Migrant protesters occupy U.S.-Mexico border bridge, close crossing

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10/10/19 – Reuters

By Veronica G. Cardenas

U .S. asylum seekers camped out in a dangerous Mexican border town occupied a bridge to Brownsville, Texas on Thursday, leading to the closure of the crossing, witnesses and authorities said.

Hundreds of the migrants have been camped for weeks on the end of the bridge in Matamoros, Mexico, a city known for cartel control of people trafficking and gang violence.

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Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge receives $30 million upgrade aimed at speeding up trade

black and brown train on rail
Photo by James Basa on Pexels.com

09/18/19 – Freight Waves

By Noi Mahoney

The city of Pharr, Texas, will soon begin $30 million in infrastructure projects at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge along the United States-Mexico border.

The projects are aimed at expediting border crossings for the transportation of oil and natural gas products, as well as perishable goods such as avocados from Mexico, said Luis Bazán, general director of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

“This project is of great importance for the border with Mexico, because the international bridge connects with Reynosa, Tamaulipas; it is also the only full-service port for exports and imports in Hidalgo County, Texas,” Bazán said in a release.

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Texas Democrat wants Mexico to address highway security before vote on revised trade deal

 

trailer09/03/19 – The Hill

By Rebecca Klar

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) is asking Mexico to address highway safety as he weighs his vote on President Trump’s new North American trade deal.

Gonzalez sent letters to Mexican Ambassador Martha Bárcena and Secretary of Security and Civilian Protection Alfonso Durazo asking Mexico to ensure that Highway 40, which connects the two countries and is part of the safe highway program, is secured before his vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), his office said Tuesday.

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Man accused of helping run ‘El Chapo’ cartel due in US court

5/29/2019 – Associated Press

By Cedar Attanasio

courtA Mexican man accused of running a death squad for convicted drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was due in a Texas courtroom on Wednesday to face a raft of charges.

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US senator refused entry to facility holding migrants’ kids

06/04/2018 The Washington Post

child_immigrant_cbp_border_gettyA U.S. senator said Monday he had tried to enter a federal facility in Texas where immigrant children are being held, but police were called and he was told to leave.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley’s attempt late Sunday to enter the facility and his request to speak to a manager came amid a national debate over the practice of separating families caught crossing the border illegally.

Merkley was accused of grandstanding by Victoria Palmer, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families.

The agency is caring for the children being held in a former Walmart with blacked-out windows in Brownsville, a city along the Mexico border.

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Texas suit could speed DACA’s path to Supreme Court

05/10/2018 The Washington Post

dreamersThree judges have ordered the Trump administration to continue a program that has shielded hundreds of thousands of young immigrants from deportation. Now, a lawsuit filed last week in Texas seeks to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and may create a legal clash that could speed the issue’s path to the Supreme Court.

President Donald Trump’s decision in September to phase out the Obama-era program, called DACA, resulted in protests and a failed congressional effort to salvage it. Experts say it’s a matter of when, not if, the Supreme Court will rule on the program. It could be the second opportunity for the high court to weigh in on a high-profile decision of the president’s, with a ruling on Trump’s travel ban expected before the end of June.

Josh Blackman, a professor at South Texas College of Law Houston, said the Texas lawsuit filed May 1 tees up “a fast pass to the Supreme Court.”

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Texas GOP congressman leads DACA push that hinges on rare ‘queen of the hill’ tactic

04/18/2018 Dallas News

willhurdRep. Will Hurd of Texas is part of a last-ditch effort by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to protect young immigrants from deportation.

On Wednesday, the San Antonio Republican joined Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) and California Reps. Pete Aguilar and Jeff Denham in announcing that they’re attempting to force the House to debate four proposals for the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

President Donald Trump scrapped the program last fall.

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Ditching NAFTA Not in America’s Best Interests

10/28/2017 Houston Chronicle

By Earl Anthony Wayne

Texas has the most to lose of any U.S. state if NAFTA talks go wrong. It has a great deal to gain if the talks to modernize NAFTA go well. Now that the negotiations have slowed over controversial U.S. proposals, Texans and their elected federal and state representatives should be making very clear to the Trump administration team overseeing the NAFTA negotiations that they should do no harm to the massive Texas-Mexico trade relationship, and rather focus on creating new opportunities.

The controversial U.S. proposals and hardball tactics, however, could freeze the talks or send them off the tracks. A decision to pull out of NAFTA, as President Trump has threatened, could cost 250,000 to 1.2 million U.S. jobs, according to one 2017 study. A failed NAFTA negotiation would endanger many thousands of Texas jobs, the state’s largest foreign client and cooperation along the border.

Texas trades $178 billion a year with Mexico. That is more than the entire United States trades with any single country in Europe. It translates into over $20 million of trade each hour: Things are bigger in Texas!

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Slain Lawyer for Mexican Drug Cartel Apparently Was U.S. Informant

4/26/16 Wall Street Journal

mexican drugsFORT WORTH, Texas—A lawyer for a powerful Mexican drug cartel was cooperating with law enforcement and allowed to live legally in the U.S. before being gunned down in a posh Dallas suburb, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The revelation that Juan Jesús Guerrero Chapa, a prominent member of the so-called Gulf Cartel, worked as an informant before his killing in 2013 came during opening statements in a closely watched murder trial federal court here. Mr. Guerrero Chapa’s role was earlier reported by the Dallas Morning News.

Two men, Jesús Gerardo Ledezma-Cepeda, 59, and his cousin,  José Luis Cepeda-Cortés, 60, are accused of stalking Mr. Guerrero Chapa and arranging his killing by hit men outside a shopping center in the small city of Southlake. The slaying shocked North Texas.

According to a defense lawyer for one of the defendants, the hit men were from a rival cartel. Both defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit murder for hire and interstate stalking, which could lead to life in prison.

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The Border Walls Donald Trump Supports Have Led To Thousands Of Deaths In Arizona

3/23/16 International Business Times

8566728595_0d6365cce0_mRepublican White House hopeful Donald Trump stood in front of an outsize American flag Sunday in Fountain Hills, Arizona, and repeated a central promise of his presidential campaign that hits close to home in the Southwestern state.

“We’re going to build the wall, and we’re going to stop it. It’s going to end,” Trump said, referring to his stance on illegal immigration. “We’re going to have a big, beautiful wall.”

Trump has made building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico a cornerstone of his campaign, but his message on the stump fails to mention that existing barriers along the border in the Southwest have contributed to what activists have described as a growing humanitarian crisis. Fences erected in Texas, California and Arizona have led to the deaths of thousands of immigrants as vulnerable people have been pushed out into the inhospitable desert on their trek between the two countries even as the overall rate of illegal border crossing has dropped during the past eight years.

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