Wednesday, May 10, 2006

It Seems That Border Patrol Is Backtracking And/Or Damage Control

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Inaccurate (Border Patrol rebuts Minutemen report)
US Border Patrol Newsroom ^ | 9 May 2006 | USBP


Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Inaccurate

(05/09/2006)Statement Today’s report by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, “U.S. tipping Mexico to Minuteman patrols,” is inaccurate. Border Patrol does not report activity by civilian, non-law enforcement groups to the Government of Mexico. During a detention of a legal or illegal immigrant that produces an allegation of improper treatment, Border Patrol reports the allegation and allows the appropriate consulate to interview the individual in custody.

This is consistent with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 that provides consular access to foreign nationals being detained by a foreign government. This is the same agreement that protects United States citizens when they travel to foreign countries.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol continues to appreciate the efforts of civilians who contact law enforcement authorities regarding suspicious activity.

________________________________


DHS: DENY, HEDGE, SPIN (Border Patrol Calls Squealing On Minutement Report "Inaccurate")
Michelle Malkin ^ | May 10, 2006 | Michelle Malkin


The Customs and Border Protection agency at DHS has issued a statement, much-ballyhooed by blind Bush supporters, which calls the Inland Valley Bulletin's story on the Border Patrol/Minutemen/Mexican government "inaccurate." Let's examine the full bluster:


Today’s report by the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, “U.S. tipping Mexico to Minuteman patrols,” is inaccurate. Border Patrol does not report activity by civilian, non-law enforcement groups to the Government of Mexico. During a detention of a legal or illegal immigrant that produces an allegation of improper treatment, Border Patrol reports the allegation and allows the appropriate consulate to interview the individual in custody.

This is consistent with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 that provides consular access to foreign nationals being detained by a foreign government. This is the same agreement that protects United States citizens when they travel to foreign countries.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol continues to appreciate the efforts of civilians who contact law enforcement authorities regarding suspicious activity.


The "Vienna Convention" reference is a red herring. CBP claims categorically that "Border Patrol does not report activity by civilian, non-law enforcement groups to the Government of Mexico." But Border Patrol spokesman Mario Martinez confirmed the notification process for Daily Bulletin reporter Sara Carter in plain, unequivocal terms:


A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed the notification process, describing it as a standard procedure meant to reassure the Mexican government that migrants' rights are being observed.

"It's not a secret where the Minuteman volunteers are going to be," Mario Martinez said Monday.


"This ... simply makes two basic statements -- that we will not allow any lawlessness of any type, and that if an alien is encountered by a Minuteman or arrested by the Minuteman, then we will allow that government to interview the person."


Moreover, the Mexican Government's Secretary of Foreign Relations website contradicts the CBP statement:


El Consulado General de México en Phoenix se ha mantenido en contacto con la Patrulla Fronteriza para ratificar la petición de ser notificados en caso de que algún voluntario detenga a indocumentados, así como la solicitud de entrevistar a los inmigrantes mientras se encuentren bajo custodia de la Patrulla Fronteriza.

Translation via Babelfish:


The General Consulate of Mexico in Phoenix has stayed in contact with the Border Patrol to ratify the request of being notified in case that some volunteer stops undocumented people, as well as the request to interview the immigrants while they are under safekeeping of the Border Patrol.


I asked Carter if she stands by her story. She e-mailed late tonight:


I stand by my story. I interviewed Mario Martinez yesterday and he confirmed that the consulates receive the information from field reports when they interview detained illegal immigrants. That is what I reported. I have also interviewed numerous Border Patrol agents out in the field who have told me the Mexican consulate has more power than their own Border Patrol Chiefs.

Carter also e-mailed me in response to my follow-up on whether DHS was asking her to retract anything:


Our paper is not being asked to retract the story. I spoke with Kristi Clemons, (hope I got her name right)with DHS. She did not deny my story or what Mario Martinez told me. What she did say was that I didn't get the whole story in the report -- she was refering to the Vienna Convention on the treatment of detainees. I asked her to give me details on what areas of my story were inaccurate and she said only that the information on Vienna Convention was not mentioned.

In the statement issued by the DHS USCBP they said that they do not provide information to the Mexican Government on the whereabouts of civilian border watch groups. But they do because every time they detained an illegal immigrant and gave the information as to how they were detained to the Mexican consulate they gave the specifics of the location of the civilian groups.


I also asked Carter whether Martinez had backpedaled from his confirmation of the intelligence-sharing between the Border Patrol and Mexican officials:


No, in fact Martinez said the same thing this morning to a radio talk show reporter in San Diego.

And let me remind you of what the CBP's denial did not refute in Carter's reporting:


Border Patrol agents interviewed by the Daily Bulletin said they have been asked to report to sector headquarters the location of all civilian volunteer groups, but to not file the groups' names in reports if they spot illegal immigrants.

"Last year an internal memo notified all agents not to give credit to Minuteman volunteers or others who call in sightings of illegal aliens," said one agent, who spoke on the condition he not be identified. "We were told to list it as a citizen call and leave it at that. Many times, we were told not to go out to Minuteman calls."


The document also mentions locations of field operations of Friends of the Border Patrol, which patrolled the San Diego sector from June to November 2005. Mexican officials had access to the exact location of the group founded by Andy Ramirez, which ran its patrols from the Rough Acre Ranch, a private property in McCain Valley.


Ramirez said that for safety reasons, he disclosed the location of his ranch patrol only to San Diego Border Patrol and law enforcement officials. The group did not apprehend or spot any undocumented migrants in that area.


"We did not release this information ... to the media or anyone else," Ramirez said. "We didn't want to publicize that information. But there it is, right on the Mexican government's Web site, and our government gave it to them."


Allah has more on the CYA from DHS over CBP.


***


This White House has another burgeoning debacle on its hands. And it's not the Daily Bulletin or conservative bloggers' fault. I would highly recommend that blind Bush supporters not attack the reporter as some sort of NYTimes liberal ideologue. Those who have followed their excellent journalism over the years know that the Daily Bulletin and its reporters in the trenches have been at the forefront of border and immigration enforcement reporting.


Message to apologists: Stop blaming the messengers. It's only going to make those poll numbers you worry so much about worse.


Message to the White House: Stop blaming the messengers. Do us all a favor by ending this travesty and apologizing. And please don't fire Mario Martinez for telling the reporter the truth.


***


The Minutemen aren't deterred. They're doing jobs the government won't do: they've started building fences.


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Snitching and spying for Mexico
Our Border Patrol...or Mexico's?

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