Homeland Security

Thousands of migrants sent back to Mexico under Trump policy have given up their asylum claims: DHS

Thousands of migrants returned to Mexico under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy have given up their asylum claims, with many of them returning home, according to statistics included in a new assessment of the policy released this week by the Department of Homeland Security. The policy, known formally as the Migrant Protection Protocols, sends migrants seeking asylum at the southern border back to Mexico for the duration of immigration proceedings. It is a cornerstone of the administration’s efforts to end “catch and release,” by which migrants are released into the U.S. while their cases are heard. Hearings have been held in border towns such as Laredo, Texas, where temporary courtrooms have been set up by the border and migrants are put in front of a judge via video conference. So far, the administration has returned more than 55,000 migrants to Mexico. The assessment describes the policy as an “indispensable tool in addressing the ongoing crisis at the southern border and restoring integrity to the immigration system.” It says that it has completed almost 13,000 cases as of Oct. 21. The new assessment, significantly, cites estimates from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that approximately 20,000 migrants are currently being sheltered in Mexico near the U.S. border as they still seek entry to the U.S. The assessment says that number, though, suggests “a significant proportion of the 55,000+ MPP returnees have chosen to abandon their claims.” The report notes that the work of the International Organization of Migration, supported in part by the U.S. government, is helping migrants return home for free if they choose to do so. It says that as of October, almost 900 migrants have participated in that program. The statistics put some meat on the bones of what officials have been saying for months, specifically that many of those in MPP — particularly those who do not have a legitimate asylum claim — realize that they will not be released into the interior and then just return home. Those returning migrants may then dissuade others from making the journey, reducing one of the “pull factors” bringing people north illegally. “We’re now sending the message that, if you’re coming here as an economic migrant, you’re not going to be allowed into the United States,” Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, who has called MPP a “game-changer,” told reporters this month. “That’s driving a lot of people to return.” The MPP policy has been one of the most effective parts of the administration’s crackdown on asylum seekers and illegal immigration, but also one of the most controversial. Critics claim that migrants are being sent into camps with squalid conditions, and are also at risk of violence from cartels. “Not only does this policy do nothing to protect either migrants or U.S. interests, but we have grave concerns about its legality, recent efforts to expand it, and the dangerous conditions it forces asylum seekers to endure while waiting for their cases to be heard,” said a letter from two dozen Senate Democrats sent in August to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan. But administration officials have said that it allows for cases to be processed expeditiously, with initial hearings normally within a few months. “MPP returnees with meritorious claims can be granted relief or protection within months, rather than remaining in limbo for years while awaiting immigration court proceedings in the United States,” the assessment says. In terms of the interests of American citizens, the administration has claimed it has been key in the sharp decline of migrant apprehensions at the border, which have fallen by more than 60 percent since the highs in May. MPP was initially set up in January, but was expanded over the summer amid a new agreement with the Mexican government established in June. The U.S. has been seeking to continue to expand the policy since then. This week, DHS announced that it had also begun processing migrants under MPP in Eagle Pass, Texas — bringing to six the total number of ports of entry where MPP is underway. “We are confident in the program’s integrity and ability to adjudicate asylum claims quickly and with all due process, McAleenan said in a statement. “We have already seen individuals granted asylum, and many more fraudulent or non-meritorious cases closed. MPP has been – and remains – an essential part of these efforts.”

Clearly the MPP is helping.  But, it’s not enough by any means.  As many of you already know, here at The Daily Buzz, we have been, for over five years, calling on first the Obama Administration, and now the Trump Administration, to BUILD THE WALL NOW!!!…and put U.S. Army National Guard troops physically ON the border with Mexico, where they should remain until that wall/fence is finally built above, and below ground (to prevent tunneling)…however long that takes.  Simultaneously, we need to be deporting illegal aliens already here by the hundreds of thousands (and yes, you read that correctly), paying particular attention to known gang members, convicted criminal aliens, and those already judged by an immigration judge to be deported…regardless of age or gender.  To do anything less is NOT in America’s national security or economic interests.  Period.  In addition to those two basics, we welcome policies like the MPP and legislative initiatives at the state and federal level, like Kate’s law, that help to address this illegal immigration crisis that is crushing our country’s infrastructure.

 

Mexico halts caravan of 2,000 migrants bound for US; critics call roundup a ‘human hunt’

A caravan of roughly 2,000 migrants bound for the United States early Saturday was halted by Mexican authorities only a few hours into their journey, according to officials. The caravan, which consisted of migrants from Africa, the Caribbean, and Central America, left before dawn from Tapachula, a town in southern Mexico near the Guatemalan border, Reuters reported. Many of the migrants who departed from Tapachula early in the morning had been held up there for weeks or months, awaiting residency or transit papers from Mexican authorities. About 24 miles into their journey, federal police and national guardsmen blocked their path. Most of the group was detained and put on a bus back to Tapachula, while about 150 migrants returned by foot, witnesses said. The abrupt halt of the caravan stood in stark contrast to last year when waves of U.S.-bound caravans – including one of at least 7,000 people – drew widespread media coverage while immigration officials on both sides of the border struggled to stem the flow. Under pressure from Washington, the government has been taking a tougher stance in dealing with migrants, and many Mexicans are being less welcoming. President Trump, who frequently described the caravans an “invasion,” brokered a deal with Mexico in June, promising to avert tariffs on imports if Mexico clamped down on U.S.-bound migration. Salva Lacruz, from the Fray Matías de Córdova Human Rights Center in Tapachula, called the roundup on Sunday a “human hunt” and noted officials waited until the migrants had tired out before forcing them into vans. Sending the migrants back south was an “exercise in cruelty,” Lacruz said, saying the migrants have come to Mexico because “they need international protection.” Mexico’s export-driven economy is highly dependent on commerce with the U.S., and the government has become far less hospitable to migrants. Mexico has offered refugees the possibility of obtaining work and residency permits to stay in southern Mexico, far from the U.S. border. But those asylum permits are slow-coming in an overstretched immigration system.

Seems as if Mexico is coming to the same realization that we have; that we simply cannot take every person that just wants to come here.  Imagine that..

Homeland Security secretary shouted off stage at immigration conference

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan walked off the stage at a speaking engagement at Georgetown Law School on Monday after being shouted down by audience members protesting the Trump administration’s immigration policies. McAleenan was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an annual immigration law and policy conference hosted by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) and Georgetown Law, at the Washington, D.C., university. But before he even began to talk, protesters stood up and shouted: “When immigrants come under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” Some in the audience shouted at the protesters to sit down so they could hear the DHS acting secretary speak. Doris Meissner, a senior fellow at MPI who served as a top immigration official under the Clinton administration, was to moderate the Q&A, and told the protesters they were robbing the audience of their ability to engage in a meaningful dialogue on a contentious and important topic. DHS, in a written statement released afterward, echoed those concerns: “The First Amendment guarantees all Americans the right to free speech and assembly. Unfortunately that right was robbed from many who were scheduled to speak and attend today’s event at Georgetown. Unfortunately the Acting Secretary and the audience did not get the opportunity to engage in a robust dialogue this morning due to the disruptions of a few activists.” The department, which published the secretary’s prepared remarks, said those in attendance would have “learned more about DHS’s successful strategy to work with international partners to reduce unlawful migration and end the exploitation of children by smugglers and cartels, and then they would have had the opportunity to participate in an unmoderated question and answer session.” McAleenan, a longtime civil servant who was the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection before he was tapped to lead DHS, tried three times to start his speech, but was interrupted almost immediately by the demonstrators on each occasion. As McAleenan tried to speak, protesters stood and held banners with phrases like “Hate is Not Normal” and shouted out the names of children who had died in immigration custody. “Lot to cover today, there’s some very serious issues that we can talk about today in candor, or we can continue to shout,” McAleenan said on his third attempt. “What I was going to start with was that I’d like to take our dialogue this morning above the politics and the daily news cycle, talk about the challenges and efforts we’ve faced over the past year, but also that this is primarily an audience of immigration lawyers, advocates and students, to talk about some of the fundamental issues we face with the current legal framework.” Protesters once again began to shout him down, leading McAleenan to thank the conference’s moderators and walk off the stage — after appearing for a little over seven minutes. “In a democracy, it is important to hear from all sides on public policy issues, including from those who are instrumental in developing and implementing policy, whether or not we agree with them, and MPI remains committed to that belief,” MPI President Andrew Selee said in a statement. Selee added: “By drowning out the Secretary’s remarks, the protestors deprived immigration attorneys, service providers, journalists, advocates, business leaders, law students, and many others in the public who were in the audience from hearing his point of view and engaging in a meaningful dialogue.”

Exactly..  The specific speech Nazi group responsible for this nonsense was the liberal group CREDO.  Typical liberals..  They’re all for “free speech,” until its speech they don’t agree with, then they want it censored or shouted down.  The students at Georgetown Law School had an opportunity to interface with a sitting Trump Administration cabinet level official, and were deprived of such an opportunity.  This happens all the time.  So.. I have a question..  Why don’t these venues (colleges, etc.) have security in place to remove these sh_t disturbers when they just show up to disrupt?  The school HAD to know this was gonna happen.  Why not have their campus security there to simply remove these idiots?  I guess that makes too much sense…

Trump to cut refugees to 18,000, give localities veto over resettlement

The Trump administration will propose cutting the number of refugees admitted in 2020 to 18,000, and will also call for a major restructuring of the program to align it with U.S. interests, including giving localities a say in whether they can accommodate the new arrivals. The plan will also reduce the role of the U.N. in picking America’s refugees, and instead give priority to religious minorities and Iraqis who have assisted the U.S. government, and to refugees the U.S has agreed to resettle on behalf of Australia. Officials submitted the proposal to Congress on Thursday, kicking off a consultation period that will conclude with President Trump making a final determination next month. But based on past consultations, the 18,000 number is likely to hold firm. It would be the lowest cap since the modern refugee system was created in 1980, and marks a 12,000 drop from the fiscal year 2019 cap, and a major reduction from the 110,000 refugee target the Obama administration tried to set for 2017. Even though the refugee number is low, the U.S. remains a leader in humanitarian protections, with some 350,000 asylum-seekers expected to begin claims next year. Asylum is protection granted to people already in the U.S., while refugees are those requesting protections from outside the country. There’s already a backlog of nearly 1 million asylum cases pending with Homeland Security and the immigration courts. A senior administration official said they view asylum and the refugee program in tandem, and as the number of migrants demanding asylum on the southwest border has surged, it’s natural that the government would cut the number of refugees it can handle. “Given the massive backlog we’ve got in humanitarian protection cases that are already in our country, it makes sense to prioritize that caseload before we go abroad looking for new refugees to resettle,” the official said..

This is a great first step, and WAY overdue.  For more, click on the text above…

Trump Administration Raises Bar for Asylum Seekers at Southern Border

The Trump administration announced changes in asylum regulations Monday morning that will “add a new bar to eligibility for asylum” for those migrants who appear at, or illegally cross the U.S. border from Mexico. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials announced Monday morning a new asylum rule that requires migrants to show proof that they applied for asylum protection in “at least one third-party country outside of the alien’s country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence.” “While the recent supplemental funding was absolutely vital to helping confront the crisis, the truth is that it will not be enough without targeted changes to the legal framework of our immigration system,” DHS Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan said in a written statement. “Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major ‘pull’ factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey.” The new rule, applied to 8 C.F.R. § 208.13(c) and 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(c) adds a new eligibility requirement for migrants who enter or attempt to enter the U.S. via the southwestern border with Mexico. The rule will effectively bar migrants from claiming asylum, with certain exceptions, if they did not request asylum for protection from persecution or torture in at least one other country where asylum was available through which they traveled after leaving their point of origination.

Very smart!  And, much needed..  To read the rest of this article, click on the text above.

Anti-ICE protesters pull down American flag, raise Mexico flag, vandalize ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flag

Authorities in Colorado restored an American flag to its place Friday evening after protesters demonstrating outside a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility pulled down the star-spangled banner and flew the flag of Mexico in its place. The protesters also removed a “Blue Lives Matter” flag, honoring law enforcement, spray-painted it with the words “Abolish ICE,” then raised the flag upside-down, on a pole next to the Mexican flag, according to local media. Hundreds of protesters had gathered in Aurora, Colo., outside the federal facility that holds illegal immigrants, to protest ICE raids scheduled to begin Sunday in Denver and other major U.S. cities, FOX 31 Denver reported. Aurora police Chief Nick Metz said the majority of protesters remained peaceful and some even thanked officers for their evening efforts. The protest, part of a network of #LightsForLiberty events, also dubbed the “March to Close Concentration Camps,” called for detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border to be closed and for all immigrants being held in those locations to be granted entry to the U.S., according to the event’s Facebook page. Beginning Sunday, ICE agents will reportedly work to round up thousands of illegal immigrants across the U.S. President Trump delayed the operation by two weeks to allow Dems to propose a bipartisan solution to the humanitarian crisis at the border.

..which of course, didn’t happen.  Gee..what a shocker.  To see some videos of this  event, and read the rest of the article, click on the text above.

Authorities seize thousands of weapons and explosives in international weapons trafficking bust

Authorities in Florida and Argentina arrested more than two dozen suspects and seized 5,300 firearms and explosives in a crackdown on an elaborate global weapons trafficking ring, officials said Friday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) initiated “Operation Patagonia Express” after investigators discovered the shipping of weapons and weapon parts from South Florida to Brazil and Argentina. Once in South America, the components were assembled and sold to criminal groups, authorities said. The seizure included the equivalent of 52 AR-15 rifles, 30,000 rounds of caliber ammunition for various weapons, 189 long arms, 156 handguns, five vehicles, a hand grenade, a motor round and $110,000 in cash. Twenty-five people were arrested. “South Florida does seem to be a hub and now we have the largest Argentine firearms seizure in their history so South Florida does seem to be a hub for weapons trafficking into South America,” Anthony Salisbury, special agent in charge of ICE’S Homeland Security Investigation in Miami, said in a news conference. Authorities in Argentina said the weapons seizure is the largest in the country’s history. Among those taken into custody were former Broward County residents John James Peterson, 60, and Brunella Zuppone, 67, for allegedly exporting AR-15 components without a required license from the State Department, officials said in a news release. Both are charged with conspiracy to violate and attempted violations of the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations.