Human Smuggling Picking Up Steam in Southern Arizona

Posted: Jun 27, 2013 7:40 AM
As talks about amnesty continue on Capitol Hill, Human smuggling in Southern Arizona is picking up steam. Just yesterday, authorities ran into two incidents of human smuggling. More from KOLD News 13 in Tucson:

Tucson Sector Border Patrol agents stopped two separate human-smuggling attempts at southern checkpoints over the past three days.

On June 23 at the SR 286 checkpoint, a canine team alerted Tucson Station agents to one Mexican national hidden behind the front seat of a GMC pickup truck, and another was locked inside a toolbox mounted on the truck bed, officials say.

Two United States citizens were arrested on June 25 at an Interstate-19 checkpoint after Nogales Station agents found two illegal immigrants in the trunk of a Ford Focus, according to Border Patrol.

Back in April, Townhall reported illegal border crossings in Arizona had doubled as a result of the prospect of amnesty being granted from Washington.

As the immigration reform Gang of Eight inside the Beltway prepares to announce a deal later this week, claiming border security will come before a path to citizenship for millions of illegals, Border Patrol agents have seen illegal border crossings double and warn the cutting of agent work hours will only result in less border security, not more.

"We've seen the number of illegal aliens double, maybe even triple since amnesty talk started happening," an agent told Townhall, who asked to remain unnamed due to fears of retaliation within Customs and Border Protection [CBP], something he said is common. "A lot of these people, although not the majority, are criminals or aggravated felons.  This is a direct danger to our communities."

Data obtained by Townhall and reported within CBP from February 5 through March 1, 2013 shows 504 illegal aliens were spotted exploiting the Tucson/Nogales area, 189 were caught on CBP intelligence cameras.  Of those 504, only 174 were apprehended and 32 of the 189 on camera were carrying large drug load packs for Mexican cartels. Some were armed with AK-47 style weapons.
A final cloture Senate vote on the Gang of Eight illegal immigration legislation is expected around 11:30 ET Thursday. The unions representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services employees are urging lawmakers to vote against the legislation.

“ICE officers and USCIS adjudications officers have pleaded with lawmakers not to adopt this bill, but to work with us on real, effective reforms for the American people. The Schumer-RubioCorker-Hoeven proposal will make Americans less safe and it will ensure more illegal immigration—especially visa overstays—in the future. It provides legalization for thousands of dangerous criminals while making it more difficult for our officers to identify public safety and national security threats," National ICE Council President Chris Crane  and USCIS Council President Kenneth Palinkas said in a joint statement. "The legislation was guided from the beginning by anti-enforcement special interests and, should it become law, will have the desired effect of these groups: blocking immigration enforcement. This is an anti-public safety bill and an anti-law enforcement bill. We urge all lawmakers to oppose the final cloture vote on Thursday and to oppose the bill. And we call on all Americans to pick up the phone and call their members of Congress: (202) 224-3121.”

Crane has been saying for months that the Gang of Eight legislation does nothing to bolster interior enforcement efforts and doesn't give ICE agents more ability to enforce the law once people enter the United States illegally. Human smuggling cases fall under the interior enforcement category.

H/T Dan Marries