Thursday, May 17, 2018

Department of the Interior Border Surge Shows Immediate Success, Zinke Commits More Officers to Borderlands

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that just two days into the surge operation of Interior law enforcement officers to the Department’s southern borderlands, the mission has resulted in more than a dozen arrests. Following President Donald Trump’s recent announcement of a deployment plan to secure the southern border, earlier this month, Secretary Zinke deployed an initial surge of 22 Department of the Interior law enforcement officers to Interior-managed borderlands between Arizona and Texas. The​ir​ first day of duty was Monday, May 14​, 2018​. By midday Wednesday, May 16, the team had made 13 arrests and confiscated an illegal handgun that had the serial number filed off. Officers also found extensive evidence of recent activity along smuggling routes. On May 15, 2018​,​ Department of the Interior Officers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service detained a group of 11 suspected undocumented aliens crossing through Interior managed lands. While searching the immediate area the officers also located an abandoned handgun. Upon further investigation of the handgun it was determined that the serial number had been removed. The firearm and the suspected undocumented aliens were turned over to the custody of the U.S. Border Patrol. Also on May 15, ​2018, ​officers from the Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol began walking suspected smuggling trails and identifying layup areas on Department of the Interior-managed lands. Layup areas are areas where the undocumented aliens and narcotic smugglers rest. These areas were easily identified from the large amounts of trash and clothing left behind...MORE

To put this in perspective, Interior has 3500 law enforcement officers. By assigning 22 to the Border, Zinke was committing less than 1 percent of his officers to the task.

Note that all this activity was on "Interior managed" lands. Extrapolate that over a year and they would catch 2,373 illegal aliens in just the small area they were patrolling. And keep in mind, something like 40 percent of our border with Mexico is federally owned property, and a significant portion of that is in Wilderness, National Parks & Monuments, or Wildlife Refuges, where the Border Patrol can only enter by foot or horseback, except for "emergencies."

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