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Tag: us-mexico border

USA Today Column: Tough Immigration Rules Backfire, Keeping Migrants Inside US or Locking Them Out

Alex Nowrasteh
USA Today

President Obama’s recent request for billions of dollars to address the surge in unaccompanied children across the U.S.-Mexico border has ignited fierce criticism. Republicans such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas blame Obama’s supposedly lax enforcement policies. Democrats blame the surge on a humanitarian crisis in Central America.

While both narratives bear some truth, both miss how our immigration restrictions and border enforcement have created the current mess.

Migration from Central America and Mexico used to be circular. Migrants would come for a season or a few years to work, move back home, then return to the USA when there was more work. This reigned from the 1920s to 1986, when Congress passed the more restrictive Immigration Reform and Control Act. Before 1986, when circular migration was in effect, 60% of unauthorized immigrants on their first trip here would eventually settle back in their home countries rather than in the United States, and 80% of undocumented immigrants who came back on a second trip eventually returned home.

Since 1986, the rate of return for first-time border crossers has fallen to almost zero. The return rate of second-time crossers has fallen to a mere 30%. What happened? In the mid-1980s, the government began spending massive resources to stop unauthorized immigrants from coming in the first place. By trying to keep them out, increases in border security locked them in.

To read more, click here.

Editorial: Extending Arrest Power to Guard Troops Is Unnecessary

By Editorial Board
Beaumont Enterprise  

If there’s anything worse than Gov. Rick Perry sending 1,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border to boost his presidential hopes, it’s Sen. Ted Cruz calling for them to have federal arrest powers – to boost his presidential hopes.

That’s a bad idea, and someone like Cruz who says he’s a strict constitutionalist should know that. Members of the National Guard and regular military have long been restricted by U.S. laws and customs from these kinds of police duties. Their job is to fight wars. If they are deployed domestically, invariably it’s in response to a natural disaster.

Guard troops have no training in arresting or detaining illegal immigrants. While that’s not an extremely complicated practice, it’s also not something you just start doing on a whim. There’s no reason this task can’t be handled by law enforcement or Border Patrol agents, who already know what they’re doing.
Texans should not be misled by these political stunts. Perry called out the National Guard to impress the people of Iowa and New Hampshire as much as those in Texas. Now Cruz realizes that he has to ratchet up the noise to keep pace with his rival in Texas.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

Columnist: Texas Wasting Time Sending National Guard Troops to Mexico Border

By EJ Montini
Arizona Republic

In a wildly popular political move Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced that he will deploy about 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Mexico border, a decision that will cost the state about $12 million a month. Perry also has said that he would commit $1.3 million each week to the state’s Department of Public Safety to assist in border security.

It’s a bold, expensive step, but the border hawks will love it.

There’s only one problem.

It makes no sense.

The Perry plan might have a grain of practicality if the people crossing the border actually wanted to evade capture.

But it’s just the opposite.

Any number of news reports have pointed out that the overwhelming majority of kids involved in the massive wave of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America crossing into the United States are not trying to elude the border patrol.

Instead, they want to be caught.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

 

US Sees Fewer Undocumented Central American Children Crossing Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The number of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border in South Texas has declined over the past 10 days, authorities said.

That’s good news for an agency that has become overwhelmed by a surge of children entering the country without their parents, Fox New reports.

Since October, federal authorities have arrested more than 57,000 undocumented children.

Border Patrol also converted a 55,000-square-foot warehouse to temporarily house up to 1,000 children.

“We arrested 80 juveniles yesterday, so within the last 10 days we’ve seen a decrease in the number of juveniles arrested,” Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector Chief Kevin Oaks

The Los Angeles Times toured the facility in McAllen, Texas, where squalid, cramped conditions were reported earlier in the month because of the immigration surge from Central America.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Border Patrol Halts Flights to San Diego, Saying Backlog of Central American Immigrants Decreasing

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol’s plan to alleviate the surge of Central American immigrants along the border of Mexico no longer involves flying children and families to San Diego, the USA Today reports.

The federal agency halted the experiment following a protest that blocked busloads of immigrants from reaching a processing facility in San Diego.

Border Patrol said the protest had nothing to do with the halt of plans and indicated the backlog of immigrants being held in Texas is decreasing.

The U.S. lacks sufficient family detention centers for immigrants, according to the USA Today.

It’s unclear how many flights to San Diego occurred before the transportation was stopped.

Residents of Small Arizona Town Stand Up Against Border Patrol Presence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

People living in a small Arizona town about 20 miles north of the Mexico border are growing increasingly angry about the presence of the Border Patrol.

The Associated Press reports that resident of Arivaca are protesting a checkpoint where they say residents’ rights are being violated.

Residents also are monitoring interactions between agents and drivers.

“We’re just standing here for our rights as citizens,” said Carlota Wray, a decades-long Arivaca resident and U.S. citizen who said she’s been harassed by agents several times.

“It has a bad impact on our little town. And it’s a good town.”

The agency defended the checkpoints as important safeguards.

“These checkpoints are critical to our patrol efforts for they deny major routes of egress from the border region to smugglers intent on delivering people, drugs, and other contraband into the interior of the United States. The Border Patrol carefully selects checkpoint locations to maximize border enforcement and continuously evaluates our operations to ensure they are effective and do not pose undo impact to law abiding citizens,” spokesman Andy Adame said.

Arizona Republic Editorial: Border Patrol Has Reckless Accountability That Should Worry Everyone

By The Arizona Republic
Editorial 

The Border Patrol’s opaque approach to law enforcement and its reckless lack of accountability does not just affect undocumented border crossers.

It’s your problem, too.

The latest example of how bad things are comes from the American Immigration Council, which examined 809 complaints of abuse filed against the Border Patrol. It found 13 that resulted in any action by Border Patrol’s parent agency, Customs and Border Protection.

Thirteen. Out of 809. Forty percent were still pending investigation.

Some people think this doesn’t matter because of who is involved. People who cross the border without documents are lawbreakers who deserve no sympathy, according to this argument.

There are at least four big holes in that excuse.

To read more click here.

Border Patrol Chief Says Agents Can Still Shoot Rock Throwers, As Long As They Pose Threat

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol has been under fire recently for using lethal force on people who throw rocks at agents near the U.S.-Mexico border, Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher said in a new directive Friday, according to the Washington Post.

“Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles unless the agent has a reasonable belief, based on the totality of the circumstances, to include the size and nature of the projectiles, that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious injury,” Chief Fisher said in the directive.

The decision by Fisher roiled critics who say Border Patrol agents often are too quick to shoot.

“Border Patrol Chief Fisher’s new guidance on use of force leaves much to be desired. It is largely a restatement of existing policy, which is a shame because clearly existing policy isn’t working,” said Chris Rickerd, policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Rickerd is calling for an investigation into the past five years of deadly force by the Border Patrol.