Borderline Navigating the invisible boundary and physical barriers that define the U.S.-Mexico border

10/17/2018 – The Washington Post

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Photo by izhar khan on Pexels.com

In 1989, the first fence built to stop illegal crossings from Mexico to the United States was erected in San Diego, where the border begins. From here, the border stretches for almost 2,000 miles, only 700 of which are walled or fenced. President Trump wants to change that.

San Diego

That first fence was a line of surplus helicopter landing pads, welded together. It stopped vehicles but not climbers, so a taller secondary layer came in 1996. Then came a third layer, including at Friendship Park, the one place where families not permitted to travel between the countries can gather to talk through mesh.

Nearly six miles east of Friendship Park is the port of entry at San Ysidro, which is the most heavily traveled in the Western Hemisphere; 135,000 people cross there each day.

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Record number of families crossing U.S. border as Trump threatens new crackdown

10/17/2018 – The Washington Post

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Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

The number of migrant parents entering the United States with children has surged to record levels in the three months since President Trump ended family separations at the border, dealing the administration a deepening crisis three weeks before the midterm elections.

Border Patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July, according to unpublished Department of Homeland Security statistics obtained by The Washington Post.

Large groups of 100 or more Central American parents and children have been crossing the Rio Grande and the deserts of Arizona to turn themselves in, and after citing a fear of return, the families are typically assigned a court date and released from custody.

“We’re getting hammered daily,” said one Border Patrol agent in South Texas who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the news media.

Mexico’s next president could be on a collision course with Trump over immigration

9/21/2018 – Washington Post

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Henry Romero/Reuters

Mexico’s incoming president, a relentless critic of the ruling elite, has voiced no objection to the free-trade deal its current government brokered with the United States.

On security matters, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s team says it wants a productive relationship with the Trump administration and will continue partnering in the fight against drug cartels.

But if there is a potential source of conflict in the U.S.-Mexico relationship after Dec. 1, when López Obrador will take office, it is likely to be immigration enforcement. There, the left-wing Mexican populist and President Trump appear to be on a collision course.

The flow of Central American migrants through Mexico and into the United States — a matter of intense personal and political interest to the U.S. president — is on the rise again, defying Trump’s attempts to crack down at the border. Stopping migrants and asylum seekers through tougher enforcement is a priority for the Trump administration. López Obrador and his team have a different take.

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Congress Set to Fund Government, but Not Trump’s Wall

9/24/2018 – New York Times

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AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

WASHINGTON — Congress is set to pass a crucial spending bill that averts a government shutdown, but there’s one potential obstacle: President Donald Trump.

Neither party wants the government to close ahead of the midterm elections that will determine control of Congress, but Trump has made clear his frustration at the lack of money for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. He says it is “ridiculous” the wall has yet to be fully funded.

With less than a week before a Sept. 30 deadline for a partial shutdown, Republican leaders hope they can get Trump to set aside his frustration about the wall and sign legislation that funds the military and a host of civilian agencies for the next year. The bill also would provide a short-term fix to keep the government running through Dec. 7.

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GOP goes back to the immigration well in Arizona

9/19/2018 – Washington Post

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(Matt York, file/Associated Press)

ARIVACA, Ariz. — Jim Chilton stood before the four strands of barbed wire that separate his ranchland from Mexico and pointed at a nearby ridge. “Very often, I see scouts on that mountain, right there,” he told Rep. Martha McSally.

 

McSally, a Republican who represents a stretch of the Arizona border in the House of Representatives and is running for U.S. Senate, quickly said she wrote a bill to stiffen penalties for the spotters who help usher people illegally into the United States.

The legislation has since been incorporated into one that would implement dramatic cuts in legal immigration and represents a rightward shift on the issue for McSally.

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Detention of Migrant Children Has Skyrocketed to Highest Levels Ever

09/13/2018 – The New York Times

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CreditCreditMike Blake/Reuters

Even though hundreds of children separated from their families after crossing the border have been released under court order, the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest ever recorded — a significant counternarrative to the Trump administration’s efforts to reduce the number of undocumented families coming to the United States.

Population levels at federally contracted shelters for migrant children have quietly shot up more than fivefold since last summer, according to data obtained by The New York Times, reaching a total of 12,800 this month. There were 2,400 such children in custody in May 2017.

The huge increases, which have placed the federal shelter system near capacity, are due not to an influx of children entering the country, but a reduction in the number being released to live with families and other sponsors, the data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services suggests. Some of those who work in the migrant shelter network say the bottleneck is straining both the children and the system that cares for them.

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Immigration tricky issue in tight Kansas congressional race

9/9/2018 – Washington Post

TOPEKA, Kan. — Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder and his Democratic challenger are having a hard time keeping their political footing on immigration issues, complicating their efforts to win a competitive swing House district in Kansas that President Donald Trump narrowly lost.

Yoder is under pressure from the right despite an endorsement from Trump, and he backed away this week from supporting a Democratic proposal to ensure that immigrants fleeing domestic and gang violence can claim asylum.

Democrat Sharice Davids continues to battle GOP ads that say she supports abolishing ICE. She did say that during a liberal podcast interview in July but has disavowed that position, including in a recent television ad.

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