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Tag: Mexico

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

Border Patrol Agents Find Marijuana, Manure Stuffed into Coffin inside Hearse

Marijuana was found inside this coffin. Photo via Border Patrol.

Marijuana was found inside this coffin. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents stopped a hearse and found marijuana and manure inside a closed casket over the weekend.

Instead of finding a body inside the casket, Willcox Border Patrol agents in Arizona discovered 67 pounds pounds of marijuana and manure that had been used to mask the smell.

A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.

Agents became suspicious when the driver of the hearse gave inconsistent stories. Despite the manure, a canine sniffed out the drugs.

Border Patrol agents estimated the marijuana had a street value of more than $33,000.

Border Patrol Gets Its First Woman Leader in 93-Year History

Acting Director of the Border Patrol Carla Provost.

Acting Director of the Border Patrol Carla Provost.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s first woman to serve as acting chief was named Tuesday to lead the agency as the Trump administration tries to build a wall on the border of Mexico and hire an additional 5,000 agents.

Carla Provost, who was the deputy chief since October, replaces Ronald Vitiello, who became acting deputy commission of Customs and Border Protection, the Associated Press reports. 

Provost is the fourth person to lead the agency since late 2015. She is the first woman to lead the agency in its 93-year history.

Customs and Border Protection said it’s not yet clear how long Provost and Vitiello will serve in the acting roles.

One of FBI’s Top Most Wanted Expected to Arrive in Chicago on Numerous Charges

Fidel Urbina, via FBI

Fidel Urbina, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and local police had been looking for Fidel Urbina since 1998, when he is accused of bludgeoning a 22-year-old woman while he was on bond on charges of kidnapping, beating and sexually assaulting a different woman in Chicago.

Urbina was placed on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list in June 2012, prompting Mexican authorities to arrest him in September in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, The Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

Urbina is expected to arrive in Chicago on Tuesday after the extradition process is complete.

He is charged with sexually assaulting both women and murdering Gabriella Torres.

“Many family members have waited a long time for this day to come and they deserve the opportunity to face the accused in a court of law,” Michael J. Anderson, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Chicago Field Office, said following the arrest.

Homeland Security Secretary Concedes Full Border Wall Is ‘Unlikely’

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

Border fence along Mexico and the U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s homeland security secretary conceded Wednesday that it was doubtful that a full border wall with Mexico will be built.

The statement from John F. Kelly is in stark contrast to Trump’s oft-repeated pledge to build a wall along the entire border with Mexico, the New York Times reports. 

“It is unlikely that we will build a wall from sea to shining sea,” Mr. Kelly told senators on the Homeland Security Committee.

Instead of a “beautiful wall” that Trump has promised, the federal government likely will build fencing and concrete walls in places that make the most sense.

Congress has yet to act on Trump’s request for funding for the wall.

Trump’s budget calls for $1.4 billion to begin building the wall.

Border Patrol Prisoner Commits Suicide After Being Detained

jail2photo

Archive photo of a man in jail.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Mexican man who was arrested on an immigration charge hanged himself in the El Paso County Jail.

Norberto Santa Cruz, 42, of Juárez, was arrested on a warrant for an illegal reentry charge, a sheriff’s spokeswoman told the El Paso Times. 

Santa Cruz died Saturday, a week after he was on life support following the attempted suicide.

The motive is unclear because no note was found.

Santa Cruz was arrested on March 3 after climbing onto a train and illegally crossing the order.

Other Stories of Interest

Weekend Series on Crime History: Underwater Tunnel Used to Smuggle Drugs Into U.S.

Fed Judge in Detroit Compared Illegal Immigrants to Insects

 

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland

By Allan Lengel
For Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — The language from the federal bench in Detroit was stark and unsettling.

U.S. District Judge Robert H. Cleland compared illegal immigrants to an insect and menacing Japanese beetles in 2013 while sentencing a 21-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico. A couple years later, a fellow judge called that analogy disturbing.

“One little attractive iridescent emerald beetle from Japan is not really any threat at all,” Judge Cleland said. “But when it multiplies and hundreds of millions of its offspring or relatives emerge and devastate the ash tree population in the continental United States and elsewhere, it’s a serious problem.

“So the one very attractive little insect is nothing more than interesting, but it’s an example of a very large problem.  And I think that’s what I have here.”

The colorful remarks, contained in a transcript recently obtained by Deadline Detroit, seem germane at a time when immigration is a hot-button issue and more criminal cases are likely to end up before federal judges like Cleland, who continues to serve on the bench.

“It’s very offensive and racist,” comments Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Washington, who was contacted by Deadline. “I feel anyone coming before him would not get a fair hearing because of that racist mentality.”

Judge Cleland, appointed in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, declined comment.

To read the full story click here.