“U.S. authorities detained more than 1.7 million migrants along the Mexico border during the 2021 fiscal year that ended in September, and arrests by the Border Patrol soared to the highest levels since 1986,” the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “In the spring of 2020, Mark Esper, the defense secretary, was alarmed to learn of an idea under discussion at a top military command and at the Department of Homeland Security to send as many as 250,000 troops — more than half the active U.S. Army, and a sixth of all American forces — to the southern border in what would have been the largest use of the military inside the United States since the Civil War.”
“With the coronavirus pandemic raging, Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda, had urged the Homeland Security Department to develop a plan for the number of troops that would be needed to seal the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico…”
“Around the same time that officials considered the huge deployment to the American side of the border with Mexico, Mr. Trump also pressed his top aides to send forces into Mexico itself to hunt drug cartels, much like American commandos have tracked and killed terrorists in Afghanistan or Pakistan.”
“Planning is underway at the Department of Homeland Security to build an intelligence-gathering cell that would more closely monitor and better predict the movements of groups of migrants to the U.S., such as the nearly 30,000 Haitians who arrived in Texas last month,” NBC News reports.
“The new cell, to be operational by the end of the month, would supply the agency with ‘indications and warnings’ of possible migrant surges by collecting intelligence from DHS personnel in Central and South America, seek to establish aerial surveillance of trucks and migrant camps massing on borders and increase communication with the U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement agencies in other countries, according to the planning document.”
Politico: “Dozens of immigration advocates walked out, virtually, on top Biden officials Saturday in protest of the administration’s decision to continue border policies enacted during the Trump administration.”
Washington Post: “The Biden administration is prepared to reimplement the Trump-era border policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols in mid-November if the Mexican government agrees to accept the return of asylum-seekers to its territory.”
The Biden administration will open up U.S. land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel starting in November — but only to those fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Axios reports.
“The Senate parliamentarian has nixed Democrats’ back-up plan for getting immigration reform into a sweeping spending bill, handing them a second setback,” The Hill reports.
The Atlantic: “As he extends Trump-era policies, President Biden discovers that many voters are no longer willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.”
“Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced Friday that all migrants have been cleared from the encampment in Del Rio, Texas,” the Washington Post reports.
“Mayorkas made the announcement at the White House amid widespread criticism of the Biden administration for its handling of the migrants, most of them Haitians, at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
President Biden condemned Border Patrol officers for using horses to deter Haitian immigrants from an encampment under the international bridge earlier this week, Axios reports.
Said Biden: “It’s horrible what you saw. To see people like they did, with horses, running them over, people being strapped. It’s outrageous. I promise you those people will pay.”
He added: “It’s an embarrassment. It’s beyond an embarrassment. It’s dangerous. It’s wrong. It sends the wrong message around the world. It sends the wrong message at home. It’s simply not who we are.”
The U.S. special envoy for Haiti has resigned from his position in a blistering letter, saying he could not be associated with the Biden administration’s decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees to Haiti, a move he called “inhumane” and “counterproductive” given the violence and deteriorating security situation in the country, the Washington Post reports.
New York Times: “Mr. Biden is struggling to confront a challenge that has vexed presidents for decades: securing the borders while living up to U.S. humanitarian obligations to migrants fleeing economic hardship, political instability and violence.”
“The approach has prompted fierce debate in the administration, where some of his top aides favor stronger policies that would deter people from trying to cross the border, while others advocate a more welcoming stance.”
“Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has sent a fleet of state-owned vehicles to line up for miles as a barricade along the border with Mexico, insisting the state was taking ‘unprecedented steps,’ as thousands of migrants still seek to cross into the United States,” the Washington Post reports.
Washington Post: “White House officials on Tuesday struggled to explain searing images of border agents treating Haitian migrants harshly, facing a growing backlash from angry Democrats who sought to pressure President Biden to ease his immigration policies.”
“Even as Biden confronts attacks from Republicans portraying his policies as weak and ineffective, many immigrant-rights activists have increasingly concluded that Biden has failed to live up to his campaign vows to defend vulnerable foreigners seeking a better life in the United States. Their fury marks a new inflection point in Biden’s ongoing struggles with immigration.”
Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R), who has pushed strong anti-refugee messages against Afghans and others, is actually the grandson of refugees from Europe who settled in the Cleveland area with the aid of resettlement organizations after World War II, CNN reports.
Mandel has suggested many refugees are terrorists. He has also said “zero” refugees should be let into the US, claiming Afghan refugees will bring “covid” and “child brides.”
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said that he was “horrified” by images of horse-mounted Border Patrol agents attempting to grab Haitian migrants and use their animals to push them back toward Mexico and promised a “swift” investigation, the Washington Post reports.
Said Mayorkas: “I was horrified by what I saw. I am going to let the investigation run its course, but the pictures that I observed troubled me profoundly.”
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