JUNE 16, 2017
Update: Subsequent to Judicial Watch reporting this incident Border Patrol management felt compelled to serve a warrant on the “Samaritan camp,” which agents had been waiting for three days to obtain.
Despite President Trump’s pledge to tighten border security Border Patrol agents in one of the nation’s busiest sectors for illegal immigrants and drugs were ordered this week to stand back after a surveillance camera recorded a group entering the U.S. from Mexico, federal law enforcement sources told Judicial Watch. The incident occurred in the vast desert terrain between Arizona and Mexico, Border Patrol officials said. An agency Buckeye camera operated out of a mobile truck recorded the illegal crossers entering through Nogales, a town of around 20,000 adjacent to the Mexican state of Sonora. The video camera is used by the Border Patrol to monitor areas for illegal crossings and can be panned to follow crossers’ movements, sources told Judicial Watch.
Upon crossing the border, the group of illegal immigrants entered what the feds refer to as a “Samaritan camp,” according to a Border Patrol official who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly’s management team. The special camps are operated by an Arizona-based open borders advocacy group called No Más Muertes (No More Deaths) and consist of several trailers on private property. The nonprofit’s mission is to end death and suffering in the Mexico-U.S. borderlands and enact immigration reform in America. Besides the “Samaritan camps” along the Mexican border, the organization leaves water, food, blankets and other supplies along trails used by illegal immigrants to travel north. No Más Muertes also has staff in Mexico to provide phones for deportees and assistance, including first aid, for northbound migrants.
Although the organization’s sanctuary trailers are situated on the U.S. side of the border, federal agents are legally allowed to enter the property and remove the illegal crossers, law enforcement sources confirm. “If agents observe illegal conduct, apprehension does not require a warrant,” a federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the matter told Judicial Watch. In this case, probable cause had been established by the unlawful conduct observed by Border Patrol agents via the high-tech Buckeye camera. Instead of entering the property as legally allowed and removing the illegal aliens, agents were ordered to “negotiate” with the occupants,” Border Patrol officials said. Photos produced by the surveillance camera were also produced to Judicial Watch by outraged Border Patrol officials who say Obama-era, open borders policies are still being implemented by Kelly’s management team. “Instead of proactively patrolling a porous and volatile border, Border Patrol resources are being utilized on the perimeter of the property to thwart any further incursions into or retreats from the sanctuary camp,” according to a law enforcement source involved in the Nogales incident.
Veteran agents say, that although Trump promised to toughen up security along the porous and increasingly violent Mexican border, for unknown reasons his DHS secretary continues to implement Obama sanctuary policies. There is a great concern among rank-and-file agents that these passive, limited enforcement policies increase the risk to agents and decrease the deterrence of the Trump border strategy. Just a few weeks ago, Kelly stripped Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents of their independent enforcement authority by implementing a new policy that requires a supervisor’s permission to issue a detainer for illegal aliens suspected of crimes. Judicial Watch obtained the document outlining the new policy, which federal agents say is a constraint that creates a bottleneck and hampers their ability to take efficient on-site action against criminals in the country illegally.
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