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Border crossings by children are on the rise, putting a strain on US facilities.

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Border crossings by children are on the rise, putting a strain on US facilities.
Border crossings by children are on the rise, putting a strain on US facilities.

Border crossings by children are on the rise, putting a strain on US facilities.

 

The Biden administration is on the defensive in the face of a surge of migrants on the Southwest border, with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen recognizing the scale of the issue Tuesday but maintaining it is under control and stating he will not reinstate a Trump-era practice of deporting adolescents and children right away.

Since last April, the number of migrants stopped at the US-Mexico border has risen, and the administration is still increasingly expelling most single adults and families under a public health order released by President Donald Trump at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It does, however, encourage teenagers and children to stay, at least temporarily, and they have been arriving in ever-increasing numbers.

According to a US official, the Border Patrol was holding more than 4,000 migrant children as of Sunday, with at least 3,000 of them being kept for longer than the 72-hour cap imposed by a court order. According to a second official, the department received an additional 561 applications on Monday, more than double the recent average. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to address statistics that had not yet been made public.

It has placed President Joe Biden in a challenging position, with Republicans condemning him for supporting illegal border crossers and some Democrats criticizing him for detaining minors for lengthy periods of time. It’s also a setback for his efforts to reform Trump’s wider immigration policies, which aimed to limit both legal and illegal immigration.

“The situation at the southwest border is difficult,” Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas acknowledged in his most detailed remarks on the topic to date on Tuesday. “We’re working around the clock to keep things under hand, and we’ll keep doing so. That is our responsibility.”

The number of migrants attempting to cross the border has risen to its highest level since March 2019, with Mayorkas predicting a 20-year high.

The number of children crossing by themselves, mostly from Central America, appears to be on the rise, particularly in South Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. On Monday, the Border Patrol alone took in 280 people.

The number of 561 unaccompanied minors as of Monday reflects how quickly things along the border have changed. According to one of the officials, this was up 60% from the regular average in February. The one-day peak in May 2019, during the previous boom, was 370 teenagers and infants.

According to the most recent figures published publicly by US Customs and Border Protection, the number of children and teens crossing by themselves increased by 60% from January to more than 9,400 in February.

To deal with the influx, the Health and Human Services Department plans to open shelters at Moffett Federal Airfield near San Francisco and in Pecos, Texas. It also plans to build a 2,000-person facility in Donna, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley.

In addition, the Dallas Convention Center will begin holding children as early as Wednesday, with a capacity of 3,000. Another makeshift holding center in Midland, Texas, which opened last weekend with 700 children had 485 children on Monday.
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– A influx of children has been identified at the US-Mexico border, posing a challenge for Biden – For days on end, children were crammed into a Border Patrol shelter. Immigration bills have a grim future, according to a leading Senate Democrat.

Adults are being caught more often after being expelled under a public health directive released last year to help avoid the spread of COVID-19. Other factors include the pandemic’s economic devastation and recent hurricanes that exacerbated living conditions in Central America. Smugglers are also likely to have motivated people to attempt to cross under the new administration, according to officials.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Mayorkas said an increase in the number of children is a problem for the Border Patrol and other agencies. He, however, opposed a Trump-era policy of returning them to Mexico or other countries right away.

“They are vulnerable children, and we have ended the tradition of expelling them under the previous administration,” he said.

Despite the fact that past migrant waves have occurred, including under Trump, Republicans in Congress argue that Biden’s support for new immigration laws and his decision to encourage citizens to file valid asylum claims have attracted migrants.

Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma displayed a picture of a small crowd of protesters in Tijuana, Mexico, wearing matching T-shirts with the words “Biden, Please Let us In” that had been widely circulated on social media in recent days during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday.

“They’re all coming over the border, and they’re all wearing Biden T-shirts,” the Oklahoma Republican said.

On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy led a group of a dozen Republican lawmakers to the Texas border, where he blamed the Biden administration for pushing up the number of migrants by halting border wall construction and endorsing bills in Congress that would include a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants already in the country.

“The unfortunate thing of it all is that it didn’t have to be this way. This crisis was caused by the new administration’s presidential policies, according to McCarthy.
Complete Coverage: Immigration is a complex problem.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, Biden fought back, recalling previous surges under Trump and pointing out that his administration has been attempting to deter people from crossing while seeking to restore an asylum system that had been weakened by his predecessor. “I heard they’re coming the other day because they know I’m a good person. Okay, so here’s the deal: They aren’t.”

In 2019, Trump faced a similar surge, despite his haste to extend the border wall scheme, forcing asylum seekers to seek asylum in Central America or stay in Mexico. He had forcefully separated migrant children from their families a year before as part of a zero-tolerance program that became one of his administration’s most important political challenges.

The Biden administration is enabling unaccompanied minors under the age of 18 to stay in the country as the government determines if they have a legitimate claim to citizenship, either under asylum law or for another purpose.

Mayorkas noted that 80 percent of the minors, the majority of whom are from Central America’s Northern Triangle, have relatives in the United States, and 40 percent have a parent. “These are children who will be cared for by their families,” he explained.

Last week, the Biden administration reversed a Trump policy that made relatives fearful of being deported if they contacted HHS to reclaim their children.

It is also supporting assistance to Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to try to stem the influx of migrants at the source, in addition to building new temporary facilities to house migrant children.

Mayorkas slammed the previous administration for repealing an asylum scheme that would have allowed for a more “orderly” immigration process, slashing assistance to Central America, and failing to vaccinate Border Patrol agents, among other things.

He also mentioned that the Biden administration is trying to streamline the asylum process by allowing applicants to petition from their home country rather than risking a risky and unpredictable path. He said, “We have no illusions about how complicated it is, and we know it will take time.”

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Police admit to mistaking Roberta Laundrie for Brian Laundrie during week he disappeared

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Police admit to mistaking Roberta Laundrie for Brian Laundrie during week he disappeared

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – North Port Police Department officials have told WINK that investigators made mistakes in Brian Laundrie’s case. The department said they thought they were keeping a close eye on Laundrie before he went missing, but actually confused him for his mother.

According to the North Port Police Department, police started watching the Laundrie family home after Petito was reported missing. Officers reported seeing Brian Laundrie leave in a gray Mustang Sept. 13, but spokesperson Josh Taylor said he thinks they mistook Brian’s mother for her son when the Mustang returned on Sept. 15.

“When the family reported him [missing] on Friday that was certainly news to us that they had not seen him,” Taylor said. “We thought that we’d seen Brian initially come back into that home on that Wednesday.”

The Laundries initially said that they hadn’t seen Brian since Tuesday, but later changed their statement to Monday.

How the mixup happened is not entirely clear. Taylor said that Roberta Laundrie was wearing a baseball cap and that the two are “kind of built similarly.”

“They had returned from the park with that Mustang. So who does that? Right? Like, if you think your son’s missing since Tuesday, you’re going to bring his car back to the home. So it didn’t make sense that anyone would do that if he wasn’t there. So the individual getting out with a baseball cap we thought was Brian,” said Taylor.

During a North Port police news conference on Sept. 16, Chief Todd Garrison voiced his frustration with the lack of answers on Gabby Petito’s disappearance.

Garrison added that there was no criminality suspected in the case at the time, and police were only investigating a missing person case with the sole focus of finding Petito.

A reporter asked Chief Garrison at the news conference, “Do you know where Brian Laundrie is right now?” Garrison responded, “yes,” apparently thinking he was inside the family home.

The Laundries’ family attorney Steve Bertolino confirmed the next day that the whereabouts of their son were unknown.

That statement came after police spent more than two hours at the Laundrie family home, at the family’s request.

NewsNation’s Brian Entin reported that police had kept tabs on Laundrie before he disappeared by placing surveillance cameras around his family’s home, but they missed him leaving to go to the reserve. Authorities said the lack of charges against Laundrie prevented them from taking more drastic measures.

“What I’ll say is that we were the ones doing everything in our power to get answers on this. If mistakes were made, there’s human error involved in every investigation. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of taking it seriously or hustle or knowledge. Sometimes things happen,” Taylor said.

According to Bertolino, Brian’s parents are “grieving privately in Florida,” with their daughter Cassie. So far, they don’t have a formal funeral plan for Brian.

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Family saved by going to basement moments before Chester tornado

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Family saved by going to basement moments before Chester tornado

CHESTER, Ill. – Ameren Illinois crews have been busy all through the night and today dealing with the storm damage in multiple communities about an hour southeast of St. Louis.

A tornado touched down in Randolph County Sunday evening, ripping up trees and powerlines, and flinging debris every which way. One local family avoided catastrophe by heading into their basement, just moments before the tornado arrived.

“I estimate at 9:20 (p.m.) the roof got sucked off that house and we had like a minute to get downstairs, covered ourselves in the basement, and the roof was gone,” said Dennis Schnoeker Jr. “Then we packed up our stuff and went to Steeleville with my mother and here we are, we’re alive, we made it through.”

Extensive damage could be seen throughout the county in the light of day on Monday.

“We have not had any reports of any injuries at this time. It’s a miracle; it really is,” said Chief Deputy Jarrod Peters, Randolph County Sheriff’s Office. For something like this to come around, especially during the nighttime, or getting close to when it’s getting dark, it’s a rarity for something like this; especially for a storm of this category.”

In nearby Bremen, Illinois, the path of destruction could be seen Monday from toppled trailers to overturned trees.

“Heed the warnings and get in your basement and stay there,” Schnoeker said. “We all want to see what’s going on. I would never do it again. I would never watch and sit outside and watch this happen when they say get in the basement I’m going to the basement.”

Schnoeker believes his house might be a loss after the roof was torn off since it continued to rain all night long.

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Storm survey: RV park decimated by EF-3 tornado in Fredericktown

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Storm survey: RV park decimated by EF-3 tornado in Fredericktown

MADISON COUNTY, Mo. – Located about 90 miles south of St. Louis, Fredericktown appeared to have sustained the worst of the damage from the strongest tornado to hit the region Sunday evening.

A National Weather Service survey team reported at least an EF-3 tornado hit the area, pending further investigation. The Enhanced Fujita Scale goes from 0-5, with 0 being the weakest.

EF-3 tornados have wind speeds of up to 165 miles per hour.

The view of widespread damage on the outskirts of town from Bommarito Automotive Group SkyFox was staggering. Up close, the views on the ground were heartbreaking.

A home just behind 72 West Motors RV/Camper sales off of Highway 72 had its roof torn off. Five people were inside hoping to make it out alive. Fortunately, they did.

“As soon as I said, ‘I think we need to go downstairs,’ it felt like a bomb going off behind me, which was the roof getting ripped off and falling in and all the attic insulation blinding everybody,” said A.J. Smith, standing outside the roofless house. “As this was happening, I ran into my dad’s room. I shook him real quick. He jumped up. I just scooped him up like a little baby and ran downstairs.”

They huddled near a basement support beam, he said.

The entire fleet of 50 new campers at 72 West Motors was damaged or destroyed; campers worth $40,000 to $100,000 or more.

Across the highway and nearby fields, the Black River Electrical Cooperative was also wiped out, along with a couple more homes and businesses.

Most of Black River’s repair trucks were idled awaiting a damage assessment, Monday, as opposed to be used to restore customers’ power.

“We’re used to that (role) but not this (being a tornado victim),” a spokesman said.

Enough trucks remained in service and/or were brought in from the other providers to have power restored to about 5,000 of 6,400 customers who lost service as of 3:00 p.m. Monday, he said.

No one was hurt.

No one was hurt at 72 West Motors either.

“I’ve never been through it. I’ve seen this stuff on TV. I’ve always felt bad for the families. I never thought I’d be one of them,” said Gary Stephens, owner of 72 West Motors. “I know what it feels like to be one of them and it’s not a very good feeling. “There’s always a bright side you know. I’ve got so many friends that’s come by here, so many people, customers drove plum from Springfield. Nobody got hurt. All my family is good and all my workers. My workers mean a lot to me.”

Homes and businesses within the Fredericktown city limits suffered very little damage but most were without power.

They are on the municipal power grid and not Black River’s.

It could be days before everyone’s power is restored, according to authorities.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Lt. Michael Lynch said as of late Monday night there was no curfew set in place for Fredericktown. He said it is not safe for people to be out on the roadways at night if they don’t have to, because there is still debris in on roadways.

Lynch added that authorities have rolling street closures to allow linemen and crews room to work while they restore power.

“The fact that nobody was hurt, best-case scenario for a bad situation, we had no reported injuries, from that we had one reported afterwards and it was relatively minor considering everything,” he said.

Lynch said there was one report of a minor hand injury after, but he believes it was an injury from cleaning up or being in the rubble. 

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service is still looking for damage. They are asking the public to tweet pictures of it to them with the hashtags #mowx #ilwx. They are using the images to ask people if they would like to participate in a damage survey.

  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • Fredericktown, Missouri
  • 1635195080 306 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 325 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 161 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 702 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 286 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 628 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 587 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 530 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 912 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 634 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday
  • 1635195080 209 Storm survey EF 3 tornado hit near Fredericktown Sunday

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