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Tag: immigration

No New Border Wall for President Trump Under New Federal Spending Bill

Fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s repeated pledge to build a new border wall has fallen through the cracks under a federal spending bill wending its way through Congress.

But the budget, which is expected to be voted on by Friday, includes a modest $1 billion increase in discretionary spending for Homeland Security.

Nevertheless, Trump’s administration said it’s using $146 million to replace vehicle barriers with “pedestrian fencing,” another $146 million to replace current pedestrian fencing and $49 million to install 35 border gates.

The spending plan expires on Sept. 30.

Trump blamed Democrats for threatening a government shutdown if a new wall was included in the budget.

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security May Soon Tap Leader of Anti-Immigration Group As Ombudsman

immigrationBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Julie Kirchner spent a decade advocating for extreme restrictions on immigrations.

So it comes as a surprise to many that Homeland Security is  expected to name her as ombudsman to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a job that requires her to help immigrants and report abuse among government officials, Pacific Standard reports

From 2005 to 2015, Kirchner served as director of the anti-immigration group Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Pacific Standard wrote:

The ombudsman’s office at USCIS provides assistance to immigrants who run into trouble with the agency, such as immigration applications that take too long to process or applications that may have been improperly rejected. The ombudsman also prepares an annual report for Congress in which they can issue audits and policy recommendations without consulting with USCIS in advance.

As the nation’s immigration agency, USCIS handles a wide range of legal immigration matters, including applications for citizenship and green cards. The agency can also grant legal status to those in extreme circumstances, such as refugees and asylum seekers. In addition, the agency is in charge of adjudicating applications from undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, sometimes referred to as “dreamers” or DACA recipients.

About Half of Immigrants Detained by ICE Had Traffic Convictions or No Record

ICE agents, via ICE.

ICE agents, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Shortly after President Trump took office, about half of the 675 immigrants detained across the U.S. either had no criminal convictions or had traffic violations, according to data obtained by the Washington Post. 

The records provided by congressional aides showed that 80 had been convicted of assault, two had been convicted of homicide and 57 had convictions for “dangerous drugs.”

A much larger portion – 177 – had no criminal convictions, though charges were pending for 66 of those detained. An additional 163 were convicted of traffic offenses, predominately drunken driving.

Immigration authorities dubbed the nationwide immigration roundup as Operation Cross Check.

The Post wrote:

The two-month total represents a 32 percent increase in deportation arrests over the same period last year. Most are criminals, administration officials have said. But 5,441 were not criminals, double the number of undocumented immigrants arrested for deportation a year earlier. The administration has released a detailed breakdown of the criminal records only of the raids in early February.

Trump has said that public safety threats are his top priority. Shortly after he was elected, he vowed to first deport serious criminals from the United States.

National Review: Trump’s Immigration Enforcement Is More Important Than a Wall

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Editorial Board
National Review

A head of a potential government-shutdown battle, President Trump is reportedly willing to forgo a congressional down payment on a “big, beautiful wall” on America’s southern border. Despite his insistence on the wall’s importance to his immigration-enforcement agenda, the president is apparently open to postponing negotiations on funding until September, when Congress will take up the 2018 budget.

The maximalist version of Donald Trump’s proposed border wall was always a quixotic enterprise. From Brownsville, Texas, to San Diego, Calif., the U.S.–Mexico border stretches nearly 2,000 miles, often across rugged, harsh terrain — including Texas’s Big Bend National Park and Arizona’s Sonoran Desert. Building a single, monolithic wall is not feasible for much of this territory, as Trump himself acknowledges at times. The proposed route of a wall also cuts through privately owned land, raising serious legal questions. Nevertheless, more barriers in select places are welcome. We have repeatedly suggested as much and, the fulsome rhetoric of the president notwithstanding, this is the goal of the Department of Homeland Security.

But, as we have also suggested, physical barriers along the southern border ought to be just one element of a larger immigration-enforcement agenda. So far, President Trump has used his executive power fairly effectively toward this end, signing off on a series of orders that roll back some of President Obama’s worst overreaches, and directing executive-branch agencies to aggressively enforce laws rendered toothless by his predecessor. He has encouraged Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol to hire. Last week, he signaled an interest in ending the well-documented abuse in the H-1B visa program, which employers have used to undercut American workers in high-skilled jobs.

These and other policies, and their (usually) clear promulgation, are already having an effect on the flow of illegal immigration into the U.S. DHS reports that border apprehensions of parents and children decreased 93 percent — from 16,000 to just over 1,100 — from December 2016 to March 2017. DHS secretary John Kelly suggests that news of the new administration’s tougher line on illegal immigration is discouraging many would-be illegal immigrants from taking the risk of crossing the border.

To read more click here. 

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security to Open Center for Victims of Crimes by Undocumented Immigrants

homeland2department-of-homeland-security-logo-300x300By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Americans who were victimized by crime perpetuated by undocumented immigrants will have a new resource under the Homeland Security Department.

The Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) is expected to open today. The idea is to inform victims of the immigration proceedings of suspects, the Associated Press reports.

The office is part of an executive order by President Trump, who pledged to open the office during a speech to Congress in February.

Critics question the motive behind the office because studies have indicated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-born U.S. citizens.

Border Patrol Pursuit Leaves 7 Injured After SUV Carrying Illegal Immigrants Crashed

border-patrol-san-diego-sectorBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Seven Mexican nationals were injured when an SUV being pursued by Border Patrol agents crashed in Chula Vista, Calif. on Sunday.

The pursuit began early Sunday afternoon, when an agent spotted a 2000 Ford Expedition SUV and suspected it was carrying illegal immigrants, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports

About three minutes into the pursuit, the SUV veered off the freeway and rolled down an embankment.

All seven occupants were injured, and two people sustained major injuries.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether anyone was arrested.

Other Stories of Interest

President Trump Is Wrong about Border Wall Fixing Drug Problem, Experts Say

Border Port of Entry.

Border Port of Entry.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s claim that a wall will stop illegal drugs from coming across the Southwest border ignores a key fact about the international trade.

Most drugs that cross the border are primarily transported into the U.S. through existing border checkpoints using cars and trucks, the Washington Post reports, citing experts on the drug trade. 

Nevertheless, Trump continues to tout the wall as a solution to stemming the flow of drugs into the U.S.

“The Wall is a very important tool in stopping drugs from pouring into our country and poisoning our youth (and many others)!” the president tweeted this week. “If the wall is not built, which it will be, the drug situation will NEVER be fixed the way it should be!”

Mexican drug cartels “transport the bulk of their drugs over the Southwest border through ports of entry (POEs) using passenger vehicles or tractor trailers,” the DEA writes in its 2015 National Drug Threat Assessment. “The drugs are typically secreted in hidden compartments when transported in passenger vehicles or comingled with legitimate goods when transported in tractor trailers.”

Drug policy experts say it’s a false narrative to suggest drug smugglers primarily run drugs across remote stretches of the border.

“Smuggling drugs in cars is far easier than carrying them on the backs of people through a really harsh desert terrain,” said Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. “The higher the fence will be, the more will go through ports of entry.”

Trump’s Crackdown on Immigration Is Straining Already Backlogged Immigration Cases

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New federal immigration rules under President Trump are placing a heavy burden on Border Patrol agents, judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys who already had been swamped.

The USA Today reports that Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration, which gives agents more leverage to deport undocumented immigrants, has been strain on “an immigration court system already juggling more than a half-million cases and ill-equipped to take on thousands more.”

“We’re at critical mass,” said Linda Brandmiller, a San Antonio immigration attorney who works with juveniles. “There isn’t an empty courtroom. We don’t have enough judges. You can say you’re going to prosecute more people, but from a practical perspective, how do you make that happen?”

The number of backlogged immigration cases have increased from 236,415 in 2010 to 508,036 this year, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, a data research group at Syracuse University. 

The Border Patrol also is understaffed and having trouble hiring enough agents.

Other Stories of Interest