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Border Roundup: Immigration reform reconsidered; BP investigated

Politicians are reconsidering immigration reform, Homeland Security is investigating the Border Patrol after complaints of excessive force, plus: what happens to U.S. veterans deported to Mexico:

Politics and policy

With immigration reform back in the political spotlight, Arturo Sarukhan, the Mexican ambassador to the United States, said that the time is "ripe" for working on what may be the most important issue for "the future wellbeing of our bilateral relationship."

Immigrants like Ricardo and Alicia are also joining the conversation about immigration reform by telling their story about coming to America, living in Phoenix and their hopes for their children and their future.

New York's Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer says he and South Carolina's Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham are "revisiting their comprehensive immigration plan that was shelved two years ago." Other politicians who've supported revisiting the issue include President  House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Arizona Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema and Sen. John McCain who tweeted support for immigration reform.

Iowa's Rep. Steve King tweeted that he is not one of those reevaluating their stance on immigration issues. Susan Ferriss reports on King's interaction with Bethany Gonzalez, a U.S. citizen with two young children whose husband was applying for permanent residency when he was deported and barred from the U.S. for 10 years for a past immigration infraction. Gonzalez appealed to King as her representative for help based on his family values platform. King responded by pointing out that her family can be reunited if she and her children relocate to Mexico. King is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and vice chairman of its Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

Law enforcement

Since 2010 at least 16 people have been killed by Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border. Federal authorities said eight of the cases involve agents attached with rocks. Now the Mexican government and the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights are expressing concerns about excessive force and the Department of Homeland Security is launching an investigation into Border Patrol policies.

Growing smart phone use means growing phone business - and growing theft. U.S. and Mexican government officials have signed an agreement that makes most phones listed as stolen in either country unusable in both.

Erin Siegal looks into the stories of U.S. veterans who've been deported after finding out their military service didn't complete their paths to citizenship and finds out that while many end up in stranded in cities like Tijuana, federal authorities say that nobody is tracking how many veterans are affected or what happens to them.

Support TucsonSentinel.com today, because a smarter Tucson is a better Tucson.

TucsonSentinel.com's original reporting and curation of border and immigration news is generously supported in part by a grant from the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Ajo Station agents discovered 66 bundles of marijuana in a Chevy Tahoe reported stolen out of Nevada and recovered off Federal Route 7 east of Why.

Sources

Border Patrol Activity

As reported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection press releases:

Thursday, Nov. 8

Tucson Sector agents arrested two U.S. citizens at the Highway 191 checkpoint after a canine alert led to the recovery of two grams of marijuana, 39 grams of methamphetamine, three oxycodone pills, seven grams of mushrooms and two handguns from their vehicle.

Saturday, Nov. 10

Willcox Station agents stopped a 1997 Nissan Altima on Highway 186, arrested the three people being smuggled in the vehicle and unsuccessfully pursued the driver after he fled on foot.

Tucson Sector agents arrested two people at the Interstate 19 checkpoint for smuggling two other people in a Buick sedan.

Sunday, Nov. 11

Tucson Sector agents arrested a U.S. citizen at the State Route 86 checkpoint near Three Points for smuggling five people in the trunk of a 2007 Nissan Altima.

Thursday, Nov. 15

Ajo Station agents recovered 66 bundles of marijuana (estimated value nearly $745,000) in a Chevy Tahoe reported stolen out of Nevada and recovered off Federal Route 7 east of Why.