Thursday, August 31, 2017



Note: several photos at link.

Mexican soldiers seize $720K of marijuana, 19 assault rifles in Nuevo Laredo
By César Rodriguez, / Laredo Morning Times
Published 10:05 am, Thursday, August 31, 2017

Authorities said they discovered a home in the 7000 block of Quimicos, where they found 19 assault rifles — nine AK-47s, eight AR-15s, one Barrett and a .308 rifle. Photo: Courtesy
Photo: Courtesy

Authorities said they discovered a home in the 7000 block of Quimicos, where they found 19 assault rifles —
nine AK-47s,
eight AR-15s,
one Barrett
and a .308 rifle.

Mexican soldiers announced Wednesday results of different enforcement actions that yielded a cache of firearms, over 900 pounds of marijuana and two arrests in Nuevo Laredo, authorities said.

Secretariat of the National Defense troops said they were patrolling Colonia Solidaridad in northwest Nuevo Laredo when they spotted gunmen dressed in tactical equipment.
Gunmen scattered as troops arrived in the area. Authorities said they discovered a home in the 7000 block of Quimicos, where they found 19 assault rifles — nine AK-47s, eight AR-15s, one Barrett and a .308 rifle.

READ MORE: Man admits to laundering at least $1.5 million in drug money through use of postal services

Soldiers also discovered 2,050 magazines and ammo.

In another enforcement action, soldiers said they arrested two people who acted as lookouts for law enforcement. They also seized two communication radios.
A five-day operation yielded three vehicles, 77 doses of marijuana and 18 caltrops. All items seized were turned over to the prosecution for an investigation.

In another case, soldiers seized 901 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $720,800.
Troops patrolling the riverbanks near World Trade Bridge came across 13 bundles hidden in a brushy area. Soldiers seized the pot and turned over to the prosecution for an investigation.


Monday, August 28, 2017

AZMEX I3 28-8-17

AZMEX I3 28 AUG 2017

Note: More interesting because of what the reporter left out. (Hint: Children / parents not from or in AZ)

Woman convicted for fraudulent school registrations
Nogales International Aug 22, 2017

A Nogales woman who helped two other parents illegally register their children in the Nogales Unified School District was sentenced to three years of probation.

Maria Magdalena Ramirez Castro, 47, was sentenced July 10 by Judge Thomas Fink of Santa Cruz County Superior Court after pleading guilty to one count of facilitation to commit fraud. The offense is a Class 6 undesignated felony, meaning the judge can designate it a misdemeanor if she successfully completes the terms of her sentence.

Court records show that in late 2014, officials at NUSD notified the Nogales Police Department of a possible fraud after its computer system flagged an address that had been used in the registrations of multiple students from multiple families. A school official had contacted the landlord of the address, who identified Ramirez as the tenant of the East Street apartment, but said she did not know the other two parents who were claiming the address.

It turned out that the lease agreements used by the other two parents to register their children at NUSD were false.

John Utne, the district's student services director at the time, reportedly told police that according to state law as well as NUSD policy, the district was required to inform law enforcement of any document filed in support of a student registration that appeared inaccurate or suspicious.

During a subsequent police investigation, one of the parents told detectives he was paying Ramirez $100 a month, as well as paying her water bill, to live in the apartment during the week. She had given him a lease agreement with his name on it, which he had filed with NUSD, though he claimed he didn't know it was false.

The other parent had reportedly met with Ramirez at Food City, where they filled out the false documents. Ramirez's pre-sentence report suggests she was being paid $50 a month for this arrangement.

Ramirez told an NPD detective that she had committed the crimes because she was in dire need of money after being ripped off by a previous roommate.



Mexican National convicted on rape charge arrested
Posted: Aug 28, 2017 11:54 AM MST
Updated: Aug 28, 2017 11:54 AM MST
Posted By Faye DeHoff

Sasabe -
A Mexican national was caught east of Sasabe on Sunday afternoon by Tucson Station Border Patrol agents who later learned he had been convicted for statutory rape in DeKalb County, Georgia, in 2012.

While processing 25-year old Raul Cordova-Garcia for illegally entering the U.S., agents found his conviction resulted in a 12-month sentence and removal from the U.S. in 2013.

Cordova is now being held in federal custody pending prosecution for criminal immigration violations.

All individuals apprehended by the Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure undocumented immigrants with criminal histories are positively identified.

The Border Patrol, along with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, welcomes assistance from the community. Citizens can report suspicious activity to the Border Patrol by calling 1-877-872-7435 toll free. All calls will be answered and remain anonymous.


Monday, August 21, 2017



The Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) linked a group of military personnel with the Cabrera Sarabia organization that operated for the Sinaloa Cartel in Durango.

Soldiers belonging to the Third Military Region based in Mazatlan, according to the accusations, gave information to the criminal cell, sold and repaired weapons of the hit men and sold them ammunition.

The brothers Felipe, Alejandro and José Luis Cabrera Sarabia, controlled the planting of marijuana and poppy in Durango for the Sinaloa Cartel.

The soldiers are accused of a crime against health in its form of collaboration in fomenting to enable any aggravated narcotics trafficking and treason to the Mexican armed forces.

Those indicted in criminal case 139/2013 are Jorge Ocadio Cabada López, Hugo Alberto Sánchez Martínez and Gilberto Carlos Herrera Morales.

According to the accusations, the military were co-opted by a civilian whom they identify as Martín, a member of the Cabrera Sarabia cell.

The soldiers allegedly also attended the parties organized by Martin in a hotel in Durango and in private homes.

According to Sedena, they collaborated to enable narcotics trafficking, by engaging with members of organized crime in particular with the Cabrera Sarabia brothers organization, belonging to the Sinaloa Cartel led by Joaquín el Chapo Guzmán.

"They benefited from protection, sale of firearms and facilities to the criminal group of the Cabrera Sarabia brothers to carry out their illegal activities, in exchange for various amounts of cash and motor vehicles, thus enabling the execution of narcotics trafficking, Illicit activity to which this criminal organization is primarily engaged in the area under its influence, "the indictment said.

In the state of Durango, Sedena mentions the various criminal cells known as the "MS" and the "Cabrera Sarabia", which was led by Felipe Cabrera Sarabia, El Inge, until he was arrested in 2011 and then Brothers Alejandro and José Luis.

In 2011, a dispute between "Los Mingos" and "Los MS" with "Los Cabrera Sarabia" was initiated for the control of the marijuana production zones in Durango and southern Chihuahua, which generated a high rate of violence in those places.

Sedena notes that "Los Cabrera Sarabia" are supported by the "Cartel de Pacifico" to control the wave of kidnappings and extortions of antagonistic cells and also by elements of the military.

According to Sedena, on one occasion Martín was located in his house and the military did not stop him as he allegedly fled over the fence. The soldier who was in command of the group, points out Sedena, received a Volkswagen Jetta for letting the offender go.

The Public Prosecutor's Office began the preliminary investigation in December 2012.

On May 30 of this year, the military judge issued a formal arrest warrant against those involved.

According to the file, one of the military officials stated that after the accused soldiers were removed from the military zone, in late November 2012, he received a call from Martin who asked him about officers who worked with him and wanted to bring them back And offered to continue the work.

"It consisted in seeking the support of officers of my unit, to pass information on the activities we did in the unit and if it had some kind of toy, referring to weapons, could also be sold offering to give me 10 thousand pesos for this activity, to which I replied that I was going to see how the situation was, having recorded the conversations I had with Martin alias la Coneja, "he said.

"It was several times, about six or seven times we talked, and it was always to ask about officers who we would like to bring along and I always told him if I had but I was only in order to come to the city, as well He told me that he was going to send me a cell phone to have more communication, but to date he has not given me anything. "

In another indictment, a military man points out that in 2011 Martin appeared with him as an engineer in the parking lot of a Soriana store and made himself available for what was offered and mentioned that he supported the military personnel of the plaza.

Some time later he contacted him again and told him that a friend of his in the army had given him his number and several times met him to ask about his activities, but he says he never answered.

One of the accused soldiers stated that he received a call from Martin in September 2012 in which he told him that he was friends with other soldiers and that what was offered would be given.

In October he sent Martin a text message asking him for money and depositing five thousand pesos, in December he again borrowed from him for vacations and made another deposit of five thousand pesos.

In December, one of his comrades told him to ask if he was patrolling because on the Mazatlan-Durango road they had detained members of the Cabrera-Sarabia and wanted them released.
The officer replied that the detainee was difficult to co-opt.

Another of the soldiers said that Martin once gave him $ 500 at a military checkpoint as a Christmas present.

The soldiers were charged in 2016 and are subject to criminal prosecution in a Military Court attached to the Third Military Region with headquarters in Mazatlan.

According to the Attorney General's Office, Felipe Cabrera Sarabia was the head of the plaza for the Sinaloa Cartel until 2011 when he was arrested in Culiacan.

Felipe is reported to pay a payroll of more than 3 million pesos per month to public servants in the security areas of Durango.

The offender has an extradition process to the United States where he is wanted by a Chicago court.

In January 2012, Luis Alberto died in a clash with elements of the Army.
The third of the brothers, Alejandro, was captured in January 2013 in Culiacán.


Seize weapons and cartridges in Sonoyta (Son)
Published on Monday, August 21, 2017,
Written by Editor / El Diario

Sonoyta, Son

In carrying out patrols under Operativo Cinturón (Operation Belt) implemented by the Federal Police, elements secured in Sonora nine handguns and 87 cartridges that were transported in a hidden compartment in a vehicle with license plates from California, United States.

During the inspection, verification, security and surveillance at the 254 + 000 kilometer of the Altar-Sonoyta highway in the Caborca-Sonoyta section, the federal police had contact with the red Chevrolet-Tahoe.

The elements of the Federal Police stopped the driver to carry out a routine inspection for security and to inhibit the commission of crimes.

When federal agents inspected the vehicle, they found in a compartment a total of nine handguns: three .45, five 9 mm and one .380, as well as nine 9mm expansive cartridges, 23 9mm, 28 for .40 caliber and 27 For .45 caliber.

For this reason, the Federal Police personnel arrestedthe driver and read the Charter of Rights that Assist the Persons in Detention and along with the truck and the armament was transferred to the Public Ministry of the Federation.

Photo gallery (2)

AZMEX I3 21-8-17

AZMEX I3 21 AUG 2017


MEXICO: "the decisions of who enters Mexico, are made by Mexico and only Mexico"
Luis Videgaray Caso, Mexican Foreign Minister
10 March, 2017

CANADA: "Our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone."
Justin Trudeau, boy PM of Canada. 20 Aug. 2017

So, Canada and Mexico can decide who enters their countries, but it is only the USA that cannot decide who enters our country?
Gracias, Merci, Thx

Trudeau to asylum seekers: Crossing border illegally won't fast track immigration
All those who cross illegally will be subject to Canada's 'rigorous' screening projects, prime minister said
By Kate McKenna, CBC News Posted:
Aug 20, 2017 1:00 PM ET Last Updated: Aug 20, 2017 6:25 PM ET

Asylum seekers rest in a tent at the Canada-United States border in Lacolle, Que. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

RCMP says it has intercepted 3,800 asylum seekers crossing illegally into Quebec since Aug. 1
What refugee claimants receive from the government
Quebec opposition party calls for tighter borders, hardline approach to asylum seekers
Far-right group claims PR victory after duelling protests in Quebec City

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a message for asylum seekers: crossing illegally into the country doesn't offer an advantage when it comes to obtaining refugee status in Canada.
"If I could directly speak to people seeking asylum, I'd like to remind them there's no advantage," Trudeau said at a news conference Sunday in Montreal.
"Our rules, our principles and our laws apply to everyone."

Trudeau's comments come as the government grapples with a surge in asylum seekers crossing into Quebec.

In the first two weeks of August, more than 3,800 people walked over the border into the province, compared to the 2,996 who crossed throughout all of July.

Speaking prior to Montreal's Pride Parade, Trudeau stressed that anyone seeking refugee status will have to go through Canada's "rigorous" screening process.

EXPLAINER | What refugee claimants receive from the government

He said the government is managing the unprecedented flow of predominantly Haitian asylum seekers and that all of them will be subjected to the usual security checks and evaluations before obtaining refugee status in Canada.

Unlike in the United States, Haitians have no special status in Canada. About half of Haitians seeking refugee status in Canada have been denied in the last couple of years.

On Thursday, the federal government announced additional measures to deal with the influx of people.

Conservative critic says Trudeau doesn't go far enough

Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel said Trudeau is downplaying the urgent need to deal with the surge in people crossing the border.

"They knew it was going to be a problem this summer. And their response has been building tent cities on the U.S./Canada border," she said in an interview with CBC News.

In January, Trudeau tweeted: "To those fleeing persecution, terror and war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength."

Rempel said Trudeau's statement was misleading and said he should make it more explicit that asylum seekers risk being deported to their country of origin if they enter Canada illegally.

She is also calling on government to boost funding for the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). Those seeking refugee status must have a hearing at the IRB, but even without this summer's surge in asylum seekers, there are already backlogs, allowing people to stay in Canada while they wait for a hearing.

Rempel calls that an incentive for people to cross illegally into Canada, and argues increasing funding to the IRB would help curb that incentive.


Friday, August 18, 2017



Note: Actually TEXMEX.

Texas police chiefs start adapting to sanctuary cities law
By NOMAAN MERCHANT Associated Press 2 hrs ago (1)

Texas police chiefs start adapting to sanctuary cities law
FILE - In this July 25, 2017 file photo, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and other law enforcement take part in public safety event in Austin, Texas. Even as a new Texas law targeting so-called sanctuary cities remains in legal limbo, police chiefs and sheriffs are making changes to comply. Houston police are drafting a policy instructing officers about their responsibilities under the law. Acevedo, an outspoken opponent of Senate Bill 4, said officers will be required to file a report anytime they ask someone about their immigration status. The law goes into effect Sept. 1 unless a federal judge in San Antonio blocks it. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

HOUSTON (AP) — Even as a new Texas law targeting so-called sanctuary cities remains in legal limbo, police chiefs and sheriffs are making changes to comply, rewriting training manuals and withdrawing policies that prevented officers from asking people whether they are in the United States illegally.

The law, known as Senate Bill 4, goes into effect Sept. 1 unless a federal judge in San Antonio blocks it. The law prohibits police from stopping an officer from inquiring into the immigration status of someone during an arrest or a traffic stop, and requires local jails to honor all "detainer" requests issued by federal immigration authorities. It's aimed at sanctuary cities, broadly defined as places that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

The state says the law promotes cooperation on immigration enforcement and prevents immigrants without legal status accused of a crime from being released. Several Texas cities and civil-rights groups sued the state, arguing the law is unconstitutional and vague, that it would hamstring officers trying to work with immigrants who are victims of crime, and that it might inspire other states to pursue their own versions of the law. The state says Senate Bill 4 is different from the 2010 Arizona "show me your papers" law partially struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia is expected to issue a ruling before the law takes effect. But if he doesn't, or if he rules against the cities and groups that sued Texas, law enforcement across the state will have to implement the law starting in two weeks.

Texas hasn't issued any guidance to law enforcement agencies on whether to change their policies, nor has it required training on how officers are supposed to implement it. But police chiefs could face fines or jail time under the law if they prevent their officers from asking about a person's immigration status.

Houston police are drafting a policy instructing officers about their responsibilities under the law. Police Chief Art Acevedo, an outspoken opponent of Senate Bill 4, said officers will be required to file a report anytime they ask someone about their immigration status.

In part, Acevedo said, he's concerned about a minority of officers "taking SB4 as a mandate and as a blank check to go out and become immigration agents."

"We chase crooks, not cooks and nannies and day laborers," Acevedo said. "I think that's a view that's shared by the majority of Texas lawmen."

The San Antonio Police Department has made plans to rescind parts of a 2015 policy that says its officers "do not, and will not, ask people they contact for proof of citizenship or legal residency." The department will create training programs on the law if it stands, said spokesman Jesse Salame.

Police in Dallas are revising the department training manual and working on training for officers on how to enforce the law, KXAS-TV reported.

In Fort Worth, the department in the coming days will issue new instructions for officers on how to document each time they check someone's immigration status, a spokesman told The Associated Press.

And in Austin, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez is prepared to revise her department's current policy to reject some "detainer" requests if the law goes into effect. Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and federal officials have attacked Hernandez and Travis County by name for refusing to accept all "detainers" to turn over people in custody who lack legal status.

Texas' biggest cities have large minority and immigrant populations, and tend to be more liberal than suburban and rural communities. While Texas is the nation's largest conservative state, 39 percent of its population is Latino — around the same percentage as liberal California — and it has an estimated 1.5 million immigrants living in the country illegally.

Sheriffs from rural Texas, meanwhile, said the law would improve public safety by giving officers more information and more ways to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Some have strengthened their ties with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, joining a program that trains their deputies to perform some of the duties of federal immigration agents.

A.J. Louderback, the sheriff in Jackson County, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) southwest of Houston, said Senate Bill 4 wouldn't require new training programs or policy changes for his office or most sheriffs in the state, and that fears about the law's impact were overblown.

"The way we would handle a traffic stop in the rural area is not that different from the way they would handle a traffic stop in an urban area," he said.

Edgar Saldivar, a senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which is among the groups suing Texas over the law, said officers need more training to avoid discriminating against someone "on the basis of how they look, or even how they speak or what accent they have."

"There are numerous things that an officer would have to very quickly get up to speed on to avoid violating someone's constitutional rights," Saldivar said.


Monday, August 14, 2017



Man arrested for trying to sell information to cartel for $2 million
Clayton Klapper
4:50 PM, Aug 7, 2017
11:26 AM, Aug 9, 2017

PHOENIX - A former employee at a large aerospace and technology company in Phoenix was arrested recently for allegedly trying to sell vital information to an undercover FBI agent posing as a Mexican cartel leader.

According to court documents released from the FBI, Robert Miller is a former employee of a large Phoenix company and had access to multiple company passwords. After being let go from the company, Miller was allegedly looking to sell some of the information that he still had access to because of a separate login he had created before his departure.

ABC News said Honeywell International Inc., which has offices in Phoenix, confirmed Miller was an employee with them until February of 2017, but was terminated for unrelated reasons.

Someone tipped off the FBI to Miller's plan and helped set up a meeting that was supposed to be with the Mexican cartel.

Miller was allegedly asking for $2 million for the information.
After allegedly explaining to the undercover agent how to use the information, Miller was arrested without incident.

According to the FBI, Miller claimed he was actually trying to gain information from the cartel because he wanted to become a DEA informant.

Miller has been charged with two counts of computer fraud.

Stay with ABC15 and for the latest on this developing situation.



They stop a expert for trying to sell technology to narcos
Details Posted on Monday, August 14, 2017, Posted by Notimex


An ex-employee of Honeywell Aerospace aerospace company in Phoenix was arrested by federal agents accused of illegally trespassing on the company's satellite tracking system to try to sell a drug cartel information on DEA movements.

According to a statement filed this week by a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent before the Federal Court in Phoenix, Arizona, Robert Miller, a satellite technology expert dismissed last February, expected to get about $ 2 million from selling the Secret codes of access to the company's high-tech localization system.

Miller, 45, owned the "passwords" to access multiple company servers and allegedly created his own access before being fired.

One person, self-styled as 'John Patriot' and later identified as Brandon Harris, alerted the company late last July about Miller's plans and then helped FBI agents set up a plan for his capture.

Miller was arrested after explaining how to use the codes to two undercover FBI agents posing as members of a drug trafficking organization willing to buy the information.

After being arrested on Aug. 4, Miller argued that he was actually trying to get information from the cartel because he wanted to become an informant for the Drug Control Administration? (DEA) of the United States. Honeywell's satellite tracking system (STS) is used by various government and military agencies, including the DEA, to track its air and sea equipment.

This technology, in the hands of a criminal organization, could be used to monitor the movements of DEA helicopters, airplanes, or ships, allowing drug traffickers to evade capture when smuggling narcotics into the United States. Miller will be presented Wednesday before a federal judge for a detention and notice of charges hearing


Wednesday, August 9, 2017



U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons: Criminal Alien Report June 2017
Posted on August 8, 2017
By David Olen Cross

The United States having a significant foreign national population residing within the nations boundaries, be they legally or illegally present in the country, unfortunately includes those who commit crimes.

The extent and impact of foreign national crime on the U.S. citizens and residents of this country is unambiguously revealed by a simple search on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmates statistics website under the heading of inmate citizenship.

Here are the countries of origin, moreover, the number and percentage of those countries citizens recently incarcerated in the U.S. BOP prison system (The most recent BOP crime numbers available were from June 24, 2017.).

Inmate Citizenship:

– México 26,007 inmates, 13.9 percent;
– Colombia 1,705 inmates, 0.9 percent;
– Dominican Republic 1,503 inmates, 0.8 percent;
– Cuba 1,235 inmates, 0.7 percent;
– Other / unknown countries 9,518 inmates, 5.1 percent;
– United States 147,414 inmates, 78.7 percent;

Total Inmates 187,382 inmates.

To explain the meaning of these preceding criminal alien inmate numbers and percentages, I will translate them into words:

Combining June 24th BOP criminal alien inmate numbers, there were 39,968 criminal aliens in the BOP prison system. Alien inmates were 21.3 percent of the federal prison population; more than two in every ten inmates were criminal aliens.

With 26,007 Mexican nationals being incarcerated in the BOP prison system, at 65.1 percent, they were the vast majority of criminal aliens in federal prisons.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons breaks down the federal prison population into 13 types of offenses. One of the top five offenses, the reason inmates are serving time in federal prisons is for immigration crimes. There were 14,232 inmates in the BOP prison system incarcerated for immigration crimes; they were 7.6 percent of the federal prison population.

A wakeup call to all American citizens, eventually the majority of these criminal aliens from México, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Cuba and other countries will be released from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons after completing their prison terms.

The country of Mexico, America's neighbor to the south, is both historically and literally a land bridge of many frequently unsecured trails, roads, highways and railways used by persons trying and far too often successfully illegally entering our country.

United States citizens should, if they haven't already, contact their members of the United States Congress (two Senators and one Representative) and tell them to support President Donald J. Trump's commitment to build a wall (fences and technology) along the U.S. border with Mexico to stop the threat of tens of thousands of criminal aliens, once they are released from the federal prison system and deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to their countries of origin, ability to illegally return to this nation and harm its citizens and residents.

David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. He is a weekly guest on the Lars Larson Northwest Show. He can be reached at or at


Tuesday, August 1, 2017



Trump admin waives environmental laws to allow border wall construction


9:06 AM, Aug 1, 2017
6 hours ago

The Trump administration announced Tuesday it will waive environmental and other laws and regulations that would impede the first phase of construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border.

The Department of Homeland Security decision clears an important hurdle to construction of the wall, and signals an approach the administration could take in the future when it seeks to build additional sections of wall or fence.

The waiver announced Tuesday applies to "a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws" in the San Diego sector, one of the most-crossed regions of the border and the site where border wall prototypes are scheduled to be constructed later this year.

The 15-mile stretch identified in the waiver also includes 14 miles of replacement secondary fencing, for which Customs and Border Protection has requested funding from Congress.

Despite the waiver, construction will not begin for at least several more months because federal officials are currently reviewing a protest by a company that competed for, but was not awarded, a building contract. That process delays any construction on the prototypes, which have been authorized by congressional appropriators, until November at the earliest.

The waiver applies to 37 laws and regulations, most of them environmental in nature, a Homeland Security official told CNN. The department said it would publish the full waiver "in the coming days."

DHS said in a statement it "remains committed to environmental stewardship with respect to these projects."

The announcement follows concerns raised by conservation groups and Democrats that border barriers would hurt the environment. Most recently, environmental groups were alarmed with soil sampling conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers in a Rio Grande Valley wildlife sanctuary. Homeland Security officials said the refuge testing was part of broader work by the Army Corps to prepare for fencing the department wants to build.

DHS has used the waiver multiple times in the past, including to build border fence from 2005 to 2008. The waivers were challenged in the courts, but each time federal judges granted DHS the authority to move forward, according to a Congressional Research Service report. The Supreme Court declined two requests to review the issue.

Construction of a Mexican-funded border wall was a key campaign promise of President Donald Trump. During the transition period before he took office, Trump's incoming administration began reviewing environmental laws and other potential obstacles to construction.