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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Children crossing border alone create ‘urgent humanitarian situation’

June 3, 2014

Los Angeles Times, 06/03/14

border patrol badgeA recent surge in the number of children who are detained while illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents is an “urgent humanitarian situation” that has prompted the opening of special facilities to house them in San Antonio and at the naval base in Port Hueneme, the Obama administration said Monday.

About 120 unaccompanied children are arriving each day, officials said.

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U.S. Marine held in Mexico prison scheduled for court Wednesday

May 28, 2014

no guns in mexicoCNN U.S 05/28/14

U.S. Marine and Afghanistan war veteran held in a Mexico prison for nearly two months will make appearance in court Wednesday, his mother told CNN’s “New Day.” Jill Tahmooressi said her son, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, accidentally crossed into Mexico with three personal firearms — all bought legally in the U.S. The 25-year-old had intended to drive to meet friends in San Ysidro, California, on March 31, and was moving from Florida to California in the hope of settling, getting a job and continuing treatment he had just begun for post traumatic stress related to his two combat tours.

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More children crossing U.S.-Mexico border alone

May 20, 2014

Border - MexicoCNN, 5/19/14

The number of undocumented children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by themselves has “increased substantially,” causing the Department of Homeland Security to declare a “crisis” and open a temporary emergency shelter for the youths, a spokeswoman said Monday.

In the past two weeks, more than 1,000 children were apprehended while illegally crossing the border, officials said, straining facilities for Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services.

The majority of the minors were apprehended at the border in South Texas, near McAllen. They primarily traveled from Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, according to Marsha Catron, a spokeswoman for Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

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Mexico Deploys Troops to Take Over Unruly Cities

May 14, 2014

armyThe Wall Street Journal, 5/13/14

Mexico’s government began dispatching federal police and troops on Tuesday to take over the northern border state of Tamaulipas from local forces after a wave of violence between rival drug gangs flared in recent weeks.

The initiative came after dozens of people have been killed across the energy-rich state as rivals from the local Gulf Cartel and Zetas gang fight one another for control of drug-trafficking routes as well as extortion, kidnapping and human-smuggling rackets, officials say. Federal troops in recent weeks have clashed with gang gunmen in the border cities of Reynosa, Matamoros and Tampico.

With both its long coastline and border with Texas that allows access to U.S. markets, Tamaulipas has been a prime drug-trafficking region for decades. It was ground zero to the wave of extreme drug-related violence that engulfed the country over the past seven years, leaving about 100,000 people dead or missing.

“We are going to re-establish the conditions that permit the state’s people to recover the tranquillity they deserve,” Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio-Chong told state and federal officials in Reynosa, in announcing the surge.

Mr. Osorio-Chong said federal forces would set up command in four regions in the state to close off smuggling routes and go after crime bosses. He didn’t specify how many forces were involved, but similar previous operations involved thousands.

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