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Bush admin ratting out Minuteman Project, Part 2

The Bush administration is giving the Mexican government information on law-abiding domestic border watch groups operating inside the U.S.

The claims and denials fall into three general categories:

1. The U.S. government is simply abiding by the letter of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (overview here).

2. The U.S. government is going further than that and giving Mexico background information on apprehensions made by the Border Patrol or other groups or individuals. That would allow that country to map out the locations of border watch groups if they were involved in the detentions in some way.

3. The U.S. government is going even further than that and providing Mexico with intelligence (aka opposition research) on various border watch groups.

#1 above is not disputed. Moreover - dare I say it - DHS apologist Russ Knocke tells the author of the link in #1 that that's all they do:
Mr. Knocke explained that, if an alien asserts his consular notification rights under the treaty, DHS notifies Mexico about the facts of the violation of the immigration laws – generally speaking, the time and location of apprehension.

I specifically asked him whether DHS informs Mexico if the detention of an alien was the result of a tip to the Border Patrol by a civilian volunteer, such as one of the Minutemen. Knocke replied that DHS does not do that; such information is considered law enforcement sensitive, and is not called for by the notification process...
However, as pointed out in the previous post, his statement is a bit difficult to square with a statement in the original article from USCBP spokesman Mario Martinez.

And, here's reporter Sara Carter:
[The DHS' Kristi Clemons] did not deny my story or what Mario Martinez told me. What she did say was that I didn't get the whole story in the report -- she was refering to the Vienna Convention on the treatment of detainees. I asked her to give me details on what areas of my story were inaccurate and she said only that the information on Vienna Convention was not mentioned.
As for choice #3, that claim seems to be based on some of the information in the document on Mexico's website that lists MMP activities in various states. While there is certainly the possibility that that came from the administration, there are other possibilities. For instance, I can think of three Illinois groups that would probably not consider it beyond the pale to provide information to Mexico. Or they could have obtained it through public sources. I haven't seen detailed reports, such as with the names of members.

However, note this from Carter's followup "Officials disclaim Bulletin 'tipping' report":
Some of the information cited in the Mexican document originally was given only to U.S. Border Patrol and law enforcement officials, border watch organizers said.

"Nobody but law enforcement and Border Patrol knew where we were at," said Andy Ramirez, chairman of the Chino-based nonprofit group Friends of the Border Patrol. "So how is our base address on a Mexican government document dated last August? Nobody, not even media, had this information."

Ramirez said he revealed the location of his base camp only to local and federal officials. The Mexican document gives the exact location of his group's site, which was on private property near San Diego.
There are several possibilities. Someone in his group, a ranch neighbor, or even a member of one of those agencies could be not who they say they are. Or, Mexico obtained it after the fact. Or, it was given to Mexico by someone inside our government.

Hopefully some group that can be somewhat trusted will look into this. In fact, Congressmen Jack Kingston, John Doolittle, Marsha Blackburn, and Ric Kellerare are asking for an investigation:
We are familiar with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's statement (05/09/2006) responding to this allegation. However, it is our opinion that this press release falls short of clarifying this situation fully which could put American lives at risk.

In order to better understand the U.S. Border Patrol's role in this issue, we respectfully ask that your agency fully investigate the allegation and report your findings back to us.
On a lighter note, here's the BushBot response.

UPDATE: Reps. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Darryl Issa, (R-CA), and John Culberson (R-TX) have sent a letter of their own asking for an investigation.

Immigration · Wed, 05/10/2006 - 20:51 · Importance: 1