Last week an INS inspector who had been found guilty of taking bribes from drug and alien smugglers was sentenced to 12 ˝ years in prison. The Justice Department has called the case of Richard Lawrence Pineda one of the most importance cases of border corruption in recent years. Pineda had worked at the San Ysidro port of entry between San Diego and Tijuana, the busiest border crossing in the world. According to prosecutors, Pineda received $350,000 in bribes.
The Border Patrol has announced a proposal for construction along the border. Most of the construction would be along the Rio Grande, but smaller projects would be located in the other southwest border states. The plan for the Rio Grande calls for the construction of 1,300 miles of road, and the installation of fences, cameras and high-intensity lights. The projects would not be built by the Border Patrol, but would be built by unarmed military construction personnel. The reason for bringing in the Army would be to allow them to obtain hands-on experience, plus it would help the Border Patrol conserve its budget. Of course, whenever the military appears at the border, there are concerns. Two years ago a Marine shot and killed an 18-year-old US citizen herding his family’s goats. Since then there have been no armed military personnel patrolling the border.
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