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Washington — President Trump's border security chief touted the fourth consecutive month of lower numbers of apprehensions along the U.S.-Mexico border in September, but he also revealed that arrests of border-crossing migrants approached 1 million over the past 12 months.
U.S. border officials apprehended or turned away approximately 52,000 migrants last month — a more than 60% decline from the 13-year monthly high in May, when more than 133,000 migrants were arrested along southern border.

"This is an unprecedented achievement," Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan told reporters during a briefing at the White House Tuesday.

Morgan nevertheless stressed that for most of the past 12 months, his officers were overwhelmed by the months-long surge of Central American families and unaccompanied children heading north that peaked in the spring. In fiscal year 2019, which ended last week, U.S. immigration authorities made more than 850,000 apprehensions along the southern border, according to government figures.

"These are numbers (that) no immigration system in the world is designed to handle," Morgan said at the briefing.

The border security chief, one of the acting leaders of agencies in the Department of Homeland Security, said the steady drop in apprehensions in the past few months stemmed from the administration's implementation of aggressive border policies, as well as recent immigration agreements with Mexico and countries in Central America, where most U.S.-bound migrants have been coming from or transiting through to reach the U.S. southern border.

Morgan was effusive in his praise for the Mexican government's efforts to help the Trump administration deter migrants.
He pointed directly to the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which he said has now required more than 51,000 asylum seekers to wait in dangerous Mexican border cities for the duration of their court proceedings. The policy has been expanded in recent months with the consent of the Mexican government, which Mr. Trump threatened with tariffs earlier in the summer unless it did more to curb migration flows within its territory.

In addition to supporting the MPP program, the Mexican government has bolstered its immigration enforcement and deployed thousands of newly created National Guards units to intercept migrants, especially at its southern border with Guatemala.

"Mexico's continued support of MPP and enhanced border security efforts along their southern border, in the interior and along the U.S.-Mexico border is something really for the history books," Morgan said.

The border security also cited the "asylum cooperation agreements" the U.S. has reached with all three countries in Central America's Northern Triangle: El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The series of diplomatic agreements, which have yet to be implemented, would allow the U.S. to reroute asylum seekers from across the world to these countries and have them seek refuge there — despite the rampant violence and poverty in many parts of this region.

Morgan said the administration is also preparing this week to fully enforce a sweeping regulation allowed by the Supreme Court that would render most migrants who travel through a third country to reach the U.S. ineligible for asylum.

Although designed to stem the flow of Central American migrants journeying north, the regulation also would affect people from other parts of the world trying to reach the U.S. through Mexico, including Cubans, Venezuelans, Brazilians and central Africans, who have traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border in higher numbers this year.

CBS News
 

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To the supporters of We Build The Wall:

Today marks the 10 month point since the inception of We Build the Wall, and I wanted to update you on our progress.

As you know, we completed our first major wall section in Sunland Park, New Mexico, in June 2019. We constructed a state-of-the-art, 18-foot-tall, steel-bollard border barrier that blocked one of the worst human- and drug-smuggling corridors in the El Paso Sector. The construction of this barrier immediately altered the entire region's flow of illegal drugs and illegal migrants coming into the United States. We have received an incredible outpouring of heartfelt thanks and support from local Border Patrol and other law enforcement officers who have corroborated the effectiveness of your border wall.

It has been an incredible journey being able to help citizens of our country. We knew that the situation on the border was bad. But working on this project in Sunland Park and seeing the drug smuggling corridors made clear that the border security crisis is even worse than we thought.

As you may remember when we formed the We Build the Wall 501c4 organization, we took on an important mission in addition to building sections of border wall. As I announced on January 11, 2019, “Our mission is to unite private citizens that share a common belief in providing national security for our Southern Border through the construction, administration and maintenance of physical barriers inhibiting illegal entry into the United States.” Uniting citizens who share our interest in border security requires reaching to like-minded citizens and educating the public about the need for border barriers. With those objectives in mind we held educational town hall events. Additionally, we hosted a nationally recognized immigration symposium, and brought in Donald Trump Jr to speak at our recently-completed wall. We have been working diligently to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis at our border and unite all citizens who share our belief in the value of physical barriers on the border.

But our most important mission remains building new sections of wall. We are deep into the planning of Projects #2 and #3, which are coming soon. Those sections of border wall will also have a major impact when completed. Both projects are complicated in nature and require a lot of extra planning before we break ground. We cannot release exact locations due to security concerns, but rest assured we are working hard to ensure no one can target us like we saw with our first construction phase. As with Project #1, we will begin building and get the job done without a lot of fanfare in advance.

This is where we are today, and we look forward to sharing the exciting news about these projects soon.

Brian Kolfage
 

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A man who criticized President Donald Trump’s immigration policies in the name of progressive Christianity was killed last week by an undocumented immigrant who avoided deportation by hiding in a local “sanctuary church.”

Sean Buchanan, a father of five from Colorado Springs, was driving his motorcycle on Highway 83 when Miguel Ramirez Valiente swerved into his lane and killed him. The immigrant was charged with reckless driving with a revoked license.

Ramirez Valiente received national media coverage in January when he sought sanctuary in All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Buchanan’s hometown. Speaking from the pulpit, he told assembled reporters that he had fled gang violence in El Salvador in 2005. He said he wanted to stay in the United States to care for his wife and three children even though his asylum application was denied.

In a sympathetic report at the time, CNN said Ramirez Valiente was one of about 50 immigrants who had tried to avoid U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a church.

However, when he killed Buchanan, Ramirez Valiente was driving with a suspended license thanks to a 2018 DUI. He was also arrested for reckless endangerment in 2011 and domestic violence in 2016. A district attorney dismissed both charges.

After the crash, a close female acquaintance anonymously told ABC 7 Denver that Ramirez Valiente is “an alcoholic and an abuser.”

In the years leading up to his death, Buchanan publicly advocated on behalf of asylum seekers like Ramirez Valiente. On Facebook and Twitter, he shared political commentary rooted in a liberal vision of Christianity in between marketing and business trips.

Buchanan ― who formerly worked for Christian app company aware3 ― often retweeted posts by the late progressive evangelical writer Rachel Evan Held. In one tweet from 2016, Buchanan declared that “radical inclusivity” is “the most Christian phrase.”

Last April, Buchanan posted a New York Times column to Facebook expressing longing for a Church committed to “feminism” and “social justice” ― as opposed to the real-life “old boys’ club” that is “obsessed with dogma and rules.”

At the same time, Buchanan ― who raised two adopted black sons along with his three daughters ― was harshly critical of the president for his views on gender, race and immigration.

In 2016, he recommended an article to his Twitter followers comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler. Days later, he tweeted that the president’s hardline approach to immigration evinced “racism and ignorance.”

In February, he retweeted a post calling Trump a “racist.”

Buchanan also used his Twitter account to condemn proposed restrictions on refugees and to highlight advocacy for more generous asylum policies.

Trump has sought to crackdown on undocumented immigrants like Ramirez Valiente, who ignore their deportation orders. Last month, the president made such immigrants the focus of his national immigration raids, which were widely criticized by liberals.

According to ABC 7, Buchanan had recently landed a new job in Denver and was moving his family to nearby Castle Rock when the fatal collision occurred.

His wife, Kathy Buchanan, told the station that her husband was a devoted family man. She set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses while she tries to figure out how to move forward.

“It’s hugging my kids tight, it’s relying on friends,” she said. “It’s trying to figure out what a new normal looks like when the old normal was so good.”

Conservative Fighters
 

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U.S. immigration authorities have discovered hundreds of instances at the border of “family unit fraud,” or unrelated individuals posing as families, over the last six months thanks to a new investigative initiative.

Authorities exposed 238 fraudulent families presenting 329 false documents, according to the results of an investigation run by Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit in El Paso, Texas, the results of which were announced Thursday.
More than 350 of those individuals are facing federal prosecution for crimes including human smuggling, making false statements, conspiracy, and illegal re-entry after removal. Authorities have referred 19 children to U.S. Health and Human Services as a result of this investigation. Another 50 migrants fraudulently claimed to be unaccompanied minors.

“Some of the most disturbing cases identified involve transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and individuals who are increasingly exploiting innocent children to further their criminal activity,” ICE said in a statement.

In some cases, criminal organizations made deals with the children’s biological parents to transfer children as young as 4 months old to the U.S. and pose as a family unit either for human smuggling purposes or to fraudulently obtain immigration benefits, ICE said.

“These are examples of the dark side of this humanitarian crisis that our Border Patrol and HSI agents are working tirelessly to identify,” said El Paso Sector Interim Chief Gloria Chavez. “We will pursue the highest of judicial consequences for those who commit fraud and exploit innocent children.”
The Trump administration has attempted to end the “catch and release” policy for migrant family units, which provides migrant families an expedited release into the U.S. as their asylum cases are being processed.

Then–acting Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan said last month that the vast majority of migrant families who enter the country illegally will no longer be eligible for “catch and release” due to the implementation of stricter policies. One such policy, the Migrant Protection Protocols, requires that migrants wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are being adjudicated.

National Review
 

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Border Patrol agents continue to capture convicted criminals who have been previously ejected from the United States. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents apprehended a man on Friday October 18th and discovered via records checks that he was a convicted sex offender.

The Mexican male had been convicted “for First-Degree Sexual Assault of a Child out of Milwaukee, Wis.,” according to the CBP press release. While the release states that Pedro Mata-Guerrero’s conviction occurred in 2013, Border Patrol agent Anthony Garcia informed Townhall that Mata was actually convicted in 1993. In 2011 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed Mata from the U.S. according to CBP.

On Saturday October 19th authorities arrested another Mexican male with a record in the United States:

“Agents conducted records checks, which revealed that the man identified as Juan Ramon Avila-Leon, a 49-year-old Mexican national, was convicted on Oct 18, 2018, for Communicating With a Minor for Immoral Purposes out of Shelton, Wash,” according to CBP. “Avila served 364 days confinement for his conviction.”

The man was kicked out of the country early last month: “Avila was previously removed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Sept 5, 2019,” according to CBP. That means only about a month and a half elapsed between when ICE removed him in September and when Border Patrol arrested him in October.

Both Avila and Mata are “being held in federal custody pending further criminal prosecution,” according to CBP.

The persistent problem of previously deported criminals seeking to re-enter the country illustrates the need for strong border security. Last month Border Patrol agents came to the aid of a Mexican man who “called 911 after he became lost in the desert after illegally crossing the international border.” It turned out that the man had been “convicted of sex with a minor in 2013 and again in 2014 by Los Angeles County, California. In both cases he was sentenced to more than 150 days of incarceration.” CBP noted that, “In both instances, Castro-Garcia was deported after serving time for his conviction.”

Alex Nitzberg/Townhall
 

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How long does it take for a deported illegal alien to return back into the United States? Well, if you are 28-year-old Gaspar Reyes-Dorantes, it takes fewer than two weeks to sneak back into the country. Showing the inanity of America's immigration system and the growing complications from a lack of a physical barrier at the county's porous southern border, the previously deported Mexican national was arrested Friday for attacking his ex-girlfriend at knife point, breaking into her home, and stealing her car.

The Independent Tribune reports that Reyes-Dorantes was arrested Friday, November 1 in North Carolina on charges of "assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, communicating threats, larceny after breaking and entering, first-degree burglary, larceny of motor vehicle and injury to personal property."

Reyes-Dorantes was deported to Mexico on October 21. Ten days later on October 31, Reyes-Dorantes broke into his ex-girlfriend's house in Concord, North Carolina. He reportedly threatened her at knife point, assaulted the woman and another male in the house, and then stole her car. According to the paper Reyes-Dorantes had previously assaulted the same woman, and had an outstanding warrant for that crime as well.

Reyes-Dorantes is currently being held in the Caburrus County Jail. ICE has placed an immigration detainer order on him.

Nearly three years into Donald J. Trump's presidency, construction on new border wall finally began in late October. The White House has completed 75 miles of border wall, but that new structure simply replaced old areas of fencing where a wall had already existed. Fox News reported last week that the administration has officially begun its first new section of wall.

Construction on a new border wall in Texas where none previously existed has begun along the Rio Grande river, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed to Fox News on Friday.

While 75 miles of wall has already been built under the Trump administration, until now all of those structures replaced existing ones such as vehicle barriers or dilapidated fences, which were ineffective before being replaced, according to the agency.

Border Patrol told the network it hopes to have 141 miles of new border wall put up by the end of 2020.

Townhall/Timothy Meads