Mayorkas tours border to prepare for asylum limits to end
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas says authorities are prepared for an expected increase in migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border amid plans to lift a public health order that has been used to turn away migrants nearly 2 million times without a chance to seek asylum.
Small Texas border town is route to US for migrant children
As soon as the sun sets, at least 100 migrants crossed through the Rio Grande river by smugglers into the United States. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)ROMA, Texas – As darkness sets on the Rio Grande, U.S. Border Patrol agents hear pumps inflating rafts across the river in Mexico. Roma, a town of 10,000 people with historic buildings and boarded-up storefronts in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, is the latest epicenter of illegal crossings, where growing numbers of families and children are entering the United States to seek asylum. More than 16,000 unaccompanied children were in government custody as of Thursday, including about 5,000 in substandard Customs and Border Protection facilities. A group of Republican senators on Friday visited the Rio Grande Valley, which is the busiest corridor for illegal crossings, and toured a holding facility.
US to block cotton from China region targeted in crackdown
Officials said Customs and Border Protection will use its authority to block products suspected of being produced with forced labor to keep out cotton, tomatoes and related products from the Xinjiang region of northwest China. That is especially true with Chinese cotton that is used to make clothing for export in other countries such as Bangladesh and Vietnam. The U.S. imported about $9 billion worth of cotton goods from China overall last year, according to Brenda Smith, the executive assistant commissioner at Customs and Border Protection's Office of Trade. China denies allegations of rights abuses and forced labor, saying it aims only to promote economic and social development in the region and stamp out radicalism. "The so-called forced labor is nothing but a lie fabricated by certain institutions and individuals in Western countries," he said.
Arizona border deaths hit 10-year high after record heat
The previous annual high mapped by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office in Tucson and the nonprofit Humane Borders was 224 migrant deaths in 2010. Despite the increase in deaths, U.S. Border Patrol apprehension figures suggest that the number of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in Arizona has actually fallen by almost 50% over 10 years. From January to September 2020, the Border Patrol listed 43 deaths in the Arizona border area. Arizona is not the only place with fluctuations in border deaths over the years. The Brooks County sheriff's office said this week that migrant deaths in its jurisdiction fell to 34 last year from 45 in 2019.
US to block goods from Chinese company over rights abuses
Any U.S. company seeking to import goods from the company would have to prove they were not made with the forced labor of Uighurs and other ethnic minorities subjected to the crackdown. It is the sixth enterprise from the Uighur region whose goods have been blocked by Customs in recent months. “China’s systemic abuse of forced labor in the Xinjiang region should disturb every American business and consumer,” acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan said. “Forced labor is a human rights violation that hurts vulnerable workers and introduces unfair competition into global supply chains." Chinese spokesperson Hua defended Chinese labor practices and treatment of Uighurs, while accusing the U.S. of violating market principles and damaging the interests of both countries' companies and consumers.
Shots fired at Customs and Border Protection officers on I-96, officials say
Michigan State Police are investigating after a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) vehicle was fired at on I-96 Wednesday. Customs and Border Protection can confirm that a vehicle occupied by CBP Officers was apparently fired upon earlier today on I-96,” a spokesperson said Wednesday. Officials say that no serious injuries were reported. No additional details have been provided. More: Local News
Customs and Border Protection seize more than half ton of marijuana at Blue Water Bridge
PORT HURON, Mich. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations Officers at the Blue Water Bridge seized more than a half ton of marijuana from an Ontario plated commercial truck on Monday. The truck was believed to be carrying office furniture to locations in Michigan. CBP officers investigated and uncovered more than 1,114 pounds of marijuana in vacuum sealed packages concealed in cardboard boxes. Our officers remain steadfast in their commitment to protecting our borders from all types of criminal activity.Since March, CBP Field Operations has seized over 4,400 pounds of marijuana at ports of entry across the state. READ: More local news coverage
Border authorities use pandemic powers to expel immigrants
FILE - In this March 18, 2020, file photo, a Border Patrol agent walks along a border wall separating Tijuana, Mexico, from San Diego, in San Diego. What happened next illustrates how difficult it has become to seek asylum in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic. Alexy, 32, and his son Samuel were whisked to the border in the wee hours of June 28 and returned to Mexico. Alexy believes hiking in the San Diego mountains precipitated Karina's labor. Together with the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties, the group plans to ask the Homeland Security Department to investigate what happened.
Officials in Philadelphia seize 456 vials of Polish HGH heading to address in St. Clair County
ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Mich. Officials in Philadelphia intercepted 456 vials of Polish human growth hormones that were heading to an address in St. Clair County. U.S. Customers and Border Protection officers inspected the parcel on May 29 and found 567 vials of various human growth hormones and testosterone boosters, according to authorities. Somatropin, Ipamorelin, Melanotan, Tesamorelin, Fragment 176-191, Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF) 1-LR3 and Mechano Growth Factor were among the hormones, officials said. CBP officers seized the shipment for violating U.S. import laws. CBP officers remain vigilant in enforcing our nations laws and in intercepting dangerous, unverified and unregulated products that may be potentially harmful to consumers.
Michigan woman driving stolen vehicle with over $130,000 in gold bars, 30 grams of marijuana arrested at Blue Water Bridge
PORT HURON, Mich. On Thursday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested a 43-year-old woman at the Blue Water Bridge driving a stolen vehicle with marijuana and $130,000 in gold. The incident took place after the woman from Eaton County made a wrong turn and ended up on the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron. In this case, CBP officers took the extra steps to identify an individual in possession of a stolen vehicle and a large amount of gold, said Port Director Michael Fox. This is another prime example of our excellent working relationship with our partners.After arresting the woman CBP officers turned the case over to Michigan State Police, who were given custody of the woman. The gold, marijuana and stolen vehicle were also turned over to MSP.
US extends heightened border enforcement during coronavirus
President Donald Trump's administration issued the initial 30-day order in March, and it was extended for another month in April. Trumps goal is not to protect our health, its to sow division and advance his political agenda," said Andrea Flores, deputy director of immigration policy for the American Civil Liberties Union. Under the policy, CBP has been sending Mexican and Central American migrants they encounter along the southwestern border back to Mexico in about two hours. But he denied he was using the virus to make good on a long-standing campaign promise during an election year. Also Tuesday, the Trump administration asked a federal appeals court to allow it to terminate an agreement that places limits on the detention of immigrant children.
Border Patrol finds bodies of 3 people who died trying to cross border
A U.S. Border Patrol boat moves along the Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico border. MCALLEN, Texas - Since Thursday, US Border Patrol agents have found three bodies of people who attempted to cross the southern border into the US, a Customs and Border Protection news release says. Two days later, a Coast Guard unit patrolling the river near Mission, Texas, contacted McAllen Border Patrol station about another dead person in the Rio Grande, Border Patrol said. On Sunday, agents patrolling the ranchland in Kenedy County found another person dead in the brush, CBP said. The pair from El Salvador drowned as they were crossing from Mexico into Texas near Brownsville.
Lawyers ask judge to hold Trump administration in contempt over border conditions
(CNN) - A group of lawyers on Wednesday night asked a federal judge to hold the Trump administration in contempt and to order immediate improvements to conditions at Customs and Border Protection facilities where children are being held. The lawyers are part of a team of doctors and advocates that warned last week of what they said were major health and hygiene problems at Customs and Border Protection facilities in Texas following visits to the facilities. The visits were negotiated with Customs and Border Protection because the team is monitoring government compliance with the Flores settlement. The Trump administration has been pushing to end the settlement, arguing the restrictions get in the way of immigration enforcement. Customs and Border Protection has pushed back against the allegations raised by lawyers, doctors and advocates last week, and reiterated that its facilities are not fitted to care for children.