- U.S. border officials have expelled at least 66 unaccompanied migrant children without a court hearing or asylum interview since a federal judge ordered them to stop the practice, the Trump administration conceded.
- In the Coronado National Memorial — where conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado entered what is now modern-day Arizona — contractors are pulverizing the wilderness in a rush to put up as many miles of border wall as possible before the Trump administration vacates Washington.
- The number of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has nearly doubled in recent weeks, and smugglers are using riskier tactics to get them across, a top U.S. Border Patrol official says. Agents are apprehending an average of 153 young migrants a day at the border since October, up from about 80 a day earlier this year, Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz, Border Patrol’s second in command, said in an interview with USA TODAY.
- For the last three years, the Chula Vista Police Department has allowed other policing agencies — including Immigration and Customs Enforcement — to access the data it has collected from license plate readers as part of a previously unreported partnership with a private company.
- Two whistle-blowers have accused contractors building President Trump’s border wall of smuggling armed Mexican security teams into the United States to guard construction sites, even building an illegal dirt road to speed the operation, according to court documents unsealed by a federal judge on Friday.
- Congress will vote this week on a one-week stopgap measure to fund the federal government in order to give negotiators more time to reach agreement on government appropriations and emergency stimulus legislation for the ailing American economy.
- U.S. communities along the Mexico border are among the safest in America, with some border cities holding crime rates well below the national average, FBI statistics show.
- President Trump’s vision for a wall along the Mexico border will remain unfinished when he leaves office in January. The president-elect, Joe Biden, has pledged to stop construction after he is inaugurated, leaving Trump’s monumental project half-built and broken up by gaps. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials and military planners at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have had urgent meetings in recent days to prepare for Biden’s likely stop-work order, according to officials at both agencies who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the conversations publicly.
- Texas Democrats plan to hold President-elect Joe Biden to his campaign pledge not to build “another foot of wall” to separate the nation’s southern border from Mexico. The state party’s executive committee on Saturday is scheduled to consider a resolution asking the incoming Democratic administration to rescind Republican President Trump’s 2019 emergency order that allowed him to divert billions of federal dollars to the project he had pushed for throughout his presidency.
- Human smugglers are exploiting the enforcement policies that President Donald Trump’s administration set in motion along the U.S.-Mexico border, including large-scale restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 and the ongoing construction of physical barriers. Those U.S. policies — coupled with the precarious living situations for thousands of migrants that the pandemic has exacerbated in Mexico — are creating ripe conditions for smugglers. The result is a dramatic rise in human smuggling activity across southern Arizona over the past year, according to multiple federal and local law enforcement agencies in the state.
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have shut down the South Texas warehouse where chain-link enclosures were deplored as “cages” during the Trump administration’s crackdown on migrant families and children. The facility will undergo renovations until 2022, CBP officials said.
- US Customs and Border Protection held more than five dozen children, some under the age of 1, in facilities along the US-Mexico border for over three days during the last two months, according to a new federal court filing.
- Three Mexican nationals tied to cross-border trucking companies were charged in San Diego federal court following the discovery of a massive cache of drugs, cash and ammunitions stockpiled at an Otay Mesa truck yard, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The cumulative seizure — $3.5 million in cash, 685 kilograms of cocaine, 24 kilograms of fentanyl, about 20,000 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition and hundreds of body armor vests — is believed to be the largest of its kind in the Southern District of California, federal prosecutors said.
- Construction workers are topping the U.S.-Mexico border wall in El Paso with reams of concertina wire, creating a dangerous additional obstacle to illegal crossings. The U.S. Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector put up the razor wire “to dissuade individuals from scaling the border wall and to reduce the risk of injuries sustained from falling off the barrier,” said Roger Maier, a spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Patrol’s parent agency.
- Border Patrol agents are already seeing a Biden surge in illegal immigration at the southwest border, officials said, with the numbers surging 21% over the last month alone. Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said worsening economic conditions south of the border are largely responsible for the uptick, but he also blamed “perceived and or anticipated shifts in policies” here in the U.S.
- U.S. authorities made more than 69,000 arrests and detentions last month along the border with Mexico, a 21 percent increase from September and the highest total for any October since 2005, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures released today. The increase was partly fueled by a soaring number of repeat arrests along the border resulting from the Trump administration’s practice of quickly “expelling” people to Mexico after they enter the country illegally.
- Some of the most vocal critics of border wall construction over the past four years told The Arizona Republic they would like to see Biden go a step further and consider the possibility of tearing down certain sections.
Even if a “wave” of migration happens in early 2021, the new Biden administration can handle it with minimal drama while phasing out the Trump administration’s harsh anti-asylum policies.
Taking stock of the region’s “new normal” of heavy migration flows, and the administrative and policy shifts that the Biden administration—and governments and international organizations regionwide—must undergo.
- The head of a nonprofit that owns a coveted birding preserve in remote western Starr County told Border Report on Friday afternoon that its board has decided not to sell the land to the Trump administration for border wall construction.