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The Latest on weapons charges filed against a member of an armed civilian group that detained migrants on the US-Mexico border (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

A member of an armed civilian group that has detained migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border was charged Monday with being a felon in possession of firearms.

The federal charges stem from a search of his New Mexico home in 2017.

Larry Hopkins made his initial court appearance Monday in Las Cruces. The 69-year-old man was arrested over the weekend near Sunland Park, where he and others members of his group have been patrolling the border.

The group gained attention last week for stopping hundreds of migrants, drawing criticism from immigrant advocates and Democratic leaders in New Mexico.

A criminal complaint states Hopkins, who has three prior felony convictions, had nine firearms and ammunition in his northern New Mexico home.

Federal officials declined to say why they waited over a year to file the charges.

Hopkins’ lawyer said he plans to enter a plea of not guilty at a bond hearing in Albuquerque next week.

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11:00 a.m.

A member of an armed civilian group that has detained migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border is set to make his first court appearance following his weekend arrest on firearms charges.

Larry Hopkins was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms. He reportedly faced similar charges 13 years ago in Oregon.

The 69-year-old is scheduled for an appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Armed civilian groups have been a fixture on the border for years, especially when large numbers of migrants come through. The latest influx includes many families and children.

An FBI spokesman said additional information about Hopkins would be released after his court appearance.

Source: Fox News National

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to count self-identified illegal immigrants in the 2020 census. Cities worry adding the citizenship question could undercount 6.5 million people. Their argument, however, isn’t just about political power but billions of dollars in federal funds states expect.

The case underscores what experts say is a growing cost to taxpayers from the surge of Central American families and unaccompanied minors.

“We’re talking about billions of dollars in taxpayer benefits over the next few years,” said Dan Stein, director of the right-leaning think tank, Federation for American Immigration Reform. “The payout for the taxpayer is enormous and income to the Treasury is miniscule.”

A FAIR study in 2017 found illegal immigrants are a net consumer of taxpayer benefits worth more than $100 billion a year, not including the cost of enforcing the border.

While federal benefits are supposed to be off limits, in practice many are not. More than 25,000 undocumented workers receive subsidized housing, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Children receive free education and most qualify for English lessons and free school breakfast and lunch.

NEW MEXICO COUNTY DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER SURGE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CROSSING THE BORDER

Illegal immigrants do not qualify for Obamacare but under federal law, hospitals and clinics are required to provide urgent medical care without regard to legal status. Pregnant women are entitled to prenatal and postpartum care under the Women, Infants and Children program. Infant delivery costs are paid for by Medicaid. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found a federal-state immigrant insurance program cost $2 billion a year in emergency treatment, not including the $1.24 billion in infant delivery expenses.

Illegal immigrants are not entitled to food stamps, but families with U.S.-born children are. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, 31% of such families use the SNAP program and more than 50% of Central American families in the U.S. use at least one welfare program.

This is especially true of asylum seekers said Art Arthur, a former immigration judge now with the Center for Immigration Studies, an immigration think tank. Arthur said because there is a three to five year lag time between apprehension and court appearance, young asylum seekers put down roots, allowing many to access programs they are initially unaware or afraid to use.

“You’re going to buy a house, get a job, have kids,” he said. “So their entire life changes, and that means their claim changes. Because of a lack of a bright line for immigration judges, appeals are endless and people don’t leave.”

Recognizing that many illegal workers fill jobs communities need, 26 states offer them *state-funded* benefits. New York state offers up to $300 a month in cash assistance. Eleven states offer free or subsidized medical and hospital care. California offers food stamps, legal services and benefits for those over 65 or disabled. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently asked for an extra $50 million from lawmakers to serve the state’s illegal immigrant population.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: CONGRESS MUST ACT TO END THE CRISIS ON OUR BORDER

Such sanctuary states and immigrant-friendly cities are an obvious draw, but others say it is all about finding work not using benefits.

The Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2018 found Central American families may struggle financially in the U.S. but they work (76%) at high rates than native-born Americans (73%).

“At the end of the day people are going to go where their jobs are, not necessarily where the services are,” said Ali Noorani, director of the National Immigration Forum. “So yes, 26 states may provide state-funded access to public benefits. But if those states don’t have a growing economy and don’t have jobs that are open immigrants, much as anybody else, they’re not going to see them.”

Up to 70% of immigrants apprehended at the border this fiscal year are families or unaccompanied minors claiming asylum. Unlike other border crossers, after six months asylum seekers qualify for work permits and most taxpayer subsidies. But because most are unskilled and uneducated, they earn minimum wage or less.

Almost half, according to the census survey, never finished high school. They earn 40% less than U.S.-born workers and about 50% of families live in poverty, requiring community support for food and cash for necessities. Some have sponsors, but most are usually immediate families that are not much better off.

“There is a cost for communities for sure,” Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., said last week outside a Salvation Army shelter in Yuma. “Whether it is in uncompensated care in hospitals or the education system in different ways. It has never really been measured, but it is very real.”

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Advocates for illegal immigrants argue most studies are flawed because they do not account for their economic contribution to the economy as a whole. Not just because they perform jobs Americans won’t, but studies don’t account for their lower wage differential that produces cost savings to U.S. consumers.

“We need an immigration system that treats the American taxpayer fairly,” Noorani said. “Right now, our immigration system doesn’t treat the American taxpayer fairly and I would argue it really treats nobody fairly. At the federal level, what the Congress and the president need to do is work together to create an immigration system that is fair to the taxpayer and 10 or 11 million people who are undocumented.”

U.S. officials expect a million additional illegal immigrants this fiscal year, as the Border Patrol is currently apprehending up to 4,000 a day. Most will claim asylum, entitling them to government benefits.

Source: Fox News National

The Latest on fire arms charges filed against a member of an armed civilian that detains migrants on the US-Mexico border (all times local):

1 p.m.

A member of an armed civilian group that has detained migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border in southern New Mexico made an initial court appearance in following his weekend arrest on firearms charges.

FBI agents arrested Larry Hopkins, 69, at his home in northern New Mexico on Saturday on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms in November of 2017.

Wearing orange handcuffs and a green jumpsuit, Hopkins told the federal judge that he has medical problems, but didn’t detail them.

The FBI says that Hopkins had nine firearms and ammunition in his home, and has three prior felony convictions. The Bureau declined to say why it waited over a year to file the charges.

Hopkins’ lawyer said that he plans to enter a plea of “not guilty” at a bond hearing in Albuquerque next week.

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11:00 a.m.

A member of an armed civilian group that has detained migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border is set to make his first court appearance following his weekend arrest on firearms charges.

Larry Hopkins was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms. He reportedly faced similar charges 13 years ago in Oregon.

The 69-year-old is scheduled for an appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Armed civilian groups have been a fixture on the border for years, especially when large numbers of migrants come through. The latest influx includes many families and children.

An FBI spokesman said additional information about Hopkins would be released after his court appearance.

Source: Fox News National

Mexican police and immigration agents have detained hundreds of Central American migrants in the largest single raid on a migrant caravan since the groups started moving through Mexico last year.

Police targeted the tail end of a caravan of about 3,000 migrants who were making their way through the southern state of Chiapas.

Federal police and agents on Monday forced the migrants and their families into pickup trucks to take them to buses, presumably to deport them.

Mexico had welcomed the first caravans last year with open arms, but the reception has gotten colder since tens of thousands of migrants overwhelmed U.S. border crossings.

Source: Fox News National

Following the arrest of the commander an armed vigilante group rounding up illegal immigrants in New Mexico, National Border Patrol Council Vice President Hector Garza said his group appreciates the support of the American people, but border security is best left up to professionals.

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, the leader of the group United Constitutional Patriots, was arrested Saturday on charges of firearms possession by a felon after his group was accused of detaining nearly 200 migrants at gunpoint along the U.S./Mexico border until Border Patrol agents arrived.

Garza told “America’s Newsroom” on Monday he has worked with other volunteer groups before, who are typically very helpful, but not the United Constitutional Patriots.

“As border patrol agents, we appreciate the support that the American public gives border patrol agents as we try to change border security,” Garza said. “What we do ask is that border security work is left up to border security experts, border patrol agents, and any organization that’s operating along the border that they follow the law as they try to help achieve border security.”

NEW MEXICO MILITIA DETAINS MIGRANTS AT GUNPOINT UNTIL BORDER PATROL ARRIVES: REPORT

‘SHEDDING OF BLOOD’ MAY BE REQUIRED TO SAVE US, AUTHOR OF AN ARIZONA IMMIGRATION LAW SAYS

After news broke of Hopkins’ arrest, the New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas released a statement calling the self-declared vigilante as a: “dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families.”

Garza went on to discuss his work with border volunteers in Texas, who he says have actually saved the lives of many people who were left behind by smugglers. In the case of the United Constitutional Patriots, however, it’s critical that those hoping to help with border security aren’t breaking the law, he said.

“We do ask that they follow the law… and make sure that they are able to possess weapons, that they are able to do the right thing, that they’re not invading private property and that they operate within the boundaries of the law,” he continued.

Armed vigilante groups have been active along the border for many years, and see themselves as a necessary force to aide border patrol agents. Garza called the situation at the border “very, very desperate” adding that they do need more help and resources.

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“People are abusing our immigration laws and we need to stop that,” Garza said. Ultimately, he continued, the goal is to keep everyone in America safe.

“it’s all about safety – the safety of our American people, the safety of our border agents, and we want to achieve border security – plain and simple,” he said.

Source: Fox News National

A member of an armed civilian group that has detained migrants near the U.S.-Mexico border is set to make his first court appearance following his weekend arrest on firearms charges.

Larry Hopkins was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms. He reportedly faced similar charges 13 years ago in Oregon.

The 69-year-old is scheduled for an appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Armed civilian groups have been a fixture on the border for years, especially when large numbers of migrants come through. The latest influx includes many families and children.

An FBI spokesman said additional information about Hopkins would be released after his court appearance.

Source: Fox News National

Authorities say a New Mexico man belonging to an armed group that has detained Central American families near the U.S.-Mexico border was arrested Saturday on a criminal complaint accusing him of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

The FBI said it arrested 69-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins, of Flora Vista, in Sunland Park. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said Hopkins was a member of the group that had stopped migrants.

FBI spokesman Frank Fisher told The Associated Press that Hopkins was in custody but said no additional information would be released until after Hopkins has an initial appearance Monday in federal court in Las Cruces.

It’s not immediately known whether Hopkins has an attorney who could comment on the allegations.

Source: Fox News National

Russell Pearce, a former president of the Arizona state Senate who helped author a controversial immigration law in the state, appeared to advocate for violence for the U.S. to save itself in remarks delivered earlier this week.

Pearce, a Republican, spoke Monday at a rally in Gilbert, Ariz., dubbed “Patriotism Over Socialism.” Other featured speakers included Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward and Laura Loomer, whose anti-Muslim social media posts have gotten her banned from Twitter, Uber and Lyft, the Arizona Republic reported.

“And it may take the shedding of blood to keep this Republic,” Pearce. “And I, for one, am willing to do whatever it takes.”

FOX NEWS POLL: IMMIGRATION, ECONOMY TOP LIST OF VOTER CONCERNS

It was not clear what Pearce, now an employee of the Maricopa County treasurer, was speaking about.

Pearce was recalled from office in 2011 over anti-immigrant emails and comments. On Monday, he lashed out at state lawmakers, according to a video published by azfamily.com.

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“We have stupid leaders, stupid politicians, and it’s time we start replacing those that refuse to stand up for the values that we have shed blood for,” he said, according to the paper.

Pearce is best known for ushering in Senate Bill 1070, which gives police officers the authority to determine a person’s immigration status during an arrest for a state crime and detention.

Source: Fox News Politics

An armed right-wing militia group operating along the U.S.-Mexico border posted several videos to social media this week, including one in which they held about 200 asylum-seeking migrants at gunpoint near Sunland Park, N.M., until U.S. Border Patrol agents arrived, according to a report.

THOUSANDS MORE CENTRAL AMERICAN MIGRANTS APPROACH U.S.-MEXICO BORDER

The militia group, which calls itself the United Constitutional Patriots, said it is determined to monitor the border until President Trump fulfills his campaign promise of a border wall or until Congress enacts stronger legislation to make it more difficult for migrants to request asylum, Jim Benvie, a spokesman, told The New York Times in a phone interview.

“It should go without saying that regular citizens have no authority to arrest or detain anyone,” the governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, said in a statement to The New York Times, adding that it is “completely unacceptable” that migrants be “menaced or threatened” upon entering the U.S.

The American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement that “the Trump administration’s vile racism” emboldened these groups.

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Carlos A. Diaz, a spokesperson for Customs and Border Protection, would not divulge specific details about the scene in the video or about the United Constitutional Patriots, but said in a statement that Border Patrol “does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands.”

Source: Fox News National

A New Mexico county on Wednesday declared a state of emergency over an influx of immigrants crossing the border in recent months and asked the governor to send in the National Guard for protection, according to a report.

Otero County, which touches neighboring El Paso, issued a declaration Wednesday that urged Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to deploy National Guard Troops and reopen Customs and Border Patrol checkpoints to stem the flow of drugs and other illegal activity at the border, The Alamogordo Daily News reported.

Grisham’s predecessor, Gov. Susana Martinez, deployed 200 National Guard troops to New Mexico’s border with Mexico in April 2018. But Grisham removed the guardsmen from the border ahead of President Trump’s State of the Union, in a rejection of “the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the southern border, along which are some of the safest communities in the country.”

YUMA, ARIZONA MAYOR DECLARES EMERGENCY OVER MIGRANT SITUATION

Otero County Commissioners have threatened legal action if their demands were not met in one week.

“If this demand is not met by the State of New Mexico in one week’s time, the County of Otero will take action itself to provide security and safety and well-being for the people in this county,” Otero County Commission Chairman Couy Griffin said.

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The county’s board of commissioners voted unanimously on the declaration. In response, Grisham’s office said the “National Guard does not and would not operate federal checkpoints,” and instead directed Otero County officials to the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for assistance.

Source: Fox News National


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