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01-19-08, 12:15 PM #1
Special task force apprehends 160http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080119/NEWS/801190346/1001/news
January 19, 2008
Illegal immigrants nabbed Special task force apprehends 160 along stretch of I-20
Clarion-Ledger Washington Bureau
A special Border Patrol task force has apprehended 160 illegal immigrants in the first three days of an operation patrolling I-20 from Vicksburg to Jackson.
Operation Uniforce has targeted the interstate because federal agents believe it is a new corridor for smugglers, who also use I-10 to ferry undocumented workers from the Mexican border to employers on the East Coast.
Border Patrol spokesman Ramon Rivera said many of the apprehended immigrants were headed for North Carolina and Florida.
According to a Border Patrol report on Operation Uniforce, greater scrutiny of I-10 by federal agents has prompted some smugglers to use I-20.
Similar Border Patrol operations were conducted last year along I-10 in Baton Rouge and Mobile, resulting in hundreds of deportations and detentions.
About 40 Border Patrol agents, including 12 from the agency's Gulfport office, are involved in the Mississippi operation, which began Jan. 13 and is scheduled to continue until Jan. 26.
"Apprehension statistics indicate that January-March are the busiest months for illegal entry along the Southwest border," the Border Patrol report said.
Most of the 160 undocumented immigrants apprehended in the first three days of the sweep were Mexican nationals. But two - an Egyptian and a Palestinian from the West Bank - were from "special interest" countries.
"They're doing a good job," 2nd District Rep. Bennie Thompson, who represents the targeted area, said of the Border Patrol.
Thompson, a Democrat and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said it is obvious the Border Patrol received accurate intelligence about the routes that human traffickers are using.
"They were absolutely on track," he said.
Thompson also said the Border Patrol effort is receiving help from local law enforcement agencies, including the sheriffs' departments in Hinds and Warren counties. He said the need to pull Border Patrol agents from several states to conduct the operation shows the agency remains understaffed.
The apprehended immigrants, with one exception, are being sent to a federal detention center in Oakdale, La. The exception is a detainee from El Salvador, who was sent to Chicago, where he's wanted for murder.
The Border Patrol is focusing on vans and small buses. Agents stopped vehicles from companies whose vehicles have been involved in smuggling before. In the first three days of the operation, agents interviewed 15 bus and van drivers and seized eight vehicles.
"We run license plates, and if there's a link to smugglers, that gives us reason to stop and question the driver," Border Patrol spokeswoman Andrea Zortman said.
Border Patrol agents seized $7,052 from one driver but did not find any drugs in any of the vehicles they stopped, the agency report said. It did not specify why the money was seized.
In response to pressure from lawmakers and the public, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has stepped up detentions and deportations of undocumented immigrants. Last year, the agency arrested more than 35,000 illegal immigrants, more than double the number in 2006. It also deported a record number - nearly 280,000.*************************"It wouldn't take much for me to up and run...to another life somewhere in the sun."*************************"There's something inherently wrong with having to put on a bullet-proof vest and a gun to go to work."-(An old friend)
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01-19-08, 12:20 PM #2
Now that's what I call a round up!! Great job!"Like" us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/Offic...93147194083228
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01-19-08, 12:22 PM #3
These type of ops have been happening all over. Ours (Detroit area) was pretty successful too. ICE, USCBP, Border Patrol, MSP, Wayne County and I think some of the other local agencies worked together on the op.
"Stupid should hurt."
01-19-08, 12:59 PM #4
01-19-08, 11:34 PM #5
Too bad all 160 will be back next week crossing again...There are only two kinds of real justice left: street and poetic...
Canada, huh? Almost made it...
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