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Bullying, a growing concern and a community issue

Bullying has occurred in our school systems and in society in general for years. However, this is no excuse and is a problem that should be addressed as a community in whole, instead of pointing fingers trying to find someone to blame.

Although bullying will be prevalent from here on after. What will be done to assist the victims and stop such acts is left to society in general.

Locally, a video was captured of a student being taunted and bullied by two other kids. The video was posted online and caused an uproar among people who question why are such things occurring in our school system.

The reality of things is that casting blame is not the solution to a recurring issue that is a WE problem. While the perpetrators should be held accountable for their actions, what are we as individuals, parents, teachers, community members doing to prevent bullying?

In recent years due to the prevalence of social media and use of cell phone cameras this type of bullying videos have been captured as evidence for authorities to disseminate in order to prevent these incidences and set forth a comprehensive plan of action and awareness of this societal problem before its too late.

One example is back in 2018 a student at Memorial Junior High School allegedly threatened to bring a gun to school and harm his classmates.

Children will be children, is no longer an excuse due to so many cases of bullying that have ended in brutal consequential actions that have led to crimes, murders, and suicides as a result of society’s lack of actions against this type of incidences.

The question is not why and who is to blame including local school administrations. But since this type of actions is now recorded the question is now what will our school district and society as a whole do to bring light to a problem that has festered for years.

Del Rio sector border patrol see 636 percent in detentions increase in month of March

The Del Rio Sector Border Patrol Sector which includes Maverick County has experienced a significant rise in the number of family units arrested throughout the sector this fiscal year as compared to last year.

Up to the month of March family units detained through the sector have increased by 636 % as compared to the same time period in 2018.

During the fiscal year 2019 (up to March) there have been 8,401 family units apprehended as compared to 2018 which had 1,141 an increased difference of 7,260.

This increase has created a crisis throughout the Del Rio Sector which has led to the catch and release of hundreds of undocumented immigrants, something not done since 2014. Federal ICE Detention Centers are full to capacity and the problem continues to grow,

U.S. Border Patrol processing and detention centers are not designed to house the current numbers of families and small children that USCBP is encountering.

Due to capacity issues and the ongoing humanitarian crisis nationwide, Border Patrol has begun identifying detainees for potential release with a notice to appear for their immigration hearings.

During the month of February 2019, the Del Rio Sector saw a 497 % increase in Family Unit Apprehensions as compared to the same month in 2018 going from 933 apprehensions to 5,569.

Eagle Pass Man Charged with Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Organization

In Del Rio on, April 11, 2019, agents with the FBI arrested Eduardo Riojas Villarreal, 48 of Eagle Pass, Texas, for embezzlement and theft, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division.

A one-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges Villarreal with Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Organization.

The indictment alleges that from about April 1, 2014, through January 14, 2019, the defendant embezzled more than $1,000 from the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, a federally recognized Indian tribal organization.

Upon conviction, the defendant faces up to five years in federal prison.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorneys Justin Chung and Sarah Spears are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

It is important to note that a federal grand jury indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Eagle Pass CBP Promotes SENTRI Enrollment as Traffic Volumes Increase

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Eagle Pass Port of Entry is strongly encouraging frequent border travelers to enroll in the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program that offers many benefits to participants such as faster processing and front of the lone privileges while at the port of entry.

“With the current increase in vehicular traffic, we are encouraging our daily commuters to enroll in the SENTRI program to enjoy the benefits of the dedicated lanes and reduced wait times,” said Port Director Paul Del Rincon, Eagle Pass Port of Entry. “We have a SENTRI dedicated lane for pedestrians at the International Bridge I and a SENTRI dedicated vehicle lane at the Camino Real International Bridge.”

The SENTRI program is a CBP program provides dedicated lanes for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Global Entry offers similar expedited processing benefits but in the air environment.

Travelers who enroll in the SENTRI program are afforded the exclusive use of dedicated vehicle lanes at the Camino Real International Bridge and the use of the dedicated pedestrian lane at the International Bridge. SENTRI vehicle and pedestrian wait times are much less than the regular vehicle and pedestrian lanes.

To enroll in SENTRI, applicants first need to fill out the application through the Global Online Enrollment System (GOES). CBP officers at the SENTRI Enrollment Center at International Bridge 1 can also assist applicants with questions regarding the application process. It is recommended that prospective enrollees bring smartphones equipped with email service so that the online application can be made and the follow up appointment notice can be sent to the applicant’s email address. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents enrolled in Global Entry, NEXUS or SENTRI are also eligible to participate in TSA Pre✓. The TSA Pre✓ program expedites traveler screening through TSA security checkpoints at participating airports.

For more information, please visit https://ttp.cbp.dhs.gov/ for complete information about CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs.

For more information about CBP, please click on the attached link

Record levels of apprehensions continue

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released its March Southwest Border Migration statistics.

CBP records show that encounters of family units and unaccompanied children along the Southwest border rose this month to numbers not seen since 2014.

CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez addressed the situation. “We are currently experiencing a system-wide emergency in our processing and holding facilities. The humanitarian crisis created by a massive influx of family groups and unaccompanied children in recent months has forced CBP to reallocate resources away from law enforcement, trade and travel missions to process and provide care for those in our custody,” said Perez. “The impacts to legitimate trade and travel cannot be overstated. As this crisis continues to worsen, it undermines CBP’s ability to perform its dual mission of protecting our borders and facilitating legitimate trade and travel.”

In Fiscal Year 2019 to date, the U.S. Border Patrol has seen a more than 370% increase in the number of family units apprehended compared to the same time period in FY2018. Today, 60% of apprehensions along the Southwest border are family units and unaccompanied children, made up predominantly of individuals from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Additionally, through the first six months of FY19, CBP has encountered 104 large groups composed of 100 or more individuals totaling 17,242 apprehensions. In comparison, U.S. Border Patrol encountered 13 large groups in FY2018 and two FY2017.

CBP has expanded contract medical support in major “high-risk” locations at and between ports of entry along the Southwest border where large numbers of family units and unaccompanied children have been encountered. This contracted medical support includes medical assessments by certified medical professionals (usually registered nurses and family nurse practitioners) and translation services.

Increased delays to arriving pedestrians, passenger vehicles and commercial trucks have already been experienced across the Southwest border and are expected to continue. Ports of entry in California and Arizona have closed some commercial lanes. CBP is attempting to mitigate these impacts, but those who cross the Southwest border should expect these delays to worsen as more resources are devoted to the humanitarian crisis.

Texas Department of Public Safety Press Release

CARRIZO SPRINGS- The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Texas Rangers reported that on Tuesday, April 9th, 2019 at approximately 10:46pm, the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a possible stabbing in the 100 block of School Street in Asherton, Texas.

DPS Texas Highway Patrol, along with Dimmit County SO Deputies arrived on scene and discovered Carlos Pena, age 50, of Asherton, Texas deceased inside his residence.

A male subject was detained at the scene and remains a person of interest.

The incident is being investigated by the Texas Rangers and the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office

High School teacher murdered in Dimmit County, investigation ongoing

A Carrizo Springs High School Teacher was murdered in the small town of Asherton in Dimmit County.

The crime is reported to have occurred around 10:00 pm on Tuesday night.

The causes of the aggression are not yet clear but according to report the victim received seven
knife wounds that caused his death.

Dimmit County Sheriff’s detectives have identified the person who is alleged to have committed the murder.

Detectives are investigating the crime and are scheduled to interview a person of interest in the case

FORMER U.S.D.A. FARM SERVICE AGENCY LOAN OFFICER IN UVALDE SENTENCED TO TWO YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON IN FARM LOAN FRAUD CASE

Barbara Serna Salinas, a 43-year-old former loan officer for the United States Department of Agriculture
(USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Uvalde, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for a farm loan
fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney John Bash.
During sentencing yesterday in Del Rio, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses also ordered Serna to pay $166,744.20
in restitution to the USDA and be placed on supervised release for a period of five years after completing her
prison term.
On June 28, 2018, Serna pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement on a loan application. By
pleading guilty, Serna admitted she issued multiple fraudulent FSA loans from May 2011 through June 2016.
Furthermore, in exchange for approving the loans, Serna accepted cash or other forms of payment from her codefendants,
Ruben James Valadez, age 44 of Uvalde, and Eric Torres Neira, age 44 of San Antonio. According
to court documents, a review of USDA loans approved by Serna after 2011 identified several to Neira and
Valadez, which totaled more than $150,000.
On December 4, 2018, Judge Moses sentenced Neira to five months imprisonment and ordered him to pay
restitution to the USDA, joint and severally with Serna, in the amount of $142,961.94. Valadez is currently
awaiting sentencing on October 2, 2019. Neira and Valadez pleaded guilty to the same false statement charge–
Neira on March 29, 2018; Valadez on April 26, 2018.
The United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General-Investigations, with the assistance of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducted this investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Todd
Keagle is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

EPPD Police Chief releases statement on loose animals

Eagle Pass Police Chief Albert Guajardo recently issued out a statement on Friday, March 29 addressing loose animals and the consequences of animal bites/attacks.

“ I would like to remind the community of the city ordinance pertaining to animals within City Limits, more specifically, dogs running at large. Animals including dogs must be contained within one’s private property and refrain from the infringing on surrounding homes and their inhabitants. Simply put, pet owners, especially owners of all breeds of dogs are responsible for keeping their pets in a secure area of the residence where the animals cannot leave the premises,” stated Chief Guajardo. “I also want to remind the community about citizens who fail to properly secure their pets who eventually end up roaming to the open public sector of a community, especially our public streets, specifically dogs running at large may come in contact with citizens in a menacing manner presenting a dangerous situation that could result in serious injury to our citizens. I strongly advise that all pet owners who fail to properly secure their pets, especially dog breeds of all types and an attack and/or injure a person in a public space will be subject to a criminal investigation and or fines. I advise the community to report all animals roaming or public streets that present a nuisance or hazard to the Eagle Pass Police Department at 830-773-9044. Avoid encounters with an aggressive type of animal, for example, large breed dogs as much as possible. Contact 911 emergency if an aggressive type dog is seen in our streets or has been the subject of an attack and/or bite of a person. When a complaint is received on an animal running at large, the City of Eagle Pass Police Department, Animal Control Officers and Code Enforcement Officers may enforce the provisions set forth in Chapter 6 of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Eagle Pass. Penalties for violation of this ordinance under Section 6- 27 may result in the issuance of a municipal court citation with fines not to exceed $200 for every day that such violation continues, and each violation will be considered a separate offense. Chapter 6 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Eagle Pass may be found at http//www.eaglepasstx.us/ under the government tab, City Secretary, Ordinances. I welcome all our citizens to obey all our city ordinances especially those that may bring harm to others,” concluded Guajardo.

In the past 30 days The City of Eagle Pass Vector Control has reported 5 animal bites within city limits.

President Trump threatens to shut down border / Mayor Cantu responds

United States President Donald Trump has threatened to shut down all Port of Entries along, the Southwestern Border by this week.

The actions are in part due to an influx of Central American migrants who have surged the number of illegal detentions this fiscal year as compared to the same time last year.

Trump has stated that this will be done so because of Mexico’s inability to stop illegal immigration to the U.S. from their country.

The issue goes far beyond an illegal immigration problem and a shutdown of the ports of entries would severely affect the economy of both sides of the border.

A substantial closure could heavily impact both nations.

In our region, the Eagle Pass Port of Entries handles trade flows of about $40,000,000,000 on an annual basis. A closure would also hit the City of Eagle Pass who’s budget is largely made up from bridge revenues.

Eagle Pass Mayor Ramsey E. Cantu sees no sense in the President’s declaration of closing the border in the face of the immigration crisis.

“We hope it does not happen,” Mayor Cantu.”This actions would obviously affect both countries negatively in numerous ways including the commercial, economic and other aspects.”

Mayor Cantu expressed that he had reiterated on numerous occasions that what needs to be set is comprehensive migratory reform which would help address issues such as surges of caravans instead of closing the border which would come with negative economic repercussions.

“We hope that the closure of the border will not take place, but with this President we do not know,” concluded Mayor Cantu.