Key Points

Currently, more than 1 million asylum applicants fleeing violence in Central and South America await their asylum hearings, which may be delayed for more than 670 days

Even well-intentioned US Customs and Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed by this “disaster in the making,” for which they are not trained

Divisive, vilifying official rhetoric has fueled vigilante activity at the border and shootings such as the Walmart massacre in El Paso

“The wall is a speed bump—not a barrier—for these desperate people.”

Angela Kocherga

SEPTEMBER 19-22, 2019

On the Front Line:
Border Security – The Wall

Angela Kocherga

Journalist
The Albuquerque Journal

 

Angela Kocherga, a journalist at the Albuquerque Journal, co-author of an award-winning series on immigration, and a resident of El Paso on the border, Ms. Kocherga reported that President Trump’s threat to “seal the border,” encouraged smugglers to move quickly. As a result, in May 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents detained 84,490 immigrant families along the US–Mexico border, most of whom were seeking asylum from violence at home.

Currently, more than 1 million asylum applicants await a hearing. During the more than 670 days it takes to get one, they must provide for themselves and their families, as they receive no assistance. Often, people cannot wait. In 2019 alone, 15 children have died at the US–Mexico border during attempts to cross the Rio Grande or the desert, including 5 while in CBP custody.

Source: https://www.abqjournal.com/1290268/8-hours-on-the-border.html

A family from Honduras waits for the Border Patrol to escort them to an asylum shelter.

While the Border Patrol has faced criticism for the treatment of migrants, some agents have also blown the whistle about overcrowded holding cells, filthy conditions in overflow tents, and migrants left out in the elements. Agents who are trained for border enforcement duties have attempted to manage this humanitarian crisis, for which they have no training, according to Ms. Kocherga’s interviews.

Meanwhile, the Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols program has forced more than 42,000 asylum-seekers back into Mexico. And some small private militias have interpreted “border security” in their own terms, building border barriers with private funds and without requisite permits, using weapons to threaten migrants, and making spurious “arrests.”

Sen. Hanna Gallo (RI) and John O'Connor (PhRMA) discussed the implications of immigration legislation

Speaker Biography

Angela Kocherga 

Angela Kocherga is a multimedia journalist who has dedicated her career to covering the U.S./Mexico border and interior of Mexico for television, newspapers and radio. She served as both Bureau Chief in Mexico City and later on the border in El Paso for a group of leading U.S. television stations. She has extensive experience covering mass migration from Central America with an emphasis on children and traveled to Honduras and Guatemala to examine the root causes of the exodus. She has spent years reporting on the U.S. border security buildup, fight over the wall and emergence of militia groups. In Mexico she has reported on the drug war, disappeared, and mass murders with continuous coverage on the ground in Ciudad Juarez. She is currently, the southern New Mexico border reporter for The Albuquerque Journal and a special contributor for public radio and television. She calls the border home and lives on the edge of Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua.

CONTACT

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Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

 

Tel: 914-693-1818

Copyright © 2019 Senate Presidents' Forum. All rights reserved.

SEPTEMBER 19-22, 2019

On the Front Line:
Border Security – The Wall

Angela Kocherga

Journalist
The Albuquerque Journal

Key Points Currently, more than 1 million asylum applicants fleeing violence in Central and South America await their asylum hearings, which may be delayed for more than 670 days Even well-intentioned US Customs and Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed by this “disaster in the making,” for which they are not trained Divisive, vilifying official rhetoric has fueled vigilante activity at the border and shootings such as the Walmart massacre in El Paso “The wall is a speed bump—not a barrier—for these desperate people.”

Angela Kocherga, a journalist at the Albuquerque Journal, co-author of an award-winning series on immigration, and a resident of El Paso on the border, Ms. Kocherga reported that President Trump’s threat to “seal the border,” encouraged smugglers to move quickly. As a result, in May 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents detained 84,490 immigrant families along the US–Mexico border, most of whom were seeking asylum from violence at home.

Currently, more than 1 million asylum applicants await a hearing. During the more than 670 days it takes to get one, they must provide for themselves and their families, as they receive no assistance. Often, people cannot wait. In 2019 alone, 15 children have died at the US–Mexico border during attempts to cross the Rio Grande or the desert, including 5 while in CBP custody.

Source: https://www.abqjournal.com/1290268/8-hours-on-the-border.html

A family from Honduras waits for the Border Patrol to escort them to an asylum shelter.

While the Border Patrol has faced criticism for the treatment of migrants, some agents have also blown the whistle about overcrowded holding cells, filthy conditions in overflow tents, and migrants left out in the elements. Agents who are trained for border enforcement duties have attempted to manage this humanitarian crisis, for which they have no training, according to Ms. Kocherga’s interviews.

Meanwhile, the Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols program has forced more than 42,000 asylum-seekers back into Mexico. And some small private militias have interpreted “border security” in their own terms, building border barriers with private funds and without requisite permits, using weapons to threaten migrants, and making spurious “arrests.”

Sen. Hanna Gallo (RI) and John O'Connor (PhRMA) discussed the implications of immigration legislation.

Speaker Biography

Angela Kocherga is a multimedia journalist who has dedicated her career to covering the U.S./Mexico border and interior of Mexico for television, newspapers and radio. She served as both Bureau Chief in Mexico City and later on the border in El Paso for a group of leading U.S. television stations. She has extensive experience covering mass migration from Central America with an emphasis on children and traveled to Honduras and Guatemala to examine the root causes of the exodus. She has spent years reporting on the U.S. border security buildup, fight over the wall and emergence of militia groups. In Mexico she has reported on the drug war, disappeared, and mass murders with continuous coverage on the ground in Ciudad Juarez. She is currently, the southern New Mexico border reporter for The Albuquerque Journal and a special contributor for public radio and television. She calls the border home and lives on the edge of Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua.

SEPTEMBER 19-22, 2019

On the Front Line:
Border Security – The Wall

Angela Kocherga

Journalist
The Albuquerque Journal

Key Points Currently, more than 1 million asylum applicants fleeing violence in Central and South America await their asylum hearings, which may be delayed for more than 670 days Even well-intentioned US Customs and Border Patrol agents are overwhelmed by this “disaster in the making,” for which they are not trained Divisive, vilifying official rhetoric has fueled vigilante activity at the border and shootings such as the Walmart massacre in El Paso “The wall is a speed bump—not a barrier—for these desperate people.”

Angela Kocherga, a journalist at the Albuquerque Journal, co-author of an award-winning series on immigration, and a resident of El Paso on the border, Ms. Kocherga reported that President Trump’s threat to “seal the border,” encouraged smugglers to move quickly. As a result, in May 2019, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents detained 84,490 immigrant families along the US–Mexico border, most of whom were seeking asylum from violence at home.

Currently, more than 1 million asylum applicants await a hearing. During the more than 670 days it takes to get one, they must provide for themselves and their families, as they receive no assistance. Often, people cannot wait. In 2019 alone, 15 children have died at the US–Mexico border during attempts to cross the Rio Grande or the desert, including 5 while in CBP custody.

Source: https://www.abqjournal.com/1290268/8-hours-on-the-border.html

A family from Honduras waits for the Border Patrol to escort them to an asylum shelter.

While the Border Patrol has faced criticism for the treatment of migrants, some agents have also blown the whistle about overcrowded holding cells, filthy conditions in overflow tents, and migrants left out in the elements. Agents who are trained for border enforcement duties have attempted to manage this humanitarian crisis, for which they have no training, according to Ms. Kocherga’s interviews.

Meanwhile, the Administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols program has forced more than 42,000 asylum-seekers back into Mexico. And some small private militias have interpreted “border security” in their own terms, building border barriers with private funds and without requisite permits, using weapons to threaten migrants, and making spurious “arrests.”

Sen. Hanna Gallo (RI) and John O'Connor (PhRMA) discussed the implications of immigration legislation.

Speaker Biography

Angela Kocherga is a multimedia journalist who has dedicated her career to covering the U.S./Mexico border and interior of Mexico for television, newspapers and radio. She served as both Bureau Chief in Mexico City and later on the border in El Paso for a group of leading U.S. television stations. She has extensive experience covering mass migration from Central America with an emphasis on children and traveled to Honduras and Guatemala to examine the root causes of the exodus. She has spent years reporting on the U.S. border security buildup, fight over the wall and emergence of militia groups. In Mexico she has reported on the drug war, disappeared, and mass murders with continuous coverage on the ground in Ciudad Juarez. She is currently, the southern New Mexico border reporter for The Albuquerque Journal and a special contributor for public radio and television. She calls the border home and lives on the edge of Texas, New Mexico and Chihuahua.