A Mexican businesswoman went to visit her parents in Maryland. Border agents confiscated her visa.

08/14/18 Washington Post

John Atchley/Family photo

Michelle Nicoll Gutierrez has traveled frequently from her home in Mexico to visit her aging mother and stepfather in Maryland, never overstaying her tourist visa and always returning home to her husband and their travel agency and rental-property business.

But U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents denied her entry earlier this month at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, revoking her visa and barring her from the United States for five years.

In a statement, agents said they determined Nicoll Gutierrez, who was traveling with her U.S.-born toddler, was an “intending immigrant” — a term used to describe visitors likely to overstay their visas and try to remain in the United States illegally. They also cited her use of legally available government health benefits in 2016, when she visited Maryland while pregnant and experienced complications, as one reason for her exclusion.

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More Indians are crossing border to ask for asylum; A growing number of detainees are arriving via routes forged by Latino immigrants, U.S. authorities say.

08/14/18 Los Angeles Times

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_arrestOn a recent visit to the federal prison in Victorville, U.S. Rep. Mark Takano was caught by surprise. Of the hundreds of immigrants detained there, he learned, possibly 40% had traveled from India seeking asylum.

The Riverside Democrat had expected to see a high concentration of Central American detainees, many of them fathers who had been separated from their children.

Not all the men spoke English. The group appointed a representative, who told Takano that the men were supporters of two different political parties and had been persecuted by India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party.

“They said they were often bullied into doing things that were immoral,” Takano said. “They would have to carry drugs, perpetrate violence against others.”

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Homeland Security officials seeing decrease in legal attempts to cross U.S.-Mexico border

08/08/18 San Diego Tribune

borderThe number of people who were apprehended trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally did not decrease significantly after the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy began this year — but the number who attempted to cross legally did, according to government figures released Wednesday.

An official with Homeland Security, which includes Customs and Border Protection, said the number of illegal crossings fell 8% from last month, and 22% from its highest point this year in May, when “zero tolerance” started.

In July, Border Patrol apprehended 31,303 people crossing the southwest border illegally; 34,095 in June and 40,333 in May.

The decline was expected, due to an annual dip during hot summer months, said the official, who spoke about the figures before their release on condition of anonymity.

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Bulk of Families Separated at U.S.-Mexico Border Remain Apart

07/19/2018 The New York Times

immigrant mother and boyWith one week left on a court-ordered deadline to reunite children and parents separated by U.S. immigration officials, government lawyers reported on Thursday that 364 of some 2,500 families with children aged 5 and older have been brought back together.It was unclear from the status report, filed as part of an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit challenging parent-child separations at the border, exactly how many more reunifications were likely.

Of more than 2,500 parents identified as potentially eligible for having their children returned to them, 848 have been interviewed and cleared for reunification, attorneys for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the court.

Another 229 parents have been deemed ineligible because of criminal records, or because they “waived” reunification or for other reasons. The rest are pending review.

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US deporting crime victims while they wait for special visa

07/19/18 The Washington Post

Immigration_and_Customs_Enforcement_arrestFor victims of crime on U.S. soil who are living here illegally, a special visa program encourages them to help solve their cases and catch criminals, and often provides their only clear path to citizenship.

But as Republican President Donald Trump’s administration has taken a harder line on immigration, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement appears to be stepping up the detention and deportation of people who have applied for the so-called “U visa.”

“These cases come up on the regular,” said Cecelia Friedman Levin, senior policy counsel at ASISTA, a group that works with advocates and attorneys helping immigrant survivors of violence. “What that does, to my mind, is undermines the spirit of the protection to begin with.”

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AMLO’s Top Cop Backtracks on New Border Police Force in Mexico

07/13/2018 Bloomberg

border-circa-1990-usa-mexico-borderMexico’s incoming head of public security, Alfonso Durazo, said he is modifying the strategy he supplied in the past about plans to create a border police and instead will form a special force in tourism spots like Cancun hit by high crime.

Durazo told Bloomberg News about the correction after Mexican non-profits criticized the plan for a police force on Mexico’s southern and northern borders, saying it would cause an increase in human-rights violations.

Instead, Durazo said, a new specialized force will focus on bringing down crime in Cancun, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, which have been plagued by narco violence and are areas that contribute to one of Mexico’s largest sources of foreign income: tourism.

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Mexico’s Pena Nieto urges U.S. to reunite separated migrant families

07/13/2018 Reuters

HE_Enrique_Peña_Nieto,_President_of_Mexico_(9085212846)Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto asked a high-level U.S. delegation on Friday to quickly reunite separated migrant families and warned of “hatred and racism” after an attack on a 92-year old Mexican man in California.

Pena Nieto said in a statement that the U.S. delegation, which is being led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, agreed to constructively move forward the talks to revamp the North American Free Trade Agreement.