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Texas Border Patrol test camera-toting helium balloons

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The U.S. Border Patrol is considering another type of surveillance balloon that can be quickly moved to spot illegal activity, part of an effort to see if more eyes in the sky translate to fewer illegal crossings. Agents in Texas recently finished a 30-day trial of the camera-toting, helium-filled balloon made by Drone Aviation Holding Corp., a small startup that named former Border Patrol chief David Aguilar to its board of directors in January. The 3-year-old, money-losing company gave Aguilar options that may prove lucrative if it gets more orders for its proprietary model. The tethered balloon, called Winch Aerostat Small Platform, or WASP. The trial comes as agents test hand-launched drones, which are relatively inexpensive but hampered by short battery life and weight limits.


Americans who live near border say Trump's wall is unwelcome

PBS NewsHour

Passengers embark on the U.S. side of the last hand-pulled ferry at Los Ebanos, Texas on the Mexico-U.S. border in 2008. LOS EBANOS, Texas -- All along the winding Rio Grande, the people who live in this bustling, fertile region where the U.S. border meets the Gulf of Mexico never quite understood how Donald Trump's great wall could ever be much more than campaign rhetoric. Erecting a concrete barrier across the entire 1,954-mile frontier with Mexico, they know, collides head-on with multiple realities: the geology of the river valley, fierce local resistance and the immense cost. An electronically fortified "virtual wall" with surveillance technology that includes night-and-day video cameras, tethered observation balloons and high-flying drones makes a lot more sense to people here. If a 30- to 40-foot concrete wall is a panacea for illegal immigration, as Trump insisted during the campaign, the locals are not convinced.


Americans who live near border say Trump's wall is unwelcome

Associated Press

In this Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, photo, a young migrants girl from Central American newly released after processing by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is fitted shoes at the Sacred Heart Community Center in the Rio Grande Valley border city of McAllen, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. In this Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, photo, a young migrants girl from Central American newly released after processing by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is fitted shoes at the Sacred Heart Community Center in the Rio Grande Valley border city of McAllen, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. An electronically fortified "virtual wall" with surveillance technology that includes night-and-day video cameras, tethered observation balloons and high-flying drones makes a lot more sense to people here. As commissioner of the border county of Hidalgo from 2007 to 2009, Salinas won public backing for 20 miles of border barrier by reinforcing an existing levee with concrete and topping it with a fence.


Americans who live near border say Trump's wall is unwelcome

Associated Press

In this Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, photo, a young migrants girl from Central American newly released after processing by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is fitted shoes at the Sacred Heart Community Center in the Rio Grande Valley border city of McAllen, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. In this Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016, photo, a young migrants girl from Central American newly released after processing by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is fitted shoes at the Sacred Heart Community Center in the Rio Grande Valley border city of McAllen, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. An electronically fortified "virtual wall" with surveillance technology that includes night-and-day video cameras, tethered observation balloons and high-flying drones makes a lot more sense to people here. As commissioner of the border county of Hidalgo from 2007 to 2009, Salinas won public backing for 20 miles of border barrier by reinforcing an existing levee with concrete and topping it with a fence.


Illegal immigrant, ordered deported but never removed, convicted for child rape in California

FOX News

An illegal immigrant from El Salvador, who was ordered removed from the U.S. in 2016 but never deported, was convicted this month of child rape in California and sentenced to more than 45 years in prison. Fredys Aguilar-Menjivar, a 31-year-old El Salvadoran, was convicted of three counts of forcible rape of a child under 14 and one count of child molestation. The victim reported that the man, a family member, raped and molested her on several occasions between 2018 and 2020. The Monterey district attorney's office said the abuse was discovered at a party when a family member walked in -- the victim had tried to scream, but Aguilar-Menjivar threatened her and her parents. The DA's office said that, in addition to the prison term, Aguilar-Menjivar was required to register as a sex offender for life and given a 10-year restraining order.