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DHS officials warn illegal border crossings are surging in anticipation of Biden presidency

Homeland Security officials warned recently they are already seeing a surge in illegal border crossings at the United States southern border as migrants anticipate more lenient immigration enforcement policies under a Joe Biden presidency.

What are the details?

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics released last Thursday, immigration authorities made more than 69,000 arrests during the month of October, which was a 21% increase from September and marked the highest total of any October since 2005.

The high numbers were part of a trend, as illegal border crossing arrests have been steadily climbing since the summer. Immigration authorities made 47,283 arrests in August and 38,536 in July.

On a conference call with reporters Thursday, acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan noted that while many of the crossings are due to worsening economic conditions south of the border, “perceived or anticipated shifts in policies” under a Biden administration were also creating new pull factors.

Morgan warned that things would only get worse if more Trump-era policies, such Migrant Protection Protocols, which sent migrants to Mexico to await hearings, were repealed.

“If you remove MPP as well as other policies that critics have said they’re going to remove, make no mistake that is going to sound the alarm that our borders are open,” he said. “It’ll be absolutely devastating.”

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf added: “If these critical tools are removed or overturned, then the Department — and you, our frontline partners — would be imperiled by another immigration crisis.”

What else?

Democratic nominee Joe Biden has pushed for a number of liberal immigration policies on the campaign trail, including a moratorium on deportations for his first 100 days in office and a road map to citizenship for 11 million illegal aliens residing in America.

“Within 100 days, I’m going to send the United States Congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people,” Biden said during a debate with President Trump in October.

Morgan noted on the call that statements like that undoubtedly “sound the alarm that our borders are open,” adding, “you will see a crisis that makes last year’s crisis look like child’s play, and you can take that to the bank.”

Anything else?

If recent comments from immigrants facing deportation in Denver, Colorado, are emblematic of the whole, Morgan appears to be correct.

One illegal immigrant, who has lived “in sanctuary” for two years in the city and is now awaiting deportation to Mexico, told a local news outlet she hopes Biden makes changes to the immigration system for the benefit all illegal immigrants.

“My hope is this new president create change in the immigration system,” she said. “Yeah, my hope is it’s about time, not just for me, but for more than 11 million people.”

Another, facing deportation to Peru, added: “Yes we have more hope with this president, Joe Biden. With [the Trump] administration we tried but had a lot of doors closed.”

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The Border Patrol Is Monitoring Millions Of Americans’ Cellphones Inside Their Homes

This article was originally published by Mass Private I at Activist Post. 

The Feds are using the pandemic as an excuse to ID and track millions of innocent Americans’ cellphones inside their homes.

This past August, a Motherboard article revealed the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) had signed a $476,000 contract with Venntel, a cellphone data mining corporation.

Motherboard went on to explain why the Feds signing a contract with Venntel is so troubling.

The news highlights how law enforcement agencies continue to buy data that may in some cases require a warrant or court order to obtain.

What Motherboard is saying is that the CBP is using Venntel to monitor Americans’ cellphones without a warrant.

“This new contract raises even more concerns about the cozy and ongoing relationship between the federal government and these data brokers, which operate in the shadows and can amass mountains of sensitive personal data without any restrictions,” Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and Chairwoman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform said.

What makes this even more disconcerting is how law enforcement can use Venntel to monitor every cellphone in a ‘certain house.’

If you search a certain house, you’re only going to get three or four different signals out of there. I think from that standpoint, you could definitely try and identify specific people, the first [Venntel] source said. I think that was part of the goal in using it for government customers and things like that, is that you’re able to identify devices, and then you can do device searches to see where else they might have been, they added. A second person who has worked with the company [Venntel] said the data in a geofenced area is not going to contain 100 percent of devices in that location, and that identifying someone would be laborious.

Five U.S. senators were so horrified about law enforcement secretly monitoring millions of innocent Americans’ cellphones that they sent a letter to the CBP demanding an explanation.

As revealed by public contracts, CBP has paid a government contractor named Venntel nearly half a million dollars for access to a commercial database containing location data mined from applications on millions of Americans’ mobile phones. CBP officials also confirmed the agency’s warrantless tracking of phones in the United States using Venntel’s product in a September 16, 2020 call with Senate staff.

The letter asked what legal analysis did the Feds use to justify creating a national cellphone location tracking program?

.The senators also requested the inspector general investigate any legal analysis CBP’s lawyers performed before the agency started to use this surveillance tool and how CBP was able to begin operational use of Venntel’s location database without the DHS Privacy Office first publishing a Privacy Impact Assessment.

It is hard to imagine a more invasive national public surveillance program than what the CBP is conducting right now under our very noses.

The Feds don’t care if we know that they are secretly spying on our cellphones inside our homes

A recent Vice article revealed that the CBP is refusing to justify to Congress how it is legal to ID and spy on Americans’ cellphones inside their homes without a warrant.

“CBP officials confirmed to Senate staff that the agency is using Venntel’s location database to search for information collected from phones in the United States without any kind of court order,” the letter signed by Wyden and Warren, and addressed to the DHS OIG, reads. “CBP outrageously asserted that its legal analysis is privileged and therefore does not have to be shared with Congress. We disagree.”

As the Vice article pointed out, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is also using Venntel’s data to ID and monitor Americans’ cellphones without a warrant.

Allegedly, the CBP and the IRS cannot tell what nationality a particular person is based only on the information provided by Venntel, but they can track a particular person’s movements throughout the country.

The CBP’s admission that it is not restricting its personnel to only use Venntel near the border sends an unmistakable message to Americans everywhere: law enforcement treats everyone like a suspected criminal.

There simply is no justification for a so-called democratic country treating millions of its citizens like suspected criminals. Our country is on the precipice of becoming a full-blown surveillance state.

The post The Border Patrol Is Monitoring Millions Of Americans’ Cellphones Inside Their Homes first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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Nearly 20,000 fake US driver’s licenses from China and other countries seized at Chicago airport

Customs and Border Protection officers seized nearly 20,000 counterfeit U.S. driver’s licenses at Chicago’s O’Hare airport this year. The shipment of fake driver’s licenses were sent to the United States and originated from China and other countries, according to the report from WNYW-TV.

Within the first six months of this year, CBP reportedly seized 19,888 counterfeit driver’s licenses and other fake documents in 1,513 shipments at O’Hare International Airport alone. Federal customs officials say the shipments arrived mostly from China and Hong Kong, but there were some shipments from South Korea and Britain.

CBP said most of the counterfeit driver’s licenses were for college-age students. Many had the same photo but with different names.

Ralph Piccirilli, CBP’s acting area port director in Chicago, said the IDs were “very realistic.” CBP noted the barcodes on fake Michigan driver’s licenses actually worked.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport also intercepted fake driver’s licenses arriving through international cargo.

“In the last six months, CBP officers at DFW intercepted nearly 900 counterfeit driver’s licenses that were delivered via international shipping services to the Dallas area,” a CBP press release from April said. “Approximately 2000 fake IDs have been seized over the last 18 months.”

“What is most disconcerting about theses interceptions, besides the volume in which we are experiencing, is the ease in which so many young people freely share their personal information with counterfeiters abroad,” CBP Port Director Timothy M. Lemaux, Area Port of Dallas, said. “We’ll continue to collaborate with local law enforcement to educate the public, and anyone who is contemplating purchasing a counterfeit ID online, on the potential dangers of sharing your personal identifiable information with a criminal element.”

The CBP teamed up with local area law enforcement and local universities in the Dallas area to inform young adults about the dangers of providing their personal identifiable information online to counterfeiters abroad to obtain a fraudulent document.

Law enforcement is not only concerned that the fake IDs will be used by criminals, but also that the money made from selling the counterfeit documents are “possibly funding criminal or terrorist organizations.”

“These fraudulent identity documents can lead to identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud linked to immigration-related crimes such as human smuggling and human trafficking,” CBP said in a news release.

“These counterfeit driver’s licenses can lead to disastrous consequences,” Piccirilli said in a statement. “Criminal organizations use these counterfeit IDs to avoid attracting attention to their illegal activities.”

Last fall, CBP agents in Kentucky intercepted nearly 3,000 counterfeit IDs and over 3,000 blank cards for counterfeiting licenses that were headed to New York City, according to Fox News.

Last month, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized a massive shipment of human hair products from China that could be connected to “potential human right abuses of forced child labor and imprisonment.” CBP officers at the Port of New York/Newark confiscated a shipment of 13 tons of hair products worth over $800,000.

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US Customs and Border Protection asks for help as the new southern border wall gets sawed through and climbed over

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has put up 180 miles of new border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, but there’s a problem: The agency can’t figure out how to stop smugglers and other illegal border crossers from cutting through or climbing over the new barriers.

Now the CBP is asking private industry for help.

What’s happening with the wall?

President Donald Trump vowed to have about 500 miles of new border fencing built before the end of 2020. So far, the government has put up 182 miles, acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told Fox News last month.

The agency tasked with building the 30-foot-tall steel bollard wall posted a notice seeking private industry’s help to stop people from being able to saw through and climb over the border barrier. From the CBP posting:

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recognizes that industry, other agencies, and other private entities may have interesting, innovative, and useful ideas that could be implemented to enhance and or improve mission essential operational deterrent capabilities related to the anti-climb/anti-cut features of the border wall and persistent impedance. Through the prototyping process in 2017-2018, it was identified that bollard style construction (steel slats) provided the best value and operationally effective border barrier solution to CBP.

CBP is constantly seeking to improve the effectiveness of the border wall and now is seeking further product improvements to the anti-climb/anti-cut features of the border wall barrier.

However, the CBP said the new request “does not amount to an admission that the current design is inadequate or flawed,” the Washington Post reported.

“We have an adaptive adversary; regardless of materials, nothing is impenetrable if given unlimited time and tools,” the agency said, according to the Post. “Walls provide the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) the ability to slow and stop potential crossings. That means building wall will deter some people from attempting to cross, while slowing the efforts of those who still try.”

In January 2019, NBC News revealed a Department of Homeland Security test that showed military and Border Patrol personnel were able to cut through and destroy the bollards with common tools.

Test Of Steel Prototype For Border Wall Showed It Could Be Sawed Through | NBC Nightly News

Though the government has not publicly admitted how many smugglers have breached the wall so far, records the Post obtained via the Freedom of Information Act revealed at least 18 breaches in one month last fall in the San Diego area alone.

The CBP call for help is looking for “tools to determine the best type of anti-climb and anti-breach attributes for the border wall for each sector of the Southwest Border.”

“CBP is specifically looking for innovative wall designs that have the capacity to leap frog current technology to dramatically improve efficacy,” the posting said.

The cutoff date for private outfits to submit white papers for consideration is June 12.

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New Border Patrol chief says he won’t turn illegal aliens over for criminal prosecution if sanctuary jurisdictions won’t return them

The Border Patrol’s new chief said this week that the law enforcement agency won’t be turning over illegal aliens accused of crimes if the prosecuting jurisdiction can’t guarantee that they’ll be given back to federal authorities for deportation afterward.

“My job is to protect the United States and to secure the borders, not to get prosecutions, so we are deporting people that have active warrants because the state will not give back that person to us, and we have to pick: federal law or state law,” Rodney Scott said recently at a briefing, as reported Tuesday by the Washington Examiner.

The new chief also said it doesn’t matter what kind of crime the illegal alien has been charged with if a jurisdiction won’t cooperate with immigration authorities.

“It doesn’t really matter the charge,” Scott explained, according to the report. “If they will not give confirmation that they are going to return the individual, then we are not going to turn them over. We’ll prosecute them federally, then deport them.”

Scott, a 27-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, was named chief of the agency in late January. Before that, he headed up the agency’s San Diego Sector, which includes 60 miles of land border with Mexico and over 930 miles of coastal border stretching from California to Oregon. The sector also employs over 2,200 uniformed agents, according to its Fiscal Year 2019 report.

In a January statement announcing his selection for the post, acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan called Scott “the absolute embodiment of the U.S. Border Patrol’s motto, ‘Honor First.'”

Fighting against sanctuary jurisdiction policies throughout the United States has been a key component of the Trump administration’s immigration policy since the president took office. For example, earlier this year, Immigration and Customs enforcement called out Cook County, Illinois, in January for releasing 1,070 criminal aliens and immigration violators during Fiscal Year 2019 despite detainer requests.

Last month, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence also slammed sanctuary policies following an inspector general’s report that state and local jurisdictions’ non-cooperation actions since 2013 had resulted in over 17,000 removable aliens still being at large.

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Greyhound says Border Patrol may no longer search for illegal immigrants on buses without a warrant

Bus giant Greyhound announced Friday that the company will no longer allow Border Patrol agents in search of illegal immigrants to board its buses without a warrant, in a move being hailed by civil rights advocates.

What are the details?

The Associated Press reported Greyhound wrote in an emailed statement that “it would notify the Department of Homeland Security that it does not consent to unwarranted searches on its buses or in areas of terminals that are not open to the public.”

The emailed stated, “Our primary concern is the safety of our customers and team members, and we are confident these changes will lead to an improved experience for all parties involved.”

Greyhound’s new policy comes one week after the AP noted in a separate exclusive report that an internal memo from U.S. Customs and Border Protection dated Jan. 28 notified agents that boarding buses and questioning passengers without the consent of the company is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

The report further noted that “Greyhound has faced pressure from the American Civil Liberties Union, immigrant rights activists and Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to stop allowing sweeps on buses within 100 miles (160 kilometers) of an international border or coastline.”

In June 2018, Greyhound stating on a company blog post, “While we are required to comply with the law by allowing Border Patrol agents to board our buses when they ask to do so, we do not support or coordinate these searches, nor are we happy about them.” It concluded, “Our drivers face arrest and fines for obstructing these agents, and we would not want to put their safety, or the safety of our passengers at risk by attempting to physically stop a federal agent from boarding.”

Both the ACLU and Ferguson took victory laps upon hearing of Greyhound’s policy change.

Andrea Flores, deputy director of policy for the ACLU’s Equality Division told the AP via email, “We are pleased to see Greyhound clearly communicate that it does not consent to racial profiling and harassment on its buses. By protecting its customers and employees, Greyhound is sending a message that it prioritizes the communities it serves.”

Ferguson’s office released his statement on Twitter, which read, “Today’s announcement from Greyhound confirms what should have been obvious to the company since I contacted them a year ago — it has both the power and the responsibility to stand up for its customers, who suffered for far too long from Greyhound’s indifference to CBP’s suspicionless bus raids and harassment.”

“It’s unfortunate it took a leaked memo and the threat of a lawsuit by my office before Greyhound acted,” Ferguson continued. “That said, we’re not just going to take Greyhound’s word. We’ll be following up with Greyhound to ensure compliance.”

As of this writing, CBP had not yet issued a public statement in reaction to Greyhound’s announcement. The AP noted that in the past “Border Patrol has insisted that it does not profile passengers based on their appearance, but instead asks all passengers whether they are citizens or in the country legally. The agency says the bus checks are an important way to ferret out human trafficking, narcotics and illegal immigration.”