Wednesday, May 10, 2006

US Customs and Border Protection Now Working for the Mexican Government?

This is pretty much a disgrace. If it's true.
The U.S. Border Patrol is alerting the Mexican government to the locations of civilian border patrol groups when the organizations help detain suspected illegal immigrants or use violence against them, according to a published report.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mario Martinez told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of Ontario that the policy is meant to assure the Mexican government that migrants' rights are being observed.

The policy pertains to groups including the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and the Friends of the Border Patrol, a Chino-based nonprofit.

"It's not a secret where the Minuteman volunteers are going to be," Martinez said Monday. "This ... simply makes two basic statements - that we will not allow any lawlessness of any type, and that if an alien is encountered by a Minuteman or arrested by the Minuteman, then we will allow that government to interview the person."

Minuteman members, however, said the Border Patrol's policy negates the private group's effectiveness and could endanger their lives.

Martinez seems to be saying it's just fine to inform the Mexican government of where the citizen groups are. I'd say that the Minuteman group doesn't advertise their proposed work sites.

This article states that the above information is inaccurate.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is rebutting a report from The Sun's sister newspaper, the Ontario-based Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, that the U.S. Border Patrol provided information to the Mexican government about the whereabouts of civilian border-watch groups.

"Today's report by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin . . . is inaccurate," read the statement issued Tuesday evening. "Border Patrol does not report activity by civilian, non-law enforcement groups to the government of Mexico."

Kristi Clemens, a spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection, would not elaborate on the agency's statement other than to say Mexican officials are given information under the rules of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963, which provide foreign nationals being detained by a government the right to consular access.

You know, that doesn't make me any more confident. They still don't specify what information they do provide to the Mexican government.

The article goes on:
An August 2005 document, "Third Report on the Activities of Vigilantes" posted on Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Relations Web site suggests U.S. officials were giving out more details than required by the Vienna Convention. Part of that information was the location of U.S. citizens participating in volunteer border patrols.

The Sun and Daily Bulletin reported on the contents of that document and two others on the Mexican Web site in a story published in Tuesday's editions.

Mexican consulates also went beyond the boundaries of the Vienna Convention, asking U.S. Border Patrol officials to provide them with information on "vigilantes" operating along the U.S. border, according to the August 2005 document.

Some of the information cited in the Mexican document originally was given only to U.S. Border Patrol and other law-enforcement officials, border-watch organizers said.

"Nobody but law enforcement and Border Patrol knew where we were at," said Andy Ramirez, chairman of the Chino-based nonprofit group Friends of the Border Patrol. "So how is our base address on a Mexican government document dated last August? Nobody, not even media, had this information."

Something isn't quite right here. First, these groups aren't vigilantes. Not by the dictionary definition nor by any legal definition. And if the Border patrol isn't providing the information, then who is? Sadly I wouldn't put it past groups like the ACLU to be doing this. They haven't found any illegal activities in their infiltrations of the Minutemen, but they would prefer that they didn't exist at all.

Martinez has another possibility, though I find it much less likely.
On Monday, Mario Martinez, a Customs and Border Patrol spokesman, said that when illegal immigrants are apprehended in the United States, they have the right, under the convention, to be represented by their country's consulate and to information regarding their apprehension.

Information contained in a Border Patrol agent's field report, which is filed when a person is caught, would reveal the location of the detainee and therefore the area where the volunteer group is operating, Martinez said.

So the field reports are open to the Mexican government, but not to the public? You'd think that the details would be minimized in these reports since they would provide large amounts of intelligence on how the border patrol works and where they patrol in general, not to mention the activities of the Minutemen. Sounds like this excuse is an incredible bit of mismanagement. Not only does providing that level of detail to the Mexican government put the Minutemen at risk, but also risks the lives of the Border Patrol agents.
Throughout the Mexican government's reports on "vigilantes," it is noted that Mexican consulates in the United States contacted Border Patrol officials seeking U.S. cooperation in reporting instances of civilians monitoring the border. Among such requests:

The Mexican consul in Presidio, Texas, asked the Marfa Sector's Border Patrol chief to be alerted if the United States detected any volunteer activity.

In Phoenix, consulate officials asked the Border Patrol to notify them if civilian groups apprehended any illegal immigrants so consulate representatives could interview them.

In San Diego, the document referred to a meeting with Border Patrol Chief Darryl Griffen stating that "Mr. Griffen reiterated to the undersecretary his promise to notify the General Consul right away when the vigilantes detain or participate in the detention of any undocumented migrant."

Tell me how it is relevant who it was that saw and reported the illegals? The "undocumented migrant" statement is cute. No longer an "illegal immigrant," got to make it sound nicer or you might offend the criminals.

I wonder who is going to force an investigation of this. You know the ACLU is more concerned with the rights of the illegals than the rights of the citizens. The MSM has been pretty much ignoring this as well. You'd think an activity that endangers private citizens and border patrol agents would be something to report on.

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