Nick Oza photo at The Arizona Republic. Caption: “Hundreds of people came to attend the Mass held on Oct. 8, 2016, by Bishop José Leopoldo González González, during an anniversary vigil for José Antonio Elena Rodríguez, who was shot and killed by the Border Patrol on Internacional Street in Nogales, Sonora, in 2012.”
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security has drafted its piece of the 2018 budget. The subcommittee’s draft version grants the Trump administration’s full $1.6 billion request (PDF) to build or replace 74 miles of border wall. It also grants the White House request of $100 million to hire new agents.
House Republican hard-liners are already threatening to vote against any budget that doesn’t include the border wall money. Democrats have vowed to oppose it. This could set the stage for a government shutdown after the fiscal year ends on September 30. More likely, though, would be a “continuing resolution” keeping the budget at 2017 levels (with no wall funding) through 2018, Bloomberg speculates.
Mexico has received 5,464 asylum applications between January and May, outpacing the record 8,794 applications filed in 2016. Nearly all applicants are people fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. “Belize, Costa Rica and Panama also saw a rise to more than 4,300 refugee applications last year,” the AP reports.
The Kino Border Initiative (KBI), based in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Mexico, is a Jesuit-run organization that advocates for migrants’ rights. It files complaints with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on behalf of migrants who say they were mistreated or denied rights while in the agency’s custody. The CBP complaints system is badly broken, KBI documents in a new report. Of 49 complaints filed over an 18-month period, only 13 have resulted in a “finding.”
The murder trial of Border Patrol agent Lonnie Swartz continues. Prosecutors accuse Swartz of firing 16 shots through the Nogales border fence into Mexico, killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. They are conceding that Elena Rodriguez was probably throwing rocks at the agents before the shooting. (At the site, which I have visited, Elena would have been throwing the rocks over an 18-foot fence that sits atop a ridge at least 10 feet high.) Video shows Swartz firing 13 of the 16 shots after Elena was already on the ground.
A new Texas law requires police to inquire about the immigration status of everyone they arrest, and to report undocumented people to federal authorities. The law may harm relations with Mexico, a Washington Post story reports.