Next year is going to be more crucial than ever for rapid response and communications on border and migration issues. With that in mind, I’m trying out this daily links format: one-sentence explanations of key developments and analyses.

If the workflow of making these each weekday doesn’t stick, these updates will disappear and I’ll never speak of them again. In the meantime, though, I’ll also post these to our Border Oversight resource under “News.”


Six senators continue to negotiate the Biden administration’s supplemental budget request for Ukraine, Israel, and the border. As a condition for their support, Republican legislators are demanding legal changes that would sharply curtail access to asylum. “We’ve made progress on asylum,” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina), one of the negotiators, who added that Republicans continue to insist on limits to the presidential authority to grant humanitarian parole (which is not a border issue). “We have to get this done this week,” said Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut), the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Homeland Security Subcommittee.

Yesterday ICE sent its sixth deportation flight to Caracas, Venezuela since October 18, following an October 5 agreement with the Venezuelan government to resume aerial deportations. “If averages hold that would be about 720 people deported to Venezuela,” wrote Tom Cartwright of Witness at the Border, who closely tracks deportation flights.

Citing large numbers of arriving migrants, CBP is closing a border bridge in Eagle Pass, Texas and reducing vehicle processing at the Lukeville, Arizona port of entry so that personnel can assist Border Patrol with processing.

CBP is adding new barrier at the point where the Tijuana River crosses into California, a site where a migrant from West Africa died during a large group incursion earlier this month.

An Army National Guardsman assigned to the Texas state government’s Operation Lone Star “was killed from ‘a self-inflicted wound while on duty by a public park'” in Laredo, Texas on Thanksgiving morning.

Analyses and Feature Stories

Over 29 months, state authorities operating under Texas’s “Operation Lone Star” have participated in vehicle pursuits that killed at least 74 people and injured at least 189 more, according to a report from Human Rights Watch. Unlike many law enforcement agencies (including CBP) that have developed policies to govern risky chases on public roads, Texas’s Department of Public Safety continues to leave pursuits up to the discretion of individual officers, the New York Times reported last Friday.

The Arizona Daily Star reported from the Mexican border town of Sásabe, Sonora, where the population has shrunk from 2,500 to less than 100 amid intense fighting between two factions of the Sinaloa Cartel. Closures of gaps in the border wall have made it difficult for people to flee into Arizona.

Criminals are using AI-doctored images and videos to defraud the families of missing migrants, portraying the migrants as kidnap victims and demanding ransom payments, EFE reported.