Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "border protection" ...

  • Border Patrol

    We believe this is the most extensive investigation on the U.S. border conducted by a Sunday news program in 2016. We begin by revealing one of the biggest issues that’s gotten lost in the debate over illegal immigration: the disturbing increase in drug smuggling. In Border Control, we find evidence that our southern border is not under U.S. control. In Tunnel Vision, we expose some of the underground tunnels that cartels have used to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. In Bordertown, USA, we provide an unusual profile of a U.S. border town so influenced by illegal smugglers and drugs, that the culture has worked its way into the fabric of daily life: Douglas, Arizona. In Crossing the Line, we take an eye opening look at the corruption inside U.S. Customs and Border Protection. And in Cuban Exodus, we exclusively reveal the “mind-boggling” number of Cubans surging across the Mexican border into the U.S.
  • Border Patrol Sex Assaults

    CBS News investigation revealed “disturbing” sex abuse within the country’s largest law enforcement agency US Customs and Border Protection. A former top official of the agency told us for the first time that he notified his superiors of a “spike” in sexual misconduct by agents that was significantly higher than any other federal law enforcement agency as well as other large metropolitan police departments. As a result of our story – the DHS integrity council met with our whistleblower and then issued a series of recommended changes to CBP.
  • Force at the Border

    On Oct. 10, 2012, one or more Border Patrol agents shot an unarmed Mexican teenager 10 times in the back and head, firing through the border fence from Arizona into Nogales, Mexico. Agents said Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez had thrown rocks at them. But their version of events didn’t square with the facts. As Arizona Republic reporters dug further into that killing and into 41 other cases of deadly force by on-duty Border Patrol agents, they found that agents who use deadly force face few if any public repercussions, even when the cases appear dubious. They found that agents who kill are protected by a culture of secrecy at Customs and Border Protection. The country’s largest law-enforcement body, CBP also is among the least transparent – in fact, its policies fly in the face of best practices recommended by national police organizations. The investigation found previously unreported deaths at the hands of agents. It found that hundreds of Border Patrol agents didn’t use deadly force, despite facing the same circumstances as the agents who killed. In addition, it examined why border deaths don't spark outrage and how the Border Patrol is increasingly backing up local police and conducting local police duties.
  • Over the Line

    Fatal shootings by U.S. Border Patrol agents were once a rarity. Only a handful were recorded before 2009. Unheard of were incidents of Border Patrol agents shooting Mexicans on their own side of the border. But a joint investigation by the Washington Monthly, The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, and the television network Fusion has found that over the past five years U.S. border agents have shot across the border at least ten times, killing a total of six Mexicans on Mexican soil. A former Clinton administration official who worked on border security issues couldn’t recall a single cross-border shooting during his tenure. “Agents would go out of their way not to harm anyone and certainly not shoot across the border,” he said. But following a near doubling of the number of Border Patrol agents between 2006 and 2009, a disturbing pattern of excessive use of force emerged. For “Over the Line,” we traveled to several Mexican border towns, tracking down family members of victims, eye-witnesses to the shootings, amateur video, Mexican police reports, audiotapes, and autopsies to recreate the circumstances surrounding these cross-border killings. We recount the stories of several of them, including 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a studious Mexican teen who dreamed of becoming a soldier to fight the violence that plagued his hometown of Nogales, Sonora, and who was shot and killed by U.S. border agents as he walked to pick his brother up after work. The first two shots were to the boy’s head; he was shot eight more times as he lay, prone and bleeding, on the sidewalk. Although Border Patrol protocols and international treaties between Mexico and the United States appear to have been violated by these cross border shootings, none of the agents involved have yet been prosecuted. If any agents have been relieved of their duties for their role in the incidents, that information has not been made available to the public, and our queries to Customs and Border Protection on this issue have been denied. The Washington Monthly story was accompanied by two broadcasts that aired at the launch of the news network Fusion, a joint project of ABC News and Univision. These reports delve into two of the more troubling incidents in greater depth. “Investigation Shows Mexican Teen Was Shot 8 Times on the Ground” tells the story of Rodriguez, the teenager killed in Nogales; “U.S. Border Patrol Shoots and Kills Mexican Man in Park with Family” uses amateur video and eyewitness testimony to tell the even more shocking story of Arevalo Pedroza, shot and killed by US border agents who fired into a crowd of picnickers on the Mexico side of the Rio Grande in September 2012.
  • CBS Sunday Morning Investigates Over the Line: Fighting Corruption on our Border

    Over the Line: Fighting Corruption on our Border investigated the conduct of government officials when it comes to the porous Mexico-U.S. border. The FBI reports the border has become a possible pathway for foreign terrorists to easily reach U.S. soil. We examined the risk through the eyes of longtime rancher John Ladd, whose family has owned 14,000 acres in Arizona for generations. He’s watched as a stunning half million illegal immigrants have been captured on his property and says many more have gotten away from Customs and Border Protection agents, who sometimes act suspiciously unconcerned. We intensely mined the FBI for information and convinced the agency to give us unprecedented, exclusive access to some of its case files and methods to tell some of the shocking stories of trusted border agents on the take.The lure of money from criminals who can pay is all too tempting for some of America’s 60,000 border agents. The terrorism-related consequences are nothing short of chilling and potentially impact everyone who lives in the U.S.
  • Need to Know: Crossing the Line at the Border Parts 1 & 2

    Few, if any, pieces published or broadcast in 2012 had as much impact as “Crossing the Line at the Border,” a joint project of the weekly PBS newsmagazine, “Need to Know,” and the Nation Institute that was in the best tradition of American investigative journalism. Within days of its broadcast, 16 members of Congress demanded that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the killing of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a 42-year-old Mexican whose death at the hands of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents was detailed in our report. A few months later, a U.S. attorney in convened a federal grand jury. It is currently considering criminal charges in the case. And months after that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the incident had prompted it to launch a full-scale review of its use of force. Hernandez Rojas had a fatal heart attack shortly after being subdued by agents, beaten, and shot with a Taser gun at the San Ysidro border crossing on May 28th, 2010. His death was largely ignored until the "Need to Know” team, in partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, unearthed never-before-seen eyewitness video of the incident.
  • Gangster Rep

    Federal agents and officers hired to protect the U.S-Mexico border too often succumb to the temptation of fast, easy money, sex and power.
  • Honey Laundering

    "The story documented how the government has failed to stem the flow of banned honey imports into this country, despite tightened border security and growing concerns about food safety."
  • Bugs on the Border

    The Department of Homeland Security's screening for foreign nationals entering the U.S. was crippled for about five hours due to a computer security failure. However, they claimed that the problem was a result of glitches, not a virus although a Morocco-born computer worm had actually been the cause of the computer failure. It entered the system when government administrators had delayed installing a security patch. “The stories provided a concrete example of the management issues and technical problems surrounding US-VISIT – a lynchpin of the United States’ border protection efforts.”
  • Citizenship For Sale

    Reporters from WTVJ-TV went undercover to witness a Florida man, Audie Watson, in the process of selling memberships in the Little Shell Band of the Pembina Nation. Watson claims the documents he sells for $1,500 allow purchasers to enter the United States legally. Reporters confronted Watson, and he agreed to be interviewed on camera. The series also showed interviews with people who had been arrested trying to cross the border with documents sold by Watson. Although Watson is now being investigated by state and federal officials and is currently on probation in Florida for an unrelated pyramid scheme conviction, his operation has not been shut down as of January 2007.