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About 50 miles of brand new wall has been completed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along the United States’ southwest border, with more expected to be constructed, according to acting Commissioner Mark Morgan.

“Fifty miles of new border wall on the Southwest border and construction continues every day,” Morgan announced in a July 10 Twitter post. “Construction is underway for more than 50 additional miles and more contract awards are anticipated by the end of the year.”

Accompanying Morgan’s Twitter post were a few photos, some showing the construction process—others depicting the finished product. It didn’t say exactly where the new wall was being built.

The Department of Homeland Security announced weeks ago that Morgan would serve as the acting commissioner of CBP after John P. Sanders’s decision to resign. Morgan became the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in May.

Last month, President Donald Trump praised a decision reached by the federal court denying a request by House Democrats to block funds being appropriated from other accounts for the construction of the border wall.

“Just had a big victory in Federal Court over the Democrats in the House on the desperately needed Border Wall. A big step in the right direction. Wall is under construction!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

U.S. Border Patrol apprehended 688,375 illegal aliens on the southern border this fiscal year, according to the latest CBP data. In June alone, Border Patrol agents apprehended 94,897 illegal immigrants.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said last month that each week, about two miles of additional border wall are being built.

“[It’s] coming along aggressively,” McAleenan told Trump during a meeting at the White House on June 12. “By the end of next year, over 400 miles [will be built].”

The United States is dealing with a rising influx of illegal aliens, most of whom are traveling through Mexico from Central America.

Just last weekend, Border Patrol agents said they arrested a sex offender and also foiled a maritime smuggling attempt.

The sex offender was detained after agents spotted a man approximately six miles north of the U.S.-Mexico International Boundary. The man was identified as a 53-year-old Honduran national who had no legal documentation. He was arrested and sent to a nearby station for processing.

After running records checks at the station, the man was revealed to have had a “criminal conviction out of New Hampshire for aggravated felonious sexual assault against a child,” according to CBP.

The smuggling attempt was foiled when a U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted a pleasure-craft vessel operating near Point Loma, California. During the initial interception, they observed one person on board, but after boarding the vessel, they found an additional 12.

“All onboard were suspected of attempting to enter the U.S. illegally and were transported to the USCG base on North Harbor Drive, San Diego,” CBP said. Agents later took all 13 individuals into custody.

The vast majority of those being detained by border agents are children and family units from Central America that Border Patrol is forced to release quickly, despite the fact that 90 percent of them never show up for their subsequent immigration hearings.

Trump has also applauded Mexico for its recent efforts to curb illegal immigration.

“Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people… long before they get to our Southern Border. Guatemala is getting ready to sign a Safe-Third Agreement. The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress,” Trump said on multiple Twitter posts last month.

Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.

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Author: Bowen Xiao

Source: The Epoch Times: CBP Completes 50 Miles of New Border, 50 More Underway

Pope Francis has sent half a million dollars in funds from the “Peter’s Pence collections” to 27 Mexico-based projects to assist migrant communities, the Vatican said on April 27.

It comes as President Donald Trump warned days ago of a new migrant caravan attempting to get on U.S. soil.

The funds are to be sent to 16 Mexican dioceses and religious congregations that requested assistance in basic aid for the migrants stranded at the border. The Vatican noted that more than 75,000 migrants arrived in Mexico last year in six different migrant caravans. The migrants mainly come from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala.

“The Catholic Church hosts thousands of them in hotels within the dioceses or religious congregations, providing basic necessities, from housing to clothing,” the Vatican said.

Trump has urged Mexico to stop the influx of migrants attempting to enter the United States illegally. The president has repeatedly floated the idea of closing certain parts of the southern border in order to stem what he described previously as an “attempted invasion of illegals.

U.S. officials said they arrested or denied entry to more than 103,000 people along the border with Mexico in March, more than twice as many as the same period in 2018.

Border Patrol agent Tait Seelhorst and his K-9 Zak find an illegal alien who was trying to evade capture near McAllen, Texas, on April 18, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
A group of illegal aliens walks up the road after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico. Further up the road, they will board a bus bound for the Border Patrol processing facility in McAllen, Texas, on April 18, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico,” Trump said in an April 24 Twitter post. “It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming. Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military. The Coyotes & Cartels have weapons!”

Peter’s Pence, which are donations or payments made directly to the Holy See, must be evaluated for transparency, the Vatican said.

In a statement, the church insisted that “a regulated and transparent use of the resources, which must be accounted for, is required before the aid is assigned.” It also noted that 13 projects of the 27 have already been approved, with another 14 currently being evaluated.

The Pentagon said on April 26 that it expects to send about 300 additional troops to the U.S.–Mexico border. The move is a sign of a growing military support role, as the Trump administration seeks to add assistance to an overwhelmed Border Patrol dealing with what Customs and Border Protection chief Kevin McAleenan has called “unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest border.”

Trump, who has made tackling illegal immigration a signature issue of his presidency, praised the Border Patrol for their recent efforts and noted the record numbers of illegal’s apprehended.

“Can anyone comprehend what a GREAT job Border Patrol and Law Enforcement is doing on our Southern Border. So far this year they have APPREHENDED 418,000 plus illegal immigrants, way up from last year,” he said April 24 on Twitter.

“Mexico is doing very little for us. DEMS IN CONGRESS MUST ACT NOW!”

Author: Bowen Xiao

Source: Theepochtimes: Pope Francis Sends $500,000 in Funds to Assist Migrants at Mexico–US Border Amid Surge

President Donald Trump told reporters on April 5 that he would skip the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner scheduled for later this month.

Trump’s comments confirm that he will not attend the event for the third year in a row. As he was leaving the White House on his trip to the southern border in California, he told reporters that the event was not to his liking.

Instead, he said he would hold one of his MAGA-style rallies as a counter-program to the April 27 press dinner. The president’s rallies often gather tens of thousands of supporters. In a recent rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump drew in 14,000 supporters who filled the Van Andel Arena stadium to capacity, with nearly 20,000 outside.

“The dinner is so boring and so negative that we’re going to hold a very positive rally instead,” he said.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to the U.S.-Mexico border from the White House on April 5, 2019. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)

Presidents and first ladies have traditionally attended the event, and a number of reporting awards also are distributed at the dinner. Trump has not been to the dinner since he took office but had suggested he might appear this year after organizers scrapped the usual format featuring a comedian and instead invited Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow to speak.

Trump became the first president since Ronald Reagan to skip the dinner. Reagan did not attend in 1981 because he was recovering from an assassination attempt.

The association this year decided to shift to a featured speaker instead of a comic after a sharply anti-Trump performance last year by comedian Michelle Wolf that some thought was too pointed against White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other White House staff.

Chernow, a biographer of presidents and statesmen including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, is expected to speak about the importance of the First Amendment.

President Donald Trump at a MAGA rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on March 28, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

The president, who often refers to the media as “fake news” for their coverage of his presidency, recently ramped up his criticisms on Twitter. Previously he has criticized The New York Times, CNN, ABC, and NBC, for their coverage.

“The press is doing everything within their power to fight the magnificence of the phrase, MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he wrote on April 5.

“They can’t stand the fact that this Administration has done more than virtually any other Administration in its first 2yrs. They are truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

Trump said his team has yet to settle on a location for his April 27 rally, but stressed: “It’ll be a big one.”

‘They Have to Be Accountable’

At the Michigan rally, Trump’s first one since special counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up his nearly 2-year-long investigation, the president returned to familiar ground—the campaign trail—where he put those behind the investigation in the spotlight.

“After 3 years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead. The collusion delusion is over,” Trump told 12,000 supporters in the Van Andel Arena.

The stage was set with a giant American flag as a backdrop, flanked with banners reading “Jobs Jobs Jobs!”—a different tone from Trump’s opening rally of the year in El Paso, Texas, which read “Finish the Wall.”

Donald Trump Jr., who spoke right before his father struck a victorious tone: “It’s not just our vindication it’s your vindication…. Because you stuck by us.”

The first thing the president addressed was his vindication via the Mueller report, which concluded that he and his campaign associates did not collude or coordinate with Russia in efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

The president also made reference to the so-called Steele dossier which was at the heart of the allegations that he colluded with Russia.

“All of the current and former officials who paid for, promoted, and perpetuated the single greatest hoax in the history of politics in our country, they have to be accountable,” Trump said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Author: Bowen Xiao

Source: Theepochtimes: Trump to Skip White House Press Dinner for Third Year in a Row

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