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Tag: Migrants

FBI Investigating Deaths of Woman, 3 Children Found Near U.S.-Mexico Border

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating after a woman and three children were found dead near the Rio Grande River in South Texas on Sunday.

Border Patrol agents found the bodies of two infants, a toddler and a 20-year-old woman near the U.S. border with Mexico.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra tweeted late Sunday that “deputies are awaiting FBI agents who will be leading.”

The sheriff said the bodies were discovered in Las Paloma Wildlife Management Area south of McAllen, Texas.

The deaths come as border officials are struggling to handle an influx of undocumented immigrants who are crossing the border.

Border Patrol Chief Defends Detention Centers After ‘Concentration Camps’ Comparison

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said Thursday that comparing migrant detention facilities to concentration camps is “offensive.”

“I personally find them offensive,” Provost told the House Homeland Security subcommittee.

The remarks were in response to Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s comments on Instagram on Monday, when she said “the U.S. is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are.”

Some historians agreed with the congresswoman’s comparisons, but some Jewish groups took offense.

Provost said agents are “bringing toys in for children and buying them with their personal money. Agents are bringing in clothes. They’re feeding babies. They’re going above and beyond day in and day out to try to care for these individuals to the best of their ability. And this is not what they were trained or what they signed up for to do.”

Provost said Border Patrol agents are doing the best they can in the midst of a surge in migrants crossing the border.

“I have been forced to divert 40 to 60 percent of border patrol’s manpower away from the border as we process and care for nearly 435,000 families and children that have flooded across our southern border so far this year,” Provost said.

Border officials have been blasted by Homeland Security’s inspector general, who called the conditions at the detention centers “egregious violations.” The internal watchdog found nooses in detainee cells, inadequate medical care, unreported security incidents, moldy and dilapidated bathrooms, rotting food and overly restrictive segregation.

Advocates Discover Premature Baby in a Crowded Border Patrol Facility

A detention center, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys visiting a crowded Border Patrol facility in Texas made a startling discovery – a teenage girl in a wheelchair holding a tiny, prematurely born baby.

The lawyers said the baby, wrapped in a dirty towel and looking listless, was barely a month old, The Associated Press reports. The mother was in severe pain because of complications from an emergency cesarean section in Mexico.

“You look at this baby and there is no question that this baby should be in a tube with a heart monitor,” said Hope Frye, a volunteer with an immigrant advocacy group.

Since being in Border Patrol custody, the baby received no medical attention, the lawyers said.

The case sheds more light on the inhumane conditions that have been reported under the Trump administration by advocates and the Inspector General.

Since late last year, five children have died after being detained by the Border Patrol.

ICE to Ramp Up Deportations of Families Living in U.S.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ICE is planning to increase deportations of families who are in the U.S. illegally, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said Tuesday.

While Morgan said the priority would be on people with criminal histories, he emphasized that no one is exempt from enforcement.

“This will include families,” he told reporters at ICE headquarters in Washington D.C., according to USA Today.

Families also make up a majority of the people apprehended at the border.

Morgan’s announcement, which comes during a sharp increase in migrants crossing the border, shows he’s aligned with Trump’s tough stance on immigration.

Number of Migrants Held by ICE Reaches 52,000+ As Trump’s Crackdown Continues

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

More than 52,000 migrants detained by ICE are currently being held in facilities across the country as part of President Trump’s ongoing crackdown on undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed reports.

The surge of migrants at the southern border has prompted ICE to request more space to handle the influx. 

The increase in detentions “have a direct correlation to border crossings,” an ICE official said. 

Under the Obama administration, the population in ICE custody was around 35,000. 

Activists said the latest detention figures are alarming. 

“What the administration is doing is operating entirely outside of the constraints imposed on them by Congress by jailing more and more people every week to now hit a breathtaking record,” said Heidi Altman, director of policy at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “The administration knows very well that this is needless cruelty and there are better alternatives that work and are cheaper and more humane.”

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Assault Called Migrants ‘Subhuman,’ ‘Unworthy of Kindling for a Fire’

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Border Patrol agent accused of striking a Guatemalan man with his government-issued vehicle in December 2017 and then lying about it blasted migrants as “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of kindling for a fire,” new court documents allege.

Prosectors are trying to show that the text messages from Agent Matthew Bowen, 39, show his “great disdain” for migrants, The Arizona Republic reports.

Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol, also texted, “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!”

In another text message to Agent Lonnie Ray Swartz, who was acquitted of manslaughter charges last year after shooting through a border fence in Nogales in 2012, Bowen called rock throwers “mindless murdering savages.”

Bowen was indicted by a grand jury in May 2018, accused of depriving the Guatemalan man of his civil rights and falsifying records.

Bowen’s attorney Sean Chapman is trying to prevent a jury from seeing the texts. If the judge permits the jury to see the texts, Chapman wrote that he’d argue that such language is “commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency’s culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen’s mind-set.”

Border Patrol Finds 3-Year-Old Boy in Field with ID, Phone Number on His Shoes

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found an abandoned, crying 3-year-old migrant alone in a cornfield near the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas on Tuesday morning.

The boy’s phone number and name were written on his shoes when agents found him in the Rio Grand Valley near Brownsville, Texas, officials told NBC News.

Agents aren’t sure why the boy was alone, speculating that he may have been with a large group of migrants who fled approaching Border Patrol agents.

Officials have been unable to reach the boy’s parents so far.

The bot was taken to a nearby border station, where he was given movies to watch.

The discovery comes amid an increasing influx of families with children are crossing the border. Last month, the influx prompted U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan to declare that border security was “at a breaking point.”

FBI: Militia That Stopped Migrants at Border Was Training to kill Obama, Clinton and Soros

Larry Mitchell Hopkins

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The leader of an armed, right-wing militia that was stopping migrants at the southern border was “training” his group to assassinate Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros, an FBI agent said in court papers.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, was arrested in New Mexico, where the United Constitutional Patriots is based, and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The UCP boasted about detaining about 6,500 migrants in New Mexico in the past two months.

FBI Special Agent David S. Gabriel said in an affidavit that the FBI was alerted to Hopkins’ suspicious activities following reports in October 2017 of “alleged militia extremist activity,” the New York Times reports.

A month later, two FBI agents entered Hopkins’ home with his consent and found 10 firearms. Hopkins insisted the guns belonged to his common-law wife, Fay Sanders Murphy.

In the affidavit, the FBI said the UCP “were training to assassinate George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama because of these individuals’ support of Antifa,” a left-wing activist group that has clashed, sometimes violently, with right-wing groups across the country. No more details were provided.

What remains unclear is why the FBI waited so long to arrest Hopkins after finding the guns. The FBI concluded at the time that the possession of weapons was illegal because Hopkins was a felon.

“My question is, why now?” Hopkins’ attorney, Kelly O’Connell, asked about the arrest.

Hopkins, who has a long rap sheet, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

O’Connell acknowledged he’s “not a militia specialist,” but said Hopkins and other members of the armed group “believe they are helping to enforce the laws of America on immigration.”