Mexico names czar to handle issue of Central American migrants

July 15, 2014

07/15/14 LA Times

barbed wire fenceWith pressure mounting from the U.S. government, Mexico on Tuesday appointed a czar to take charge of largely unimpeded migration from Central America, which sees tens of thousands of people each year enter southern Mexico and cross the country en route to the United States.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, in an announcement before reporters in Mexico City, said the new system would guarantee the safety of migrants as well as their eventual repatriation.

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First group of Hondurans deported from new U.S. facility

July 15, 2014

07/15/14 CNN

Honduras flagThe woman’s eyes were swollen and red after she got off a plane in this violence-plagued Central American city Monday.

She told CNN she’d cried the whole way on the flight from New Mexico. Her 6-year-old daughter was beside her.

They were among a group of about 40 mothers and children deported from the United States to Honduras on a chartered flight Monday — the first group of Central Americans sent home under stepped-up U.S. efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.

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Obama Urges Congress to Approve $4 Billion in Funds for Immigration Crisis

July 10, 2014

07/9/14 TIME

????????President Barack Obama called on Congress to swiftly approve nearly $4 billion in supplemental funding to deal with the influx of unaccompanied minors at the Southwest border Wednesday, saying lawmakers need to set aside politics to solve the problem.

“Are we more interested in politics, or are we more interested in solving the problem,” Obama said in statement late in the day after a meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry and local faith leaders in Dallas to deal with the months-long crisis.

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Most children illegally crossing the border alone will be deported, White House signals

July 8, 2014

07/7/14 The Washington Post

border patrol badgeThe White House signaled Monday that it expects to deport most of the unaccompanied minors entering the country illegally across the southern border, employing the strongest rhetoric to date to indicate that an influx of thousands of Central American migrants will not be tolerated.

The tougher tone came a day before Obama administration officials were expected to ask Congress to authorize new measures, including more than $2 billion in emergency funds, that would expedite the legal processing of the more than 52,000 children and 39,000 families apprehended this year.

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UN Pushes for Migrants to Be Called Refugees

July 8, 2014

7/8/14 ABC News

hand over fenceUnited Nations officials are pushing for many of the Central Americans fleeing to the U.S. to be treated as refugees displaced by armed conflict, a designation meant to increase pressure on the United States and Mexico to accept tens of thousands of people currently ineligible for asylum.

Officials with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees say they hope to see a regional agreement on that status Thursday when migration and interior department representatives from the U.S., Mexico, and Central America meet in Nicaragua. The group will discuss updating a 30-year-old declaration regarding the obligations nations have to aid refugees.

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U.S. Protesters Turn Away Buses Carrying Migrant Families

July 2, 2014

7/2/14 ABC News

US flagHomeland Security buses carrying migrant children and families were rerouted Tuesday to a facility in San Diego after American flag-waving protesters blocked the group from reaching a suburban processing center.

The standoff in Murrieta came after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to complain to elected officials about the plan to transfer the Central American migrants to California to ease overcrowding of facilities along the Texas-Mexico border.

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Court: U.S. agents can be sued for cross-border deaths

July 1, 2014

7/1/14 USA Today

barbed wire fenceThe family of a Mexican youth killed by a U.S. Border Patrol agent firing across the border has a constitutional right to sue the agent in the United States, a federal court of appeals in New Orleans ruled Monday.

The ruling is the first nationally to determine the family of someone killed in Mexico had a right to sue in the U.S. The ruling also could affect at least some of the other six cases in which agents killed Mexicans by firing across the border.

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Child migrants head for US to flee crime, drawn by belief they are allowed to stay

June 26, 2014

06/25/14 Associated Press

barbed wireOn the last day of school, Gladys Chinoy memorized her mother’s phone number in New York City and boarded a bus to Guatemala’s northern border.

With nothing but the clothes on her back, the 14-year-old took a truck-tire raft across the Naranjo River into Mexico and joined a group of five women and a dozen children waiting with one of the smugglers who are paid $6,000 to $7,000 for each migrant they take to the U.S.

The number of unaccompanied minors detained on the U.S. border has more than tripled since 2011… The crisis has sparked weeks of bitter political debate inside the U.S., with… congressional Republicans saying Obama’s policies are leading migrants to believe children and their mothers will be allowed to stay.

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Heat, more kids trekking to U.S. fuel worries about death

June 26, 2014

06/25/14 USA Today

Border fence by couchlearnerA Texas professor who specializes in helping identify the remains of immigrants found along the U.S.-Mexico border worries that a combination of summer heat and increased numbers of children making the trek will result in more deaths of migrant kids.

Baylor University anthropologist Lori Baker has spent 11 years exhuming bodies at paupers’ cemeteries, conducting DNA tests on the remains and helping more than 70 families learn the fates of their loved ones. One of the cemeteries where she and her student volunteers work is Sacred Heart Burial Park here.

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Border agency ousts head of internal affairs, will investigate unit

June 10, 2014

Los Angeles Times, 06/09/14

Customs_and_Border_Protection_officersThe head of internal affairs for U.S. Customs and Border Protection was removed from his post Monday amid criticism that he failed to investigate hundreds of allegations of abuse and use of force by armed border agents, officials said.

James F. Tomscheck, who has held the post since 2006, is a 30-year veteran of federal law-enforcement agencies. He was given a temporary assignment in another job in Customs and Border Protection, which is the parent agency of the Border Patrol.

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