Deputy DHS Secy. credits ‘Remain in Mexico’ program for 8-month decline in border apprehensions

Acting Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, speaks during a briefing at the White House, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:20 PM PT — Saturday, February 8, 2020

Acting Deputy DHS Secretary Ken Cuccinelli praised the Trump administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ initiative for an eight-month decline in border arrests. On Friday, Cuccinelli confirmed about 60,000 asylum seekers had been processed and will be required to stay in Mexico because of the program.

In a statement last month, DHS officials certified the policy’s effectiveness and expanded it to cover more ports of entry.

FILE – This March 2, 2019 photo shows a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a razor-wire-covered border wall along the Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel,File)

Cuccinelli also said the Mexican government has been an outstanding partner, who continues to contribute to border security for both countries.

“It’s hard to measure how many may have been deterred from coming to the southern border,” he said. “But we just had our eighth month in a row of declining apprehensions and inadmissible turn-aways at the southern border.”

Before the ‘Remain in Mexico’ initiative, asylum seekers were often released in the U.S. to await court dates. Cuccinelli also credited the low rate of approved asylum requests as another factor in the decline of apprehensions.

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Ken Cuccinelli credits ‘Remain in Mexico’ program for 8-month decline in border apprehensions

Acting Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli, speaks during a briefing at the White House, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:20 PM PT — Saturday, February 8, 2020

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli praised the Trump administration’s ‘Remain in Mexico’ initiative for an eight-month decline in border arrests. On Friday, Cuccinelli confirmed about 60,000 asylum seekers had been processed and will be required to stay in Mexico because of the program.

In a statement last month, DHS officials certified the policy’s effectiveness and expanded it to cover more ports of entry.

FILE – This March 2, 2019 photo shows a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a razor-wire-covered border wall along the Mexico east of Nogales, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel,File)

Cuccinelli also said the Mexican government has been an outstanding partner, who continues to contribute to border security for both countries.

“It’s hard to measure how many may have been deterred from coming to the southern border,” he said. “But we just had our eighth month in a row of declining apprehensions and inadmissible turn-aways at the southern border.”

Before the ‘Remain in Mexico’ initiative, asylum seekers were often released in the U.S. to await court dates. Cuccinelli also credited the low rate of approved asylum requests as another factor in the decline of apprehensions.

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Smugglers improvise new tactics as Mexico steps up security along Guatemalan border

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:43 AM PT — Friday, January 31, 2020

Tougher security along Mexico’s border with Guatemala is forcing smugglers to find new ways around border guards. However, President Trump’s efforts to secure our own border have seen illegal immigration plummet in recent months.

One America’s Pearson Sharp explains.

RELATED: Mexico says human rights of migrants are respected

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Key financier for Sinaloa Cartel, 2 others escape prison in Mexico with help of guards

FILE – This Feb. 22, 2014 file photo shows Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, being escorted to a helicopter in Mexico City following his capture. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo, File)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 9:49 AM PT — Friday, January 31, 2020

Officials in Mexico City have confirmed the escape of three inmates. One of the escapees is a financier for the sons of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who was sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years by a U.S. federal court Brooklyn court in July of 2019.

While speaking at a news conference Thursday, the city’s mayor said surveillance video shows the three escaping in a van apparently with the help of prison guards.

The guards had orders to transport another prisoner to a hospital at the time. While the van was later seen at the hospital, cameras did not capture the prisoners exiting the vehicle.

“What is shown and what supposedly happened is that one vehicle left at 5:50 and it’s only at 8:00 in the morning when the penitentiary system alerted of the escape,” explained Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum. “This is the timeline recorded in the C5 Mexico City CCTV system, where the vehicle is shown going back and forth, but there is no single moment in which the cameras recorded people leaving the van.”

This document provided by the Mexico City government shows the Oct. 28, 2017 mug shots and criminal record of Victor Manuel Felix Beltran, from the Reclusorio Sur jail in Mexico City. Beltran, an important financial operator for the Sinaloa Cartel and two other inmates facing extradition to the United States, escaped from the penitentiary in a jail transport van, city officials said. (Mexico City government via AP)

The escape is bringing new scrutiny into legal maneuvers that allow prisoners to pick the prison they want to be held in. All three inmates were facing extradition to the U.S.

RELATED: Mexican leader blasts critics after supporters hector grieving family

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Mexico says human rights of migrants are respected

Mexican National Guards escort four Honduran migrant women to an immigration checkpoint after detaining them for trying to enter Mexico illegally near Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:40 PM PT — Saturday, January 25, 2020

Mexican officials have insisted they are treating migrants from Central America well, despite opposition from human rights advocacy groups. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador responded to the backlash on Friday, saying his government’s detainment of 800 migrants was successfully resolved.

Much of the criticism came after the Mexican government claimed they “rescued” the migrants. Critics argued rescue missions don’t entail the use of pepper spray or riot shields. They further argued people don’t run away when being rescued.

Obrador has stressed this is not the case and emphasized no one was harmed.

“It’s not a spontaneous movement, of course there is a need – but there’s management, we’ll say political,” he said. “Fortunately, human rights have been respected.”

Guatemalan Red Cross paramedics attends Honduran migrants before they are deported, in Morales, Guatemala, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

On Thursday, hundreds of migrants from Central America attempted to cross into Mexico through its southern border with Guatemala. The Mexican National Guard used tear gas to separate and corral the crowd.

Officials reported 800 migrants were detained and several hundred were sent back to Guatemala. Another 200 migrants escaped the scene and are being looked for by the National Guard. The detained migrants were bused to a detention center, where Obrador said they are being tended to.

“Fortunately, we haven’t had any wounded. They’ve been provided with shelter and medical attention. I have information that the National Guard acted well.” – Andrés Manuel López Obrador, President of Mexico

The Department of Homeland Security said it sent personnel to help with the detention efforts and praised the Mexican government for the way it handled the situation.

Detainees will be processed at the detention center. If no legal status can be established, migrants will be deported. Mexican officials will also be searching for the missing migrants.

READ MORE: Thousands Of Central American Migrants Try To Push Through Mexican Border

Migrants charge on the Mexican National Guardsmen at the border crossing between Guatemala and Mexico in Tecun Uman, Guatemala, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

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Kudlow: U.S. exports to China will double under ‘phase one’ deal, agreement to be signed in early January

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks with reporters outside the White House, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:52 PM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019

According to National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, the ‘phase one’ trade deal with China is complete. While speaking to reporters at the White House Monday, he said U.S. exports to China will double under the deal. The White House economic adviser also said China will increase imports of all goods and services, and emphasized the positive effects this will have on economic growth in the U.S.

“It covers IP and it covers tech transfers, and it covers financial services and it covers currencies and so forth,” he explained. “But one of the things it covers…not just agriculture, but the deal includes a Chinese purchase of America goods and services across the board.”

Kudlow pointed out that currency manipulation is a key part of the agreement, and it addresses other major issues like IP theft and foreign access to the Chinese market. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer will sign the deal with the Chinese vice premier in Washington in early January.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks during an event to sign an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement, at the national palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Dec. 10. 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

During that same press briefing, Kudlow also commented on the USMCA. He said a separate agreement on labor inspections with Mexico will not derail the trade deal and will boost the sides’ compliance with the accord. On Monday, Mexico said it opposed U.S. inspectors monitoring labor conditions at Mexican plants, but the U.S. economic chief stressed that all USMCA members must have the same labor standards.

“We want all the countries that we trade with to have the same worker rights as we do here, to the extent that we will work through with Mexico and Canada on workers rights and union rules,” he stated. “I don’t think that’s going to be difficult, and I know it’s not going to stop the successful passage of USMCA.”

Kudlow went on to say the White House will work on a trade deal with the Britain soon soon as possible, noting impeachment will not slow anything down.

RELATED: Mnuchin Says Trade Deal With China To Boost Global Economy

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Pentagon to evaluate legality of putting troops at US-Mexico border

closeBorder apprehensions drop for 6th consecutive monthVideo

Border apprehensions drop for 6th consecutive month

November marks sixth consecutive month of reduced border apprehensions.

The Pentagon's independent investigations office announced Tuesday that it will evaluate the legality of the Trump administration’s use of the military at the U.S. border with Mexico.

Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general (IG) of the Defense Department who had served as the Justice Department IG for 11 years, said his probe will assess several aspects of the military’s border mission, which some in Congress call a misuse of the military.

Under federal law, the military may not be used for domestic law enforcement purposes. The Trump administration’s view is that the troops are in a national security role at the southern border.

Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general, announced Tuesday that his probe will assess several aspects of the military’s border mission, which some in Congress call a misuse of the military. Fine said he will look at what the troops are doing at the border, what training they received for the mission, and whether their use at the border is legal. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general, announced Tuesday that his probe will assess several aspects of the military’s border mission, which some in Congress call a misuse of the military. Fine said he will look at what the troops are doing at the border, what training they received for the mission, and whether their use at the border is legal. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

AFRICAN MIGRANTS HEADING TO US-MEXICO BORDER IN RECORD NUMBERS IN 2019

In a letter to Fine in September, 33 House members urged an investigation into what they called the “misuse and politicization” of the military at the border.

Fine said he will look at what the troops are doing at the border, what training they received for the mission, and whether their use at the border is legal.

For more than a year, several thousand active-duty troops have been stationed along the border to perform various missions.

The troops have erected wire barriers, assisted with border surveillance and performed other functions in support of the Department of Homeland Security.

Border apprehensions dropped in November for sixth straight monthVideo

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Also Tuesday, a federal judge in Texas blocked the Trump administration from using $3.6 billion earmarked for the military to fund border wall construction.

The Trump administration is expected to appeal Tuesday's decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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