July 21, 2017

Episode 325: 1st-Time Crossers Face Tougher Border Policy

The Border Patrol will prosecute first-time crossers; the agency's Missing Migrant Team; a visit to the Kino Border Initiative.

The Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol has announced it will be prosecuting first-time border crossers, bringing back a program officials said they hope will deter migrants from entering the U.S. illegally.

The program started in June, and already 600 people have been charged. Arizona Week went on a ride-along with an agency spokesman southwest of Tucson near the town of Sasabe to learn more.

Increasing the penalty from a misdemeanor to a felony carries heavy consequences, though what it means, exactly, for border crossers and the judicial system is still to be seen.

Arizona Week also visited the Kino Border Initiative in Nogales, Sonora. The group has provided food and other help to migrants, many of them recent deportees, for the last eight years.

There we visit with a Mexican national living illegally in the U.S. for the last 18 years, minutes after he arrived following his deportation.

The journey for many migrants attempting to enter the U.S. can start far from the border and contains myriad dangers. In the last two years, the Border Patrol has worked 400 cases missing migrants. The Missing Migrant Team comprises agents who work with consulates and other organizations to help families find their missing loved ones.

Senator John McCain has been diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain cancer. Arizona Public Media’s Christopher Conover has an update and a look at what might come next.

On the program

  • Daniel Hernandez, Border Patrol spokesman
  • Matthew Green, Tucson immigration attorney
  • Rev. Sean Carroll of the Kino Border Initiative
  • Mario Agundez, U.S. Border Patrol Missing Migrant Team
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