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Soon after the charges were announced, Masih Alinejad revealed that she was the target of the assassination plot. “Fortunately, their plot failed because we didn’t,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a press conference announcing the indictment. Amirov, a citizen of Azerbaijan and Russia who was living in Iran during the plot, was taken into custody in New York on Thursday. Omarov then directed Mehdiyev to carry out the plot against Alinejad and Amirov and Omarov arranged to pay Mehdiyev $30,000 in cash. Before he could carry out the plot, however, Mehdiyev was arrested near Alinejad's home in July with the assault rifle in his possession.
A group of 77 Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday criticizing his administration’s policies restricting asylum access for migrants crossing the southern border. At a press conference Thursday, Menendez said, “We recognize that the United States is experiencing a difficult migration challenge at the southern border. The Biden administration has said that its proposal is different because Miller did not allow for migrants to apply from their home countries to come to the U.S. legally. Biden has faced intense criticism over his border policies from both parties, with Republicans saying they are unwilling to negotiate on immigration legislation or more funding for border initiatives until the administration does more to secure the border. Customs and Border Protection encountered undocumented migrants more than 250,000 times in December, a record monthly high to end a record high year of border encounters.
Following the latest string of mass shootings in the U.S., the Secret Service published a 60-page report Wednesday detailing trends in mass attacks in public spaces to share patterns with community leaders who could help prevent the next tragedy. Among the findings: Although a personal grievance of some sort was the single most common motive, one-quarter of the attackers studied from 2016 to 2020 were motivated by conspiracy theories or hateful ideologies. Hateful ideologies that motivated attackers included anti-government, antisemitic or misogynistic views. More than three-quarters of all attacks involved firearms, and over 80% of attacks that used guns resulted in at least one death, the report found. Most of the attackers used handguns, but one-third used “long guns,” a category that includes automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
Abdul Wasi Safi crossed the southern border illegally in late September, after, he said, he had passed through multiple countries to reach the U.S. and seek asylum. The Justice Department has given little explanation for charging Wasi Safi or for dropping the charges. In court filings charging Wasi Safi, Justice Department lawyers did not argue that Wasi Safi was a flight risk or a threat to national security, which are typical reasons prosecutors may argue a migrant should be held without bond. In its filing dropping the charges, Justice Department said it was “in the interest of justice” to “dismiss the information” it had filed against Wasi Safi. “Everyone says, ‘You’ve illegally crossed [the border],’ but no one hears my reason,” Wasi Safi said on the phone from the federal prison where he has been held.
Tony Barker, who served as the acting chief of the law enforcement operations directorate for the Border Patrol, is now under investigation for his behavior by Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility, the three officials say. Since she came forward with her allegations to DHS, multiple other women who worked with Barker have made similar complaints, the sources said. Barker left his post quietly in October after 18 years with the Border Patrol. In a statement after this story was initially published, a CBP spokesperson said, "As of Oct. 14, 2022, Tony Barker is no longer an employee of the U.S. Border Patrol." NBC News made multiple attempts to reach Tony Barker but did not reach him for comment.
There is no indication DHS is investigating the company that hired the children, Packers Sanitation Services Inc., or PSSI, for human trafficking. The Labor Department’s Child Labor Regulations designate many roles in slaughterhouse and meatpacking facilities as hazardous for minors. The Labor Department says its investigation, which began in August, is ongoing as it scours company records from 50 locations. I don’t anticipate unless there are severe ramifications for this that it will actually change policies.”The Labor Department has issued no penalties or fines to date. Labor DepartmentQuestions about child labor at PSSI in Grand Island and Worthington are not new.
A group of El Paso residents and volunteers have formed an ad-hoc, “night watch” to monitor U.S. border agents as they arrest migrants sleeping on the city’s streets. In new video filmed by one of those volunteers and obtained by NBC News, migrants sleeping outside a bus station are seen being apprehended by Border Patrol officers on Jan. 4, the week before President Joe Biden arrived in the border city. In the video, several migrants are escorted off a bus by Border Patrol with their hands above their heads. A spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection in El Paso said those arrested had evaded detection when they crossed the border. “We formed a night watch, since the incident with the mother being pulled out.
In the week before President Joe Biden’s trip to El Paso, Texas, Customs and Border Protection officers, as well as El Paso city police, began arresting migrants sleeping in the streets outside a Catholic church shelter and bus station, according to new footage obtained by NBC News. Immigration advocates say the proximity of the arrests to a church shelter may violate the Department of Homeland Security’s policies. Footage obtained by NBC News shows Customs and Border Protection officers as well as El Paso city police in the streets outside a Catholic church shelter and bus station. A Border Patrol official told NBC News those arrested had not been previously apprehended by Border Patrol when they crossed over from Juarez, Mexico. Biden is expected to tout the plan, which also opens up more pathways for legal migration, in his visit to El Paso on Sunday.
In as little as a decade, there will be one retiree for every two workers in Canada. How outdated U.S. immigration policies push top talent to other countries,” Lofgren said, “The last major overhaul of our legal immigration system occurred in 1990. University Health Network began a program this year to bring in more internationally educated nurses and help them get the additional training they need in Canada. New immigrants to Canada and new Canadians take part in the 5th Annual Newcomer Day at Nathan Philips Square in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on May 16, 2019. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it "is committed to fairly and efficiently administering the lawful immigration system, increasing access to eligible immigration benefits, restoring faith and trust with immigrant communities and breaking down barriers in the immigration system, and the agency will continue to uphold America’s promise as a nation of welcome and possibility with fairness, integrity, and respect for all we serve."
The announcement comes as the Biden administration faces record numbers of illegal border crossings, particularly by migrants from those three countries. Previously Haitians, Cubans and Nicaraguans have been able to skirt the Covid-19 border restrictions known as Title 42 that have prevented more than 1.4 million border crossings by forcing migrants back into Mexico before they can claim asylum. Citizens of Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua were not subject to Title 42 in part because their home countries, and therefore Mexico, refuse to take them back. Those accepted through the application process must show they have a U.S.-based sponsor to support them, much like Venezuelans and Ukrainians have done through programs the Biden administration established for those countries. NBC News was first to report that the Biden administration was considering opening up an application program for migrants to apply to come to the U.S. from their home countries.
EL PASO, Texas — The nation began readying for an arctic storm that could plunge temperatures around the country, but on the southern border many migrants say they didn't know they were in for colder, nastier weather. Random El Paso residents also brought by food and clothes to migrants. Ruben García, director of Annunciation House, which provides shelter for migrants, said the focus needs to be on “hospitality capacity” in El Paso and elsewhere. “It’s very important for people to understand this is not an El Paso need, this is a borderwide need,” he said. Andrés González, Guad Venegas and Julia Ainsley reported from El Paso, Texas and Suzanne Gamboa reported from San Antonio.
Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday declined to block a lower court order lifting Covid restrictions for asylum seekers at the southern border by Wednesday. Attorneys general from 19 Republican-led states had asked the appeals court to temporarily prevent the end of restrictions known as Title 42. Since Title 42 was enacted in March 2020 by the Trump administration, migrants have been sent back to Mexico 2.4 million times. “Title 42 must end because it it is a public health law, not a border management tool,” said Lee Gelernt, the lead attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union suing to lift Title 42, in a statement. “The states seeking to keep Title 42 are acting hypocritically, to say the least, since they have opposed every COVID restriction except the one targeting vulnerable asylum seekers.”
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — On Wednesday morning, as many as a thousand people waited in freezing temperatures on the south side of a metal fence for border agents to open the gate to the United States. Two cities on opposite sides of the border — El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico — are bracing for what could be a historic level of migration later this month when the Covid ban known as Title 42 is finally lifted. But many migrants aren’t waiting for the ban to end, and another surge has already begun. CBP agents are reporting approximately 2,500 migrants crossing into El Paso per day, a number expected to rise when, absent a court-ordered stay, Title 42 ends Dec. 21. Since the Trump administration imposed Title 42 in March 2020, migrants attempting to enter the U.S. to claim asylum have been sent back to Mexico more than 2.4 million times.
Republicans have been reluctant to approve additional funding for the Democratic administration’s border efforts, saying they want the border secured before more money is spent. Covid-19 restrictions known as Title 42 have kept migrants from claiming asylum more than 2.4 million times since the policy began under former President Donald Trump in 2020. “We are in the hole for millions, even without Title 42 lifting,” one of the DHS officials said. The Biden administration appealed the federal court ruling that lifted Title 42 on Wednesday, saying the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was correct in implementing it. But the administration did not ask the judge to keep Title 42 in place.
The Justice Department invoked a rarely used, 132-year-old law on Tuesday to charge 12 people with running a violent and sometimes deadly scheme to “monopolize” the resale of American cars and other goods in Central America by fixing prices and retaliating against those who refused to be extorted. The Justice Department charged the group under the Sherman Act of 1890, an antitrust regulation used to break up American monopolies Standard Oil in the 1920s and AT&T in the 1970s. Those who challenged the group were met with threats, kidnappings and even death, the indictment said. The defendants’ addresses in the indictment range from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to just across the border in Matamoros, Mexico. The indictment said the group met at the Holiday Inn in Harlingen, Texas, in March 2019 to divide $44,000 in cash.
Despite new restrictions on asylum-seekers, daily migrant crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border have remained near record highs, say three sources familiar with the latest numbers, as the Biden administration braces for a possible extra surge of thousands more per day when Covid restrictions end this month. Policymakers in Washington, as well as officials at the southern border, have long predicted a surge in migrants when the policy is lifted. In October, the U.S. began using Title 42 to turn away Venezuelan border crossers, whose numbers were soaring. When Title 42 lifts, migrants of all nationalities will be able to come into the U.S. to make asylum claims, just as they did before the Covid-19 pandemic. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has previously detailed plans for lifting Title 42 that would allow for a faster asylum process that would move to quickly deport those who do not qualify.
In a terrorism advisory bulletin, the Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday raised concerns about potential threats to the LGBTQ, Jewish and migrant communities from violent extremists inside the United States. Americans motivated by violent ideologies pose a “persistent and lethal threat,” a senior DHS official told reporters in a briefing on the bulletin. The bulletin was the latest summary of national terrorism threats, a document that has been updated about every six months since the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. “Certainly the Jewish community seems particularly targeted in recent days by that kind of activity in our discourse,” the official said. The previous National Terrorism Advisory System bulletin issued by the DHS in June raised concerns about potential violence surrounding the November midterm elections.
Medellin, Colombia NBC NewsThough migration without documentation isn’t illegal in Colombia, it is illegal to exploit migrants by charging them to make the journey through and out of Colombia. From there, he will be tried on charges of smuggling in Colombia and could face extradition to the U.S. In Colombia alone, HSI has worked with local law enforcement to arrest 42 alleged human smugglers and 210 suspects in narcotics-related crimes. U.S. and Colombian law enforcement gather for a tactical briefing before an international human trafficking operation. Brian Vicente, the head of HSI in Colombia, said after the arrests of the three alleged human smugglers, “It’s one organization that’s been taken off, disrupted and dismantled."
“Because invalidation of the Title 42 Orders will directly harm the States, they now seek to intervene to offer a defense of the Title 42 policy so that its validity can be resolved on the merits, rather than through strategic surrender,” the states said in their filing Monday. Sullivan cited the Administrative Procedures Act in his ruling, and characterized Title 42 as “arbitrary and capricious.” The Biden administration indicated that it won’t oppose Sullivan’s order in a court filing last week, but requested a temporary delay in lifting Title 42. In his order, Sullivan granted the request with “great reluctance.” Title 42 is set to come to an end on Dec. 20, taking effect on midnight Dec. 21. Lee Gelernt of ACLU, lead lawyer for the plaintiffs seeking to lift Title 42, pushed back against the GOP states seeking to keep the rule in place in a statement to NBC News. The Biden administration has faced pushback from both parties for its handling of Title 42.
“Title 42 was a misuse of the public health laws from the beginning and has cause grace harm to tens of thousands of desperate asylum seekers. The practical significance of the ruling cannot be overstated,” Lee Gelernt of the ACLU, one of the lead attorneys on the case to end Title 42, told NBC News on Tuesday. He added that Sullivan's ruling essentially overrides the Louisiana court’s decision to stop the Biden administration from ending Title 42. But before the Biden administration lifted the rule, U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays of the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction, blocking officials from ending it. Single adults and families encountered will continue to be expelled, where appropriate, under Title 42.”The Biden administration has faced criticism on both sides of the aisle for its handling of Title 42.
The U.S. is planning to begin deporting Cuban migrants who crossed undocumented into the U.S. from Mexico on flights back to Cuba, two U.S. officials say. The officials said the flights will begin “in the coming weeks,” as ICE locates Cubans with final orders of deportation to fill planes. Reuters first reported on Friday that the Cuban government has agreed to accept deportation flights. More than 248,000 Cubans were apprehended crossing the U.S. southwest border over the past year, up from 43,677 the year prior, according to Customs and Border Protection figures. The Trump administration ramped up deportations of Cubans, but so far the Biden administration has not coordinated large-scale Cuban deportations through ICE.
WASHINGTON — The commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency in charge of border security, is refusing to step down from his job after a request by the Biden administration, an official from the Department of Homeland Security told NBC News. As the head of CBP, Chris Magnus, 62, oversees more than 60,000 employees whose missions focus on counterterrorism, border security and trade enforcement. The Los Angeles Times was first to report the news that Magnus was asked to resign. Magnus has served in the role since Dec. 2021 after being narrowly confirmed by the Senate in a 50-47 mostly party-line vote. He had previously served as chief of police in Tucson, Ariz., from 2016 to 2020, resigning after a civilian died while in police custody.
More than 280 immigration, faith-based and rights groups sent a letter to the Biden administration on Friday asking it not to send Haitian migrants interdicted at sea to Guantanamo Bay or a third-party country. The groups were responding to a Sunday report by NBC News that the White House's National Security Council had asked the Department of Homeland Security to model scenarios in case of a surge of Haitian migrants. The groups who signed the letter, led by the Haitian Bridge Alliance, urged the Biden administration to instead allow Haitians to be removed from dangerous vessels at sea and taken to the U.S. to claim asylum. The administration must not under any circumstances send asylum seekers and migrants to the notorious Guantánamo Bay or other offshore detention locations,” the groups said. Similar criticism arose in September 2021 after the Biden administration began mass deportations of Haitian asylum seekers who crowded by the thousands under an international bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
WASHINGTON — The suspect who violently assaulted Paul Pelosi with a hammer last week was in the U.S. illegally, immigration officials confirm. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has asked San Francisco County to hand DePape over to the agency, meaning that DePape could eventually be deported back to Canada. For the state charges, he could face 13 years to life in prison if he is convicted and the federal charges carry a maximum of 50 years in prison. Investigators say DePape broke into San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul on a mission to hold her hostage and break her kneecaps. Law enforcement determined Saturday that DePape had been living for the last two years in the garage of a residence in Richmond, just outside San Francisco.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, known as CISA, offers the services on a voluntary basis. But some election information does run through the internet, like voting registration, official information about how and where to vote, and election officials’ email systems. The sources declined to say which states and election jurisdictions have not received the help they asked for, or how many. State and local election officials sought to beef up their security software after the 2019 report from special counsel Robert Mueller revealed Russian interference in the 2016 election. “And we have made this the top priority at CISA over the past year to ensure that we are supporting those election officials.”
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