Federal prosecutors announced the arrest Tuesday of three people accused of a grisly extortion scheme against illegal immigrants trying to make their way into California that involved kidnapping, rape and exorbitant demands for cash to secure the migrants’ release.
Investigators said they are aware of at least five kidnappings with similar tactics, including using the electronics section of stores like Walmart as meet-up locations to collect ransom but refusing to release the migrants and demanding still more money.
The kidnappers preyed on migrants coming during the current border surge, which has spawned reports of increased abuses of those trying to jump the border, believing they have a better chance of success under the Biden administration.
While extortion is a disturbingly common occurrence for illegal immigrants, federal law enforcement usually sees it only when it happens on the U.S. side, after people have crossed and are being held at stash houses here.
But in this case, investigators said, it was a cross-border operation, with the kidnapping ring approaching would-be migrants while they were in Mexicali, offering to smuggle them in for a fee, then making the exorbitant ransom demands.
One woman told investigators after she agreed to pay $14,000 to be smuggled in, she instead was held at gunpoint and forced to talk to her husband as part of the ransom demand. She also said she was raped and beaten.
Her husband paid $19,000, but then was told he had to come up with another $1,500. He pleaded that he couldn’t scrounge the cash and was begging for money on the streets, and his wife eventually was released.
In another kidnapping in late May, a man said his wife had made arrangements to be smuggled into the U.S. and the husband was to pay $12,000. He soon began to receive messages demanding $15,000, which he turned over at a Walmart. But then he was told it would take another $16,000, an FBI agent said in an affidavit.
Investigators obtained Walmart security video showing the ransom exchanges and were able to tie one of the collectors to a car in the parking lot, which they then used to track down his identity.
Arrested were Edgar Adrian Lemus, Francisco Javier Hernandez Martinez and Junior Almendarez Martinez. All are charged with money laundering conspiracy.
Once investigators identified the men late last month, they tracked them and saw what they believed to be other attempts at ransom exchanges.
In one, at the same Walmart as a previous exchange, agents say they saw Mr. Lemus meet with someone in the electronics section and collect a white bag. Agents tried to talk with the person who handed over the bag, but the person was too scared to talk.
In Texas, authorities said they broke up another extortion operation after migrants called the police saying they were being held against their will.
They told responding Border Patrol officers that they were being held in an RV until their families made additional $1,500 payments.
Unable to pay, the migrants escaped and used a cellphone they found in the RV to call 911.
As of 2020, FAIR estimates that there are approximately 14.5 million illegal aliens residing within the United States. This number is marginally higher than FAIR’s previous estimate of 14.3 million in 2019.
Based on FAIR’s most recent comprehensive fiscal cost study, illegal aliens are likely imposing a net fiscal burden of at least $133.7 billion. That’s an increase of nearly $2 billion over the past year.
Despite these alarming figures, the increase in the illegal alien population grew at a lower-than-expected rate. This can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including:
The effects of the coronavirus pandemic. As many as 60 percent of all new illegal aliens in any given year are those who have overstayed visas. Thanks to a timely travel freeze implemented by the Trump administration to stop the spread of the virus, far fewer people entered the United States in recent months, so far fewer people had the opportunity to overstay their visas. Additionally, with fewer available jobs in the United States, especially in industries that attract illegal aliens, traffic at the southern border slowed significantly for several months during a time of year when apprehensions typically increase significantly.
The implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Prior to this program, there was a dramatic increase in fraudulent asylum claims made by illegal aliens trying to enter the United States for purely economic reasons. Thousands of these asylum applicants would be released into the United States, then never show up for their hearings. The MPP requires that many asylum applicants wait outside the United States while their case is processed, providing they have a safe country that will host them, such as Mexico.
Several issues persist that continue to drive illegal aliens into the United States or encourage them to stay here. These include:
An increasing number of sanctuary jurisdictions throughout the United States, where local and state law enforcement are prohibited from cooperating with federal immigration law enforcement.
Many corporations continue to exploit illegal labor to lower labor costs and pad their profits.
An increasing number of states and jurisdictions offering social welfare programs and other benefits to illegal aliens, including in-state tuition, driver’s licenses, and even COVID-19 relief funds.
A massively backlogged immigration court system.
The promise of a wide-sweeping amnesty from the incoming administration.
President-elect Joe Biden pledges to dramatically decrease immigration enforcement, remove methods of deterrence, and offer amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Due to these promises, FAIR projects that the illegal alien population under a Biden administration will increase dramatically. More information can be found about President-elect Biden’s plans to dramatically increase legal and illegal immigration in FAIR’s report “By the Numbers: How the Biden/Harris Immigration Platform Will Fuel a Staggering Increase of Immigrants and Population Growth.”
Difficulty in Estimating the Illegal Alien Population
Estimating the size, distribution, and characteristics of the illegal alien population is an inexact science. The methods used by those claiming to have calculated a definitive figure should be viewed skeptically due to the fact that there is no completely reliable source of information on illegal aliens. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only (loosely) counts foreign nationals who enter and leave the United States in a lawful manner. In truth, we do not know exactly how many people cross the border unlawfully and evade immigration authorities. We can only estimate these figures based on how many individuals U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) believe slip through their detection.
Most current estimates regarding the total number of illegal aliens are based on U.S. Census Bureau data or survey data collected by private research organizations. Far too many of these studies presume that nearly all unlawful migrants respond to demographic questionnaires and that they provide accurate information to federal census agents. As people whose very presence in the United States is an ongoing violation of law, many illegal aliens understandably see no personal value in revealing any information about their legal status. Therefore, when asked about how, when, and why they entered the United States, illegal aliens have a strong motive to either lie, claiming they are lawful migrants or citizens, or refuse to respond at all.
Indeed, there are few mechanisms in place to verify the accuracy of the information respondents provide. Because of this, the Census Bureau’s weighted results from the “American Community Survey” (ACS) can vary by millions, depending on what information is requested and how questions are phrased. Because of this, it is important to not solely rely on Census-related information.
How We Reached our Estimate
To determine FAIR’s estimate of the total number of illegal aliens in the United States, we first calculated an approximate total number of all foreign-born residents currently presumed to be living here. In order to do this, we first analyzed the latest relevant information available from the Census Bureau’s 2018 ACS.
Again, it’s important to realize that the ACS does not capture the entire illegal alien population in the United States. In the past, most reputable research organizations have considered a raw calculation based on ACS data to be anywhere from 15-35 percent lower than the actual suspected total illegal alien population. This is also in line with the most recent estimates from the federal government. However, most research organizations that produce estimates of the illegal alien population are pro-mass migration, and they dishonestly purport that ACS data is fully accurate in order to create a false impression that the illegal alien population in the United States is smaller than it really is.
So, after we subtracted the total number of lawfully present migrants in the country from the total foreign-born population to reach our base illegal alien population, we assume that this total is underestimated by approximately 30 percent. We then estimated the net number of illegal aliens suspected to have entered the country since 2018. We do this by applying estimates from CBP, ICE, and other federal agencies regarding how many illegal aliens successfully enter the country balanced against how many are apprehended and deported. Finally, after combining these two numbers, we reached our estimate of 14.5 million.
Who is an Illegal Alien?
An illegal alien is anyone who:
Entered the United States without authorization, or
Anyone who unlawfully remained in the United States once their authorized time of stay expired.
It is important to define exactly who is and is not an illegal alien because many organizations deliberately misclassify some illegal aliens in a dishonest effort to portray that population as smaller than it is in reality. Many organizations and mainstream media sources incorrectly classify unaccompanied alien minors (UAMs), recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and/or those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) as being lawfully present in the United States.
Such classifications are inaccurate. Individuals who have been granted any form of deferred action or who have received TPS have not been granted “lawful status.” Rather, federal immigration authorities have acknowledged their unlawful presence and have opted to defer their removal from the country temporarily. These types of limited relief from removal are subject to revocation or rescission in a wide variety of circumstances.
FAIR offers a detailed explanation of who should be considered an illegal alien in a study titled “Why ‘Illegal Alien’ is the Correct Term.”
Where Do Illegal Aliens Live in the United States?
Unsurprisingly, illegal aliens tend to live near the United States’ border with Mexico or in states with sanctuary policies that offer welcoming environments and protection from immigration enforcement. The ten states with the largest estimated illegal alien populations account for just under three-fourths (71%) of the national illegal alien total.
However, this is not to suggest that states which hold a comparatively small share of the illegal alien population are unaffected by its negative effects. In fact, as FAIR has pointed out in other studies, illegal immigration often hits these states the hardest.
The following graphics estimate how many illegal aliens reside in each state, as well an estimate for the total number of illegal aliens and their children.
 Our projection includes those illegal aliens who might receive amnesty from the Biden administration.
 Basing the total number of foreign-born residents in the United States on responses to the ACS question requesting citizenship information yields a weighted total that is more than two million individuals lower than when the estimate is based on survey questions regarding how long respondents have lived in the country.
 To estimate the total number of lawful migrants in the United States, we examined both data from the ACS and the comprehensive “Yearbook of Immigration Statistics” published annually by the DHS. This is the approach most commonly used by other reputable organizations that produce estimates on this matter. Our totals closely resemble the most commonly reached estimate of roughly 35.2 million.
 As noted earlier in this study, most professional statisticians considered 30 percent to be the most accurate assumption for how many illegal aliens are typically missed by the Census. This is also approximately the figure used by the Federal government in their most recent projections.
The Carmichael Coal Mine formally know as Adani, located in central Queensland, Australia, has been found to be clearing potential Koala and endangered animal habitat without the required wildlife spotter as promised by the company. Large mining companies in Australia have been getting away with too much for too long, and the power they have in Australia makes this type of lawless behaviour possible. The Adani Mine has admitted to clearing land without the promised wildlife safeguard and has potentially decimated important Koala habitat as well as that of many other endangered species.
Act now and demand Environmental Minister Sussan Ley follow up on this environmental injustice and hold large mining corporations accountable for the mistakes they make!
The Adani Mining Corporation has breeched environmental codes on many occasions, including clearing around a separate mining pit, which was cleared in a manner that was inconsistent with clearing procedures. Another incident was documented in January 2021, when an additional environmental officer should have been present for flora and fauna spotting.
The mining company admitted to these faults, although this was only after the clearing and damage had already been done. This is the fifth documented instance with non-compliance to environmental conditions and the governments slap on the wrist style of punishment is highlighting the failure within the Australian judicial system to stop this from happening. The Carmichael Coal Mine is not complying with the legal codes surrounding the environment and its animals and seems to believe they are somewhat untouchable when it comes to Australian law.
Sign the petition now and tell Sussan Ley to take action in following up environmental breaches by large mining companies in Australia!SHARE2.4KTWEETEMAILEMBED
It’s nesting season for snapping turtles.Be on the lookout for them crossing the road, stop if you can so they can safely cross the road and if you’re a warrior like me, park your car in a safe zone, walk up behind them and wait for them to go into their shell and pick them up close to they’re back feet and be prepared for them to poke their head out and try to snap at you, but they won’t be able to reach you if you keep your hands close to their back feet, and if you come across one that’s been hit by a car, call your local wildlife sanctuary, they’re several places I can drop them off in my area, I keep an old bath towel and gloves in my trunk and gently place them on the towel, grab the ends of the towel and carry them to your car.
In August of 2020 a defenseless Raccoon was tortured and slaughtered on the street in New York City by a mob of horrible people. The video was posted online and can easily be found but it has permanently scarred me for life so I don’t want to share the link unless needed. There needs to be justice for this poor creature and a message needs to be sent to animal abusers that these actions will not be tolerated and will have consequences. Please sign this petition so we can get this to the Mayor of New York City and justice can be served.Start a petition of your ownThis petition starter stood up and took action. Will you do the same?Start a petition
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