U.S. Border Patrol | KERA News

U.S. Border Patrol

When people are crossing a U.S. border, they expect to be asked about their citizenship. But not when they're driving up the East Coast.

U.S. Border Patrol agents are boarding buses from private lines like Greyhound and Concord Coach within 100 miles of a U.S. border, asking passengers if they're American citizens. It turns out agents are empowered to do this through a little-known law called the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. There are more and more reports of officers stopping cars and buses.

Photo by Spencer Selvidge

Editor's note: this story has been updated throughout

A U.S. Border Patrol agent has been accused of going on a nearly two-week-long “serial killing spree” that came to an end on Saturday after he was arrested him in connection with the deaths of four women and the kidnapping of a fifth woman.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court says a lawsuit over the cross-border killing of a Mexican teenager by a Border Patrol agent can proceed, saying that if the plaintiff's version of events is correct, the agent "violated a clearly established constitutional right and is thus not immune from suit."

At least five people are dead and several injured after a high speed chase by U.S. Border Patrol agents and local sheriff deputies in south Texas ended in a fatal car crash on Sunday.

Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd told the Associated Press 14 people had been crammed into the car and that the driver lost control as it was fleeing Border Patrol agents topping 100 mph near Big Wells, Texas.

"From what we can tell the vehicle ran off the road and caught gravel and then tried to recorrect," Boyd said, adding that "caused the vehicle to turn over several times."

The shooting death of an undocumented woman at the hands of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Rio Bravo, Texas, near Laredo, Wednesday is ratcheting up tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to a statement released by Customs and Border Protection, a lone agent was responding "to a report of illegal activity by Centeno Lane ... where he discovered a group of illegal aliens" just after noon.

The statement adds:

U.S. Border Patrol agents were caught on camera trying to ditch an injured and apparently incoherent man across the Mexican border because they said he "looks" Mexican, according to NBC News.

The number of immigrants illegally crossing the southern border plummeted when Donald Trump took office. But the number is again on the rise. In response, the president plans to deploy up to 4,000 National Guard troops.

In West Texas, immigrant shelters are overflowing with recent arrivals and some migrants are trying more dangerous routes to evade capture.

The intake room at Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in downtown El Paso, is packed these days. Parents and squirming children sit with their travel bags. They are the aggravations of Donald Trump.

The mysterious death of a Border Patrol agent in West Texas last November led to two opposing theories. President Trump and many Border Patrol agents were convinced that smugglers or illegal border-crossers attacked the agent and his partner with rocks. The local sheriff says from the beginning he knew it was an accident — but nobody wanted to listen.

Culberson County, Texas, is a vast badland of thornbrush, mountain, big sky, and tractor-trailers hurtling down a lonely stretch of Interstate 10. The law in Culberson County is Sheriff Oscar Carrillo.

President Trump visits California Tuesday where he will appear at the U.S.-Mexico border to promote the prototypes of the border wall he has promised to build in his fight against illegal immigration.

There will be protests by opponents who oppose construction of the wall, as well as local supporters who say a border wall is exactly what's needed to keep the country safe.

The prototypes are being displayed near where there is already about 14 miles of border fencing topped with razor wire.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

The FBI says it has found no foul play in the mysterious death of a border agent beside a remote West Texas highway last November in an incident that many assumed to be a homicide, and which prompted calls for greater border security.

An autopsy released Tuesday night concluded Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died of "blunt force trauma" to his head caused by an "undetermined manner of death."

About 10 years ago, a recent college graduate named Francisco Cantú told his mother what seemed like good news: He got a job.

"I think she was terrified when I decided to join the Border Patrol," he says. "And I think she was also confused about why I was doing this."

Cantú had studied the border in school, but he wanted to understand it more deeply. He attended the Border Patrol Academy and emerged equipped to patrol the Arizona wilderness.

As lawmakers in Washington consider a path forward on immigration policy, the debate is playing out along desolate stretches of the southwestern border where at least 7,209 people have died while crossing illegally over the past 20 years.

The recent arrest of an activist from the group No More Deaths is highlighting the rising number of people who die crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and the challenges that humanitarian workers confront when they try to help.

From Texas Standard:

More than two weeks after the death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, questions remain about how he and a fellow agent were seriously injured while on patrol around Van Horn in west Texas.

From Texas Standard.

Scouting has long been considered a path for young people to learn life skills, but a program along the United States-Mexico border goes a lot further than how to start a campfire or care for a park. It's run under the auspices of the U.S. Border Patrol, and it’s not so much camping in the wilderness but rather something much more intense, closer to bona fide basic military training.

Eric Gay

More than two days after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another seriously wounded while on patrol in West Texas, exactly what happened to the agents is still unclear.

Gov. Greg Abbott Calls For More Resources Following Border Patrol Agent's Death

Nov 20, 2017
Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

State and national leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, said more resources should be devoted to border security following the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent Sunday.

The federal government has released a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy to her family, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Rosa Maria Hernandez and her parents had been living in Laredo, Texas — in the U.S. without permission — and the Border Patrol had taken her into custody as she was transported through a checkpoint on her way to a Corpus Christi hospital for emergency surgery. Federal authorities held her at a facility for children, rather than letting her return to her parents. She has been in deportation proceedings.

Lawyers for an undocumented 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy have filed a federal lawsuit demanding the government release her from a children's shelter.

The Department of Health and Human Services has refused.

Border Patrol agents — in a highly criticized action — took the child into custody after she received an emergency operation at a hospital.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

Immigrant advocates are protesting the Border Patrol's apprehension this week of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy in the country illegally, after she was operated on at a Texas hospital.

Federal immigration officers intercepted the child as she and an adult cousin, who is a U.S. citizen, were in an ambulance being transferred between two hospitals so that she could receive emergency gallbladder surgery.

Two-thousand miles away from the Supreme Court's vaulted ceiling and marble friezes, 60-year-old jobless mother Maria Guereca sat in her $20-a-month, one-room apartment with a fan and a hotplate — beside a picture of her dead son.

On Monday, the Court gave Guereca, who lives in Juarez, Mexico, a partial victory, saying a lower court erred in granting immunity to an agent who shot and killed her son.

Sherry V. Smith / Shutterstock

Forget Donald Trump's Great Wall.

The people who live in the bustling, fertile Rio Grande Valley, where the U.S. border meets the Gulf of Mexico, think a "virtual wall" of surveillance technology makes a lot more sense. It's already in wide use and expanding.

A federal appeals court in San Francisco heard arguments Friday in a case testing whether a person in another country has any protection under the U.S. Constitution when he has been harmed by an agent of the United States government.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/The Texas Tribune

The Texas Department of Public Safety is nearing its goal of permanently assigning 250 additional troopers to the state’s border with Mexico. And after initially concentrating its efforts in the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas, the agency is now expanding its target area to include West Texas and Big Bend.

He is known only as Case 0408. The remains of a middle-aged male immigrant were discovered in Jim Hogg County, Texas, on Nov. 3, 2009. Six belongings are the only things in the universe that may help identify him: a beat-up sneaker, a size L pullover shirt and hoodie, a ring found sewn into the waistband of his pants, a red and black lucha libre wrestler's mask, and a stuffed smiley lion.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Nearly 500 immigrant children are temporarily staying at a campsite in Ellis County, about 45 minutes south of Dallas. Two hundred more are expected to arrive there by the end of the week. 

Doualy Xaykaothao / KERA News

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday extended the deployment of National Guard troops at the Mexico border due to a spike in the number of unaccompanied minors entering the country.

A federal inspection station on Interstate 10 in the West Texas desert earned the nickname "checkpoint of the stars" for all the entertainers who kept getting busted there. In the past six years, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg, Nelly and Fiona Apple were all arrested for possession of marijuana.

These days, though, after a decision by a local lawman, everyone from personal pot smokers to medium-size marijuana traffickers can avoid jail.

Gage Skidmore

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is still coming to Texas on Thursday, his campaign said, even though a Border Patrol union here backed out of hosting him.

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