El Paso, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at ports of entry in El Paso, West Texas, and New Mexico identified and stopped 65 violations during the past weekend. CBP officers identified immigration violations, apprehended fugitives, seized drugs, and confiscated prohibited agriculture items between July 22 - July 24.
During the previous three days, area CBP officers uncovered 47 immigration violations. Intended immigrants made up the largest group of violators. A total of 19 were identified through thorough document exams. In these cases, individuals will use a legally issued border-crossing card (laser visa) to live or work in the U.S., which is not authorized. Violators generally lose their documents and are returned to Mexico.
CBP officers also identified a total of 15 impostors during the three-day period. Imposters with previous criminal histories are generally booked into the El Paso County jail to face federal prosecution. Imposters are also removed from the United States for a minimum five year period and face federal felony charges if they attempt to illegally reenter the country again.
"Some of these cases involve felons who have been previously removed from the country and are barred from legal reentry," said Ana Hinojosa, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations in El Paso. "CBP officers are stopping these dangerous people in their tracks. This is an important part of our mission of protecting the homeland, the United States of America."
The balance of the immigration violators included those making false claims to U.S. citizenship, people attempting to enter with counterfeit or altered documents, visa overstay violations and people who had entered the country without inspection.
Area CBP officers made eight seizures of prohibited food and agricultural items this weekend, resulting in $1,575 in fines being assessed. Prohibited items seized this week included pork, chorizo, apples, oranges, mangoes, pears, plums, peaches and live plants.
A total of 1,368 pounds of marijuana was seized in four incidents during the time period. This weekend, CBP officers also identified six people who were being sought by various law enforcement agencies. While anti-terrorism is the primary mission of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the inspection process at the ports of entry associated with this mission results in impressive numbers of enforcement actions in all categories.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.