The number of immigrants arrested or turned away at the southern border has continued to climb to levels not seen for years, according to new Department of Homeland Security data obtained by Axios.
Why it matters: The surge has been driven by an influx of migrant families and unaccompanied children, according to a DHS official. “At the moment, we have the closest thing to an open border that we’ve had,” said Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney and member of a Homeland Security advisory committee formed by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen several months ago.
- It also comes during reports of Mexican smugglers using buses for quicker, safer transportation for Guatemalan migrants. Central Americans continue to gather in large groups for the long voyage to the border.
- The Trump administration is expanding a policy that forces some asylum-seekers to stay in Mexico until their cases are completed. And President Trump has vetoed Congress’ efforts to end his declared national emergency.
Between the lines: Families and children who have fled dire circumstances in their home nations are coming to the U.S. for asylum. But there are real logistical issues at the border and in U.S. immigration policy. Immigration is already a complex issue, but it has become an increasingly political one as well.
- “We’re infusing politics, which is making it even further a dysfunctional immigration system,” Morgan said.
- Another reason to be concerned about the numbers: The government’s track record for caring for migrant children isn’t great.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A caravan of some 1,200 migrants from Central America and Cuba began moving towards the U.S. border from southern Mexico this weekend, migration authorities said on Sunday.
The National Migration Institute said the migrants were already inside Mexico when they opted to form a caravan in the southern city of Tapachula on the border with Guatemala.
Early on Saturday, the large group of people set off towards the town of Huixtla in the southern state of Chiapas, a route followed by previous groups heading north, the institute said.
he El Paso Border Patrol sector has temporarily closed its system of highway checkpoints as it struggles to cope with a record influx of families crossing the border and requesting asylum. The agents who usually staff the checkpoints will be redeployed to process and transport the asylum seekers, according to multiple sources who spoke to Texas Monthly on the condition they not be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly about the change.
“We were told to go ahead and close down all the checkpoints,” one official said Saturday morning. Agents assigned to checkpoints were told they would be sent indefinitely to assist in efforts to process and transport hundreds of families and unaccompanied children crossing the border each day in El Paso, a surge that is overwhelming available resources. “It’s really out of control. It’s bad,” the official said. A Border Patrol spokesman said the agency was preparing a statement on the checkpoint issue but as of Saturday evening the agency hadn’t responded to Texas Monthlyinquiries.
At a checkpoint on U.S. Highway 62/180 about 30 miles east of El Paso in Hudspeth County, orange cones that usually are used to funnel motorists off the highway and into the checkpoint had been repositioned Saturday evening to block the entrance to the checkpoint. The situation was repeated at several other checkpoints on major roadways in Far West Texas and Southern New Mexico, officials said. It wasn’t clear Saturday if checkpoints in other Border Patrol sectors across the Southwest were impacted by efforts to redeploy resources to deal directly with arriving migrants.
U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, confirmed reports of the checkpoints shutting down and said he is also receiving reports that agents with Customs and Border Protection who usually inspect cross-border cargo and other trade are also being redeployed to help with asylum claims. “We’re seeing an impact on the traditional work Border Patrol and CBP do to handle the large number of asylum cases,” he said. He added that he is already looking at future appropriations to see if more incentive can be provided for Mexico and other Latin American countries to work more diligently to fend off the flow of migration from Central Americans.
How many illegal immigrants can cram into a stolen Ford F-250?
Deputies with the Brooks County Sheriff recently learned the answer is at least 22.
It took only about 11 seconds for nearly two dozen illegal immigrants to ditch the vehicle following a traffic stop in Encino, Texas on Friday.
A video posted to the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page is as comical as it is concerning, a shocking illustration of the chaos that’s become daily life in border communities.
“Brooks County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on a White Ford F-250 that came back stolen,” according to the post. “After a brief pursuit the vehicle bailout in Encino, TX.”
eep in the Otay Mountain Wilderness, there is no wall.
The only boundary between the U.S. and Mexico is a section of barbed wire fence in a pastoral valley. And miles and miles of treacherous terrain.
It’s a territory criss-crossed with steep trails that disappear into tunnels of thick brush, a place looped by violently rutted roads that Border Patrol agents negotiate daily.
Land such as this is not a likely candidate for President Donald Trump’s “big, beautiful wall.”
But it is fertile for an invisible kind of fence, one built of artificial intelligence, radar, drones, sensors, motion-activated cameras and even lidar, the same technology used in self-driving vehicles.
“Virtual walls” or “smart walls” along the southwest border are increasingly being billed as an alternative to the proposed concrete and steel barriers that have so sharply divided public opinion.
An electronic fence is not about preventing intrusion as much as it is about detecting intrusions and then intercepting them.