A chronology of events related to U.S. border governance and migration

September 27, 2020

  • O’odham people from both sides of the border met Sunday morning to exchange blessings through an opening in the international boundary that won’t be open much longer. As federal officers watched from their vehicles about a quarter of a mile away, the two groups talked and prayed on the spot where the new border barrier is set to be built near the desert oasis of Quitobaquito Springs.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, Fencing, Indigenous Communities, U.S. Policy

September 25, 2020

  • A federal appeals court handed a win to the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, saying the Democratic-led chamber could proceed with a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s diversion of funds to pay for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, Fencing, U.S. Policy

September 25, 2020

  • A federal judge has given the Trump administration until Sept. 28 to stop the practice of holding immigrant children in hotels for prolonged periods under a secretive policy that rapidly expels undocumented immigrants who arrive at the border amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tags: Human Rights, Migration, U.S. Policy

September 23, 2020

  • Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema confronted the acting head of Homeland Security over border wall construction she said has ignored the needs of local communities and bypassed environmental assessment reports. “Construction began before mitigation plans were complete. I will note that my office received reports of dynamite blasting in Guadalupe Canyon yesterday related to wall construction,” said Sinema, a Democrat. “That will have a permanent impact on our land.”

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, Fencing, U.S. Policy

September 23, 2020

  • Asylum-seekers stranded in Mexico and faith leaders from southern Arizona held a binational rally to protest the U.S. government’s policies blocking all asylum processing at the U.S.-Mexico border because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tags: Human Rights, Migration, U.S. Policy

September 18, 2020

  • A Border Patrol agent has been charged with a federal misdemeanor over allegations she physically forced someone to delete recorded video of law enforcement activities. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas filed a complaint against Adriana Gandarilla, charging her with the depriving of civil rights.

Tags: Human Rights, U.S. Policy

September 15, 2020

  • The No. 2 in charge of the U.S. Border Patrol returned to South Texas on Tuesday, where he was No. 2 in charge of the Rio Grande Valley Sector for five years. U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz offered high praise for new border wall barriers, including the controversial private border wall, and said the agency has to stay a step ahead of drug cartels and human traffickers who try to help migrants run from them.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, Fencing, U.S. Policy

September 11, 2020

  • A new whistleblower complaint alleges that in late 2018 and early 2019 former senior officials at the Department of Homeland Security sought to inflate the publicly reported number of known or suspected terrorists crossing the border, in a move to increase support for a border wall.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, U.S. Policy

September 9, 2020

  • Two O’odham activists protesting the building of the border wall were arrested after blocking construction activity near Quitobaquito Springs in the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The springs in southwestern Arizona are sacred to the Tohono O’odham and Hia-Ced O’odham, and are one of very few natural sources of water along the vast, rugged Arizona borderlands. The area also is at the crossroads of construction efforts to replace existing vehicle barriers with 30-foot steel bollards as part of a $891 million replacement project at Organ Pipe.

Tags: Environment, Fencing, Indigenous Communities

September 9, 2020

  • The Trump administration is considering changing a pandemic-related border policy to no longer quickly return unaccompanied immigrant children to four countries that require them to test negative for the coronavirus before entering, according to a draft of the order obtained by BuzzFeed News.

Tags: Migration, Public Health, U.S. Policy

September 8, 2020

  • In its Global Study on Firearms Trafficking, published on Tuesday, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that so-called “ant trafficking,” as the phenomenon of using smaller-scale shipments is known, accounted for 60-70% of all weapons intercepted at the border, with nearly half of these comprising a single firearm.

Tags: U.S. Policy

September 8, 2020

  • The government watchdog office for the United States’ border security agency warned Tuesday of a possible lapse in medical care services for migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, which could pose a risk to the health of border agents and officers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tags: Human Rights, Migration, Public Health, U.S. Policy

September 3, 2020

  • Tony Gonzales, the Republican candidate in Texas’ 23rd Congressional District, enlisted a volunteer to dress as a U.S. Border Patrol agent in campaign ads during his primary race — a move experts called unethical and possibly illegal.

Tags: Border and Migration Politics, U.S. Policy