Tagged: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Mexican cartels pushing more heroin after U.S. states relax marijuana laws

(USA TODAY) — CHIHUAHUA, Mexico — As more U.S. states legalize the use of marijuana, Mexico’s violent drug cartels are turning to the basic law of supply and demand.

That means small farmers, or campesinos, in this border state’s rugged Sierra Madre who long planted marijuana to be smuggled into the United States are switching to opium poppies, which bring a higher price. The opium gum harvested is processed into heroin to feed the ravaging U.S. opioid crisis.

“Marijuana isn’t as valuable, so they switched to a more profitable product,” said Javier Ávila, a Jesuit priest in this region rife with drug cartel activities.

Laws allowing marijuana in states like Colorado, Washington and California are causing shifts in the Mexican underworld that have also led to increased violence as the cartels move away from its cash cow of marijuana to traffic more heroin and methamphetamines.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics show that marijuana seizures fell by more than half since 2012, while heroin and methamphetamine seizures have held steady or markedly increased.


Border crossings at historic lows, but up from last month

(BREITBART) — Illegal border crossings along the southwest U.S. border with Mexico are at a six-year low but are up some over last month.

The total apprehensions of illegal aliens crossing the southwest border with Mexico increased 10 percent from May to June, according to a new report obtained by Breitbart Texas from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. This follows a 31 percent increase from April to May.

In May 2017, border apprehensions increased from a historic 17-year low of 11,126 in April to 14,535 in May, Breitbart Texas reported. Those numbers went up again in June to 16,089, CBP officials detailed.

During the same period in the year before, Border Patrol agents apprehended 38,089 illegal immigrants in April, 40,337 in May, and 34,450 in June.

Year-to-date apprehensions are down substantially when comparing fiscal years 2016 and 2017. During the first three quarters of FY 2016, agents apprehended a total of 366,044 illegal immigrants. In that same period this year, the numbers fell to 240,930, a decrease of 34 percent.


Trump administration unveils first step in building border wall

(ZERO HEDGE) — In the first tangible step toward delivering on Trump’s campaign promise to halt unauthorized immigration from Mexico, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday released plans for picking vendors for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall, issuing a preliminary request for proposals saying it plans to release a formal solicitation around March 6 “for the design and build of several prototype wall structures in the vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.”

In a document on the federal government’s website for business opportunities, the CPB said it would release a request on or about March 6 asking companies for prototype ideas for a wall to be built near the U.S.-Mexican border. Vendors were asked to submit prototype concepts by March 10. After reviewing the ideas submitted by vendors, the agency will evaluate and select the best designs by March 20, then issue a request for proposals by March 24 in which vendors would be asked to price out the cost of building the proposed wall.

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Reuters the solicitation published on Friday had “everything to do” with the wall that Trump has proposed. The spokesman said the initial request for information was to give industry the opportunity to tell the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees CBP, what is possible in constructing a border wall. “Once we get feedback from the vendors, we’ll look at the ones that are most feasible,” the spokesman said. That would be followed by the request for proposals to firm up exactly how much constructing the wall would cost.