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Border roundup: The cost of immigration, changes in 2013

Economy

Phoenix city officials say they're starting to feel the financial effects of SB 1070 through cancellations made by national conventions or conferences who book three to five years ahead of time. Scott Dunn, a spokesperson for the Greater Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau told Dustin Gardiner that “The misperception that our city does not value diversity continues to be an impediment to attracting national convention groups,” said Scott Dunn. By comparison, bookings in other cities with similar convention facilities like San Diego, San Antonio, Salt Lake City and Denver are holding steady or even growing.

Immigration enforcement costs the U.S. more per fiscal year than its other law enforcement agencies combined. In the 2012 fiscal year immigration enforcement cost the U.S. nearly $18 billion compared to $14.4 billion spent on its other prime law enforcement agencies - the FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshal Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - combined, according to a report released January 7 by the Migration Policy Institute. The same study found that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) also hand over more cases to be proscuted than these agencies combined and, for the fiscal year 2011, had more people in holding than the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Law enforcement

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has posted 500 armed volunteers from his posse to patrol about 50 Phoenix area schools. In a phone interview with Amanda Crawford, Arpaio calls the move preventative against bad guys while others told Crawford and Terry Greene Sterling the move could be considered threatening by some of the very kids and parents Arapio says the move is intended to protect.

Policy

Set to take effect mid-March, a new immigration rule may mean an end to family separations for undocumented immigrants who are eligible to apply for permanent residency by allowing them to start the process from within the country. Current policy requires them to leave and then apply, often leading to years of limbo and reduced family contact.

The U.S. Department of Justice has don't want a ban on SB 1070's "harboring provision" to be overturned, telling the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that federal law has higher authority than state law and already prohibits harboring illegal immigrants on a national basis. The state provision on harboring went into effect in July 2010 along with the rest of SB 1070. The federal government filed a lawsuit challenging SB 1070, while numerous civil rights groups challenged several of its provisions. Enforcement of the harboring provision was blocked at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on September 5, a move which Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the court to reverse.

The U.S. Department of Justice has don't want a ban on SB 1070's "harboring provision" to be overturned, telling the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that federal law has higher authority than state law and already prohibits harboring illegal immigrants on a national basis. The state provision on harboring went into effect in July 2010 along with the rest of SB 1070. The federal government filed a lawsuit challenging SB 1070, while numerous civil rights groups challenged several of its provisions. Enforcement of the harboring provision was blocked at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on September 5, a move which Gov. Jan Brewer has asked the court to reverse.

Crossing borders

While the summer is known to be deadly in the desert, many border crossers are finding out the hard way that the winter can be just as dangerous. Law enforcement, humanitarian groups and the Pima County Medical Examiner deal with migrant deaths year round with the leading causes being dehydration and exposure. Perla Trevizo spoke to representatives from each of these agencies as well as border crossers about their recent winter experiences.

Luis Aguillon's wife, Maria Sanchez, 26, died four days after CBP denied her parents entry on a humanitarian parole that would have allowed them to visit their daughter's deathbed after a nine year separation. Aguillon, a legal resident, had brought his wife and now five-year-old daughter to Houston to receive treatment.

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Jan 12, 2013, 5:37 pm
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Border roundup: The cost of immigration, changes in 2013

This might be the single worst piece the Sentinel has ever published. The title says “The Cost of Immigration”, yet there is absolute zero mention of the drain border jumpers put on our hospitals, school, other social services like food stamps, and rescue operations when we gotta go clean them out of the desert. Oh, yeah, let us not forget that, unless they’re using fake SSN’s to gain employment, they’re not paying taxes, either.

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Border Patrol activity

As reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection press releases:

Friday, Jan. 4

Nogales Station agents at the I-19 checkpoint stopped a commercial shuttle van and arrested a male Mexican national after discovering a pound of methamphetamine (estimated value $10,000) taped into his clothing

Nogales Station agents arrested two U.S. citizens at the I-19 checkpoint after a canine unit altered them to two people hiding in the trunk of their vehicle

Brian A. Terry Station agents arrested a man for illegal entry near Naco and discovered during processing that he was a Mexican national with two outstanding warrants out of South Carolina for homicide and flight to avoid prosecution. He was turned over to Cochise County Sheriff’s Office for extradition.

Wellton Station agents patrolling the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Reuge found footprints crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and tracked them to a stash with eight bundles of marijuana totalling 371 pounds (estimated value $185,500).

Saturday, Jan. 5

Brian A. Terry Station agents arrested a man for illegal entry near Naco and discovered during processing that he was convicted in 1993 for voluntary manslaughter in Teton County, Wyo. He now faces federal prosecution.

Sunday, Jan. 6

Tucson Station agents arrested two people near the State Route 86 checkpoint after they were pulled over and it was discovered that both had active arrest warrants. The car also contained a stolen, loaded .45-caliber weapon and 34 grams of meth (estimated valued $3,000).

Wednesday, Jan. 9

Yuma Sector agents patrolling south of Gila Bend apprehended four smuggling suspects identified as Mexican nationals walking through the desert carrying backpacks containing 151 pounds of marijuana (estimated value $75,500).

Thursday, Jan. 10

Sonoita Station agents arrested a 21-year-old U.S. citizen after he approached them and asked for directions and agents became suspicious enough to request the assistance of a canine team to help inspect his vehicle which had 621 pounds of marijuana (estimated value $310,500) hidden within the stack of 2’x4’ lumber covered with plywood

Sources: