Feds target illegal immigrants far from border
Federal immigration agents, with help from local law enforcement officers, have begun intercepting illegal immigrants and alien smugglers along stretches of highway deep in the U.S. interior.
‘They think they’re pretty much home free once they get up here,’ said Bill Botts, of the Border Patrol’s Gulport, Mississippi, station. But Operation Uniforce, as the two-week crackdown started Jan. 13 is called, ‘is pretty much a shocker for the [alien] smuggling organizations.’
More than 300 illegal immigrants and alien smugglers had been arrested as of Tuesday, just over a week into the operation.
About 40 Border Patrol and U.S. Customs agents who normally work at or close to the border temporarily have been assigned to the interior highway crackdown. They and local law enforcemernt agents have spread out along several miles of I-20 and some of its connecting highways.
After the two-week crackdown is up, they will return to their usual jobs and evaluate what they learned. In the coming weeks or months, they might return to I-20 and do it again.
Whether or not they return, the hope is that the crackdown will put illegal alien smugglers on notice and disrupt their business by forcing them to take longer, slower and more costly detours.
Border Patrol spokesman Ramon Rivera said the vast majority of those caught up in the crackdown are Mexicans headed to the East Coast, where they typically land jobs in agriculture, construction and manufacturing. Agents also uncovered vital information about a few prolific alien smuggling rings and a popular Texas stash house where illegal immigrants were stowed. ‘The intelligence we are getting is absolutely priceless,’ said Rivera.
In 2007 federal agents ran three alien smuggling interdiction operations, but closer to the Southern border. Those efforts seemed to force the smugglers north from I-10 to I-20. So this time, agents moved deeper into I-20, some 800 miles from the nearest border crossing, at Brownsville, Texas.
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Law Enforcement 101.
Public Policy 101.
On full display — in real life.
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P.S. — Here’s a link to the excellent AP article on which this entry is based — the first two grafs of which read like an Ed McBain novel.
As they say, read it all.