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San Diegans Search For Drugs, Track Smugglers At Citizens Academy

Audio

Aired 12/13/11

CBP Citizens Academy

— On a recent Saturday morning, it was graduation time: 13 San Diego County citizens had just completed a five-week course with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The agency hosts similar courses across the country, designed to forge relationships with local community leaders and give them a better idea of how it operates.

The highlight of the small, muted ceremony was a video documentary of the training set to Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son."

In one scene, a student points a pistol at a paper silhouette of a human torso. In another, a smiling woman holds up a tin foil-wrapped package of fake drugs that she uncovered hidden in a car.

The course attracted all kinds of people, from young border patrol agents-in-training to immigrant rights activist Enrique Morones.

“I know that sometimes we don’t agree with some of things that are happening, and I will continue to protest that when that happens," said Morones, who founded the group Border Angels. "But we really need to know each other better.”

Kristy Daubach, 19, has been a Border Patrol Explorer — the equivalent of a junior police officer — for more than three years.

“So this is kind of like a step up,” Daubach said.

Her goal is to earn a badge, a uniform, maybe night-vision goggles, and patrol the border for real.

“I’ve already even taken the written test for it and I passed that," Daubach said. "It’s just a matter of more paperwork and whatnot, but yeah, that’s what I’d like to do.”

More San Diegans can try out night-vision goggles at the next CBP Citizens Academy, which is scheduled to start in February.

Comments

Avatar for user 'sbcabello'

sbcabello | December 13, 2011 at 10:41 a.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

I loved these guys back when they called themselves the Minutemen. Good job infiltrating, Enrique.

This is not work to be done by Boy Scout-style cadets.

Ludicrous. I'm hoping that the reporter missed the facts here and chose instead to highlight only the sensational aspects, but I fear that she hit it right on the head.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 13, 2011 at 1:34 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

I suspect Enrique Morones' involvement in the course was simply to learn more about Border Patrol tactics so he could better instruct illegal aliens how to avoid apprehension.

His comment "But we really need to know each other better.” says it all.

It is actions by the federal government like this that strengthen my support for Arizona and their policy to secure their own borders. I wish California would do the same.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 13, 2011 at 3:14 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

12/12/11

A federal judge today temporarily blocked a provision of Alabama’s notorious anti-immigrant law that threatened to push families out of their homes if they couldn’t prove their lawful status.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson is the latest blow to the ill-conceived law, HB 56. It came in a lawsuit filed last month by the SPLC and a coalition of civil rights groups.

Under the state’s application of Section 30 of the law, anyone applying for an annual mobile home registration tag – or a tag renewal – was required to produce papers proving their citizenship or legal status in order to continue living in their mobile home. In blocking the provision, the court found that there was substantial evidence that the law was adopted with discriminatory intent against Latinos.

Happy reading, California Offender!

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | December 13, 2011 at 4:18 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Well hello again Missionaccomplished. I see your desire to twist my screen name has not diminished one bit.

I am not as familiar with Alabama's HB 56 as I am with Arizona's SB 1070. However, I view both a matter of states' rights. What business does the federal government have in telling Alabama how to (or not to) regulate their internal affairs? Especially in light of the fact that the federal government is not enforcing their own immigration laws.

From your copied story from the SPLC (which is not a very credible or trustworthy source to begin with), I am curious to see how the judge came to the conclusion that Section 30 was discriminatory towards Latinos. Seems like quite a stretch by an activist judge.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 13, 2011 at 11:06 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

Hmm. "States' rights," where did we hear that before in history?

Oh, but of course, FAIR, NUMBERS USA, & are such neo-Malthusian Nativist groups with a "non-partisan" facade, are? LOL These have already been exposed as being VERY partisan not only by SPLC, but also by the Anti-Defamation League and the Wall Street Journal.

And I suppose, Mark Jones, of the Political Science Dept at Rice University, who called this law unconstitutional in an NPR interview earlier this year is an . . . activist prof.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | December 13, 2011 at 11:12 p.m. ― 2 years, 4 months ago

The whole program, as described, sounds sophomoric. It smacks of gung hoism designed to attract wannabees and yahoos. It's very different from a firearms-training class or an AOJ class, of which it is not. I would ask, in all sincerity, what is the ultimate purpose of this course? An endorsement of the "War on Drugs" and of a punitive measures policy toward clandestine border crossers is what I read here.

If you want to build bridges with community leaders stop building walls.

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