CBP Officers Work To Keep Firearms From Getting To Cartels In Mexico

CBP Officers Work To Keep Firearms From Getting To Cartels In Mexico

By Terri Jo Neff |

While the main focus along the southwest border is on who and what is coming into the United States, the director of one U.S. Port of Entry in Arizona is making the public aware of the strides his officers are having at keeping firearms from getting into the hands of cartel members in Mexico.

Michael Humphries has been the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Nogales Port Director since 2018. His responsibilities include two major border crossingsthe Dennis DeConcini POE and the Mariposa POEas well as the Morley pedestrian gate, the Nogales International Airport, and the Rio Rico railyard.

On Sunday, Humphries tweeted about a southbound vehicle that was preparing to leave the U.S. on Sept. 22 through the Nogales POE.   

“As officers spoke to the driver, a K9 alerted to the trunk area of the vehicle and the driver fled,” Humphries wrote. “Officers were able to stop the car before it escaped into Mexico and found 3 AK style semi-auto rifles.”

Just days earlier, Humphries tweeted about a vehicle attempting to leave the U.S. with several firearms hidden in the cargo area.

Federal officials estimate more than 200,000 firearms were illegally trafficked last year from the U.S. into Mexico, particularly through Arizona and Texas crossings.

A tracing program operated by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Mexican government shows more than 70 percent of guns used in criminal activity in Mexico came from the U.S.

One of Humphries’ tweets from June featured the seizure of a machine gun, 20,000 rounds of ammunition, and other firearms, all of which were headed into Mexico.

A few days before, CBP officers encountered two men attempting to walk into Mexico with assault weapons taped to their bodies.

And in May, Humphries tweeted about the seizure of 10 rifles concealed in one vehicle headed to Mexico.

May Border Crossings Reaches Another All-Time High

May Border Crossings Reaches Another All-Time High

By Corinne Murdock |

The latest border crossing data published this week revealed another all-time high of over 239,400, indicating that President Joe Biden’s border crisis won’t be getting better anytime soon. The latest number marked a 300 percent increase from the average May number under former President Donald Trump. 

Under Biden, there have been 3.3 illegal immigrants encountered. So far this year, there have been over 1.5 illegal immigrants encountered.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) data showed that the number of illegal immigrants encountered climbed from nearly 235,500 in April. The number of illegal crossings spiked in March after a drop in January, which still registered a record high of over 154,800 crossings.

Recidivism rates more than doubled from pre-pandemic levels. They dropped from 14 percent in 2015 to 7 percent in 2019. The rate has been climbing steadily from 26 percent in 2020, to 27 percent in 2021.

As reported previously, the CBP data only reflects encounters. The actual number of illegal crossings are estimated to be much higher. “Gotaways” reflect illegal immigrants that weren’t apprehended. 

CBP sources informed Fox News that there have been around 830,000 gotaways since about the time Biden took office at the beginning of last year: about 440,000 this year so far, with about 390,000 in 2021. 

Biden hasn’t tweeted any formal statements on the southern border since last September, when he lamented over the treatment of illegal Haitian immigrants by Border Patrol. In recent months, Biden has focused on Ukraine’s border. 

Rather, the president’s latest statements on the border focused on ensuring “humane and coordinated border management systems.” During an endorsement event for the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection, Biden did condemn illegal immigration. He noted that the government is partnering with Mexico to conduct “mirror patrols,” in which Border Patrol agents from both countries mirror one another’s patrol along the border.

“Unlawful migration is not acceptable, and we’ll secure our borders, including through innovative, coordinated actions with our regional partners,” said Biden. 

The declaration served as a unified statement pledging community assistance, legal immigration pathway expansion, humane migration management, and coordinated emergency responses. Of note, the declaration promised to increase public and private services for migrants, expand labor migration pathways for migrants, and expand regular pathways for migrants.

In Wednesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t address the latest CBP numbers, instead focusing on Ukraine’s borders. Jean-Pierre didn’t touch the border crisis during Thursday’s press briefing, either. 

Over the last few weeks, Jean-Pierre has cut the questions portion of press briefings short — much to the chagrin of reporters. Jean-Pierre ended Wednesday’s press briefing after taking reporters’ questions for 13 minutes. 

Following viral criticism over keeping the questions portion of press briefings short, Jean-Pierre fielded questions for about 42 minutes during Thursday’s press briefing. 

Last month, the Arizona House GOP issued a legislative proclamation denouncing Biden for his handling of the border crisis. 

Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) claimed credit for mitigating the border crisis within Congress’ annual budget bill: nearly 2.3 billion for CBP hiring and retention, CBP mental health and clinicians, CBP border management costs, ICE border management costs, border security technology, ports of entry technology, ports of entry feasibility study, creation of joint processing centers, food and shelter for migrants, transportation for migrants, and asylum processing.

However, the increased spending may not have a greater impact than the previous decisions by the two senators which arguably have contributed to the crisis. 

Back in December, Kelly and Sinema voted with their colleagues to confirm Chris Magnus as the new CBP commissioner. Magnus has denied the existence of the border crisis repeatedly. During his tenure as chief of police in Tucson, Magnus told officials not to enforce immigration laws and instead continue with sanctuary city policies.

The two also voted to send stimulus checks to illegal immigrants, adding onto two crises in one blow: the inflation crisis, and the border crisis. 

Exactly one year ago, the Biden administration claimed that Trump broke the immigration system, characterizing it as all “chaos and mismanagement,” and that border numbers would fluctuate based on annual migration trends. The number of illegal border crossings have only gone up since then.

Last April, Biden claimed that they had gotten the border under control. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Almost 154k Southwest Border Crossings in January, Highest in Over 20 Years

Almost 154k Southwest Border Crossings in January, Highest in Over 20 Years

By Corinne Murdock |

According to the latest data released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), law enforcement encountered nearly 154,000 illegal immigrants crossing the Southwest border. This number doesn’t include those illegal immigrants who evaded apprehension, known as “gotaways”: different than those who evade encounters entirely, or go through the catch-and-release process.

According to CBP data obtained through Border Patrol and by Townhall, CNN, and The Washington Post compiled by the Republican National Committee (RNC), over 504,600 estimated gotaways have occurred since President Joe Biden was sworn in. Former and current border officials clarified that those estimates are conservative. National Border Patrol Council’s Rio Grande Valley Chapter Vice President and Spokesman Chris Cabrera told Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) that the actual number of gotaways is likely “twice, if not three times” the Biden Administration’s November estimate of around 400,000 — which would be around 1.2 million.

Border officials’ projections of illegal immigrant numbers dwarfing the Biden Administration’s reports are supported by the symptoms felt by Arizona’s communities: overcrowded detention centers, frequent apprehensions of violent criminals, crops destroyed, and covert migrant shelter operations housed next door.

As evidenced by the CBP chart “Southwest Land Border Encounters by Month,” encounters remain far above those over the last three years. Unlike the last three years, however, there’s been a sharp downturn in encounters from December to January. Similar sharp downturn trends occurred in 2016 and 2017. Overall, Southwest border encounters dropped about 14 percent from December to January: 19 percent for the Office of Field Operations (OFO) and nearly 14 percent for U.S. Border Patrol. 

CBP’s latest numbers come nearly a month after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) told Reuters that the country should expect the border crisis to worsen throughout 2022. A majority of Arizona law enforcement expressed support for mitigation efforts proposed by Governor Doug Ducey: federal legislation to increase border security through completing border wall, physical barriers, and virtual surveillance; requiring asylum seekers to show proof of attempt to claim asylum prior to crossing and at a port of entry; increasing the number of immigration judges; and increasing funding for local law enforcement and humanitarian efforts.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.