More Violence Along Mexican Border

The Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito and Ensenada were hit by gang violence that included vehicles being set ablaze and road blockades.

The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana instructed its employees “to shelter in place until further notice” because of the violence.

It was the third time in a week that Mexican cities have seen widespread arson and shootings by drug cartels. The gangs appear to be targeting stores, vehicles and innocent bystanders in response to disputes or attempts to capture gang members.

Baja California state officials said 24 vehicles had been hijacked and burned at different points throughout the state: 15 in Tijuana, three in Rosarito and two each in Mexicali, Ensenada and Tecate.

Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero blamed it on disputes between drug gangs and asked them to stop the violence.

Caballero issued a public appeal to “organized crime,” the term used in Mexico for drug cartels, to stop the growing trend of targeting innocent civilians.

“Today we are saying to the organized crime groups that are committing these crimes that Tijuana is going to remain open and take care of its citizens,” Caballero said in a video, “and we also ask them to settle their debts with those who didn’t pay what they owe, not with families and hard-working citizens.”

The extent of the violence was still unclear Saturday. Late Friday, the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana said in a statement that it “is aware of reports of multiple vehicle fires, roadblocks and heavy police activity in Tijuana, Mexicali, Rosarito, Ensenada and Tecate.”

On Saturday, few people ventured out in Tijuana and many of the bus and passenger van services stopped running, leaving some residents unable to get where they were going.

“Let them fight it out among themselves, but leave us alone,” said Tijuana resident Blanca Estela Fuentes, as she looked for some means of public transport. “So they kill each other, they can do whatever they want, but the public, why are we to blame?”

The federal public safety department said one person was wounded in the violence and that federal, state and local forces had detained 17 suspects, including seven in Tijuana and four each in Rosarito and Mexicali.

The mayor’s comment about Tijuana remaining open was an apparent reference to the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, where some classes and public events were canceled after similar violence Thursday.

In Ciudad Juarez, authorities said gang members fatally shot nine people, including four employees of a radio station, after a fight between rival gangs at a prison left two inmates dead.

On Tuesday, drug cartel gunmen burned vehicles and businesses in the western states of Jalisco and Guanajuato in response to an attempt to arrest a high-ranking leader of the Jalisco cartel.

Oxxo, a national chain of convenience stores owned by Femsa, the country’s largest bottling company, said 25 of its stores in Guanajuato — which borders Jalisco, home to the cartel of the same name — were either totally or partly burned Tuesday.

The area around Tijuana, which borders Southern California, is a lucrative drug-trafficking corridor long dominated by the Arellano Felix cartel but that has since become a battleground among various gangs, including the Jalisco and Sinaloa cartels.

Speaking about the Ciudad Juarez violence on Thursday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said: “They attacked the civilian, innocent population like a sort of revenge. It wasn’t just a clash between two groups, but it got to the point where they began to shoot civilians, innocent people. That is the most unfortunate thing in this affair.”

Four employees of the MegaRadio station who were broadcasting a live promotional event outside a pizza store in Ciudad Juarez were killed in the shootings.

Such random violence is not without precedent in Mexico.

In June of last year, a rival faction of the Gulf cartel entered the border city of Reynosa and killed 14 people the governor identified as “innocent citizens.”

The military responded and killed four suspected gunmen.

Click here to read the full article at the LA Times

Gov. Newsom to Reduce National Guard Presence at Border


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California Gov. Gavin Newsom is slated to pull several hundred National Guard troops from the state’s border with Mexico on Monday in an apparent rebuff to President Donald Trump’s characterization of the region being under siege by Central American refugees and migrants, according to reports.

The move comes despite his predecessor’s agreement – along with other past and current border state governors – to send troops to the border at the Trump administration’s request. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown originally approved the mission through the end of March, but qualified that the state’s troops “will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”

Newsom’s plan will require the National Guard to immediately begin withdrawing troops but still give it until the end of March to do so. According to excerpts from his Tuesday State of the State address, he will call the “border emergency” a “manufactured crisis,” and will say that “California will not be part of this political theater.” …

Click here to read the full article from Fox News

Trump threatens to permanently close border if needed


donald-trump-2President Donald Trump is seizing on an attempt by 500 migrants to rush the southern border to use immigration as an issue to bolster his presidency at a critical political moment.

Trump spent weeks ahead of the midterm elections warning that the United States was about to experience an invasion from a migrant caravan trekking north across Mexico, and sent troops to the border in what critics branded a political stunt.

He seized on unrest at the frontier on Sunday to hike pressure on Mexico and to squeeze his political opponents in Washington as he demands financing for his border wall in a looming government funding showdown.

“Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries,” Trump tweeted early Monday morning. …

Click here to read the full article from Fox 5 San Diego

Mexico deporting nearly 500 migrants after California border blitz


The Mexican government announced Sunday evening that it will deport nearly 500 migrants who rushed the U.S. border between Tijuana and San Diego, Calif.

In a statement, Mexico’s interior department said these migrants were captured with the help of local authorities of the government from the state of Baja California and will be deported after attempting to cross the border “violently” and “illegally.”

Videos and photos of the migrants, including children, crossing a footbridge over a canal in Tijuana as they headed to the border were posted to social media. The incident prompted both the U.S. and Mexico to shut down the port of entry on their respective sides. …

Click here to read the full article from The Washington Examiner

Judge temporarily halts deportations of reunified families


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ImmigrationA judge on Monday temporarily blocked the federal government from deporting families who have just been reunified, as officials work under court order to match more than 2,500 children with parents they were taken from at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The decision is the latest in a class-action lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union to stop the government from separating families at the border and to reunite those who were split apart. In June, Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the federal government to reunite families, putting a deadline of July 10 for children younger than 5 and July 26 for older children.

Attorneys asked Sabraw to temporarily halt deportations while he decides whether to impose a more permanent seven-day waiting period between reunification and removal for cases in which the parents have been ordered deported.

In a court filing, the ACLU argued that giving families a week together would allow them time to decide what’s best for them, whether the children should stay to push ahead with their own immigration cases or go back to their home countries with their parents. …

Click here to read the full article from the L.A. Times

Huge Drug-Smuggling Tunnel Discovered Beneath U.S. / Mexico Border


As reported by Newsweek:

After one of the longest cross-border tunnels between Mexico and the U.S. was discovered near San Diego earlier this month, several tons of cocaine and marijuana were seized, officials said on Wednesday.

The 2,622-foot-long tunnel started under a house in Tijuana, Mexico and ran to an industrial lot in Otay Mesa, around 20 miles southeast of San Diego, which was advertised as being part of a wooden pallet business, the Associated Press reports. The tunnel was about three feet wide and had rail and lighting systems and ventilation. The tunnel’s exit in the U.S. was a three-foot-diameter hole that was sometimes covered by a large dumpster.

The Tijuana house where the tunnel originated was equipped with a “sophisticated” elevator large enough for eight people, according to the Justice Department. The tunnel is believed to be the longest discovered along the California-Mexico border. …

Click here to read the full story

Hispanics Should Favor Border Security to Protect the American Dream


Immigration ObamaLately, there has been a lot of hype about Donald Trump’s comments on illegal immigration. I’ve seen post after post on Facebook from Hispanics saying they’ll do everything in their power to make sure Trump isn’t elected president because of his tough stance on immigration. People who were otherwise uninterested in politics are suddenly becoming engaged.

While I don’t agree with everything Trump says and does, I have to agree with him on this one issue: America’s border with Mexico needs to be secured. Hispanics across the nation should agree with that concept, even if they don’t agree with his reasoning.

Whenever people – Hispanics in particular – talk about illegal immigration, most cite the American Dream as the reason illegal aliens cross the border.

“They want a better life for themselves.”

“They want their kids to have better opportunities.”

“They contribute to our nation.”

“They do the jobs no one else wants to do.”

Those are all common phrases that have been regurgitated beyond recognition. It’s the mantra we’ve been exposed to for generations. It’s as if we’re supposed to agree with this notion because it’s been repeated so many times. Maybe if we keep repeating it, we’ll eventually believe it, we tell ourselves.

Hispanics, however, should want the border to be secure. They should strive to protect America. You can’t achieve the American Dream without accepting all of America, including our laws.

What makes our nation so great is the number of opportunities we’re presented with. The reason we’re presented with these opportunities is because of America’s unique position in the world. We allow people to make their own decisions, about what’s best for them, often without judgment. As long as we’re not causing harm to someone else, we’re often left to our own devices. If we were a lawless nation, we wouldn’t be as prosperous as we are. Instead of working hard to get a leg up, citizens would steal and loot from businesses. There would be no incentive to have a job. If we were a lawless nation, we would be as corrupt as other countries. Americans would be afraid to walk down the street. They would fear for their safety.

Cubans who fled from the Castro regime are often thankful to call America home. Our nation shielded them from persecution by a horrific dictator.  We opened our arms – and our hearts – to those in need. We were a safe haven for those who were being harmed. We were able to provide that life to these refugees because our laws dictated our lifestyle and the society we’ve built.

Securing our borders ensures that we protect the society we’ve built. Having the right of passage into the United States – done through the legal channels – is the very first test of the American Dream. If you don’t come to America by applying for a visa or citizenship and you decide to cross the border illegally, you’ve automatically denied yourself the American Dream, the same American Dream you set after. By breaking America’s laws, you’re bringing the lawlessness of your homeland with you.

Beth Baumann is a public relations professional in Southern California and a contributor for PolitiChicks.

CA Epicenter of National ‘Anchor Baby’ Debate

Anchor BabyRepublican presidential candidates were drawn deeper into the immigration controversies centered on California, as Donald Trump’s leading opponents sought a way to blunt his apparent advantage among voters with his tough talk on birthright citizenship and deportation.

The numbers game

Clarifying his stance, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski recently took to CNN to criticize the current population of so-called anchor babies.

“If you think of the term ‘anchor baby,’ which is those individuals coming to our country and having their children so their children can be U.S. citizens,” he said. “There’s 400,000 of those taking place on a yearly basis. To put this in perspective, that’s equivalent of the population of Tulsa, Okla.”

Those numbers were immediately disputed, but not entirely discounted. According to Politfact, the figure cited by Lewandowski was “slightly exaggerated,” taking into account dipping rates of illegal immigration in recent years, and the difficulty involved in proving intent among unlawful immigrant mothers giving birth on U.S. soil.

So-called birth tourists, who use travel visas with the secret intent to have a baby delivered in the U.S., contribute to a much smaller fraction of ‘anchor babies,’ Politifact added — “around 8,600, or 0.2 percent of all births, in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

A growing problem

Nevertheless, the anchor baby story has gained steam this summer, reaching a broader audience than GOP primary voters. In a significant new report at Rolling Stone, Benjamin Carlson investigated Rowland Heights, a Los Angeles-area community with a reputation as “the center of Chinese birth tourism in southern California, if not the whole United States.” 

Several years ago, Carlson noted, “the county of Los Angeles opened an investigation into maternity hotels after receiving a deluge of public complaints,” although in the end “no new ordinance targeting maternity hotels was passed in the area. The task force decided that ‘complaints beyond the scope of local zoning powers’ would be referred to state and federal agencies.” According to estimates cited by Carlson, California has become the epicenter for many of the 10,000-60,000 Chinese tourist births the U.S. hosts per year. 

Campaign controversy

With the anchor baby story gaining national traction, several of Trump’s leading competitors for the Republican nomination appeared to size up the issue as a way to toughen up on immigration without undermining their credibility with pro-immigration constituents. Asked by Bill O’Reilly whether “the anchor baby law” is “destructive to the country,” Marco Rubiocalled the issue a “legitimate” one, as RealClearPolitics recounted. “I of course have read about how that happens in California, wealthy Chinese people are hedging their bets, in case something goes wrong in China they can come here,” he explained. 

Jeb Bush, meanwhile, allowed the term — seen by many Democrats and others as at least implicitly derogatory — to escape his lips in an interview. “Given Bush’s close connections to the Latino community — his wife is from Mexico, he speaks fluent Spanish, he’s written a book on immigration and he lives in the Miami area — it was surprising to hear Bush use the phrase,” CNN suggested. “But he defended his word choice, telling reporters the following day that he didn’t regret it.”

“‘What I said is that it’s commonly referred to that. I didn’t use it as my own language,’ he said. ‘You want to get to the policy for a second? I think that people born in this country ought to be American citizens.’”

Later, Bush attempted to clarify that his concern was closer to Rubio’s than Trump’s. “Frankly it’s more Asian people,” he suggested, urging critics to “chill out” about his phrasing, according to NBC News.

Choosing agendas

Conservatives have grappled over whether to frame birthright citizenship primarily as a question of immigrants’ potential upward mobility or the potential downward mobility they often believe government dependency fosters. “Inflation-adjusted figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture projected that a child born in 2013 would cost his parents $304,480 from birth to his eighteenth birthday,” as National Review’s Ian Tuttle noted. “Given that illegal-alien households are normally low-income households (three out of five illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children live at or near the poverty line), one would expect that a significant portion of that cost will fall on the government.”

Originally published by CalWatchdog.com

Drone Carrying Meth Falls Near Border


As reported by the U-T San Diego:

A small aerial drone crashed about two miles from the U.S. border in Mexico carrying several pounds of methamphetamine, Mexican police said Wednesday.

The discovery at a shopping mall parking lot in Tijuana, within walking distance of the U.S. border crossing, raises the prospect of a new, high-tech front in the struggle between drug gangs and law enforcement.

Tijuana’s metropolitan police department said an anonymous caller reported the crash of the remote control aircraft at about 10 p.m. Tuesday. Officials from the Mexican Attorney General’s Office were seen scouring …

Read full story here