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  • Illegal aliens riding the rails into the U.S.

    Update :

    Illegal aliens riding the rails into the U.S.

    Source: Newsday.com

    By CAROLYN THOMPSON
    Associated Press Writer

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Illegal aliens trying to sneak across the border have been riding the rails in recent weeks: a total of 16 people in three separate groups have been found in box cars since March 30.

    But agents have not stopped seeing the usual inflatable rafts and tubes _ and expect more with the arrival of spring.

    Last year, 147 people were caught crossing the New York-Canadian border illegally, an average of about three a week.

    Catching illegal aliens has become a battle of technology in recent years. On one side are federal agents using remote surveillance cameras to scan miles of shoreline day and night and gamma ray detectors that essentially X-ray trucks and trains.

    On the other side are smugglers equipped with cell phones and two-way radios that allow them to avoid agents and call for cabs before landing.

    "It's a lot harder now to make a successful arrest because they'll have somebody on the U.S. side looking for us and they can talk on the cell phone: `He's here, don't cross there,"' said Ed Duda, deputy chief of the Border Patrol in Buffalo.

    "And as the current is bringing them across the river in their little raft, they're actually calling cabs at that point," he said. "It's unbelievable."

    The Border Patrol's Buffalo sector covers 450 miles from western New York into northern New York, including Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Niagara River and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

    Bound entirely by water, the sector has added five boats since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with a permanent helicopter and an airplane. With a primary goal of thwarting terrorists, the number of Border Patrol agents in Buffalo has tripled while customs and immigration officers have doubled their numbers. New Border Patrol stations are set to open later this year in Rochester and Erie, Pa.

    Duda believes the increased visibility of agents along the shores may be driving smugglers to the trains _ unaware that recently installed gamma ray detectors clearly silhouette illegal passengers.

    On Wednesday, a 33-year-old Canadian man and two Brazilian ***** were taken into custody during a search of a train. Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini Ross said the 17-year-old boy and his 15-year-old sister will likely be deported to Canada. The man was released from custody.

    Less than a week earlier, four people _ three Costa Ricans and a Mexican _ were found in a train, and a group of eight Costa Ricans and a Mexican were detained on March 30.

    With the passing of winter, agents will be looking for more water crossings by aliens trying to pass as fishermen or blend in with pleasure boaters. "Anyone boating or walking along the shore in the winter stands out, and they know that," Duda said.

    On April 7, the body of a man was found washed up on the beach area of Fort Niagara State Park alongside an inflatable raft which was apparently no match for the lower river's strong currents.

  • #2
    Update :

    Illegal aliens riding the rails into the U.S.

    Source: Newsday.com

    By CAROLYN THOMPSON
    Associated Press Writer

    BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Illegal aliens trying to sneak across the border have been riding the rails in recent weeks: a total of 16 people in three separate groups have been found in box cars since March 30.

    But agents have not stopped seeing the usual inflatable rafts and tubes _ and expect more with the arrival of spring.

    Last year, 147 people were caught crossing the New York-Canadian border illegally, an average of about three a week.

    Catching illegal aliens has become a battle of technology in recent years. On one side are federal agents using remote surveillance cameras to scan miles of shoreline day and night and gamma ray detectors that essentially X-ray trucks and trains.

    On the other side are smugglers equipped with cell phones and two-way radios that allow them to avoid agents and call for cabs before landing.

    "It's a lot harder now to make a successful arrest because they'll have somebody on the U.S. side looking for us and they can talk on the cell phone: `He's here, don't cross there,"' said Ed Duda, deputy chief of the Border Patrol in Buffalo.

    "And as the current is bringing them across the river in their little raft, they're actually calling cabs at that point," he said. "It's unbelievable."

    The Border Patrol's Buffalo sector covers 450 miles from western New York into northern New York, including Lakes Erie and Ontario, the Niagara River and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

    Bound entirely by water, the sector has added five boats since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, along with a permanent helicopter and an airplane. With a primary goal of thwarting terrorists, the number of Border Patrol agents in Buffalo has tripled while customs and immigration officers have doubled their numbers. New Border Patrol stations are set to open later this year in Rochester and Erie, Pa.

    Duda believes the increased visibility of agents along the shores may be driving smugglers to the trains _ unaware that recently installed gamma ray detectors clearly silhouette illegal passengers.

    On Wednesday, a 33-year-old Canadian man and two Brazilian ***** were taken into custody during a search of a train. Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini Ross said the 17-year-old boy and his 15-year-old sister will likely be deported to Canada. The man was released from custody.

    Less than a week earlier, four people _ three Costa Ricans and a Mexican _ were found in a train, and a group of eight Costa Ricans and a Mexican were detained on March 30.

    With the passing of winter, agents will be looking for more water crossings by aliens trying to pass as fishermen or blend in with pleasure boaters. "Anyone boating or walking along the shore in the winter stands out, and they know that," Duda said.

    On April 7, the body of a man was found washed up on the beach area of Fort Niagara State Park alongside an inflatable raft which was apparently no match for the lower river's strong currents.

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