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Home | Tag Archives: border

Tag Archives: border

Continued surge of immigrant apprehensions in El Paso puts strain on shelters, volunteers

When U.S. Border Patrol agents here apprehended more than 300 peoplein two separate instances one day last month, it was unclear how long the record crossings would continue.

That question was partially answered Tuesday after agents in the El Paso sector apprehended more than 400 people in less than 24 hours — part of a trend that’s seen an average of 570 apprehensions a day in the sector over the last month.

The influx has put such a strain on federal detention facilities that the city’s Office of Emergency Management was considering converting a municipal park into a staging ground for about 150 immigrants Tuesday after they were released by federal officials.

Ruben Garcia, the director of the Annunciation House, a local shelter, said they’re usually able to provide housing at one of the organization’s shelter spaces when they’re notified by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and told how many immigrants to expect. If space isn’t available, Garcia and his volunteers search for hotel space to ensure the migrants don’t end up on the streets of El Paso.

Tuesday was a narrow escape — Garcia was able to secure hotel space and the park wasn’t needed. But the incident has led the city council to consider calling a special meeting soon to address the issue.

“We have to have the council give us a little bit more direction in terms of what they want,” city spokesperson Laura Cruz Acosta said. “We need to make sure that we are following the proper policies and procedures as they relate to any actions on expenditures that we spend on something that’s outside of normal operations.”

Of the record apprehensions over the last month, about 90 percent happened in El Paso’s city limits, the Border Patrol said in a statement. Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande Valley have also seen a surge in illegal crossings — The (McAllen) Monitor reported that agents apprehended 1,000 people in one day last week — and have started releasing migrants with notices to appear before an immigration judge.

On Wednesday, Garcia said the shelters need more help from the city to prevent immigrants — many of them Central Americans who are seeking asylum in the U.S. — from being released with no place to go. He’s also asking the city to provide volunteers to help the migrants make arrangements to travel beyond El Paso. The volunteers at the Annunciation House are stretched too thin, he said.

“Over the past five months we’re already approaching a million dollars in expense just for the hotels, that’s not sustainable for us,” Garcia said.

Author:  JULIÁN AGUILAR –  The Texas Tribune

El Paso Border Patrol Agents apprehend over 400 migrants in Five Minutes

Early Tuesday morning, U.S. Border Patrol agents apprehended two large groups of immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.

These groups, like many others before, both groups are comprised primarily of Central American families and unaccompanied juveniles.   

According to Border Patrol officials, agents encountered the first group of 194 migrants at approximately 2:45 a.mThe group was encountered by agents at the border wall just west of Bowie High School

Just five minutes later at 2:50 A.M., agents working farther west encountered a second group of 252 people, who crossed illegally near Downtown El Paso

In all, agents had already taken over 430 people into custody within the first three hours of March 19th.

“In the last 30 days, the U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector is averaging 570 apprehensions a day, with 90 percent of those being in the El Paso Metropolitan Area,” Fidel O. Baca, with the Border Patrol shared.

These numbers continue to stretch the resources available to the U.S. Border Patrol to deal with this influx and the challenges that come with it.”  

Videos+Story: Border Rights Advocates Push Back on Presidential Address

Before the first words of President Trump’s prime time Oval Office address Tuesday night, border human rights advocates already had a rebuttal ready.

“What we have seen at the border over the past two years are the impacts and chaos caused by a cruel and racist President who has no respect for the rule of law,” Fernando Garcia with the Border Network for Human Rights said just moments after the Presidential Address was over.

The first Presidential prime time address was meant to convince Americans that the government shutdown, now in its 17th day, is needed in order to hold out for funding for a steel fence along the nation’s southern border.

Many immigration advocates at Tuesday night’s event at BNHR say the address did little to provide concrete evidence of a sincere crisis at our southern border.

“Why, even if there was something urgent at the border right now, why this administration would choose to respond with a wall that will take years or decades to build,” said Garcia.

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who now has a massive online following, decided to take a direct approach to the assertion by President Trump that there is a national emergency at the border.

O’Rourke took to Facebook live to walk viewers around his Sunset Heights neighborhood, discuss the proximity of El Paso to Ciudad Juarez and our dependence on each other for economic and social prosperity. Former City Council member Steve Ortega and Joel Guzman, both fellow Sunset Heights residents joined in on the discussion.

While Trump was quick to bring up two recent murders in the U.S. allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants, he also failed to mention the deaths of Guatemalan migrant children Jakelin Caal or Felipe Alonso-Gomez, who both became ill and died while in custody of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Father Arturo Bañuelos with the Catholic Diocese argued that the lack of the President’s compassion for the true humanitarian crisis happening across the border was part of a larger problem.

“We need real, lasting, humane, and permanent solutions ro our immigration system that provide a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. and that builds a legal system that comforts with reality moving forward. With a President unable and unwilling to act, Congress must lead,” said Garcia.

During Christmas week, El Paso saw a massive surge of migrants being released by ICE from detention facilities, which sent organizations in the Sun City to scramble to house and feed the massive release of families.

On December 26, ICE released a record 522 migrants from detention in a single day. By Wednesday, January 9, all three of the emergency shelters that were opened by Annunciation House during Christmas to house the unexpected surge of migrants will be closed. The closures are representative of a return to ‘normal’ release numbers by ICE since New Year’s Day.

The overall flow of migrant families into the U.S. is still far more than it has been in recent memory according to Annunciation House Executive Director Ruben Garcia in a previous interview.

President Trump is expected to make a trip to McAllen on Thursday to survey the southern border for himself. While he has previously indicated he would consider declaring a national emergency in order to fund the construction of the Border Wall, he stopped short of any declaration on Tuesday during his address.

In a response via Twitter Tuesday night, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar said “Tonight’s speech offered nothing new, just another glimpse at a POTUS w/ no understanding of how to cope w/ challenges of changing migration patterns. When he goes to south TX on Thurs, he’ll do the usual photo ops w/ federal agents. Maybe he’ll wear cowboy boots and ride a horse.”

The El Paso Herald Post will continue to offer coverage of the proposed Border Wall and the Government Shutdown.

Watch Full Border Network for Human Rights Press Conference Below

President Trump’s Address to the Nation on Border Security (Courtesy CSpan)




Community Foundation, Americas Quarterly to Hold Debate About Trump, Border Relations

How is the U.S.-Mexico relationship changing under President Donald Trump? What will the impact be on the border region?

Americas Quarterly magazine and a panel of experts will debate the future of the bilateral relationship—and how it will affect trade, immigration, and the millions of people who live along the border.

The event will be held in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation and the U.S.-Mexico Border Philanthropy Partnership. A reception will follow the discussion.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Jon Barela, CEO, The Borderplex Alliance @JonBarela1
  • Alfredo Corchado, Award-winning journalist, author, and Mexico bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News @ajcorchado
  • Alejandra de la Vega, Head of the Innovation and Economic Development Department, State of Chihuahua
  • Veronica Escobar, El Paso County judge @vgescobar
  • Brian Winter, Editor-in-chief, Americas Quarterly (AQ); vice president of policy, Americas Society/Council of the Americas (moderator)@BrazilBrian

Read more about Alfredo Corchado in AQ‘s Top Five Border Ambassadors.

Check AQ‘s “Indivisible: A Special Issue on U.S. and Mexico”.


WHERE: Anson Mills Building | 303 N Oregon St Foundation Room View Map

WHEN:  June 8, 2017  Registration: 4:30-5:00 p.m.

 Panel Discussion and Reception:5:00-7:00 p.m.

U.S. Reps. Hurd, Castro Rally for Bipartisanship on the Border

During a “bipartisan, bilingual, binational” rally, U.S. Reps. Will Hurd and Joaquin Castro spoke out against President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall.

In sweltering heat, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd and the mayors of the border towns of Del Rio and Ciudad Acuña held hands — presumably sweaty ones — with residents from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border on Saturday. It was a gesture they hoped would represent the unity and interdependency between their cities.

About 150 people joined Hurd and the mayors in a “bilingual, binational, bipartisan” rally at the International Bridge, which connects both towns, in an event during which the Helotes Republican reaffirmed his position against President Donald Trump’s border wall.

Hurd said his time as a CIA officer taught him that “building a wall from sea to shining sea” is not going to secure communities. Rather, he said, working together “against your common threat” will make Mexico and the U.S. safer.

US Congressman William Hurd speaks during the Border Unity Rally on March 25, 2017 |  Marjorie Kamys Cotera
US Congressman William Hurd speaks during the Border Unity Rally on March 25, 2017 | Marjorie Kamys Cotera

“As the member of Congress who has the most border … this is a message I take to Washington,” he said. “I’ve been trying to bring my colleagues down to the border as well. A lot of folks who talk about the border have never seen the border.”

The border rally was billed as a “demonstration of unity” between both countries. Mayors Hector Arocha from Ciudad Acuña and Robert Garza from Del Río encouraged crowds on both sides of the border to remain supportive and understanding of each other.

An hour into the rally, most of the attendees walked part of the bridge and held hands, forming a human chain as mariachis played in the background.

While the human chain formed, crowd members joked about how this is the kind of barrier they want on the U.S.-Mexico border, instead of Trump’s proposed wall. After a few pictures, residents from both sides of the border shared paletas and drinks with the Rio Grande River and some U.S. Border Patrol pickup trucks in the background.

During his speech, Hurd said, in Spanish, that a lot of people who talk about the border don’t recognize or don’t realize that Ciudad Acuña and Del Río aren’t just two cities, but “a community.” He thanked U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, for being at the rally. Citing his famous road trip to Washington, D.C., with El Paso Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke earlier this month, Hurd said bipartisanship isn’t a “dirty word.”

“People are expecting us to focus on what unites us, not what divides us,” said Hurd, who returned to Texas this weekend after U.S. House

US Congressman Joaquin Castro speaks during the Border Unity Rally on March 25, 2017
US Congressman Joaquin Castro speaks during the Border Unity Rally on March 25, 2017

Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the American Health Care Act — the supposed GOP replacement from Obamacare — from consideration on Friday when there weren’t enough votes to pass it. “We can disagree without being disagreeable.”

Castro also emphasized the important relationship between Ciudad Acuña and Del Río. Trump’s criticisms of Mexican immigrants, he said, only hurt the relationship between both countries.

“This is a place that makes a big difference to our country and we have to make sure that people understand that the prosperity of our nations depends on the success of each other,” he said.

Garza, the Del Rio mayor, said the International Bridge brings $7 million annually in revenue for his city, mostly due to the trade partnership between Ciudad Acuña.

“It is my hope and desire that all of our efforts be focused on building bridges and not walls,” Garza said.

Read more

  • As the Trump Administration moves ahead with its plans for a barrier just north of the Rio Grande, Texans are weighing in on how the president should approach the project. And the ideas range from the comical to the practical.
  • U.S. Reps. Will Hurd and Beto O’Rourke — a Republican and a Democrat from Texas, respectively — arrived at the U.S. Capitol after a two-day trek from San Antonio that drew thousands of fans.

Meet Paige: Our new Facebook Messenger bot helps you keep track of the 85th Legislature. Subscribe by messaging HELLO to Learn more.

Author:  MARIANA ALFARO – The Texas Tribune

Video: Rep. O’Rourke “We do not Need a Wall on our Southern Border”

Congressman Beto O’Rourke took to the floor of the House Tuesday night to challenge the notion that the nation needs a wall and that the border is dangerous.

Citing immigration numbers showing more Mexican Nationals returning to Mexico rather than coming to the, US and lauding the efforts of Border Patrol agents, O’Rourke passionately defended the border and El Paso.

Video is courtesy Congressman O’Rourke’s Facebook Page


Rep Hurd: Wall ‘Least Effective, Most Expensive’ Way to Secure Border

San Antonio, TX – Texas Republican Congressman Will Hurd released the following statement regarding President Trump’s border security Executive Order:

The facts have not changed. Building a wall is the most expensive and least effective way to secure the border. Each section of the border faces unique geographical, cultural, and technological challenges that would be best addressed with a flexible, sector-by-sector approach that empowers the agents on the ground with the resources they need.

A wall may be an effective tool in densely populated areas, but a variety of tools are needed between Brownsville, Texas and San Diego, California.  The 23rd District of Texas, which I represent has over 800 miles of the border, more than any other Member of Congress, and it is impossible to build a physical wall in much of its terrain.

Big Bend National Park and many areas in my district are perfect examples of where a wall is unnecessary and would negatively impact the environment, private property rights and economy.

There is no question that we must secure our border, but we need an intelligence-led approach in order to effectively combat the 19 criminal organizations currently operating in Mexico.


Border Patrol have busy weekend in Southern NM

NEW MEXICO – U.S. Border Patrol Agents assigned to New Mexico Stations in the El Paso Sector seized almost $183,000 in marijuana, recovered a stolen vehicle and arrested a convicted child molester over the weekend period.

Late Friday night, agents assigned to the Border Patrol Checkpoint on Interstate 10 just west of Las Cruces were alerted to a possible stolen vehicle.  The Agent referred the U.S Citizen driver, Eduardo Perez, 24 and his U.S. Citizen passenger, Luis Gordon Dominguez, 21, to secondary inspection.

A records checks revealed that the 2011 Nissan Titan truck that the subjects were in was reported stolen from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.  New Mexico State Police took custody of both individuals in addition to the truck.

Then on Sunday morning, Lordsburg Agents using night vision technology near the Arizona border located and detained three subjects carrying large backpacks.  The backpacks contained 145 pounds of marijuana valued at $116, 240.

Click for Larger Image
The three were identified as: 24-year-old Tomas Silva-Flaco of Mexico, 18-year-old Vidal Gonzalez-Armendaris of Mexico, and 22-year-old Oracio Ramos-Palmas of Mexico.  Each of the men freely admitted to their Mexican nationality.

The marijuana and the subjects were taken to the Lordsburg Border Patrol Station pending prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Later that same day, Santa Teresa Agents apprehended eight subjects who entered illegally into the United States in the desert area near Sunland Park, New Mexico.

One of the subjects was positively identified using the IAFIS/IDENT fingerprint system as 44-year-old Sergio Reyes-Alvares of Mexico. Reyes-Alvares had an extensive criminal history which included a conviction for a “Lewd and Lascivious Act with–a- Child in March 2012. he also had a prior deportation from the United States.

USBP official say Reyes-Alvares was booked into the Otero County Detention Center pending criminal charges for his illegal re-entry into the U.S.


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