Why DHS apprehension stats are skewed
Two brothers who worked as Border Patrol agents were scheduled to be sentenced Friday for smuggling hundreds of immigrants into the United States in one of the highest-profile corruption cases to sting the federal agency in a decade.So does that give those supporting the Gang of Eight pause for their recent amendment doubling the size again? Probably not. They really are not interested in doing things that will deter illegal immigration. If an illegal gets past the border agents they are still home free unless they are caught committing a felony. The fact is that under this administration the enforcement of immigration laws is ruled by bad faith from the top.
Raul and Fidel Villarreal face a maximum of 50 years in prison and at least $1.25 million in penalties when they appear before U.S. District Court Judge John A. Houston in San Diego.
Prosecutors said Raul Villarreal — who made television appearances as an agency spokesman and once played the role of a smuggler in a public service ad —recruited his brother to his ring that smuggled in Mexicans and Brazilians. One Brazilian woman told investigators she paid $12,000 to cross.
Federal officials said they also took bribes from public officials.
The federal probe began in May 2005 when an informant tipped off the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Investigators installed cameras in areas where migrants were dropped off, planted recording devices and placed tracking instruments on Border Patrol vehicles. They also trailed the ring's smuggling operations by airplane.
Prosecutors said when the brothers learned they were being investigated in June 2006, they quit their jobs and fled to Mexico.
Two years later, the brothers were arrested. They were extradited to the U.S. and charged with human smuggling, witness tampering and bribery.
The Border Patrol has suffered a string of such embarrassments since doubling its size in less than a decade, including the case of an agent who pleaded guilty in April to smuggling marijuana while on duty along the Arizona-Mexico border. (Emphasis added.)