Border Security

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.

U.S. House of Representatives/Public Domain

From Texas Standard

President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night. It was rumored that he would declare a national emergency as a means of moving ahead with construction of a border wall, despite Congress' unwillingness to provide the funding – that conflict is what led to the current partial government shutdown. But in his address, though he did argue for the importance of constructing a wall, he not declare an emergency.

Democratic U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar represents Texas' 28th District, which runs from South San Antonio into the Rio Grande Valley, and covers a large stretch of Texas' border with Mexico. Cuellar says the president's arguments about the need for a border wall are wrong.

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.

Brian Crabtree/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

As we've seen since 9/11, partnerships to strengthen national security can sometimes make for interesting bedfellows. One case in point is a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas A&M's AgriLife Extension Service. Under the 10-year project, the institutions will launch a new Center for Excellence in cross-border threat screening and supply-chain defense. The project has nearly $4 million in funding for its first year.  

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.

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?

From Marfa Public Radio:

Late Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed a proclamation directing the deployment of National Guard troops as a quote “immediate deterrent” to illegal immigration along the U.S.- Mexico border.

This comes after days of tough talk from President Trump on immigration enforcement, including Tweeting that he’d secure the border through military force until his proposed border wall is complete. The news is being met with some mixed reaction on Texas’ southern border.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas Sen. John Cornyn outlined a border security proposal on Thursday that, unlike the president’s signature proposal, does not focus on building a border wall that would fence off the entire Texas-Mexico boundary. Instead, he wants to develop a comprehensive plan, which would likely entail adding border patrol agents and using technology to find and apprehend immigrants as they cross the border.

Gary Goodenough/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Immigration is at the forefront of political discourse in Texas according to the Texas Lyceum Poll, an independent opinion poll that is conducted each year to gather the opinions of Texans on major policy issues facing the state.

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.

 

KUT

From Texas Standard:

After less then two months in office, the Trump administration can point to at least one statistic that may indicate the president is succeeding in his goal of stemming the tide immigration. From January to February, apprehensions at the Mexican border with the U.S. decreased by 40 percent.

 

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.

Phil Gingrey/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

With compounding reports of Donald Trump’s alleged sexual abuse of women, it’s easy to forget his earlier outrageous claims. Case in point – the border wall.

The San Antonio Express-News spent the last month exploring just how real a border wall could be and reporter Jason Buch, who worked on the project, says wall rhetoric doesn’t often match reality.

 


Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

The $800 million border security operation passed by state lawmakers has helped seal off parts of the state’s southern border. But the surge has also made the rest of the area more of a hotbed for illegal activity, the state’s top law enforcement officer told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Malcolm McClendon/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Because of a recent spike in minors crossing the border illegally in the Rio Grande Valley, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is ordering the Texas National Guard to stay in the area through December.

The troops were originally scheduled to leave by the end of the month, but Abbott said in a statement that because of federal inaction, the Guard will stay in place.

flickr.com/xomiele

On Wednesday, Texas Senators passed a bill (SB 1252) that would create an inter-state southern border compact — a group of states that would share resources to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the bill.

It didn't pass, however, before Democrats and Republicans brought up their differences on the need for border security. 

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

Looking to clear the Texas Department of Public Safety's name, the agency’s top official is asking the head of the state's anti-corruption unit to renew a halted investigation into $20 million no-bid border security contracts.

Patrick Wants $12 Million to Keep Guard on Border

Feb 10, 2015
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Saying that drug cartels are “ramping up” their efforts as the Texas National Guard prepares to leave the Rio Grande Valley next month, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced Tuesday that he’s seeking an additional $12 million to keep the troops there through May.

Beyond that, he added at a Capitol news conference, he would work to get a supplemental bill to fund deployments through August, in the hopes that the Texas Legislature would pass a budget that includes deployment funding beyond that. The Senate’s budget includes about $815 million for border security, which is more than the previous seven years combined.