Ryan makes trip to U.S.-Mexico border as lawmakers mull building Trump’s wall

2/22/2017 The Washington Post


via Flickr – Gage Skidmore

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan led a delegation of House Republicans on a six-hour tour of the U.S.-Mexico border Wednesday, seeing firsthand by helicopter, horse and boat the security challenges of keeping out undocumented immigrants President Trump wants to block with a costly wall.


Ryan (R-Wis.), on his first trip to the border, said in a statement afterward that U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on the ground need “more tools and more support . . . for them to do their jobs effectively.” He said Congress “is committed to securing the border and enforcing our laws” and pledged cooperation with the Trump administration.

“When you see with your own eyes the many challenges facing our law enforcement professionals along the border, it gives you even greater respect for the work that they do day in and day out,” Ryan said.

But he did not comment directly on the border wall that is opposed by many Democrats and some in his own party, who worry Republicans committed to reining in government spending will not find billions of dollars for a huge construction project.

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Why Mexico Is Trump’s First Line of Defense on Immigration

2/23/2017 Bloomberg

migrationPutting an end to undocumented immigration has been a top priority for President Donald Trump in his first month in office. He’s taken a hard line against Mexico, insisting the country pay for his proposed wall along America’s southern border—a demand that the nation has repeatedly rejected. That strategy carries risks for Trump, because he’ll probably need Mexico’s help if he wants to achieve his border security goal.

Despite Trump’s assertion that Mexico is sending “bad hombres” to the U.S., most of the people crossing the southern border came from other countries. That’s a significant change from 2000, when the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended a record 1.6 million people, and most came from Mexico. While Mexico’s border with its own southern neighbors is only about one-third the length of the almost 2,000 mile frontier between Mexico and the U.S., it’s often the entry point for refugees from the “northern triangle” of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador seeking asylum in the U.S.

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The Reach of the Constitution at the Border

2/23/2017 New York Times

lawWhen a 15-year-old boy named Sergio Hernández Guereca was shot to death by a United States border agent in 2010, he was crouching behind a concrete pillar a few steps inside the Mexican border. Had he been on American soil, there’s no question constitutional principles could be invoked in seeking justice for his death. Should those principles not apply because he was standing on the other side of the border?

That was the question the Supreme Court considered on Tuesday, during oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by Sergio’s parents, who believe they should have a right to get justice for his killing.

The court’s decision in this case could have implications for President Trump’s travel ban, which targets noncitizens who are outside the country.

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Mexico bristles at ‘hostile’ Trump deportation rules before U.S. talks

2/23/2017 Reuters

luis videgarayMexico reacted with anger on Wednesday to what one official called “hostile” new U.S. immigration guidelines hours before senior Trump administration envoys began arriving in Mexico City for talks on the volatile issue.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security unveiled plans on Tuesday to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, and will seek to send many of them to Mexico if they entered the United States from there, regardless of nationality.

The tension over the timing of the rules mirrors an outcry when President Donald Trump said on Twitter Mexico should pay for his planned border wall shortly before Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto was due at a Washington summit in January.

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President Trump Wants a Wall? Mexico Is It

2/21/2017 New York Times

brazil flag -- brick wallJust over 10 years ago, United States Border Patrol agents were startled by an unexpected new development in their rear-guard battle to stop illegal immigration: Brazilians.

In 2005 thousands of them started streaming across the southwestern border. More than 31,000 were apprehended by the Border Patrol trying to make their way into the United States, a number surpassed only by Mexicans, Salvadorans and Hondurans.

And then, just as abruptly, the flow stopped. Under pressure from Washington, Mexico reimposed a tourist visa requirement on Brazil that it had eliminated five years before. This severed a trafficking route that started with an easy flight from Rio de Janeiro to Cancún and ended in a trek across the desert into southern Texas.

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US Border Patrol shooting of Mexican national goes to Supreme Court

2/21/2017 CNN

Supreme Court US by Flikr user dbkingThe Supreme Court on Tuesday took up the case of a 15-year-old Mexican national who was shot to death in 2010 as he cowered behind a pillar in Mexico, by a US Border Patrol agent standing on American soil.

The family of Sergio Hernandez is seeking to sue the border official for their son’s death. They say the agent violated Hernandez’s constitutional rights.

The violent shooting was caught on cell phone video and sparked outrage because fact that Hernandez was unarmed.
This is the first case the Supreme Court heard under the new administration and comes as President Donald Trump’s policies concerning his executive order on immigration have raised questions about the constitutional rights of non-citizens. Another backdrop is the tense relations between the Trump administration and Mexico over the issue of building a wall between the two countries.

[Video] Charting a New Course Part 1: U.S.-Mexico Economic Interdependence

The Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute has released a series of new essays covering a range of important bilateral issues. We kick off our companion video series, “Charting a New Course,” with a focus on economic interdependence. Mexico Institute Deputy Director, Chris Wilson provides an overview of the scope and depth of U.S.-Mexico economic cooperation and also talks about what can be done to make the alliance stronger. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.

Watch the video…