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king of the county

Kicking the can down the road for three weeks, wtf over?

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On 1/30/2019 at 4:57 PM, king of the county said:

The Republicans on the panel are Representatives Granger, Fleischmann, Graves and Palazzo; Senators Shelby, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Roy Blunt of Missouri.

The Democrats are Representatives Lowey, Roybal-Allard, Lee, Cuellar, Aguilar and David Price of North Carolina; Senators Durbin, Leahy and Tester. At Wednesday’s meeting, each member will be able to give an opening statement.

 

 

 

 

Clock is ticking are they even meeting today?

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Hill negotiators listen to experts on best ways to secure border, but hear what they want 

By Ted BarrettLauren FoxGregory Wallace and Jason Hoffman, CNN

Posted at 5:06 PM ET, Wed February 6, 2019

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Trump on immigration: 2018 and today 02:44
(CNN) — Bipartisan House and Senate negotiators emerged from a key closed-door briefing with Customs and Border Protection officials Wednesday agreeing they were told that a comprehensive response is the best way to secure the border, one that marries new technologies to additional personnel and new barriers.
But the lawmakers said they disagree about exactly how to balance that approach and still reach an agreement that will be acceptable to President Donald Trump, who has demanded $5.7 billion for a wall with Mexico. 
With a February 15 deadline before another partial government shutdown would be triggered, they vowed to get down to work with new urgency to resolve their differences. 
"Where does this lead us?" said Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Senate Republican in the talks, after the much-anticipated briefing. "We hope it's going to lead to serious substantive talks and a solution. We'll know in the next few days. We know the clock is ticking away."
 
Also Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she thought that if the White House stayed clear of the negotiations, a deal could be reached by this Friday, which would give the House and Senate time to move a bill through each floor.
"Left to their own devices, I think they can come to an agreement on time by Friday," the California Democrat said, adding that she would likely support a bipartisan agreement reached by the committee.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had expressed similar sentiments Tuesday, meaning the leaders of each chamber are prepared to put a deal on the floor for a vote, regardless of whether Trump says he supports it.
The border briefing was conducted by unnamed career officials, not Trump administration appointees, at the agency, an effort to turn down the political and emotional rhetoric of the debate so negotiators could more soberly assess the needs on the border and reach a deal. 
Shelby had promised to announce who briefed the committee but then declined to. 
Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the no. 2 Democrat in the chamber, praised the briefers as "conscientious public servants" and reported that they agreed with Democrats that new technologies -- like sensors and drones -- were a higher priority than new barriers, which Trump and many Republicans want. 
"Career professionals put technology as their highest priority. And let me add, in fairness to them, they don't rule out barriers. They don't rule out fences. But that isn't their first priority," Durbin told reporters as he departed the briefing, which was held in a secure room in the Capitol Visitor Center.
Durbin also said that he sensed the officials were reluctant to "break with the President" in terms of his desire for a wall and $5.7 billion.
But North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven said he walked out convinced the career officials believe a barrier is key. 
"Yes, you need technology. Yes, you need personnel. But you also have to have a border barrier," Hoeven said.
Shelby said the officials said that there has to be a blend of the approaches to be successful. 
"Technology without barriers is wasting our time. Barriers without technology is wasting our time," Shelby quoted the officials as saying. 
Durbin also said the officials "acknowledged" that 90% of illegal drugs come through points of entry, not across the vast expanse of the border where there are no barriers. Democrats have used that figure to argue for more resources at those points of entry instead of building a wall.
West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, who represents a state hard hit by the opioid epidemic, disputed that point and said the officials reported that large quantities of drugs are now coming into the US where there are no barriers because detection at points of entry has become so sophisticated. 
"Maybe the cartels and others are sensing that because these are uncontrolled areas, they are much more vulnerable, and that's troubling to me, coming from the state that I represent," she said.
Shelby also said the officials reported that terrorists "from all over the world" were coming across the US-Mexico border.
"They said some are coming from the Middle East. Some are coming from Turkey. And coming across the soft barriers," he said. 
 
He didn't know how many but said it was not "thousands, but terrorists don't operate in thousands. They operate in small groups, sometimes alone."
He didn't provide other details of what was said about the terrorists but said it was another argument for additional barriers on the border.

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On 1/30/2019 at 4:57 PM, king of the county said:

The Republicans on the panel are Representatives Granger, Fleischmann, Graves and Palazzo; Senators Shelby, John Hoeven of North Dakota, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Roy Blunt of Missouri.

The Democrats are Representatives Lowey, Roybal-Allard, Lee, Cuellar, Aguilar and David Price of North Carolina; Senators Durbin, Leahy and Tester. At Wednesday’s meeting, each member will be able to give an opening statement.

 

 

 

 

They must be very good if they are going to get an agreement and a budget for a year together  in 7 days oh man or will the budget be for 3 weeks?

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Shutdown watch: Negotiators want, and believe they need, an agreement by Friday

By Phil Mattingly, CNN

Updated at 10:54 AM ET, Thu February 7, 2019

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Washington (CNN) — When it comes to averting another government shutdown over border security, every day that negotiations on Capitol Hill don't fall apart is a good day.
That was the message to me from one lawmaker involved -- if it seems like a low bar, it is, but given the issues and politics, it's a genuinely good sign the talks are not just ongoing, but deep in the weeds, multiple people directly involved say. There is consensus that a final agreement will need increases in funding for technology, personnel, and yes, border barriers. The levels, the structures, the details -- those are what are being hashed out in proposals and counter proposals right now. 
Bottom line: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have given the conferees space to reach a deal and people directly involved remain optimistic that an agreement will be reached. The bigger outstanding question from lawmakers and staff outside the conference committee: what exactly will President Donald Trump to do with any deal. 
Timeline: Negotiators want, and believe they need, an agreement by Friday or, at the latest, on Saturday. The absolute latest the full text of any proposal can be released publicly is Monday (in order to comply with the House 72-hour rule). So the general goal from both sides is to reach an agreement on the outstanding issues by Friday night or Saturday, spend the weekend drafting the agreement, then post it on Monday.
 
Then what: The House would vote on Wednesday, the Senate would then follow. 
Note: Negotiators -- and congressional leaders -- still have not been given any indication from the White House of what the President would or would not accept. White House officials remain in touch with lawmakers, particularly Vice President Mike Pence and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, but they haven't provided any concrete guidance or proposals, people involved with the discussions say. Lawmakers are moving forward regardless. 
"It's the hope and pray strategy," one Republican Senator told me Wednesday. 
The backstop: As is often the case, when deadlines get close, lawmakers start talking about a short-term, one- or two-week stop-gap funding bill. Democrats have floated the idea, and several Senate Republicans have said it may be necessary as a backstop while talks continue. 
Notably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a closed-door meeting of GOP committee chairs on Wednesday he did not think a stop-gap bill was a good idea, according to one participant -- and there's real question as to whether the president would even sign one. The message was negotiators need to reach a deal -- and get it done now.
The sticking points: 
  • Border barriers -- the topline funding number, the location and the actual structure chosen for the barriers are still under discussion. Note that Democrats have clearly moved off their position of no money for border barriers. Republicans accept $5.7 billion is a non-starter. It's not a question of if there will be barriers. The key now, per multiple sources involved is narrowing the gap on number, location and type of barrier. 
  • Detention beds -- Democrats, particularly in the House, are deeply opposed to increased funding for detention facilities to house detained undocumented immigrants. Republicans consider the funding increases in this area a must. This is a significant sticking point that has flown under the radar to some degree amid the wall fight.
  • Personnel -- Democrats proposed hiring 1,000 new customs agents, but had restrictions on increasing other personnel on the border. Republicans want a significant increase in border patrol and ICE personnel. This is not a minor issue -- a large chunk of the Democratic caucus is sharply opposed to increased personnel (the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, in a letter to conferees Wednesday, characterized it as "Trump's deportation force" and urged negotiators not to increase any funding.) 
  • An interesting piece of this is the spending parameters the negotiators are working under -- technically the level for the DHS measure is about $49 billion. Republicans, in past proposals, have sought to get around those caps via emergency funding to help finance the President's priorities. There's some dispute over whether that option is on the table here, according to people involved, but more broadly it's important to note that it's not like there's unlimited funds to just plunge into the bill. 
Something to keep in mind: Lawmakers and aides are clearly feeling positive about where things stand, but those directly involved also are preaching caution. Run through the above list of sticking points. Those aren't minor issues. Those are serious, significant policy differences between the two sides -- differences that have proven impossible to bridge up to this point. Things are clearly close, but as one lawmaker directly involved told me Thursday morning: "We're just getting to the hard part now."
The momentum: The general optimism that an agreement can be reached is quite a noteworthy shift given how completely intractable this debate has appeared for months. Surveying aides and lawmakers about why, exactly, things appear to actually be functioning now, a common theme comes back to the idea that lawmakers want to prove they can actually get something done. 
Members on both sides ended the shutdown so frustrated, or in the words of one senator, "just flat-out embarrassed" with how things had gotten to that point that there has been an impetus to show Congress can work, and reach an agreement, and pull the dysfunction back from the brink, if only by a little.
 
Will that prevail here? Still to be determined. But don't underestimate that as a role here in getting both sides to the table -- and creating momentum that in and of itself can become self-sustaining. 
Reminder: Though it's tough to remember sometimes, this package is actually more than just the funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security. If an agreement is reached, and then passed in Congress, it would also include the other six outstanding appropriations bills, at full-year levels. Not a lot of attention is being paid to that fact, but there are a lot of priorities for both sides (particularly Democrats) in those bills, particularly at the full year funding levels. And, perhaps most importantly, it would clear the decks for negotiations to begin on the looming budget caps. There is a lot of incentive, beyond the just the Homeland Security measure, to get this package across the finish line.

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1 hour ago, king of the county said:

They must be very good if they are going to get an agreement and a budget for a year together  in 7 days oh man or will the budget be for 3 weeks?

Did you forget it was THE SWAMP...?

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21 hours ago, king of the county said:

Shutdown watch: Negotiators want, and believe they need, an agreement by Friday

By Phil Mattingly, CNN

Updated at 10:54 AM ET, Thu February 7, 2019

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Washington (CNN) — When it comes to averting another government shutdown over border security, every day that negotiations on Capitol Hill don't fall apart is a good day.
That was the message to me from one lawmaker involved -- if it seems like a low bar, it is, but given the issues and politics, it's a genuinely good sign the talks are not just ongoing, but deep in the weeds, multiple people directly involved say. There is consensus that a final agreement will need increases in funding for technology, personnel, and yes, border barriers. The levels, the structures, the details -- those are what are being hashed out in proposals and counter proposals right now. 
Bottom line: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have given the conferees space to reach a deal and people directly involved remain optimistic that an agreement will be reached. The bigger outstanding question from lawmakers and staff outside the conference committee: what exactly will President Donald Trump to do with any deal. 
Timeline: Negotiators want, and believe they need, an agreement by Friday or, at the latest, on Saturday. The absolute latest the full text of any proposal can be released publicly is Monday (in order to comply with the House 72-hour rule). So the general goal from both sides is to reach an agreement on the outstanding issues by Friday night or Saturday, spend the weekend drafting the agreement, then post it on Monday.
 
Then what: The House would vote on Wednesday, the Senate would then follow. 
Note: Negotiators -- and congressional leaders -- still have not been given any indication from the White House of what the President would or would not accept. White House officials remain in touch with lawmakers, particularly Vice President Mike Pence and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, but they haven't provided any concrete guidance or proposals, people involved with the discussions say. Lawmakers are moving forward regardless. 
"It's the hope and pray strategy," one Republican Senator told me Wednesday. 
The backstop: As is often the case, when deadlines get close, lawmakers start talking about a short-term, one- or two-week stop-gap funding bill. Democrats have floated the idea, and several Senate Republicans have said it may be necessary as a backstop while talks continue. 
Notably, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told a closed-door meeting of GOP committee chairs on Wednesday he did not think a stop-gap bill was a good idea, according to one participant -- and there's real question as to whether the president would even sign one. The message was negotiators need to reach a deal -- and get it done now.
The sticking points: 
  • Border barriers -- the topline funding number, the location and the actual structure chosen for the barriers are still under discussion. Note that Democrats have clearly moved off their position of no money for border barriers. Republicans accept $5.7 billion is a non-starter. It's not a question of if there will be barriers. The key now, per multiple sources involved is narrowing the gap on number, location and type of barrier. 
  • Detention beds -- Democrats, particularly in the House, are deeply opposed to increased funding for detention facilities to house detained undocumented immigrants. Republicans consider the funding increases in this area a must. This is a significant sticking point that has flown under the radar to some degree amid the wall fight.
  • Personnel -- Democrats proposed hiring 1,000 new customs agents, but had restrictions on increasing other personnel on the border. Republicans want a significant increase in border patrol and ICE personnel. This is not a minor issue -- a large chunk of the Democratic caucus is sharply opposed to increased personnel (the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, in a letter to conferees Wednesday, characterized it as "Trump's deportation force" and urged negotiators not to increase any funding.) 
  • An interesting piece of this is the spending parameters the negotiators are working under -- technically the level for the DHS measure is about $49 billion. Republicans, in past proposals, have sought to get around those caps via emergency funding to help finance the President's priorities. There's some dispute over whether that option is on the table here, according to people involved, but more broadly it's important to note that it's not like there's unlimited funds to just plunge into the bill. 
Something to keep in mind: Lawmakers and aides are clearly feeling positive about where things stand, but those directly involved also are preaching caution. Run through the above list of sticking points. Those aren't minor issues. Those are serious, significant policy differences between the two sides -- differences that have proven impossible to bridge up to this point. Things are clearly close, but as one lawmaker directly involved told me Thursday morning: "We're just getting to the hard part now."
The momentum: The general optimism that an agreement can be reached is quite a noteworthy shift given how completely intractable this debate has appeared for months. Surveying aides and lawmakers about why, exactly, things appear to actually be functioning now, a common theme comes back to the idea that lawmakers want to prove they can actually get something done. 
Members on both sides ended the shutdown so frustrated, or in the words of one senator, "just flat-out embarrassed" with how things had gotten to that point that there has been an impetus to show Congress can work, and reach an agreement, and pull the dysfunction back from the brink, if only by a little.
 
Will that prevail here? Still to be determined. But don't underestimate that as a role here in getting both sides to the table -- and creating momentum that in and of itself can become self-sustaining. 
Reminder: Though it's tough to remember sometimes, this package is actually more than just the funding measure for the Department of Homeland Security. If an agreement is reached, and then passed in Congress, it would also include the other six outstanding appropriations bills, at full-year levels. Not a lot of attention is being paid to that fact, but there are a lot of priorities for both sides (particularly Democrats) in those bills, particularly at the full year funding levels. And, perhaps most importantly, it would clear the decks for negotiations to begin on the looming budget caps. There is a lot of incentive, beyond the just the Homeland Security measure, to get this package across the finish line.

This could be a problem if they need a deal today but anyway it’s 6 days and a wake up 

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Lawmakers heading to funding deal with far less border money than Trump wants

 

Updated 1:20 PM ET, Fri February 8, 2019 

 

 

What border funding deal will Trump be willing to sign?

Source: CNN

 

Washington (CNN) — Republican and Democratic negotiators are exchanging border security proposals that contain far less funding for the border wall than President Donald Trump has demanded, with just days left before a deadline to release their bill ahead of another potential government shutdown.

 

The latest proposals peg the topline funding number for border barriers around $2 billion, according to two people familiar with the talks. That number is far below the $5.7 billion that Trump has requested and repeatedly described as the number he wants met, but is in line with where people familiar with the talks thought an agreement may end.

 

Meanwhile, conservative lawmakers on the board of the House Freedom Caucus met Thursday at the White House with Trump about border security funding, according to a source familiar with the discussion. GOP Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan were among those at the meeting, which the source described as productive. Freedom Caucus members were among the conservatives who urged Trump in December to shut down the government if he could not secure wall funding at that level.

 

Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Tennessee Republican on the conference committee who touted progress on the talks to reporters on Friday, said GOP conferees are pushing to get the number above $2 billion.

"I want the highest possible number we can get, but I would hope it would be north of ($2 billion)," Fleischmann said.

 

A 2018 bipartisan Department of Homeland Security funding measure in the Senate allocated $1.6 billion for border barrier construction, and it restricted the type of barriers to fencing, bollard fencing and repairs to current barriers. The full Senate did not pass that measure, however, and the House did not consider it. Similar structural restrictions, which Democrats on the panel have said are paramount to any deal, are being discussed by negotiators in the current talks.

 

Fleischmann is among a handful of lawmakers invited by acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney to meet over the weekend at Camp David, the presidential retreat. White House aides described the meeting as a bipartisan meet-and-greet, not an attempt to intervene in the spending talks on Capitol Hill. Democratic Reps. Henry Cuellar, Peter Welch and John Yarmuth also plan to attend the meeting, according to their aides.

 

Trump also met Thursday with Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, about the status of negotiations over border security funding. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a top GOP ally to Trump, also told reporters he planned to meet the President on Thursday -- signaling the President's increasing engagement on an issue he has mostly left to Congress since ending the shutdown two weeks ago.

 

Just last week, Trump attacked the conference talks as a waste of time, but those who met with him Thursday described the President as optimistic about the prospects for an agreement.

 

White House aides express a sense of growing optimism that lawmakers will reach a deal to avert another shutdown -- a shift in tone from earlier in the process when administration officials expected Trump to declare a national emergency or use some other form of executive action in an attempt to tap into existing federal funds.

 

But what exactly the President would support remains unclear. While some aides suggest he is likely to back a deal that funds the wall at less than $5.7 billion if it emerges from conference, Trump himself has not yet signaled whether he would back down on his demand, and similar efforts to compromise on the price tag of his wall have fallen apart previously.

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Border wall talks break down ahead of second possible government shutdown

694940094001_6000494031001_6000495240001-vs.jpg

Continue Reading Below

 
 

With less than a week to go until another potential partial federal government shutdown begins on Friday, bipartisan compromise talks on funding for President Trump's proposed border wall have completely broken down, sources tell Fox News.

The sudden development again raised the possibility that Trump will declare a national emergency to access previously appropriated funds to initiate construction on a border wall. The White House agreed to a temporary spending bill late last month to end a historic 35-day government shutdown, although Trump said at the time that the move was not a "concession" and that he would not relent on his demands for a wall.

"Talks have broken down because Senate Republicans are refusing to compromise on limits to the Trump administration’s cruel immigration policies," a senior Democratic aide told Fox News on Sunday. "A deal that includes new physical barriers must also include limits on the number of ICE detention beds. If Senate Republicans won’t compromise with us on both, we can’t reach a deal.”

Added a GOP source: "The wall is a red herring for the Democrats. We got stuck on an interior enforcement cap," meaning a possible limitation on the number and type of enforcement actions ICE agents are allowed to take against illegal immigrants, including violent criminals.

Fox News is told if negotiators can’t resolve the situation soon, they are likely looking at trying to pass another temporary continuing resolution to try to avoid a shutdown.

Continue Reading Below

 

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday,"  Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala.,, who is leading negotiations on border wall funding, said Republicans don't want to offer concessions on ICE enforcement.

New border wall about to be built in south Texas

Two border wall projects totaling 14 miles will start this month

“I think the talks are stalled right now. I’m hoping we can get off the dime later today or in the morning, because time is ticking away, but we’ve got some problems with the Democrats dealing with ICE, that is detaining criminals that come into the U.S. and they want a cap on them," Shelby said. "We don’t want a cap on that."

As recently as last Friday, congressional negotiators said they expected a deal to be made, although some key players were pessimistic and Democrats indicated that money for physical barriers would likely end up well below the $5.7 billion that Trump has sought to begin construction of the wall.

DEMS PREVIOUSLY SUPPORTED FAR MORE EXPENSIVE SECURE FENCE ACT -- WHAT CHANGED?

The amount discussed hovered much closer to $1.6 billion, participants in the negotiations said, a figure that was in a bipartisan Senate bill last year.

"That's what we're working toward," said California Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard.

Supporters of the U.S. Republican Party make a human wall to demonstrate in favor of the construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico, at the border between Sunland Park, New Mexico, United States and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on February 9, 2019. (Photo by Herika Martinez / AFP) (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Supporters of the U.S. Republican Party make a human wall to demonstrate in favor of the construction of the border wall between the United States and Mexico, at the border between Sunland Park, New Mexico, United States and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on February 9, 2019. (Photo by Herika Martinez / AFP) (Photo credit should read HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Speaking separately to "Fox News Sunday," Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that an emergency declaration might not be required.

"There are other funds of money that are available to [Trump] through something called reprogramming, there is money he can get at and is legally allowed to spend," Mulvaney said, noting that some funds were available even without declaring an emergency. "And I think it needs to be said again and again this is going to be legal --- there are statutes on the book as to how any president can do this."

Still, Mulvaney asserted that a national emergency was "absolutely on the table" and said that a wall will be built, one way or another.

"The president is going to build the wall," Mulvaney said. "You saw what the Vice President said there, and that’s our attitude at this point ,is we will take as much money as you can give us and then we will go find money someplace else legally in order to secure that southern barrier. But this is going to get built with or without Congress."

Earlier this weekend, Democrats seemed to draw a firm line on spending.

Sens. Shelby and Tester on prospects for a deal on border security

Members of the bipartisan border security conference committee on the race to avoid another government shutdown.

"Throughout the talks, Democrats have insisted that a border security compromise not be overly reliant on physical barriers," said Evan Hollander, spokesman for Democrats who control the House Appropriations Committee. "We will not agree to $2 billion in funding for barriers."

The White House has previously offered a three-year extension of protections for 700,000 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, in exchange for the $5.7 billion Trump has been seeking for a barrier along the nation's southern border with Mexico. The offered deal would also extend protections for 300,000 recipients of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program -- which protects immigrants from designated countries with conditions that prevent nationals from returning safely.

But Democrats have called the border wall nothing more than a political stunt that they will never agree to fund, while Republicans point to what they have called a "crisis" at the border. Central Americans are increasingly entering the United States illegally in groups of at least 100 people in rugged, remote stretches of the Mexican border, authorities said Friday upon releasing January figures that show total arrests fell for a second straight month.

TRUMP TO PELOSI: IF WALLS ARE IMMORAL, WHY NOT TEAR DOWN EXISTING WALLS TOO?

 

A group of 325 Central Americans surrendered to agents Thursday near Lukeville, Ariz., according to Customs and Border Protection. Migrants told authorities that buses and trucks dropped them off throughout the night on a nearby Mexican highway that runs parallel to the border and they entered the U.S. together to wait for agents to find them. There were nearly 150 children, including 32 who were traveling alone.

The Border Patrol has encountered groups of at least 100 people 60 times since Oct. 1, compared to 13 during the entire 2018 fiscal year and two in the 2017 fiscal year, officials said. Many are in the desolate New Mexico Bootheel and Arizona deserts.

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2019, file photo, Yuli Arias, left, stands near a newly-replaced section of the border wall as her mother, Esther Arias, center, stands in the family's house that was once threatened by construction along the border in Tijuana, Mexico. The Trump administration said Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, it would waive environmental reviews to replace up to 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) of border barrier in San Diego, shielding itself from potentially crippling delays. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2019, file photo, Yuli Arias, left, stands near a newly-replaced section of the border wall as her mother, Esther Arias, center, stands in the family's house that was once threatened by construction along the border in Tijuana, Mexico. The Trump administration said Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, it would waive environmental reviews to replace up to 14 miles (22.5 kilometers) of border barrier in San Diego, shielding itself from potentially crippling delays. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

It is unclear what's driving the sudden uptick of large groups in remote areas, but families, many of them Central American asylum seekers, make up a large and growing percentage of arrests across the border.

U.S. authorities arrested or stopped people for immigration violations 58,207 times in January, down 4 percent from 60,779 in December but up 62 percent from 35,905 in January 2018. It was the second straight monthly decline, though arrests typically fall from December to January.

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Families and children traveling alone accounted for 33,861 of those encounters, or nearly 6 of every 10 stopped at official crossings or arrested for entering the country illegally between crossings, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. That's a dramatic change from several years ago, when most people who crossed illegally were single Mexican adults.

The large percentage of families and young children has stretched U.S. authorities even more in remote areas where staffing is thinner. Customs and Border Protection says medical attention was needed about 12,000 times for border crossers in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30.

On Jan. 14, a group of 376 Central Americans was arrested near San Luis, Ariz., the vast majority of them Guatemalan families who dug short, shallow holes under a barrier to cross the border, according to authorities.

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Key Hill negotiators say they have reached an agreement in principle to avert shutdown

By Ted BarrettPhil MattinglyManu Raju, Kristin Wilson and Ashley Killough, CNN

Posted at 8:46 PM ET, Mon February 11, 2019

 
 
 
 
 
 
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McConnell says democrats latest push will poison border compromise 06:39
(CNN) — Congressional negotiators say they have reached an agreement in principle to avert a government shutdown at the end of this week.
The four lead bipartisan negotiators, emerging from talks Monday night, declined to get into details on how the agreement was struck, but when asked whether it included barrier funding and a resolution to the detention bed issue, Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby said: "We got an agreement on all of it."
Shelby's comments follow those from a Democratic aide involved in the border security funding talks who said earlier Monday negotiators are "very, very close" to an agreement and they are now checking to see if the emerging proposal would get the votes it needs to pass the House.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, a top Democratic negotiator, said the goal for the four lead negotiators was to reach a deal Monday night, then proceed to drafting the final agreement on Tuesday.
 
"I think we both agree if we can wrap this up tonight, do it tonight, our goal will be to do it tomorrow," said Leahy, of Vermont, regarding his work with Shelby.
About 25% of funding for the federal government runs out at the end of the week, and -- without a deal -- would trigger another partial shutdown. A group of bipartisan lawmakers had been meeting for weeks to try to find a deal that would give funding related to immigration and border security. Those talks broke down over the weekend, but four members of that group -- the top Democrat and Republican from both the House and Senate Appropriations committees -- kept meeting Monday to try and find a deal that could pass both chambers and get President Donald Trump's signature.
The Democratic aide said there is still "a ton of work to do once they have an agreement reached" to ready it for the floor. 
A Republican aide involved expressed some caution on the progress given the repeated breakdowns over the past few weeks, but acknowledged negotiators "are clearly moving in the right direction." 
Another GOP aide said, "Hearing good things tonight."
Leahy would not specify how the issue of how many detention beds -- a key hold up from over the weekend -- was being resolved. 
"I'm not going to go into details," Leahy said as he headed to his Capitol office where the meeting was set to start. 
 
Speaking separately, Rep. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat on the conference committee said if an agreement was reached on Monday night, both chambers could likely get something to the president's desk before February 15 government funding deadline.
"I know the goal is to reach it tonight," Price said before the announcement of an agreement was made. "I hope we're back on track now with a serious give and take and good faith negotiations."

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What we're hearing about the agreement (from one Democratic source)

From CNN's Dana Bash

The details are slowly trickling out -- but here's what we hear has been agreed to:

  • $1.375 billion for physical barriers (bollard fencing)
  • 40,520 level for overall ICE beds (down from current 49,057 level)

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