Terrorism At The Southern Border
Trump’s comments:“We have terrorists from the Middle East coming into our country through the southern border. That was before what you see right here , because it was easier to come into our country through the southern border than it was through airports or any other means.”
Fact check: Even though Trump and his top officials have made this claim on numerous occasions, they have yet to provide any proof or evidence of terrorists entering the country through the U.S.-Mexico border.
In its most recent terrorism report, the U.S. State Department found that while the “southern border remains vulnerable to potential terrorist transit,” there was “no credible evidence indicating international terrorist groups established bases in Mexico, worked directly with Mexican drug cartels, or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.”
Have any news tips or story ideas about the U.S.-Mexico border? Reach the reporter at , or follow him on Twitter at @RafaelCarranza.
Trump Cant Stop People From Coming Into The Us Without Papers
What Trump is freaking out about is a substantial increase in the number of people being apprehended by US Border Patrol officialsat the US-Mexico border. Most of these people are from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador unprecedented numbers of them are families traveling together.
The border isnt open to them it is illegal to cross into the US without papers between ports of entry, which is why they are arrested. But theyre not trying to evade capture. They often seek out Border Patrol agents to turn themselves in.
These people cant be physically prevented from entering the US. Many of them are coming by bus to remote parts of the border. Others are crossing through fences, despite the addition of concertina wire along much of the border last fall by deployed US military. Even where there is a physical wall, that wall isnt literally on the US-Mexico line its a little bit inland. So theres US soil on both sides of the wall, and migrants walk along the wall on the far side of the wall, but still within the US until they find someone to turn themselves into.
The Trump administration is pushing Congress to change the treatment of children and families under US law. But administration officials cant stop people from claiming asylum once on US soil they tried to do that last fall, by banning illegal entrants from making asylum claims, and were struck down in court.
Donald Trump Threatens To Close Us Border With Mexico
President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to close the border with Mexico to prevent thousands of Central American migrants from reaching the United States, relaunching one of his favorite campaign themes three weeks before the crucial midterm elections.
I must, in the strongest terms, ask Mexico to stop this assault and if it is not able to do so I will call in the US military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN FRONTIER! .., a- he wrote on Twitter.
Mr. Trump also renewed his threats to cut financial aid to the Central American countries concerned.
The tenant of the White House thus straddles one of his main battle horses, which had contributed to his presidential victory in 2016, three weeks of legislative elections during which the Republicans could lose their current majority in the Senate or the House of Representatives.
On the way to the United States
About 2,000 migrants left San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Saturday in response to a call on social media.
The crowd subsequently crossed the border with Guatemala at Esquipulas, then split into two groups heading for the capital.
Another thousand Hondurans for their part crossed the border with El Salvador on Wednesday with the intention of crossing the country to join the march in Guatemala.
According to Mr. Trump, this march is directed by the Democratic Party, according to him in favor of the opening of the borders and which are at the origin of laws supposed to be lax.
Read Also: How To Get Money From Donald Trump
Trump On Closing Border: Security Is More Important Than Trade
The disagreement between the top two Republicans in Washington illustrates again the ongoing tension between the president and his own party in Congress as lawmakers try to bat down Trump proposals they believe are ill-advised politically, on policy grounds or both.
McConnell also said Tuesday that he and Trump now see eye to eye on waiting until after the 2020 election to work on health care legislation following Trump’s promise to move earlier. McConnell had balked at that idea. And last week, Trump quickly retreated on two of his own budget proposals cuts for the Special Olympics and Great Lakes restoration after hearing criticism from GOP members of Congress.
But it remains to be seen whether he will back off on the border, a signature issue for him that he views as critically important both as a policy matter and in terms of fulfilling a key promise from his 2016 campaign. Increasingly, Trump has shown a willingness to go it alone when Congress rejects his immigration and border-control plans.
On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen directed Customs and Border Protection to send up to 750 additional officers to the border to assist with a policy designed to keep asylum-seekers in Mexico while they await adjudication of their cases. NBC News first reported on that decision last week. The number could be increased to 2,000, according to the department.
Trump Administration Orders ’emergency Surge’ Of Border Agents
Trump said Tuesday that he now wants Democrats in Congress to accede to his long-held goals of rewriting the visa lottery system and rules that give favor to family members of people who already have immigrated to the United States.
“Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal,” he said.
Though experts have sounded a similar note to McConnell, warning that shutting the border could hurt the U.S. economy goods worth more than $1.5 billion cross the border on a daily basis Trump said that’s a secondary concern for him.
“Security is more important to me than trade,” he said.
Trump also addressed his recent decision to cut off aid to three Central American countries Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras from which many of the migrants have traveled to the U.S. border.
Critics say that decision will likely create more, not fewer, refugees from those countries.
Trump framed it as a natural response to what he views as the failure of the recipients of U.S. aid to give reciprocal value.
“They don’t do anything for us,” he said, and have been “taking advantage of the United States” for many years. They arrange these caravans, and they dont put their best people in those caravans … Were not going to have it anymore.
Recommended Reading: What Is Trump New Immigration Law
What Is The Situation At The Border
Thousands of desperate migrants from Central American states arrived at the Mexican side of the border in recent weeks in the hope of claiming asylum in the US.
Faced with a long wait to be processed, some have tried to cross the border illegally and migrants could be seen jumping frontier fences again this week.
Two child migrants from Guatemala died in the custody of US Customs and Border Patrol agents this month, and critics say care for migrant families and detention conditions are inadequate and unacceptable.
US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is to see detention conditions at first hand on a visit to the border on Friday.
Ms Nielsen has called the latest death, that of eight-year-old Felipe Alonzo-Gomez on Christmas Eve, a “deeply concerning and heartbreaking” tragedy.
The Wall Helped Stop Covid
Trump’s comments: “In Tijuana and various parts of Mexico, the COVID … the invisible enemy has been very tough on Mexico. And we have areas along the border where we’re in great shape because of right there, because of that . We’re in great shape but on the other side, in Mexico, they’re suffering greatly with the virus.”
Fact check: Mexico has indeed been one of the hardest hit countries by the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government in Mexico City reported 1.5 million confirmed cases and more than 134,000 deaths as of Tuesday evening. But access to testing and treatment is limited so the number of cases is widely believed to be much higher.
Additionally, several border cities on both sides of the border continue to be epicenters of the disease, regardless of the physical barriers between them. For example, the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez binational urban area was ravaged by COVID-19 in the fall.
In Arizona, the border cities of Nogales and Yuma continue having the worst infection rates within the state, while their sister cities in Sonora, Nogales and San Luis Rio Colorado respectively, remain epicenters as well.
The border wall has almost no impact on stopping COVID-19 because thousands of people cross the border each day legally at one of the 48 border crossings between the two countries.
Read Also: How Do You Send President Trump An Email
Will Closing The Border Stem The Flow Of Migrants Illegally Crossing Into The Us
The Department of Homeland Security official said collaboration with Mexico and shifting resources might start to stem the flow.
However, part of the crisis at hand appears to be the number of individuals and families seeking asylum in the US. Often times, asylum seekers will cross illegally into the US awaiting to be found and processed by a border agent. More personnel between ports of entry may allow more visibility to catch these migrants once theyve crossed, but its unclear whether their presence will make them more likely to avoid crossing in the first place.
Its also unclear whether the closure be limited to individuals crossing into and out of the US. If it includes cross-national trains and trucks importing and exporting goods with Latin America, a closure could pose a major threat to international commerce.
Robert Perez, deputy commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, told CNNs Right Now with Brianna Keilar on Friday that the closure of ports of entry would have pretty severe consequences.
Its Customs and Border Protection at every port of entry. Nearly 400 million travelers a year, $2.3 billion worth of trade, nearly 30 million trucks, rail cars and cargo containers every year, Perez said. And so, there a severe impact and this is important to understand because what is so important to understand is that the crisis is so severe right now, we are literally trying to save lives.
What Does Closing The Border Mean
So far, the plan Department of Homeland Security says it will commit to is pulling some officers from legal ports of entry to help with the influx of migrants crossing illegally. This plan will not fully close ports on the southern border as of now.
In a Friday statement announcing the move, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said there is a cascading crisis at the border and the system is in free fall.
The Department of Homeland Security is moving officers from its ports to help with the mission between ports, which will result in slow downs, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told reporters.
But the official said full closure of ports of entry is on the table.
Its short at the moment of full closure of any port, we will continue to operationally assess what is needed. But I think what the President is making clear, is with these numbers, if we have to close ports to take care of all of the numbers who are coming, we will do that, so its on the table, the official said. But what we are doing is a very structured process based on operational needs to determine how many additional personnel we can pull from other duties to address the crisis between the ports.
The official said the Department of Homeland Security is looking at it from an operational perspective and that the Department of Homeland Security secretary will make a recommendation accordingly to the President.
Also Check: How Can I Vote For Donald Trump
Donald Trump Threatens To Close The Border With Mexico
In another stunt of which he has no secrets, President Donald Trump threatened on Friday to completely close the border between the United States and Mexico if Democrats maintain their refusal to fund his anti-immigrant wall.
The US president made this new threat on the seventh day of the budget stalemate that is crippling about 25% of the US public service. Democrats, now in the majority in the House of Representatives, are refusing to approve the budget that provides funding for the $ 5 billion wall the president wants to erect along the border with Mexico.
More than 800,000 federal employees are on forced leave because of this budgetary standoff which has undesirable effects even in national parks: waste accumulates in the trails and toilets are overflowing in the absence of maintenance staff .
Donald Trump is betting to emerge a winner from this impasse by raising the tone. He launched a series of tweets Friday morning on Twitter. We will be forced to close the southern border entirely if the obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the wall and to change the ridiculous immigration laws, the president wrote.
He also threatened to cut aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, which do nothing to prevent immigrants from reaching the United States but who have taken our money for years.
With Agence France-Presse and CNN
Disrupting Wildlife Refuges And Parks
Proposals under consideration would locate the wall through seven Texas wildlife conservation areas, including the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Big Bend National Park, prized among national parks as a place so remote it is considered to be one of the best place in the Lower 48 to view the night sky.
In Mission, Texas, the National Butterfly Center, where more than 200 butterfly species live near the banks of the Rio Grande, has been notified that the wall will divide the 100-acre sanctuary, placing almost 70 percent of it on the Mexican side. Plans also call for bisecting a wildlife refuge and state park, placing most of the land on the Mexican side.
After ferocious objections, Homeland Security shelved plans to build the wall through the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo, Texas, where more than 400 species of birds, banded armadillos, and endangered wildcats live.
Recommended Reading: When Did Trump Go To China
Read More About Us Immigration
- A Billion-Dollar Business: Migrant smuggling on the U.S. southern border has evolved over the past 10 years into a remunerative operation controlled by organized crime.
- Migrant Apprehensions: Border officials already had apprehended more migrants by June than they had in the entire previous fiscal year, and are on track to exceed two million by the end of September.
- An Immigration Showdown: In a political move, the governors of Texas and Arizona are offering migrants free bus rides to Washington, D.C. People on the East Coast are starting to feel the effects.
There are ways you can do that, which would ameliorate the breakdown in supply chains, he said.
But business leaders say there is no way to contain the damage from even a partial shutdown of the 2,000-mile border that the United States shares with Mexico. Nearly $1.7 billion of goods and services flow across the border daily, as well as nearly a half-million legal workers, students, shoppers and tourists, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Monday.
On Tuesday, officials with the chamber called a partial border shutdown uncharted territory and said such a policy would have negative economic consequences, particularly for communities along the border.
We dont know whether that is feasible or not, said Neil Bradley, the chambers executive vice president and chief policy officer.
The crisis at our border is worsening, Ms. Nielsen said, and D.H.S. will do everything in its power to end it.
Trump Rips Into Pencil
Shortly after the tweeted threat, a senior administration official said that officers would be redeployed by DHS from ports of entry to other areas to intercept illegal border crossers. The official said that DHS has no active plans to close the border in its entirety.
Its short, at the moment, of the full closure of any port, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters, adding that Homeland Security will continue to operationally assess the situation at the border.
But I think what the president is making clear is with these numbers if we have to close ports to take care of all of the numbers who are coming, we will do that, Nielsen continued. Its on the table.
Trump has repeatedly railed against Mexico for not stopping Central American migrants from coming to the United States southern border and has threatened multiple times to close the border due to caravans over the past year with migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
The president had yet to put a timeline on his proposed threat until now, but its still unclear what a border closure would entail or if its even possible.
Don’t Miss: When Is President Trump Going To Speak
Migrants Flood Border Town To Take Advantage Of Us Immigration Exception
President Joe Biden is not the first US president to face a growing number of migrants at the US-Mexico border — and he won’t be the last. Fluctuations in migration flows are common, regardless of which party is in power, as was evident in 2019 during the border crisis under then-President Donald Trump.