Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Pulling out the stops to keep them illegals out

Texas has increasingly bolstered the federal presence near its border with Mexico using personnel from various state agencies. Here, state troopers and parks and wildlife officers patrolled the Rio Grande along the Mexico border near Mission, Tex., in July. Credit Pool photo by Eric Gay
Game Wardens to Guardsmen, Texas Mobilizes to Patrol Border

By MANNY FERNANDEZ, NYT
AUG. 6, 2014

MISSION, Tex. — Along the Rio Grande here, the suspected smugglers trying to slip into the United States have certainly noticed their adversaries on the water: burly commandos in black-and-white boats mounted with .30-caliber machine guns and bulletproof shields. The patches on the officers’ camouflage fatigues identify them not as federal Border Patrol agents but as another breed of law enforcement entirely.

Texas game wardens.

A team of them — whose routine duties include investigating fishing tournament cheaters and making arrests for B.U.I., or boating under the influence — patrol the Rio Grande, pulling smuggling suspects from the river and dodging rocks thrown from the Mexican side. Members of the Texas Rangers have also traded in their familiar white cowboy hats for camouflage, so they can blend into the brush on covert nighttime operations. On the border, Texas uses helicopters with infrared radar. It monitors motion-detecting cameras it installed on private ranches. And rather than rely on federal high-altitude surveillance airplanes, Texas bought one of its own, for $7.4 million.

(More here.)

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