Border Patrol

Updated at 6:12 p.m. ET

Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan says the U.S. has apprehended more than 800,000 migrants attempting to enter the country since last October, calling the numbers staggering and unprecedented, and that the influx has "challenged and overwhelmed every aspect of our border and immigration enforcement system."

Still, McAleenan said DHS "made significant strides in its effort to secure the border and help and protect migrants in our custody."

62 Border Patrol Employees Under Investigation For Posts In Facebook Group

Jul 15, 2019
Border Patrol trucks
Eddie Gaspar for KUT

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said Monday that 62 current and eight former Border Patrol employees are under internal investigation following revelations of a secret Facebook group that mocked lawmakers and migrants.

Office of the Inspector General

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General released a report on Tuesday detailing severe overcrowding and escalating tensions between detainees and Border Patrol agents at five facilities in the Rio Grande Valley.

Customs and Border Protection has launched an investigation into a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents in which members posted derogatory remarks targeting migrants and lawmakers.

A Border Patrol car
Julia Reihs / KUT

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol says sexist posts and comments mocking migrant deaths in a closed Facebook group for agents and employees are "completely inappropriate."

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

During the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 race, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro challenged all candidates to join his call for the repeal of a controversial immigration law.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to begin arresting and deporting thousands of migrant families in 10 cities across the country, according to sources familiar with the planned raids.

The roundups are targeted at recently arrived migrant families whose cases were fast-tracked by the Justice Department after being sent final deportation orders from a judge and failing to show up for court.

President Trump has named Mark Morgan, a former FBI agent and veteran of the Obama administration, as the new head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Julia Reihs / KUT

President Donald Trump is proposing charging asylum seekers a fee to process their applications as he continues to try to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants seeking to cross into the U.S.

John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore, a special correspondent for Getty Images, lived and traveled around the world for years before deciding to focus his time and work on the U.S.-Mexico border. His frequent requests to photograph Border Patrol agents dealing with families crossing the border went unanswered – until one day last year when he got a call out of the blue.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard

A federal judge in Arizona on Thursday sentenced Border Patrol agent Marco De La Garza Jr. to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine. De La Garza had been indicted on three counts of passport fraud and making false statements on his application for a federal background check.

As thousands of migrant parents and children continue to stream across the U.S.-Mexico border every day, the Border Patrol is bringing in more agents and asking the Pentagon for additional help.

The Border Patrol says it needs more manpower to care for the migrants — more of whom are coming with infectious illnesses. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says agents are on track to stop nearly 100,000 people crossing illegally this month — far exceeding last month's total.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

A new report calls for improved translation services after two Mayan children from Guatemala, 7-year-old Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin and 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo, died in Border Patrol custody.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor has been charged with capital murder and, if convicted, could get the death penalty in the deaths of four women in September in Texas. Authorities say he confessed to the killings.

Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

EL PASO — The press release went out Monday, the reporters showed up Tuesday morning, then the U.S. Border Patrol abruptly canceled its Election Day "crowd control exercise" without immediately stating a reason.

flickr.com/texasmilitaryforces; U.S. Army photo by Maj. Randall Stillinger.

President Donald Trump is now planning to send between 800 and 1,000 active-duty U.S. troops to the southern border to counter a caravan of migrants from Central America. The migrants are now making their way through Mexico. The president has called the approaching caravan a national emergency.

To get a perspective from the border, Texas Standard Host David Brown spoke with John Ferguson, the mayor of Presidio, in far west Texas, and Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Spencer Selvidge

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been accused of going on a nearly two-week-long “serial killing spree” that came to an end on Saturday after he was arrested in connection with the deaths of four women and the kidnapping of a fifth woman.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises of tougher immigration policies, leading to a constant flow of policy changes — from scaling back on programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to his “zero-tolerance” policy along the border that’s led to separation of parents and children attempting to cross into the U.S.

All of these individual actions amount to a broader strategy that is now becoming clear.

Photo by James Tourtellotte/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

From Texas Standard.

Under federal law, anyone who reaches a U.S. port of entry may make a claim for asylum. But now it appears U.S. Customs and Border Protection has adopted a new tactic to keep out immigrants – telling agents to stop would-be asylum seekers before they reach a border checkpoint.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard.

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a report based on some 30,000 pages of internal records from the Department of Homeland Security between 2009 to 2014, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. What they’ve found is what they call “the pervasive abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

U.S. Army/Maj. Randall Stillinger

From Texas Standard.

About 250 Texas National Guard troops have deployed to the Texas-Mexico border. Texas’ Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll eventually send more than 1,000. But even with the state’s leadership so supportive of any appearance of cracking down on illegal immigration, are the Guard troops really doing immigration enforcement? And how do folks who already work on border law enforcement perceive the influx of military personnel?

Alex Smith / Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard:

More than two weeks after the death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, questions remain about how he and a fellow agent were seriously injured while on patrol around Van Horn in west Texas.

Sarah Blesener

From Texas Standard.

Scouting has long been considered a path for young people to learn life skills, but a program along the United States-Mexico border goes a lot further than how to start a campfire or care for a park. It's run under the auspices of the U.S. Border Patrol, and it’s not so much camping in the wilderness but rather something much more intense, closer to bona fide basic military training.

Eric Gay

 

More than two days after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another seriously wounded while on patrol in West Texas, exactly what happened to the agents is still unclear.

Agent Rogelio Martinez, 36, died Sunday after sustaining severe head and bodily injuries. His partner, who hasn’t been named, is recovering from his injuries and is in intensive care, according to federal authorities.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

National and state leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, said more resources should be devoted to border security following the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent Sunday.

The agent died from injuries sustained while he was on patrol in southwest Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Sunday in a news release, offering sparse details. His partner was hospitalized in serious condition. 

Spamily/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It has been more than seven years since U.S. Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa Jr. shot and killed Sergio Hernandez, a 15-year-old Mexican boy. Hernandez and his friends were standing on the Mexican side of a culvert that separates Ciudad Juárez from El Paso, throwing rocks at Mesa.

A portion of the south Texas border fence and remote surveillance cameras.
Donna Burton/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Government Work)

From Texas Standard:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said just yesterday that it is "unlikely" that a wall along the United States' southern border will be built in full. That’s different from the Trump administration's original proposed plans to build a continuous 30-foot wall, regardless of the terrain and other potential obstacles.

 

Phil Gingrey/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

In 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on security along Texas' border with Mexico. Along that line, one of President-elect Donald Trump's signature campaign promises is a wall that stretches the entire length of the border.

But those efforts are undermined by breaches that are invisible to most people: bribes.

Michael Rose/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The Texas Department of Public Safety is asking for $1 billion to fund its border operations next year. But the state comptroller has been issuing warnings about a possible need for budgetary belt tightening.

But the department says it needs the money to buy new border cameras, replace aging vehicles, buy two helicopters, four planes and, perhaps most significantly, double the number of troops at the border – upping the number of troops at the border to 500.

 


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