by emergency vehicles, including at least eight ambulances dispatched to the scene.
By Miriam Raftery
September 7, 2011 (San Diego) — A load of hot sauce hauled by a Mexican trucker had a secret ingredient: more than a ton of marijuana, with a street value of $1.4 million.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Otay Mesa cargo facility disiscovered the marijuana hidden in boxes of hot sauce on Friday.