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Native activist found not guilty in border protest after new arguments on religious freedom defense

Amber Ortega, a Southern Arizona border activist facing two federal charges for protesting the construction of the border wall near Quitobaquito Springs, was found not guilty by a judge on Wednesday. ... Read more»

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TucsonSentinel.com looks back at 2021

Tucson rang in 2021 much as we left the previous year, but with a few new twists: an attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, in the grip of a pandemic that has become a political issue, more immigration and asylum issues, a growing climate crisis. ... Read more»

Biden’s border: 'an incredibly disappointing year' for immigrant advocates

As a candidate, Joe Biden emphasized how different his immigration policy would be from that of former President Donald Trump, promising to “take urgent action to undo Trump’s damage,” but after nearly a year of the Biden presidency, immigrant advocates are disheartened.... Read more»

Native activist gets new hearing over 'religious freedom' defense in Az border wall protest case

A federal judge agreed to reconsider ruling over how a law intended to protect religious freedom may shield a Southern Arizona border activist from prosecution after she was arrested last year while protesting the construction of the border wall near Quitobaquito Springs.... Read more»

DHS will close 'gaps' in border wall, begin clean-up work in Southern Arizona

Customs and Border Protection can close some gaps in the border wall, and work to clean up now-abandoned construction projects in Southern Arizona using millions in defense funding earmarked to counter drug-smuggling, DHS Secretary Mayorkas said Monday. ... Read more»

Guest opinion

Hoover: Magnus needs to work with experts & activists to make U.S. border policies more humane

Chris Magnus, Tucson's former chief of police and now Biden’s new CBP commissioner, should seek out civil society experts for help to make border policies humane. Humanitarian groups, academics, human rights groups, telecommunication companies, and local governments have much to offer. ... Read more»

Another Border Patrol agent dies from COVID-19 in Arizona

Border Patrol lost a second agent in Southern Arizona to COVID-19 in November, one of 55 CBP employees killed by coronavirus — including seven federal border officers and agents in Arizona. COVID has become the leading cause of death of U.S. law enforcement officers.... Read more»

New guidelines issued for care for pregnant women, mothers with babies born in Border Patrol stations

Customs and Border Protection released new guidelines for the treatment of pregnant woman and infants in custody at Border Patrol stations, following a critical report from a federal watchdog and pressure from 11 Democratic senators. ... Read more»

Judge tosses Native activist's 'religous freedom' defense in border wall protest case

Amber Ortega, a Southern Arizona border activist arrested last year protesting the construction of the border wall near Quitobaquito Springs, cannot use a federal law protecting religious freedom as her criminal defense, a judge ruled Thursday.... Read more»

Tucson-area Border Patrol agent dies from COVID-19

A Border Patrol agent in Southern Arizona died Friday from COVID-19, one of a half-dozen members of CBP killed by coronavirus in the state. Anibal Perez is the fourth BP agent to die from COVID in Arizona this year as the disease has cut a swath through CBP's ranks, killing 51 officers and employees during the pandemic.... Read more»

San Diego DA asked to prosecute shadow Border Patrol investigation unit

Advocates called on San Diego District Attorney Stephan to file charges against Border Patrol agents involved in the 2010 beating death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas based on evidence a shadow police unit within the federal agency impeded the investigation of his death. ... Read more»

Tucson activist charged with protesting border wall on Organ Pipe testifies at federal trial

Facing two federal charges, Amber Ortega testified in court Thursday that she acted "without hesitation" to block border wall construction near Quitobaquito Spring because she believed she needed to protect the land from being "desecrated." ... Read more»

Video: CBP helicopter hoists migrant from remote Az mountain range

A helicopter crew from U.S. Customs and Border Protection pulled a migrant from a mountain range in a remote part of Southern Arizona on Sunday morning, hoisting the dehydrated man from the rugged terrain following a 911 call. ... Read more»

Enviros' lawsuit over Trump's border wall funding moves headed toward settlement

A lawsuit alleging that the Trump administration unlawfully siphoned $3.6 billion in construction funds from the Defense Department to fund border wall projects along the U.S.-Mexico border is heading toward a settlement following an order from the U.S. Supreme Court. ... Read more»

Border agents at I-19 checkpoint seize 53 lbs. of fentanyl from U.S. citizen

Border Patrol agents seized more than 50 pounds of fentanyl from a U.S. citizen Monday morning at the I-19 checkpoint, authorities said. ... Read more»

Off-duty Border Patrol agent shoots, kills man involved in Saturday night fight

Tucson police said an off-duty Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man Saturday night after intervening in a fight between the shooting victim and another person on Tucson's West Side.... Read more»

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