Refugee Crisis

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Ex-Saudi spy urges Canadian court to free up assets; says he's victim of death plot
Saad Aljabri claims he's victim of death plot
Author of the article:

Canadian Press
Colin Perkel
Publishing date:
Feb 19, 2021 • 5 minutes ago • 2 minute read
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A former top intelligence agent, who alleges Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler sent a hit squad to Canada to kill him, urged a court on Friday to free up his assets, saying the judge who froze them wasn’t given all the relevant facts.
In submissions before Ontario Superior Court, lawyers for Saad Aljabri argued the alleged assassination plot and other key facts should have been disclosed at a secret hearing last month.



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“They simply repeated their own side of the story,” lawyer Paul Le Vay told Justice Cory Gilmore. “They did not disclose material facts and available defences. This abject and deliberate failure matters greatly.”
A group of Saudi companies, which allege Aljabri embezzled billions of dollars before fleeing the kingdom, obtained an injunction in Superior Court on Jan. 22 that froze his assets worldwide. The hearing was done without notice to Aljabri, who therefore had no way of giving his side of the story.




In court on Friday, his lawyers argued the plaintiffs failed to reveal that Saudi Arabia set up the plaintiff companies for counterterrorism purposes, and they are now controlled by Mohammed bin Salman, who took power in a palace coup in May 2017.
“Bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, controls this litigation and does so for an ulterior purpose,” Le Vay said.
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The lawyers told Gilmore that Aljabri, who spent decades in Saudi intelligence and now lives in Toronto, has filed a suit in the U.S. in which he alleges a longstanding and ongoing bin Salman plot to kill him.
Part of the animosity, Aljabri argues, is because he fingered bin Salman as the mastermind behind the 2018 dismemberment and killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey.
More On This Topic


Saudi Crown prince sent hit squad to Canada to kill former spy: lawsuit

Saudi Arabia sentences 8 to prison in final Khashoggi murder ruling

“Bin Salman considers Saad a ‘significant threat’ because of the former spy’s close ties with U.S. intelligence and the ‘highly sensitive information’ he has,” his lawyers said.
Saudi authorities have also disappeared two of his children as part of the campaign, court heard.
For their part, the companies maintain this is simply a case of large-scale corporate fraud, and that Aljabri’s U.S. lawsuit is simply a “public relations campaign” and an attempt at political deflection from his crime.




But Aljabri’s lawyers said the plaintiffs failed to disclose how bin Salman had threatened Aljabri. Nor did they let on that Interpol had rescinded a “red notice” for Aljabri issued at Saudi Arabia’s request on the basis that it was “politically motivated.”
“None of this was brought to your attention,” Le Vay told Gilmore.
Aljabri fears for his life at the hands of bin Salman and has been under RCMP protection, his lawyers said. The plot against him failed because Canadian border officials intercepted the bin Salman hit squad, Aljabri alleges in his unproven American lawsuit.
“The plaintiffs provide no explanation of what the U.S. litigation is about,” Le Vay said. “It is a story vastly different from how he is portrayed by (them).”
The Saudi Arabian embassy in Ottawa did not respond to a request for comment.
The hearing continues.
 

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Spanish police find migrants hiding in waste on way to Europe
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Feb 22, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 1 minute read

An handout image released by the Spanish Guardia Civil on Feb. 22, 2021 shows a member of the Spanish Guardia Civil discovering an aspiring migrant hidden in a sack of toxic waste at the port in Spain's Melilla enclave on Morocco's northern coast, on Feb. 19, 2021. PHOTO BY HANDOUT/SPANISH GUARDIA CIVIL /AFP via Getty Images
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MADRID — Spanish police in the North African enclave of Melilla rescued migrants hiding in waste containers, including one inside a plastic bag full of toxic ash, as they tried to make their way to the Spanish mainland.

The Guardia Civil force said in a statement it found a total of 41 migrants in the Melilla port on Friday, some of them risking their lives in dangerous hideouts such as an open container with thousands of used empty glass bottles, including broken glass.


The man inside the bag containing ash from an incineration plant was found unconscious. The officer who released him initially thought he was dead.

Police footage showed the hooded man covered with ash, disoriented and trying to defend himself as he regained consciousness after an officer opened the bag.

“The man’s life was saved. He was almost dead,” a police spokesman said. “He doesn’t even know where he is, he is frightened when he sees the officer’s knife and the officer has to reassure him and tell him that he is here to help him.”


The migrants faced a seven-hour voyage in dire conditions to the Iberian Peninsula. The waste was destined for recycling on the Spanish mainland.

So far this year, 1,781 migrants were found at the security area of Melilla port, while 11,669 migrants were found in 2020.
 

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U.S. probes role of human smuggling in border collision that killed 13
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Sharon Bernstein and Brendan O'Brien
Publishing date:Mar 03, 2021 • 12 hours ago • 3 minute read • comment bubble14 Comments
In this image from KYMA law enforcement work at the scene of a deadly crash involving a semitruck and an SUV in Holtville, Calif., on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
In this image from KYMA law enforcement work at the scene of a deadly crash involving a semitruck and an SUV in Holtville, Calif., on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. PHOTO BY KYMA /AP
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HOLTVILLE — At least 13 people, 10 of them Mexican nationals, were killed on Tuesday when a tractor-trailer slammed into an SUV crammed with 25 adults and children on a dusty Southern Californian road near the U.S.-Mexico border, officials said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents opened an investigation into whether human smuggling was involved, an agency spokeswoman said in a statement hours later.


Handmade wooden crosses stretched in a line across a patch of dry grass and dirt by the roadside, and a seat covered in what appeared to be blood lay near the crumpled Ford Expedition, as the desolate highway through the farming community of Holtville remained closed Tuesday afternoon.

The white tractor-trailer cab with yellow trim was still smashed into the wrecked side of the maroon SUV. The entire driver’s side of the smaller vehicle was caved in, and the passenger side was flung wide open.

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“Unfortunately, consular staff have confirmed the death of 10 Mexicans so far,” Roberto Velasco, the foreign ministry’s director for North America, said in a tweet in Spanish.

Mexicans were also among the injured, he said.


It was not immediately clear how fast the vehicles were going, or whether the SUV had observed a stop sign before heading into the intersection of State Route 115 and Norrish Road just outside of Holtville, about 10 miles (16.1 km) north of the border, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said.

Those killed, who included the driver of the SUV, ranged in age from 15 to 53, and minors as young as 16 were injured, said Omar Watson, chief of the highway patrol’s border division. He said the driver was 22 years old.

Several of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle and died on the pavement; others died inside the SUV, Watson said.

Most of the survivors are Spanish-speaking, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said. Despite the presence of CBP agents and Spanish translators, Watson said it was too early to know whether the SUV’s occupants were migrant workers or others who might have crossed from Mexico in the overcrowded vehicle.

Special agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations branch responded to the crash scene “and have initiated a human smuggling investigation,” a spokeswoman said late on Tuesday. “The investigation is ongoing, and no further details are available at this time.”

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Although it varies by trim and model year, the Ford Expedition typically is designed to hold five to eight people.

Watson said the CHP was working with the Mexican Consulate to determine who was in the vehicle and notify families.

A CBP spokesperson, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly, said the agency was not in pursuit of or aware of the vehicle until after the crash.

The agency does not know and is not investigating the immigration status of the people at this time.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, which was earlier said to be hauling gravel but according to the CHP was not, was also hospitalized with moderate injuries, Watson said.

The logo of Havens and Sons Trucking of nearby El Centro was on the side of the truck cab. A person who answered the phone at the company told Reuters it had no comment at this time.

Several of the victims were taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center, the director of the hospital’s emergency room, Judy Cruz, said in a news briefing posted on Facebook.

Agriculture drives the economy around Holtville and El Centro. Known as the Imperial Valley, the area is a big producer of fruits, vegetables, grain and cattle despite being desert, thanks to irrigation from the Colorado River and a long growing season.

Hospital officials had previously said that 27 people were in the SUV, and that 15 had died, but Watson said there were 25 passengers and 13 fatalities.

Three victims were flown to other hospitals and seven others were brought to El Centro. One person died at the hospital, Cruz said.
 

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California crash victims suspected of being smuggled across U.S.-Mexico border
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Steve Gorman
Publishing date:Mar 04, 2021 • 14 hours ago • 2 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
California Highway Patrol officers investigate a crash site after a collision between a Ford Expedition and a tractor-trailer truck near Holtville, California, in an aerial photograph March 2, 2021.
California Highway Patrol officers investigate a crash site after a collision between a Ford Expedition and a tractor-trailer truck near Holtville, California, in an aerial photograph March 2, 2021. PHOTO BY BING GUAN /REUTERS
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LOS ANGELES — The 13 people killed in a Southern California highway crash were part of a group of nearly four dozen migrants suspected of slipping through a hole cut by human smugglers through a steel fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, federal officials said on Wednesday.

Besides the dead and injured among 25 people crammed into the sport utility vehicle that collided on Tuesday with a tractor-trailer, 19 others were found huddled near a second SUV that caught fire in the same area just north of the border, the officials said.


The 19 were detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents, CBP spokesman Macario Mora said. The dozen survivors from the collision were all taken to hospitals for treatment.

Both the Ford Expedition involved in the crash and the Chevrolet Suburban that inexplicably burst into flames appeared to be the same vehicles seen in surveillance footage leaving the vicinity of the fence breach about 30 miles (48 km) to the east, Mora said.

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While Border Patrol agents regularly scout the area for illegal crossings, neither vehicle had been under pursuit by U.S. authorities beforehand, according to the agency.


New details of Tuesday’s fatal highway wreck near the remote farming community of Holtville, about 10 miles (16 km) north of the border, came to light as the CBP mounted an investigation into the suspected human smuggling operation believed to have led to the tragedy.

“Human smugglers have proven time and again they have little regard for human life,” the agency said in a statement.

Of the 13 people who died in the collision, at least 10 were Mexican nationals, and Mexicans were also among the injured, according to Mexico’s foreign ministry.


Guatemalan authorities said they had preliminary information that one Guatemalan national died and another was injured in the crash.

Mora said investigators believe that both carloads of migrants crossed into California through a 10-foot-wide gap cut out of the border fence by smugglers in an area known for relatively frequent illegal border crossings.

That section of the fence, consisting of steel bars 18 feet tall, was installed in 2009, some eight years before the Trump administration took office calling for a border wall.
 

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U.S. facing biggest migrant surge in 20 years: Homeland Security
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Doina Chiacu
Publishing date:Mar 16, 2021 • 5 hours ago • 2 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
A Honduran seeking asylum and his daughter, 4, wait to be called to get tested for COVID-19 at the bus station in Brownsville, Texas, Monday, March 15, 2021.
A Honduran seeking asylum and his daughter, 4, wait to be called to get tested for COVID-19 at the bus station in Brownsville, Texas, Monday, March 15, 2021. PHOTO BY VERONICA G. CARDENAS /REUTERS
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WASHINGTON — The United States is facing the biggest surge of migrants at its southwestern border in 20 years, the homeland security secretary said on Tuesday as the Biden administration races to handle an influx of children trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border alone.

The number of attempted border crossings by people from Central America and Mexico has steadily increased since April 2020 and most single adults and families are being turned away, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said.


Poverty, violence and corruption in the Mexico and the Northern Triangle – Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – have led people to seek a better life in the United States for years, and there have been surges in the past.

Conditions there have continued to deteriorate and two hurricanes made living conditions even worse, while the coronavirus pandemic complicated the border situation, Mayorkas said in a statement.

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“We are on pace to encounter more individuals on the southwest border than we have in the last 20 years,” he said.

U.S. border agents conducted 100,441 apprehensions or expulsions of migrants at the border with Mexico in February, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection said last week, the highest monthly total since a border crisis of 2019.

Single adults make up the majority of people who are being expelled, Mayorkas said. Children traveling alone, some as young as six years old, are not being turned back.

The government is creating a joint processing centre to transfer the children promptly into the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is trying to find additional shelters for them, Mayorkas said in a statement.

President Joe Biden’s administration has been struggling to speed up the processing of hundreds of youths under 18 who are crossing the southern border alone every day.


Republicans in Congress say the Biden administration sparked the border surge by promising to unwind some of former President Donald Trump’s hardline policies against illegal immigration.

“It didn’t have to happen. This crisis is created by the presidential policies of this new administration,” House of Representatives Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said at an El Paso border facility on Monday.

Republicans in turn were criticized by Democrats for their own immigration record, as well as Trump’s policies.

Nearly 4,300 unaccompanied children were being held by Border Patrol officials as of Sunday, according to an agency official who requested anonymity. By law, the children should be transferred out of Customs and Border Protection facilities to HHS-run shelters within 72 hours.

In the short term, the federal government is setting up additional facilities in Texas and Arizona to shelter unaccompanied children and families, and is working with Mexico to increase its capacity to receive expelled families, Mayorkas said.
 

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Four on terror watchlist nabbed at Mexican border: Report
Author of the article:Brad Hunter
Publishing date:Mar 17, 2021 • 21 hours ago • 1 minute read • comment bubble7 Comments
Asylum seeking migrant families and unaccompanied minors from Central America take refuge in a makeshift U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centre under the Anzalduas International Bridge after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico in Granjeno, Texas, Friday, March 12, 2021.
Asylum seeking migrant families and unaccompanied minors from Central America take refuge in a makeshift U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing centre under the Anzalduas International Bridge after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico in Granjeno, Texas, Friday, March 12, 2021. PHOTO BY ADREES LATIF /REUTERS
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Four people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list have been nabbed at the Mexican border since last October, according to a new report.

According to U.S. officials, names of the four — three from Yemen and one from Serbia — match names in the Terrorist Screening Database.


A congressional aide told Axios that the Customs and Border Protection agency confirmed the arrests on Tuesday.

So far, the names of the four have not been released. A source told the website that this marks a considerable uptick from recent years.

“People who they’ve got in the last few days … have been on the terror watchlist,’ Rep. John Katko, of New York, said in El Paso.

He added: “Individuals that they have on the watch list for terrorism are now starting to exploit the Southern border. We need to wake up, we need to understand. Listen, Mr. President Biden, you’re an OK guy. Why don’t you just admit you made a mistake with this policy and go back to the way it was and keep America safe for all of us?”

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But Democrats cast doubt on the report, with one alleging that the GOP was attempting to “fuel divisions” in the polarized country.

Since Biden took office in January there has been a surge of activity at the Mexican border as the Democrats roll back some of former U.S. President Donald Trump’s more draconian policies.

According to Customs and Border Protection, 78,323 migrants were nabbed in January this year — double the amount from the same month in 2020.


In February, the numbers climbed higher with more than 100,000 migrants attempting to enter the U.S. at it southwest borders.

The numbers mark a 28% increase over January 2021.

bhunter@postmedia.com

@HunterTOSun
 
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More than 300 migrants found crammed inside trailer trucks in Mexico
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Mar 19, 2021 • 2 hours ago • 1 minute read • comment bubbleJoin the conversation
Members of the National Guard march during the announcement of the new measures by the Mexican government to deter illegal crossings at the southern border with Guatemala, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico March 19, 2021.
Members of the National Guard march during the announcement of the new measures by the Mexican government to deter illegal crossings at the southern border with Guatemala, in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico March 19, 2021. PHOTO BY JACOB GARCIA /REUTERS
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MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities said on Friday they found three trailer trucks jam-packed with Central American migrants near the border with Guatemala, in the latest sign that many would-be immigrants are ignoring calls by the U.S. government to stay home.

Mexican migration agents along with National Guard police said they stopped the trucks early on Thursday as part of routine checks and discovered 329 Guatemalans and Hondurans inside, including 114 unaccompanied minors.


The trucks were stopped on a highway south of Tuxtla Gutierrez, the capital of Chiapas state, according to an Interior Ministry statement.


The migrants were provided with food and water. The unaccompanied minors were sent to shelters run by the migration authority while the adults were take to nearby offices to begin administrative processing, the statement added.

The incident comes as the United States is toughening its approach to the growing humanitarian crisis on the U.S.-Mexican border after entreaties for Central American migrants to avoid risking such trips have failed to stop thousands from attempting the northern trek.
 

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Man wanted in U.S. for impregnating cousin with baby that was murdered nabbed in Brampton
The accused, 26, faces accessory after the fact to murder and statutory rape charges

Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Mar 26, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann
Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Bakersfield Police Department
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A man wanted in connection with a case involving the 2018 death of a newborn in California has been caught hiding out in Brampton.

The Bakersfield Police Department said in a news release that Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann was arrested by Canadian authorities on Friday.

The 26-year-old had an active arrest warrant for accessory after the fact to murder and statutory rape, the release stated, according to Bakersfield.com.


The release added police on both sides of the border were working to extradite the accused to Kern County, Cal.

It’s alleged in court documents that Mann fathered a child with his 15-year-old cousin in Bakersfield in 2018. Soon after, he allegedly gave the baby to the woman’s mother who drowned the child and then buried the tiny corpse in a flower bed.


Beant Dhillon was sentenced March 5 to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of the infant plus four years consecutive on a child cruelty charge.

Her husband, Jagsir Singh, was also arrested by police on suspicion of being an accessory and willful cruelty to a child. He died in an apparent suicide on March 7, 2019, according to the report.

Mann was in the United States illegally, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He reportedly cut his GPS-monitoring device, got over the border and remained at large until Friday, police said.

Peel Regional Police officers — working with the U.S. Marshal Service, Bakersfield Police Department and Canada Border Services Agency — arrested Mann at a Brampton home on March 19.
 

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Man wanted in U.S. for impregnating cousin with baby that was murdered nabbed in Brampton
The accused, 26, faces accessory after the fact to murder and statutory rape charges

Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:Mar 26, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann
Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Bakersfield Police Department
Article content
A man wanted in connection with a case involving the 2018 death of a newborn in California has been caught hiding out in Brampton.

The Bakersfield Police Department said in a news release that Bakhshinderpal Singh Mann was arrested by Canadian authorities on Friday.

The 26-year-old had an active arrest warrant for accessory after the fact to murder and statutory rape, the release stated, according to Bakersfield.com.


The release added police on both sides of the border were working to extradite the accused to Kern County, Cal.

It’s alleged in court documents that Mann fathered a child with his 15-year-old cousin in Bakersfield in 2018. Soon after, he allegedly gave the baby to the woman’s mother who drowned the child and then buried the tiny corpse in a flower bed.


Beant Dhillon was sentenced March 5 to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of the infant plus four years consecutive on a child cruelty charge.

Her husband, Jagsir Singh, was also arrested by police on suspicion of being an accessory and willful cruelty to a child. He died in an apparent suicide on March 7, 2019, according to the report.

Mann was in the United States illegally, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He reportedly cut his GPS-monitoring device, got over the border and remained at large until Friday, police said.

Peel Regional Police officers — working with the U.S. Marshal Service, Bakersfield Police Department and Canada Border Services Agency — arrested Mann at a Brampton home on March 19.
Yup, another "white supremist" don't 'cha know.
 

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Accused human smuggler charged in California crash that killed 13 migrants
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Steve Gorman
Publishing date:Mar 31, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
The scene of a collision between a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and a tractor-trailer truck is seen near Holtville, California, March 2, 2021.
The scene of a collision between a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and a tractor-trailer truck is seen near Holtville, California, March 2, 2021. PHOTO BY BING GUAN /REUTERS
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LOS ANGELES — A Mexican national has been arrested and charged by U.S. authorities with organizing a human smuggling operation that led to the deaths of 13 Mexican and Guatemalan migrants in a highway crash near the border in Southern California last month.

Jose Cruz Noguez, 47, a legal permanent U.S. resident from Mexicali, Mexico, was taken into custody on Monday as he crossed into the United States at the Calexico port of entry, federal prosecutors said in a statement.


He made his first court appearance Tuesday on human smuggling charges carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

According to criminal complaint against him, Cruz oversaw the ill-fated March 2 smuggling attempt, recruiting drivers, collecting payments and arranging for associates to cut a hole in the border fence through which two sport utility vehicles crammed with migrants slipped into California that day.

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One of those vehicles, packed with 25 people, collided with a tractor-trailer at a highway junction outside the farming community of Holtville, California.

Thirteen individuals, including the SUV driver, perished in the crash, and the 12 survivors were all hospitalized, authorities said.

Border patrol agents separately found 19 other migrants from the second SUV huddled in nearby brush after their vehicle inexplicably caught fire. Prosecutors said both eight-passenger SUV’s, stripped of all but two seats to allow more people to be crammed inside, were part of the same smuggling operation.

Prosecutors said authorities were led to Cruz by another suspected smuggler arrested two weeks after the deadly crash in an unrelated incident.

At investigators’ behest, the associate recorded a phone conversation with Cruz in which, according to prosecutors, Cruz confirmed his involvement in the deadly smuggling event, referring to his migrant customers as “pollos” — the Spanish word for chickens — and saying the driver would earn $28,000.
 
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Appeals court upholds Canada-U.S. asylum-seeker agreement
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Anna Mehler Paperny
Publishing date:Apr 15, 2021 • 9 hours ago • 2 minute read • 5 Comments
An asylum seeker crosses the border from New York into Canada followed by a RCMP officer at Roxham Road in Hemmingford, Quebec, March 18, 2020.
An asylum seeker crosses the border from New York into Canada followed by a RCMP officer at Roxham Road in Hemmingford, Quebec, March 18, 2020. PHOTO BY CHRISTINNE MUSCHI /REUTERS / FILES
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TORONTO — A Canadian appeals court on Thursday upheld a Canada-U.S. agreement to turn back asylum-seekers, overturning a lower court ruling, siding with the federal government and setting up a possible Supreme Court showdown.

The ruling is a victory for Canada’s federal government, which had launched an appeal defending the agreement and, by association, U.S. immigration detention practices, which it said do not “shock the conscience.”


At issue was whether the Safe Third Country Agreement, a pact signed in 2002 and under which asylum-seekers trying to cross between Canada and the United States at a formal border crossing are turned around and sent back, violates an asylum-seeker’s fundamental rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It was not the agreement itself that may have been causing these alleged infringements on the claimants’ rights, the ruling said, but the periodic reviews of the designation of the United States as a “safe” country as well as “related administrative conduct.”

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At the same time, the ruling said, the evidence presented was insufficient.

“Some of this evidence, although voluminous, is somewhat piecemeal and individualized and, thus, is problematic for drawing system-wide inferences concerning the situation in the United States.”

Last year a federal court ruled that the agreement violated asylum-seekers’ right to life, liberty and security of the person. While the government sought to overturn the federal court ruling, refugee lawyers argued the agreement also violated asylum-seekers’ equality rights at the Federal Court of Appeal this year.

Refugee lawyers argued the agreement should be struck down because asylum-seekers who were turned back often found themselves locked up indefinitely in immigration detention.


They also argued that people trying to make refugee claims that might be accepted in Canada, such as those on the grounds of gender-based discrimination, risk being sent back by the United States to their countries of origin.

Canada’s government argued that the pact was a necessary part of managing a shared border and that people in U.S. immigration detention had access to counsel and due process. Should the agreement be dissolved and asylum-seekers allowed to enter through land border crossings and make refugee claims, the government argued, it would suffer “irreparable harm.”

The legal battle may not be over, however, and refugee lawyers may apply to be heard by Canada’s Supreme Court.

During the administration of then-President Donald Trump, tens of thousands of asylum-seekers crossed into Canada between ports of entry to skirt the Safe Third Country Agreement, which only applies to formal border crossings.
 
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Four dead when suspected migrant-smuggling boat breaks apart off San Diego
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:May 03, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
The San Diego Fire-Rescue posted this photo on Twitter of the scene where a 40-foot cabin cruiser broke apart near the shores of Cabrillo National Monument.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue posted this photo on Twitter of the scene where a 40-foot cabin cruiser broke apart near the shores of Cabrillo National Monument. PHOTO BY SAN DIEGO FIRE-RESCUE /Twitter
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Four people were killed and more than two dozen injured on Sunday when a boat suspected of attempting to smuggle migrants into California broke apart off Cabrillo National Monument at San Diego’s rugged Point Loma, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The initial call arrived just before 10 a.m. (1700 GMT) and prompted a large emergency response, including the U.S. Coast Guard and state and local agencies, as the magnitude of the incident became clear.


The 40-foot (12-m) cabin cruiser had been pummeled to pieces by the surf by the time rescue boats arrived, said Rick Romero, lifeguard lieutenant for San Diego Fire-Rescue.

“When we arrived on the scene… There were people in the water, drowning, getting sucked out of the rip current…” he said.

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Several people were pulled from the water, and some required life-saving efforts on the beach. There had been about 30 people on the boat in severely crowded conditions without adequate safety equipment, authorities said.

“Every indication from our perspective is that this was a smuggling vessel, used to smuggle migrants into the United States illegally,” said Jeff Stephenson, a Border Patrol agent.

The nationality of the people on the boat was not immediately known, Stephenson said, adding that the captain was in custody and speaking with investigators.


Authorities said they had seen a marked increase in maritime smuggling in recent years. The vessel involved in Sunday’s incident was larger and held more people than most smuggling boats, according to the Border Patrol.

Cabrillo National Monument is a park with trails, tide pools and exhibits on California history, operated by the U.S. National Park Service. It is named after Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who stepped ashore in 1542 as the first European to arrive on what is now the West Coast of the United States.
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