A look at the harms that border wall construction has inflicted in south Texas.
A conversation with Eduardo Canales of the South Texas Human Rights Center, about his organization’s fight to stop migrant deaths and to identify remains.
An investigation of the section of privately built border wall in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, paid for by an organization whose management is now under indictment for fraud.
Some Mexican families are among the hundreds of mostly Central Americans awaiting their turn to seek asylum on the U.S. side of the border in Matamoros, Mexico.
Caption: “CBP officers seize $259K in cocaine in back to back seizures the same day at Brownsville Port Of Entry.”
An audio report and accompanying text, reported from the Rio Grande Valley, El Paso, and Mexico City, about the impact of the Trump administration’s virtual ending of the right to asylum at the border during the pandemic.
A section of private border wall on the banks of the Rio Grande in south Texas, built by a pro-Trump company with donated funds, is threatened by erosion.
- CBP warns of the summer heat for migrants crossing the border after Rio Grande City agents discover human remains in an area known for human and narcotics smuggling. Agents in Brooks County also responded to a 911 call for two lost men, both Mexican nationals, that CBP transported to emergency medical services.
Caption: “Using a small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS), #BorderPatrol agents detected and deterred approximately 30 subjects attempting to illegally cross into the U.S. near Brownsville, TX.”
Caption: “Smugglers continue to treat migrants like commodities. Since March 21, we’ve seen 28 smuggling cases involving tractor-trailers in RGV & Laredo Sectors.”
- The International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) releases a copy of its April 20 letter to Fisher Industries asserting that the company’s 3-mile fencing project near the Rio Grande in Texas violates the 1970 Boundary Treaty and could worsen flooding. IBWC calls on the company to install flood gates, realign the fence, or consider other ways to mitigate flooding before continuing the project.
- In a seven-hour period, Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol agents in Texas interrupted four smuggling attempts and seized over 1,100 pounds of marijuana worth approximately $1 million.
- U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist visits McAllen, Texas, for a first-hand visit to the border. Norquist manages the U.S. Defense budget and emphasized that “border security is national security,” during his speeches to National Guard troops and CBP agents. He also visited several sections of the wall in the Rio Grande Valley.
- CBP names Raul Ortiz to the second-highest post within Border Patrol days after Rodney Scott was named national chief. Neither Ortiz’s nor Scott’s positions require Senate confirmation, and are instead chosen by acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan. Ortiz worked for six years as the second-highest official in the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas, which sees the most migrant apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border and is considered a grooming post for managers who are promoted elsewhere.
- Protesters and migrant advocates in Brownsville, Texas, hold daily vigils for asylum-seeker rights. Across the Rio Grande, in Matamoros, Mexico, locals protest the migrant tent encampment of over 2,500 asylum-seekers who await their U.S. immigration hearings. Residents of Matamoros argue the increase in trash and open sewage caused by the encampments sullies the city’s image, as the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols program has caused the number of migrants in the city to double and then quadruple.
- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that border wall construction may impact 14 square miles of native habitat on 30 separate tracts of its land in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Since it is federally owned, it is the first land in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley sector targeted by the government for wall construction. The Fish and Wildlife Service owns 135 individual tracts of land comprising 105,000 acres that stretch along the last 275 river miles from Falcon Dam to the Gulf of Mexico. The refuge network has been in the making for 40 years, is still growing, and has cost $82 million so far.
- Texas-based U.S. District Judge Randy Crane lifts a restraining order against the construction of a segment of privately built border fencing in south Texas. The ruling follows a dispute involving Fisher Industries, a North Dakota-based construction firm that is one of the principal contractors for the Trump administration’s border wall construction. Fisher wants to install 3 miles of steel posts near the Rio Grande. Tommy Fisher, the company’s president and a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, says a crew will be ready to begin construction on January 12 and could install all of the posts in a week.
- Fox News releases a video of Mexican National Guard personnel assisting the U.S. Border Patrol in the capture of a group of migrants in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan notes that Mexican forces’ assistance is more frequent as of late, but also credits CBP’s enforcement efforts at the border for bringing a recent decline in migrant apprehensions.