WASHINGTON – The federal government has been partially shut down for more than a month because of an impasse between Donald Trump and congressional Democrats over the president's demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the southern border. Democrats have remained adamant in their opposition to such a barrier. However, on Wednesday, House Democratic leaders were drafting a letter to Trump that would offer roughly $5 billion in border security if the president agrees to reopen the government. Their proposal would not include money for any “new structures” along the border. Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to vote twice Thursday on possible remedies. One bill would provide the money as part of a spending bill with immigration provisions to reopen the government. The other would simply reopen the government temporarily while negotiations continue. Both might fail, meaning the impasse could continue. How much fence does $5.7 billion buy? … [Read more...] about Key shutdown question: How much border wall does $5.7 billion buy?
Border security expo
SAN DIEGO – With 2,100 National Guardsmen already fanned out along the southern border, and another 1,000 troops on the way, the Trump administration is doing everything it can to ensure that members of the migrant caravan headed north through Mexico do not illegally enter the United States. But after touring the largest port of entry along that southern border on Friday, the head of Customs and Border Protection conceded that his officers don't have a way to speed up their ability to process caravan members trying to enter the country legally by requesting asylum. While visiting the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the main crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said his agency views the looming arrival of the migrant caravan as a "law enforcement situation." MORE: Resources emerge for college students who aren't U.S. citizens He said his Border Patrol agents and members of the military will be ready to rapidly deploy anywhere … [Read more...] about ‘It’s not turning people away, it’s asking them to wait’: Border Patrol preps for arrival of migrant caravan
HOUSTON – President Donald Trump on Monday vowed to send as many troops as necessary to the U.S.-Mexican border to block a growing caravan of Central American migrants, calling their trek “an assault on our country.” In an exclusive interview with USA TODAY aboard Air Force One, the president said there were “people from the Middle East” in their ranks, reiterating a claim he made without evidence in a morning tweet. The president declined to say whether his assertion was based on intelligence agencies or some other source. While Trump has made unsubstantiated charges that Democrats had funded the migrants, he said the television footage that showed them straggling north was rebounding to the political benefit of Republicans in the midterms. The caravan could be seen on a TV, tuned to Fox News, on the wall of his office aboard the presidential aircraft. Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Migrant caravan heads towards the … [Read more...] about Exclusive: President Trump vows to send as many troops to the border ‘as necessary’ to stop caravan
The tear-gas confrontation between Central American migrants and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on Sunday ended with families fleeing clouds of the searing gas near the U.S. border with Mexico in Tijuana. But it may have started months earlier with a policy shift. Around April, CBP announced it was restarting a policy of "metering" asylum-seekers at the border, or only allowing migrants into the U.S. if there is sufficient room in holding facilities on the U.S. side, according to CBP reports. That technique, used on and off again since 2016, created a backlog of migrants at the Tijuana-U.S. border that, coupled with confusion about U.S. immigration law and other factors, led to Sunday's widely televised brush with U.S. border agents. "What happened (Sunday) was a wake-up call," said Alex Mensing, an immigrant advocate with Pueblo Sin Fronteras who has been staying with the migrants. "There needs to be a better solution than … [Read more...] about How a policy shift may have led to the border confrontation with the migrant caravan
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is scheduled to travel to El Paso on Friday to see how the agency is conducting medical screenings and to review conditions at Border Patrol stations following the deaths this month of two migrant children who were in federal custody. Nielsen has called the death on Christmas Eve of an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy in federal detention a "deeply concerning and heartbreaking" tragedy and cited U.S. immigration system failings for a growing border crisis. The top Trump administration border security official spoke out after directing a series of actions to care for undocumented immigrants taken into custody after illegal Mexican-U.S. crossings. The moves include U.S. Customs and Border Protection medical exams for all children it holds in custody. The statement and actions marked the latest federal response to the death of the boy identified by Guatemalan officials as Felipe Gómez … [Read more...] about DHS chief heads to southern border following deaths of migrant kids in federal custody