House asks court to block Trump’s border wall before it starts next month

4/24/2019 – CNN

PIXNIO-22090-725x483By Priscilla Alvarez

The House of Representatives filed a motion Tuesday asking a federal court to block the construction of President Donald Trump’s signature border wall through funds identified in his emergency declaration before it starts next month.

“Absent this Court’s timely intervention, defendants are poised to begin construction on the border wall next month, using funds that Congress declined to appropriate for that purpose,” the filing reads. “This Court should, therefore, issue a preliminary injunction to prevent that irreparable injury to the House.”

The Democrat-led House sued earlier this month, arguing that Trump’s decision to transfer funds from appropriated accounts to a southern border wall violates the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution. The clause — found in Article I, Section 8 — gives Congress power over the designation of federal spending.

Mexico flags U.S. border delays as harmful to both countries

4/23/2019 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Andres Stapff

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that speeding up the flow of goods on the U.S. border is a matter of urgency and that slowdowns are detrimental to both economies, after bottlenecks have held up trade following a row over migration.

Delays along the U.S.-Mexico border began late last month after U.S. border agents were moved to handle an influx of migrants, slowing the flow of both goods and people.

The staffing shortages came shortly after President Donald Trump threatened to close the border if Mexico did not halt a surge of people seeking asylum in the United States.

Mexico’s Foreign Ministry will present a report to the United States on Thursday detailing the economic costs of the delays, a spokesman said.

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FBI arrests leader of armed group stopping migrants in New Mexico

4/22/2019 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez/File Photo

TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – The FBI on Saturday said it had arrested Larry Hopkins, the leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants after they cross the U.S.-Mexico border into New Mexico.

The arrest came two days after the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused the group of illegally detaining migrants and New Mexico’s Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered an investigation.

Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

“We’re not worried about it, he’s going to be cleared,” said Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), blaming his arrest on political pressure from Lujan Grisham.

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Militia in New Mexico Detains Asylum Seekers at Gunpoint

4/19/2019 – The New York Times

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Paul Ratje/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Simon Romero

ALBUQUERQUE — A right-wing militia group operating in southern New Mexico has begun stopping groups of migrant families and detaining them at gunpoint before handing them over to Border Patrol agents, raising tension over the tactics of armed vigilantes along the border between the United States and Mexico.

Members of the group, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, filmed several of their actions in recent days, including the detention this week of a group of about 200 migrants who had recently crossed the border near Sunland Park, N.M., with the intention of seeking asylum. They uploaded videos to social media of exhausted looking migrant families, blinking in the darkness in the glare of what appeared to be the militia’s spotlights.

Professed militias have long operated along the border with attempts to curb the flow of undocumented migrants into the United States. But targeting the recent influx of families, who are legally allowed to request asylum and often quickly surrender to Border Patrol agents, is raising tension with human rights activists in this part of the West.

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Two New Tent Cities Will Be Built in Texas to Hold Migrants Migrants

4/18/2019 – The New York Times

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By Manny Fernandez

HIDALGO, Tex. — The federal government will spend nearly $40 million to build and operate two new tent cities for migrant families and children in Texas, as the Trump administration scrambles to respond to a surge of Central American asylum-seekers at the southwest border.

Kevin K. McAleenan, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told reporters during a visit to South Texas on Wednesday that the temporary facilities are part of a strategy to ease overcrowding at Border Patrol detention centers. The two tent cities will be built in El Paso and in the Rio Grande Valley town of Donna by April 30 as processing centers and temporary housing for Central American families and unaccompanied children detained after crossing the border from Mexico.

“It’s clear that all of our resources are being stretched thin,” said Mr. McAleenan, standing in front of a section of border wall in the town of Hidalgo. “The system is full and we are beyond capacity.”

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Trump attorney general’s ruling expands indefinite detention for asylum seekers

4/17/2019 – Reuters

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REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The U.S. Attorney General on Tuesday struck down a decision that had allowed some asylum seekers to ask for bond in front of an immigration judge, in a ruling that expands indefinite detention for some migrants who must wait months or years for their cases to be heard.

 

The first immigration court ruling from President Donald Trump’s newly appointed Attorney General William Barr is in keeping with the administration’s moves to clamp down on the asylum process as tens of thousands of mostly Central Americans cross into the United States asking for refuge. U.S. immigration courts are overseen by the Justice Department and the Attorney General can rule in cases to set legal precedent.

Barr’s ruling is the latest instance of the Trump administration taking a hard line on immigration. This year the administration implemented a policy to return some asylum seekers to Mexico while their cases work their way through backlogged courts, a policy which has been challenged with a lawsuit.

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Trump urges Dems to ‘return from their vacations,’ address border crossings

4/17/2019 – The Hill

missouri_1President Trump lashed out at Democrats on Wednesday, urging lawmakers to return from their “vacations” and address a surge in illegal crossings at the southern border that the Trump administration says has become a crisis.

In a tweet, the president predicted that the number of immigrants illegally crossing the southern border would “only get worse” despite the efforts of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“Democrats in Congress must return from their Vacations and change the Immigration Laws, or the Border, despite the great job being done by Border Patrol, will only get worse,” Trump tweeted, adding: “Big sections of Wall now being built!”

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