365 days a year the AMICC's Detection Systems Specialists (DSS's) utilize sophisticated color presentations of live radar data overlaid on highly detailed topographical maps and aviation charts, extensive databases, and a complex communications network to detect, identify, track and support the apprehension of violators throughout the region.
With a total manning of only 47 DSS's, the AMICC performs an assortment of complex, uniquely demanding missions. Locating, identifying, and tracking suspect aircraft requires operations personnel to develop an intimate knowledge of air and marine smuggling organizations, traffic patterns, potential terrorist targets, terrain features, drug trafficking routes and transshipment points. Utilizing this knowledge, AMICC personnel process an average of 2,600 aircraft a day, over 80,600 per month both domestic and foreign, separating legal traffic from potential violators.
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The AMICC provides Customs Service aircraft with initial target acquisition, directed headings, and other vital information to facilitate the covert interception, identification, and apprehension of violators. AMICC DSS's have a variety of federal and state law enforcement computer systems at their fingertips allowing them to provide detailed information on the movement, registration and criminal histories of aircraft, vessels, vehicles, and individuals. A complex communications network gives AMICC personnel the ability to speak directly with local, state or federal law enforcement agencies ensuring a carefully coordinated response whether investigating suspicious activity or securing support for Customs interdiction teams in the field.
violators of Texas State Law? the smuggling of legislators? the trafficking of quorum-busting votes? transshipment of idealists? It's my understanding that the rep's who ran broke no federal law, and commited no crime, and had the legal right to leave the state of Texas when they did. Once they left (and one of them went to Mexico), the state had to suck it up.
So why call in the feds? Why involve an office, which exists to support the field teams of the Customs and Immigration office, in a search for non-criminals? For non-terrorists? for POLITICIANS???????
A note to the Texas Republicans and Tom Delay, this tempest in a teacup isn't going to stop any of us from noticing that things in Iraq have gone awry.