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Thread: Border Patrol Ordered to Release Drunk Drivers, “Allow Them to Go On Their Way”

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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Border Patrol Ordered to Release Drunk Drivers, “Allow Them to Go On Their Way”

    FEBRUARY 13, 2015

    The Obama administration has ordered federal agents responsible for protecting one of the nation’s busiest and most crime-infested regions near Mexico to stop apprehending drunk drivers, according to an internal government memo that also concedes an officer that elects to detain them is “acting within the course and scope of his employment.”

    Obtained by Judicial Watch this week, the notice is titled “Enforcement Options With Alcohol-Impaired Drivers” and directs the 4,000-plus U.S. Border Patrol agents in the Tucson, Arizona sector to “release” individuals under the influence and “allow them to go on their way.” The document acknowledges that this feels counter-intuitive for Border Patrol agents, but eases concerns by answering a hypothetical question for the officers who have sworn to uphold the law: “If you allow this driver to continue down the road and they kill someone, aren’t you liable?” The answer is no, according to the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo. “There is no legal requirement for a Border Patrol agent to intervene in a state crime, including DUI,” the order says, adding that “therefore there is generally no liability that will attach to the agent or agency for failing to act in this situation.”

    The directive offers another scenario—detaining the impaired individual at the request of state or local law enforcement officers (LEO). “There is no duty to detain the alcohol-impaired individual,” the memo says, “but if you do this option can raise potential liability for the agent and the agency.” The document goes on to say that Border Patrol policy is to cooperate with local and state law enforcement officers who alert of suspected violations under state law. That means the agent would be considered to have been acting within the course and scope of his employment while detaining a drunk driver at the request of local law enforcement officers under Arizona law, the document confirms.

    The last scenario offered in the recently issued decree has a Border Patrol agent detaining a drunk driver in Arizona without a request from a state or local law enforcement officer. “This option poses the greatest liability for both the agent and the agency,” according to the order. After revealing that private citizens in Arizona can make felony and misdemeanor arrests, it nevertheless prompts Border Patrol agents to stay away from drunk drivers. “Be advised, this option poses the greatest threat to an agent for a civil lawsuit,” the memo warns.

    This preposterous order has not been well received by agents, according to Judicial Watch’s sources inside the agency. The Border Patrol Tucson Sector covers 262 miles along the Mexican border and is one of the country’s busiest in both illegal immigrant apprehensions and marijuana seizures, according to the agency website. During fiscal year 2014 the Tucson Sector Border Patrol recorded 87,915 apprehensions that included members of notorious international gangs and felons convicted of serious crimes such homicide, rape and child molestation. Agents also seized 971,180 pounds of marijuana as well as large quantities of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.

    As a whole, the Border Patrol is the critical frontline Homeland Security agency charged with preventing terrorists and weapons—including those of mass destruction—from entering the United States. Its primary mission is to protect the nation by reducing the likelihood that dangerous people and capabilities slip into the country through our many ports of entry. It’s beyond belief that the Obama administration has asked the federal officers tasked with this important duty to turn the other way when they encounter a drunk driver.

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/20...-allow-go-way/
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    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    Judicial Watch: DHS Orders Border Patrol to Stop Drunk Driver Arrests

    Friday, February 13, 2015 09:13 PM

    By: Todd Beamon

    An Obama administration order directs federal agents in one of the most crime-ridden stretches along the U.S. border with Mexico to stop arresting drunk drivers, Judicial Watch said on Friday.

    But the Department of Homeland Security concedes in the memo that Border Patrol agent who does detain such drivers is "acting within the course and scope of his employment."

    In the document, DHS ordered the 4,200 agents in the 262-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border along Tucson, Arizona, to "release" people who are under the influence and "allow them to go on their way."

    The Washington-based Judicial Watch said that the memo was obtained this week through "law-enforcement contacts" — and that it was dated earlier this month.

    The new policy has outraged agents, a Judicial Watch spokeswoman told Newsmax.

    Known as "the Tucson Sector" of the U.S. border, it covers most of the Grand Canyon State, spanning from the New Mexico line west to Yuma County. Border Patrol agents work out of eight stations in the sector.

    The Tucson Sector is one of the Homeland Security's busiest, in both arrests of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States and in drug seizures, according to the agency's most-recent annual report.

    In fiscal 2014, Border Patrol agents arrested 87,915 people — a majority of whom were illegals coming from Mexico — and more than 19,000 arriving from other countries.

    Some belonged to the ultra-violent international street gang MS-13, while many others were felons convicted of such serious crimes as homicide, rape and child molestation.

    In addition, agents also seized 971,180 pounds of marijuana during the fiscal year, as well as large quantities of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines, according to the site.

    "'Politics over public safety' is the Obama’s administration’s approach to immigration enforcement," said Tom Fitton, Judicial Watch's president. "This directive will result in death and injuries to American citizens and other innocents.

    "Senators now deciding whether to fund the president’s lawlessness should know the deadly stakes of their votes," Fitton added. "Each and every U.S. Senator should be asked about this directive and why on Earth taxpayer funds should support this deadly lawlessness.

    "In the meantime, families across America are now at risk on the roads, as President Obama and his appointees at the Department of Homeland Security have given illegal aliens a license to drive drunk."

    Republicans and Democrats are at odds over how to proceed on a $39.7 billion bill to fund Homeland Security through the rest of the fiscal year. The bill would reverse the amnesty orders President Barack Obama announced in November.

    The funding bill passed the GOP-controlled House last month, but it is stalled in the Senate. Obama's orders would grant deportation deferrals and work permits to as many as five million illegals.

    According to Judicial Watch, the DHS memo does acknowledge that Border Patrol officers may not be comfortable following the directive, and poses this hypothetical question to address possible concerns: "If you allow this driver to continue down the road and they kill someone, aren’t you liable?"

    The answer is no, the agency says: "There is no legal requirement for a Border Patrol agent to intervene in a state crime, including DUI," according to Judicial Watch.

    "Therefore there is generally no liability that will attach to the agent or agency for failing to act in this situation," DHS says.

    In another hypothetical, DHS says that Border Patrol agents are not required to detain drunk drivers for state or local authorities.

    "There is no duty to detain the alcohol-impaired individual," according to the memo, "but if you do this option can raise potential liability for the agent and the agency."

    The agency's policy is for Border Patrol agents to working with authorities who suspect people of violating state laws, including DUI.

    Under that scenario, agents would be considered to be acting within the course and scope of their employment if they arrested a drunk driver at the request of local officers under Arizona law, the memo says.

    But if a Border Patrol agent detained a drunk driver based on their own judgment, with no request from local authorities, "this option poses the greatest liability for both the agent and the agency," the document says.

    After noting that private citizens in Arizona can arrest people for felony and misdemeanor offenses, including DUI, the Homeland Security document cautions Border Patrol agents to stay away from drunk drivers.

    "Be advised, this option poses the greatest threat to an agent for a civil lawsuit," the memo warns.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/hom.../13/id/624787/
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  3. #3
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    Now tell me again, who is "leading the efforts to keep us safe"?

  4. #4
    Senior Member vistalad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    The Obama administration has ordered federal agents responsible for protecting one of the nation’s busiest and most crime-infested regions near Mexico to stop apprehending drunk drivers, according to an internal government memo that also concedes an officer that elects to detain them is “acting within the course and scope of his employment.”
    'Bama is loving his amnesty ploy. He gets to thumb his nose at the American people in a new way almost every other day. And he knows that the Repub leadership *wants* amnesty, so that the leadership's big money donors can have the surplus labor that they covet.

    Surplus labor keeps wages stagnant and profits up. And most of the same people who are undermining American workers are going to vote Democrat, so it's win-win for every sellout politician in Washington. And since the media is, by and large, not going to expose 'Bama or the sellout Repubs, it's lose big time for the American people.
    *******************************
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    American jobs for American workers

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  5. #5
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    Only other drunk drivers could have conceived that this was "good" policy!! Other drunk drivers will not object to it, and defense lawyers will love it. Say goodbye to DWI laws if this one is not reversed! Equal justice for all, except Americans?

    What in the HELL is colleges teaching our people who become politicians? They must share the blame!!
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  6. #6
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    This disgusting news should tell all Americans very clearly what kind of hell they have planned for us all.W

    W
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  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Did Border Patrol tell agents to not stop drunken drivers?

    Bob Ortega, The Republic | azcentral.com9:32 p.m. MST February 20, 2015


    (Photo: Michael Chow/The Republic)

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS


    • Border Patrol tells agents they can be liable for stopping DUI suspects, but not for letting them go
    • CBP: No comment on why memo was issued, or whether suspected DUIs were waved through checkpoints
    • Vermont state court dismissed DUI against woman detained by Border Patrol agents in 2013
    • professionals: CBP response to drunken-driver memo flap 'brain-boggling," "absurd"


    In recent days, an allegation that the Border Patrol told its agents in the Tucson Sector not to detain drunken drivers at their checkpoints along Interstate 19 and other roads has gone viral.

    The Border Patrol has not denied the allegations. And both critics and supporters say the agency's legalistic, bureaucratic responses are feeding the fire by making Border Patrol leaders look like they are more concerned with avoiding being sued than with protecting lives.


    On Feb. 13, the conservative website Judicial Watch first published portions of an alleged internal Border Patrol memo telling agents that they and the agency face a potential legal liability for detaining suspected drunken drivers but no liability for letting them go on their way.


    "If you allow this driver to continue down the road and they kill someone, aren't you liable?" the memo asked, posing a hypothetical question.


    The answer?


    "There is no legal requirement for a Border Patrol agent to intervene in a state crime, including DUI ... therefore there is generally no liability that will attach to the agent or agency for failing to act in this situation," the memo said.


    Even if state or local police ask agents to hold someone, the memo continued, "there is no duty to detain the alcohol-impaired individual. But if you do, this option can raise potential liability for the agent and the agency."


    And if an agent detains a potential drunken driver on his or her own authority, that "poses the greatest liability for both the agent and the agency," the memo said.


    Border Patrol response


    Initially, Customs and Border Protection responded to reporters' questions with a written statement saying the memo was internal information and "inappropriately released."


    The statement added that agents "are trained to exercise their professional judgment" when they see a possible drunken driver. The memo "does not direct agents to detain or not detain these drivers," it said.


    CBP officials declined to answer any other questions, including why the memo was written or why officials would tell agents they're not liable if a drunken driver they allow through a checkpoint kills someone. The agency also wouldn't say whether agents have allowed drivers who may have been drunk through checkpoints.


    RELATED:Incidents at checkpoints spur complaints
    RELATED:Border Patrol traffic stops stir public backlash


    Art del Cueto, president of the Tucson Sector's local of the National Border Patrol Council, the union for Border Patrol agents, said he never saw the memo but believes it was up on TV monitors throughout the Tucson station that play information for agents.


    "My understanding is ... this was up there, saying 'Hey, this is the law, this is the extent of what we can and can't do,' " del Cueto said.


    Asked whether he's seen drunken drivers, he said, "I've been involved in that situation on checkpoints, and I've called local authorities. … I've never seen an agent let somebody go. I've always seen them call the local agency."


    Bart Graves, a spokesman for Arizona's Department of Public Safety, said that "when Border Patrol agents suspect DUI, they do call us and we do assist them."


    Graves said in eight years at DPS, he has never heard of an incident in Arizona where agents did not refer a suspected drunken driver to state troopers or local police.


    Representatives for Yuma and Santa Cruz counties' sheriff's offices said they don't track calls from the checkpoints but said most of those calls would go to DPS first.


    The Arizona Republic
    did not find any news reports of cases in the Tucson Sector in which a driver in a DUI-related accident had gone through a checkpoint.


    Public-relations professionals' critique

    Several public-relations professionals to whom The Republic forwarded the memo and CBP's responses were aghast.

    "That is one of the most brain-boggling bits of communication I have been exposed to in a while," said David Leibowitz, who runs a public-relations firm in Phoenix. "You're telling people, 'I know you're a public-safety officer, but don't act in the interests of public safety.' "


    As for CBP's complaint that the memo was an internal communication, "it's unfathomable to me that you would put out such a communication and not expect it to make its way to the outside world. In the 21st century, there is no such thing as an internal document," Leibowitz said.


    "This is why lawyers don't do P.R. ," said Stacy Pearson, principal at the public-relations firm Up Agency in Phoenix. "Encouraging anyone not to detain a drunk driver is absurd."


    She added, "Most of public relations is peeking around the corner for the worst-case scenario — and the worst-case scenario here is as bad as it can get."


    As The Republic has reported, agents have limited policing authority at the checkpoints, which are supposed to focus on checking people's immigration status.


    Border Patrol agents can't issue traffic citations or arrest people for other criminal violations. But they do routinely detain suspects and call local or state law-enforcement officers.


    However, in Vermont in 2013, a judge dismissed a DUI charge against a woman who had been detained by Border Patrol agents for more than an hour before a state trooper arrived and arrested her.


    Judge Howard Van Benthuysen ruled that agents had no grounds to detain the woman because there was no cause to suspect she had committed a federal crime.


    CBP's limitations on enforcing the law

    The American Civil Liberties Union, which is suing the Border Patrol for alleged civil-rights violations at checkpoints, advocates strict limits to agents' authority. But even the ACLU's Tucson attorney scratched his head at the memo.

    "The Border Patrol is not local law enforcement," James Duff Lyall said. "But that doesn't mean they are powerless to act in the face of drunk driving. They can and do call local law enforcement if they have reason to believe someone is intoxicated, and they should do that."


    He noted that the Border Patrol hasn't been shy about having agents aggressively enforce other laws. In Yuma and Texas, the Border Patrol's zero-tolerance policy on drugs at checkpoint stops has inundated local prosecutors with so many cases that several counties now refuse to take minor cases from the agency.


    In a further response to The Republic, CBP provided a statement noting that Border Patrol agents "are not peace officers under the laws of many states."


    The statement added that the "Tucson Sector expects all agents to act in the interest of public safety should they encounter a possibly impaired driver."


    Keith Yaskin, who runs a public-relations firm in Scottsdale that offers crisis-communications management, said the Border Patrol's responses were "lame."


    "Drunk driving is an emotionally charged issue. Their responses don't acknowledge that. This is not the time to act like a robot," he said. "They missed a huge opportunity here."

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...vers/23782947/

    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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  8. #8
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    A drunk driver is more dangerous that a disturbed person with a gun in the courthouse! Think about it, how many people die annually due t a drunk driver vs. how many people die because of a shooter in the courthouse. Something is wrong in here!

  9. #9
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    Well, it's becoming quite clear of late that Border Patrol is just that, an Escort Patrol, to make sure everyone gets in, gets lodging, food, water and medical care if they need it before they're released. The rest are obviously just waved on.

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