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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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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Mexican army to expand presence on border of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas states

June 4, 2014

Mexican army2GlobalPost, 06/04/14

The Mexican army plans to expand its presence on the border between the states of Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas as part of the new security strategy for the region, the Nuevo Leon state government said.

Nuevo Leon Gov. Rodrigo Medina and Defense Secretary Salvador Cienfuegos agreed on the expanded troop deployment during a private meeting.

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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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Spotlight Of Mexican Drug War Focuses On State Along U.S.-Mexico Border

May 1, 2014

drug warFox News Latino, 4/30/14

Once again, the bodies are piling up in this violent U.S.-Mexican border state.

At least 14 people died Tuesday in several firefights between federal forces and gunmen in the city of Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas. The dead included 10 alleged gunmen, two federal police officers and two bystanders, Tamaulipas state authorities said.

Gunmen blocked some of the industrial city’s main avenues with buses in the afternoon and then ambushed federal police officers on patrol, officials said.

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New DHS secretary tours Texas-Mexico border

January 22, 2014

Border fenceThe Washington Times, 01/21/2014

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday on a visit to the Texas-Mexico border that the surge of immigrants from countries other than Mexico crossing the border illegally presents challenges to the department.

“What has been brought home to me today is that we need to continually monitor trends in border crossings,” Johnson said at the Anzalduas International Bridge. “We need to continually try to stay ahead of the game when it comes to trends, emerging trends.”

While arrests of Mexican citizens remained nearly unchanged last year, arrests of immigrants from other countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, increased 55 percent, according to data released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Friday.

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Report: Border security upgrade botched

January 13, 2014

Border fenceUT San Diego, 01/12/2014

The Department of Homeland Security is under fire again for its project management, this time involving a $1.5 billion upgrade of a critical computer system that border law enforcement relies on to screen people entering the country by land, sea and air.

A new report from the Government Accountability Office says that a plan to modernize the computer data system, known as TECS, has been plagued by missed deadlines and poor oversight. The upgrade was supposed to be operating by September 2015, but the report said it’s doubtful that deadline will be me

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McCain slams way border is patrolled

January 9, 2014

Photo by Marcn

The Washington Times, 01/08/2014

Sen. John McCain, one of the chief authors of the Senate immigration bill, said Wednesday that the border is still not secure, and said he thinks U.S. Customs and Border Protection isn’t even patrolling it correctly.

Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican, has been battling with the Obama administration for several years as he tries to force the Homeland Security Department to come up with ways to measure how secure the border is and what needs to be done to get it to 90 percent effectiveness.

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Ciudad Juárez, a Border City Known for Killing, Gets Back to Living

December 16, 2013

The New York Times, 12/14/2013

cuidad juarezWith violence down to a quarter of its peak, Ciudad Juárez, a perennial symbol of drug war devastation, is experiencing what many here describe as a boom. New restaurants pop up weekly, a few with a hipster groove. Schools and homes in some neighborhoods are gradually filling again, while new nightclubs throb on weekends with wall-to-wall teenagers and 20-somethings who insist on reclaiming the freedom to work and play without being consumed by worry.

Critics here fear that the changes are merely cosmetic, and there is still disagreement over what, exactly, has led to the drastic drop in violence. Some attribute it to an aggressive detention policy by the police; others say the worst killers have died or fled, or that the Sinaloa drug cartel has simply defeated its rivals, leaving a peace of sorts that could quickly be undone.

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