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ICE and all the other ABC groups have known about Cell phones to help illegal immigrants and smugglers since December 2009; if not Sooner. Which i’m sure and they are acting like it’s something new.


SAN DIEGO —- Two UC San Diego professors working on a controversial cell phone tool that could help guide illegal immigrants safely across the border say they want to deploy the devices as soon as next summer.
Hundreds of people die each year attempting to cross the border illegally, primarily due to heat exhaustion and dehydration, say civil rights groups and authorities on both sides of the border.
UC San Diego Professor Brett Stalbaum demonstrates the Transborder Immigrant Tool, a cell phone application aimed at helping illegal immigrants travel safely across the border. (Photo by Edward Sifuentes - Staff Photographer)
UC San Diego professor Ricardo Dominguez and his partner in the project said they hope to give people cell phones they can use in an emergency to prevent deaths.
“That is our goal: distribution and use by summer,” said Dominguez, a professor of visual arts.
But technical and logistical hurdles remain, the professors say.


They have to identify safe locations where people can go for help, said UC San Diego professor Brett Stalbaum, who also is working on the project. They have to make the cell phone tool easy to use for people who don’t speak English, and they have to work with others to teach people how to use the device.
Some critics have questioned whether the project is legal or whether it would work. Others say the tool would encourage more people to illegally enter the country and possibly put people’s lives in danger.
What they haven’t been able to devise some sort of signal scrambler or tower to deactivate or track these types of communications yet?  US Intelligence, please don’t say you don’t have a program for this yet, seeing how you will bug and scramble an average U.S. Citizens phone or computer at the drop of a hat, calling them terrorists.  shera~
U.S. authorities have charged eight men in a sting that investigators claim sheds light on a new tactic that allows smugglers to ferry immigrants into the U.S. without stepping foot near the border.
Using cell phones from nearby mountaintops, smugglers dish out real-time instructions to their customers as they navigate each step of the desert trek into the U.S.
The defendants were part of one of the first immigrant smuggling rings dismantled on the U.S.-Mexico border that exclusively uses cell phones, employing none of the foot guides commonly employed to lead groups across the border, said Derek Benner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s special agent in charge of investigations in San Diego. The arrests took place Tuesday and Wednesday in the Los Angeles area.
As a general rule, smugglers still employ foot guides but cell phones are turning up more frequently in areas where Mexican mountaintops afford sweeping views into the United States. Scouts keep customers on well-traveled paths and away from Border Patrol agents.
U.S. authorities say they have spotted these new coyotes more often in the last year or so as cell-phone coverage expands to the country’s most forgotten parts and handsets below $50 have become widely available.
“Technology is now the guide, as opposed to an individual that’s going to have to try to make it back to Mexico when the Border Patrol stops them,” Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher said in an interview.
As U.S. authorities try to get a handle on how commonly phones are used and which smuggling rings embrace them, they face new challenges. They can no longer pump foot guides for valuable information, like where they walk, where they hide, how they spot Border Patrol agents and who they work for in Mexico.

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