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Stories by Jay Root

Honduran migrants in 'caravan' continue on despite Trump’s threats

The Honduran migrants headed northward as part of a large group are fleeing for different reasons — rank poverty, gang threats and a globalized economy that left them behind. They’re so desperate, they said, they’re willing to gamble on a dangerous trip.... Read more»0

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Migrants seeking safe harbor in the U.S. must first survive shootouts and shakedowns in Mexico

It’s a cruel irony that Central American asylum-seekers flee the frying pan of violence and extortion in their home countries only to land in the fire that is Mexico, where robbery, shakedowns leave them desperate and broke by the time they reach the U.S. border. ... Read more»0

Border Patrol agent convicted of corruption but not Texas murder

Border Patrol Agent Joel Luna was found guilty of engaging in organized criminal activity, but a Cameron County jury acquitted him of murder. ... Read more»0

Border Patrol agent's Texas murder trial begins

The capital murder case began in 2015 with the discovery of a headless body floating off South Padre Island. The trial of two men charged in the case — a U.S. Border Patrol agent and his Mexican-born brother — begins Tuesday in South Texas... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

If we hire them, they will come: The demand side of border security

A fundamental truth underlies the nation's collective failure to stop illegal immigration and smuggling over the southern border: The United States demands the cheap labor and drugs. ... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

Immigrant 'dreamers' fear deportation nightmare under Trump

Some undocumented immigrants brought here as kids were granted a sort of legal status by President Barack Obama. They're in a state of shock and panic now that Donald Trump has won the White House. ... Read more»0

U.S.-funded programs try to convince Central Americans to stay home

In a tiny classroom in a small hamlet in the murder capital of the world, the U.S. government is testing the theory — one child at a time — that helping young Central Americans at home might convince them to stay put rather than joining the flood of migrants fleeing for the U.S.-Mexico border.... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

Mexico fights illegal immigration on its own southern border

Under pressure from the United States, Mexico has tried to cut down the flow of Central American immigrants passing through on their way to the southern U.S. border. ... Read more»0

Gang wars, poverty drive Central Americans over U.S. border

The challenge of securing the southern U.S. border is changing dramatically as fewer Mexicans cross illegally, but more Central Americans arrive seeking refuge from the terror and chaos of their home countries.... Read more»0

Indicted Border Patrol agent's brother strikes deal in cartel beheading case

The brother of a U.S. Border Patrol agent charged with capital murder in an alleged Mexican drug cartel hit struck a surprise deal Thursday to help prosecutors build their case against his siblings and other defendants.... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

Headless body leads to arrest of Texas Border Patrol agent

When Franky Palacios Paz was found naked and decapitated floating off South Padre Island, the local sheriff thought the murder would lead investigators back to Mexican drug cartel violence. He didn’t expect a U.S. Border Patrol agent to be among those arrested.... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

Rio Grande: Boats off the water little help in border security

Keeping people and drugs from crossing illegally into the United States requires more than boots on the ground. In the busy smuggling corridor of Starr County, Texas, it also takes boats in the water.... Read more»0

Border Patrol agent indicted in sweeping Texas drug probe

A U.S. Border Patrol agent was indicted this week on drug trafficking charges as part of a wide-ranging probe of dope dealers who allegedly corrupted U.S. lawmen to help them steal cocaine in Houston and deep South Texas, court records show.... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

Immigration saga leaves teen trapped in Mexico

Marcos Valencia was raised in Indiana, but in the eyes of the law, his home is the cartel-infested state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where he was born. Now he's stuck in Mexico, unable to return to the country where he grew up from the age of three. ... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

ICE chief a bipartisan punching bag in immigration debates

When she was a federal prosecutor in Texas, Sarah Saldaña was seen as hard-nosed and nonpartisan. Since President Obama appointed her to lead U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, she's learned to take hits from the left and right.... Read more»0

Bordering on insecurity

After deportation, killer returned easily to U.S.

Deported to his native Mexico for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, Juan Leonardo Quintero returned to Houston and easily resumed his life. When he killed a police officer in 2006, Quintero became a poster child for loose border enforcement.... Read more»0

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