How the original US-Mexico border markers led to decades of fear and antipathy

12/11/2017 The Guardian

Before the fence, there were obelisks – 276 monuments marking the US-Mexico border that were erected after the Mexican-American war ended in 1848.

In 2007, David Taylor, an Arizona-based artist and professor, set out to photograph them all – a task that lasted seven years and took him from the Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua border to the Pacific Ocean, passing through cities and remote mountainous terrain.

Taylor did this during an era of ever-growing militarisation as cartel-related violence soared and the US continued to ramp up its post-9/11 spending on border security, adding to political and cultural tensions mined by Donald Trump, who continues to demand the construction of the border wall he advocated during his successful presidential campaign.

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Trump admin taking quiet steps on seizing border land, report says

11/13/2017 CNN

Although approval for a new border wall has yet to come, the Trump administration has taken subtle steps to be able to seize land to build one, including by restarting litigation that has laid dormant for years against landowners, according to a new report from Senate Democrats.

Roughly two-thirds of the US-Mexico border runs through private or state-owned lands, meaning the federal government would need to purchase, seize or seek permission to use land in order to build a border wall. Based on efforts a decade ago to build border fencing, that process is likely to cost the government millions and could take years of complex litigation.

And it appears the administration is gearing up for it.

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Mexico’s earthquakes complicate life for Central American migrants fleeing violence

10/30/2017 PRI

On a sultry summer morning, Central American migrants huddled together in the courtyard of the Hermanos en el Camino migrant shelter in Ixtepec, Oaxaca, discussing the complexities of checkers.

Joel Álvarez, 27, moved one of the plastic bottle caps that served as checkers pieces over a piece of plywood lacquered with blue and red squares, painted with nail polish. When Álvarez successfully got a piece into his opponent’s side of the board he flipped the bottle cap over, crowning it king. He calls checkers an “obligatory pastime.”

The checkers games at this migrant shelter are a fun distraction from long, boring days where the temperature often climbs up to 100 degrees. Most migrants standing here fled violent gangs in Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala. Álvarez had two older brothers who were recruited to work for rival gangs. They urged their younger brother not to take the same path; both were dead by age 24.

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Prototypes for US-Mexico border wall unveiled

10/24/2017 CNBC

Source: CNBC

Nine months after President Donald Trump took office, the first tangible signs of progress on one of the central promises of his campaign have appeared along the U.S. border with Mexico.

A couple of miles from the bustling Otay Mesa border crossing in San Diego, eight towering chunks of concrete and steel stand as high as 30 feet tall against the sky, offering possible models for what Trump has promised will one day be a solid wall extending the full length of the southern border, from California to Texas.

Whether any of the eight different prototypes, constructed over the last month, become part of an actual wall remains highly uncertain.

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Border gunbattles leave 11 dead in northern Mexico

10/17/2017 The Washington Post

A running series of gunbattles caused at least 11 deaths in the northern Mexico border state of Tamauilpas, authorities said Monday.

Officials said the shootouts in the border city of Reynosa and the nearby town of Rio Bravo started late Sunday. Gunmen hijacked vehicles and used them to block streets, and spread bent nails to puncture tires to facilitate their getaways. Authorities called in a helicopter to support ground patrols moving to break up the roadblocks.

One group of four gunmen was killed near a gas station after they opened fire on a military patrol, officials said. Three other bodies were discovered at other points around Rio Bravo.

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Donald Trump offers Mexico border wall trade-off for protecting Dreamers

10/9/2017 The Telegraph

President Donald Trump has demanded funding for his proposed border wall and other hard-line immigration polices in exchange for allowing 800,000 illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children to avoid deportation.

Mr Trump was immediately accused by Democrats of reneging on a deal last month to protect the so-called “Dreamers,” many of whom no longer have any connection to the countries where they were born.

The president sent to Congress a list of his priorities that would need to feature in any legislation designed to allow the Dreamers to stay.

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Border Report: ‘Their Options Are to Build Up a New Life’

10/2/2017 Voice of San Diego

For the past five years, Gaston Cazares, an undocumented immigrant living in Carlsbad, had been routinely checking in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in hopes of avoiding deportation.

Cazares, who first arrived in the U.S. almost 30 years ago, is married and has two children — a daughter attending Scripps Ranch High, and a son who has autism, according to Tribune Media. He had been the family breadwinner, paid taxes and had no other criminal record. His son’s condition had allowed Cazares to obtain a stay of removal.

But when Cazares went in for his annual check-in back in April, things had changed.

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