Migrant girl’s relatives dispute official story on her death

The family of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in U.S. Border Patrol custody is disputing an account from U.S. officials who said she had not been given food or water for days. In a statement released by lawyers, the parents of Jakelin Caal said the girl had been given food and water and appeared to be … Continue reading “Migrant girl’s relatives dispute official story on her death”

The family of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who died in U.S. Border Patrol custody is disputing an account from U.S. officials who said she had not been given food or water for days.

In a statement released by lawyers, the parents of Jakelin Caal said the girl had been given food and water and appeared to be in good health as she traveled through Mexico with her father, 29-year-old Nery Gilberto Caal Cuz. The family added that Jakelin had not been traveling through the desert for days before she was taken into custody.

Tekandi Paniagua, the Guatemalan consul in Del Rio, Texas, told The Associated Press that he spoke with the Jakelin's father. The consul said Nery Caal told him the group they were traveling with was dropped off in Mexico about a 90-minute walk from the border.

Border Patrol officials did not immediately respond to the family's comments.

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The family's statement was released Saturday during a news conference in El Paso, Texas, at an immigrant shelter where Jakelin's father is staying. Her family did not attend and has asked for privacy.

Jakelin and her father were seeking asylum in the U.S. and were among a large group of migrants arrested Dec. 6 near a remote border crossing in New Mexico. Hours later they were placed on a bus to the nearest Border Patrol station, but Jakelin began vomiting and eventually stopped breathing. She later died at a Texas hospital.

Border Patrol officials on Friday said agents did everything they could to save the girl but that she had not had food or water for days. They added that an initial screening showed no evidence of health problems, and that her father had signed a form indicating she was in good health.

But the family took issue with that form, which was in English, a language her father doesn't speak or read. He communicated with border agents in Spanish but he primarily speaks the Mayan Q'eqchi' language.

"It is unacceptable for any government agency to have persons in custody sign documents in a language that they clearly do not understand," the statement said.

Jakelin's family is urging authorities to conduct an "objective and thorough" investigation into the death and to determine whether officials met standards for the arrest and custody of children.

A cause of death has not yet been released. A private prayer service was held in Texas on Friday so her father could see Jakelin's body before it is taken to Guatemala, said Ruben Garcia, director of the Annunciation House shelter where her father is staying.

"All of us were moved by the depth of his faith and his trust that God's hand is in all of this," Garcia said.

Family members in Guatemala said Caal decided to migrate with his favorite child to earn money he could send back home. Jakelin's mother and three siblings remained in San Antonio Secortez, a village of about 420 inhabitants.

Border agents seize $1.7 million in meth, in second largest drug bust this week

Officials seized nearly $1.3 million worth of meth at the U.S.-Mexico Border in Texas on Thursday, marking the second time this week that agents thwarted a significant narcotics smuggling attempt.

Agents with Customs and Border Protection and the Office of Field Operations were alerted to a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado attempting to enter the U.S. through the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge.

According to border officials, a canine search of the vehicle revealed that the 27-year-old female driver and her 28-year-old passenger were attempting to smuggle in 94 pounds of alleged methamphetamine, an estimated street value of $1,322,848.

“Our CBP officers’ hard work, perseverance, and utilization of canines and our non-intrusive imaging systems resulted in the interception of this significant load of methamphetamine,” Port Director Albert Flore of Laredo Port of Entry said in a statement.

Thursday’s bust comes just days after agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility seized a trailer with an estimated $7 million worth of narcotics.

“Our frontline CBP continues to maintain their vigilance and utilize their inspections skills and experience as pre-Christmas traffic starts to increase,” Flore also said.

The two women from Thursday’s incident were arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement-Homeland Security Investigations unit.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @PaulinaDedaj.

Dems, progressives quick to politicize death of migrant girl in Border Patrol custody

Potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidates and progressive activists spent Thursday weaponizing the death of a 7-year-old migrant girl who reportedly died in U.S. Border Patrol custody — though officials say she hadn’t eaten or consumed water for several days before the arrest.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., a likely leading 2020 contender, immediately jumped on the news, calling for the investigation.

“This is tragic. We need a full and thorough account of what happened before this 7-year-old girl died of dehydration and exhaustion in CBP custody,” Harris wrote in a tweet.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., another possible 2020 contender, also issued a tweet amid the reports.

“Shaken by this news. My heart breaks for this young girl and her family,” he wrote.

The girl, originally from Guatemala, was part of a 163 migrant group that crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally and surrendered to the border agents Dec. 6.

Just eight hours later, the girl began having seizures and was flown to an El Paso, Texas, hospital where she received treatment, according to the Washington Post.

Customs and Border Protection officials said the girl was dehydrated as hadn’t eaten or consumed water for several days before she was detained with other migrants.

Other Democrats also spoke out about the tragic death of the girl. Ben Rhodes, a former adviser to former President Barack Obama, blamed the girl's death on rhetoric about the migrant caravan.

“This little girl deserved so much better. Don’t ever give into dehumanizing rhetoric about caravans and immigrants. This is where that leads. Every child has a dignity that must be cherished,” he wrote in a tweet.

Progressive activist Shaun King, meanwhile, said the country and President Trump were responsible for the death of the migrant.

My God. Shame on our country and shame on Donald Trump,” he wrote. “These aren't thugs & criminals. They are people desperate for safe harbor. This is a grave sin.”

The Women’s March seconded, claiming the Trump administration’s border enforcement policies led to the death of the girl.

“Horrifying. She should never have been put in a detention center. She never should have been neglected once taken into custody. Her death is on this administration’s hands,” the progressive group wrote.

It remained unclear what happened during the eight hours the girl spent in the Border Patrol’s detention facilities, which are meant to be temporary and aren’t designed to fit the 163 migrants who surrendered.

Usually, an arrested migrant gets processed at the temporary facility, where he or she spends no more than 72 hours before they either get deported home or transferred to the jurisdiction of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Border Patrol previously said there is an increasing trend of large groups of migrants, many with young children, crossing the border and then turning themselves in. Some say they are fleeing violence and wish to apply for asylum.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.

1,700 US troops at Mexico border sent home because much of their mission ‘complete,’ officials say

The U.S. Northern Command announced Thursday that some of the troops stationed at the U.S.-Mexico border will be sent home due to “the completion of border hardening missions.”

A number of engineering, logistics and headquarters elements will head back to their bases to ready for other assignments, NORTHCOM Spokesperson Capt. Pamela Kunze said in a news release. Roughly 750 service members from Texas and Arizona were already redeployed Wednesday as a result of the operation’s conclusion, Kunze said.

MIGRANT GROUP DEMANDS TRUMP EITHER LET THEM IN OR PAY THEM EACH $50G TO TURN AROUND: REPORT

President Trump first ordered the active-duty troops to the border in response to a caravan of Central American migrants making their way toward the U.S.

The Department of Defense has assisted the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection’s “border security mission” since late October, Kunze said.

“At the height of the mission, nearly 5,900 service members from the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy were deployed. Currently, we have approximately 4,200 personnel supporting CBP along the southwest border with approximately 1,700 in the Texas corridor, 1,000 in the Arizona corridor, and 1,500 in the California corridor,” the news release said.

MATTIS ORDERS US TROOPS TO STAY ON SOUTHERN BORDER THROUGH CHRISTMAS

“DoD will continue to mature composition of our force to meet CBP requirements,” it continued. “There are also more than 2,100 National Guard service members currently supporting CBP under Operation Guardian Support.”

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered the troops positioned at the southern border to remain at their posts through Christmas. His previous orders had been set to expire on Dec. 15.

The extension was authorized until Jan. 31, 2019, Army Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said at the time.

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin, Paulina Dedaj and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

Massive haul of meth, cocaine, heroin seized at US-Mexico bridge

A drug bust at the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas earlier this week exposed nearly $7 million worth of narcotics at a cargo facility.

Border agents at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility were alerted to a commercial shipment of stone blocks on Monday. Officers with drug-sniffing dogs discovered packages of narcotics hidden within the shipment.

The bridge crosses the Rio Grande, connecting Texas with Mexico.

Officials said they seized 35 packages believed to be methamphetamine weighing 320 pounds, seven packages believed to be cocaine weighing almost 40 pounds and two packages believed to be heroin weighing around seven pounds.

IS BORDER WALL BATTLE WORTH SHUTTING DOWN THE GOVERNMENT?

The total street value is estimated at $6,998,000, border officials said.

The drugs and the trailer they were in were turned over to U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations agents.

Paulina Dedaj is a writer/ reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @PaulinaDedaj.

Trump threatens to have military build border wall if Pelosi, Schumer won’t budge

President Trump threatened Tuesday to have the military “build the remaining sections” of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, appearing to revive a call to use Pentagon money to finish the project ahead of a meeting with congressional Democratic leaders opposed to the president’s funding request.

“People do not yet realize how much of the Wall, including really effective renovation, has already been built. If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!” Trump vowed, capping a series of tweets meant to set the stage for the White House summit.

For their part, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer put out a joint statement Monday arguing Trump and his party will own a government shutdown if they can’t strike a deal.

"Republicans still control the House, the Senate and the White House, and they have the power to keep government open," they said. "Our country cannot afford a Trump Shutdown," the Democrats said, adding that Trump "knows full well that his wall proposal does not have the votes to pass the House and Senate and should not be an obstacle to a bipartisan agreement."

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Congress last week temporarily averted a partial shutdown amid the funeral services for the late President George H.W. Bush, pushing the new deadline to Dec. 21. Trump was meeting at the White House Tuesday with Pelosi and Schumer to discuss a new government spending package – with border wall funding the biggest sticking point. The Democratic leaders arrived at the White House shortly before noon.

Trump wants $5 billion for the project, while Democrats are offering $1.3 billion for border security.

The president earlier this year pushed for military funding to finance the border project. But while administrations can move some money around in their budgets, they need approval from Congress – and the relevant appropriations bills for fiscal 2019 did not include money for this purpose.

Top Democrats also warned earlier this year that the Pentagon would not have the power to redirect funding to the border wall.

But Trump’s tweets marked the latest effort on both sides to project a strong negotiating position.

The president also claimed that the wall and fencing already in place helped turn back the migrant caravans forming in Mexico. He accused Democrats of sacrificing border security for political reasons, even suggesting Pelosi is holding up funding for a border wall in order to secure votes for the speakership in the next Congress.

“We have already built large new sections & fully renovated others, making them like new. The Democrats … however, for strictly political reasons and because they have been pulled so far left, do NOT want Border Security. They want Open Borders for anyone to come in. This brings large scale crime and disease,” he tweeted.

“Our Southern Border is now Secure and will remain that way … I look forward to my meeting with Chuck Schumer & Nancy Pelosi. In 2006, Democrats voted for a Wall, and they were right to do so. Today, they no longer want Border Security. They will fight it at all cost, and Nancy must get votes for Speaker. But the Wall will get built.”

Pelosi does face pressure from her base not to bend on the border wall funding fight. But more than the speaker’s gavel is at stake – Democratic votes in both the House and Senate could be critical for averting a partial shutdown.

Sixty votes are required in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. And, at least for the near-term, Republicans only have 51 members.

Republicans for the rest of the month have a comfortable majority in the House, but lack the votes on their side alone to pass a bill with or without wall money.

Pelosi and Schumer have urged Trump to support a bill that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Sept. 30.

Democrats will likely push for a continuing resolution that funds the remaining appropriations bills if Trump doesn't agree to that, an aide told The Associated Press.

Trump said Friday that Congress should provide all the money he wants for the wall and called illegal immigration a "threat to the well-being of every American community."

Pelosi said she and many other Democrats consider the wall "immoral, ineffective and expensive."

Schumer said Democrats want to work with Trump to avert a shutdown, but said money for border security should not include the concrete wall Trump has envisioned. Instead, the money should be used for fencing and technology that experts say is appropriate, Schumer said.

"We do not want to let a Trump temper tantrum govern our policies or cause the shutdown of a government, which everyone on both sides of the aisle knows is the wrong idea," Schumer said. If Trump "wants to shut down the government over Christmas over the wall, that's his decision," he said.

But House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Democrats were the ones playing politics.

Trump "wants to secure the border. He got elected president on that platform," Scalise told Fox News.

If there's a better way to secure the border than the $5 billion plan Trump has laid out, Democrats "need to come with an alternative," Scalise said Monday.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Trump to meet with Democrats on border wall, possible partial shutdown

President Donald Trump on Tuesday will meet with Democratic leaders to hash out a plan to avert a partial government shutdown later this month despite sharp disagreements over his border wall.

Trump will sit down with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer at the White House on Tuesday ahead of a Dec. 21 deadline to shut down a range of government agencies.

"Our country cannot afford a Trump Shutdown," Pelosi tweeted on Monday, adding that Trump "knows full well that his wall proposal does not have the votes to pass the House and Senate and should not be an obstacle to a bipartisan agreement."

Republican lawmakers have repeatedly urged Trump to cut a deal with Democrats, an acknowledgment of their inability to produce spending bills with Republican votes alone.

Before lawmakers adjourn for the year they also may consider a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill, a "save-Mueller" bill, and a plan to overhaul the system for handling sexual harassment complaints on Capitol Hill.

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But the most contentious issue is the border wall. Trump has requested the next funding package include at least $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — an idea Democrats have flatly rejected.

FILE: House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, meets with reporters at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP)

Pelosi and Schumer have urged Trump to support a bill that includes a half-dozen government funding bills largely agreed upon by lawmakers, along with a separate measure that funds the Department of Homeland Security at current levels through Sept. 30.

Democrats will likely push for a continuing resolution that funds the remaining appropriations bills if Trump doesn't agree to that, an aide told The Associated Press.

Trump said Friday that Congress should provide all the money he wants for the wall and called illegal immigration a "threat to the well-being of every American community."

TRUMP ACCUSES DEMS OF 'PLAYING GAMES' WITH BORDER WALL FUNDING

At an appearance in Kansas City, Missouri, Trump accused Democrats of playing a political game and said it was one he ultimately would win.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said she and many other Democrats consider the wall "immoral, ineffective and expensive."

Schumer said Democrats want to work with Trump to avert a shutdown, but said money for border security should not include the concrete wall Trump has envisioned. Instead, the money should be used for fencing and technology that experts say is appropriate, Schumer said.

FILE: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following the weekly Democratic policy meetings, at the Capitol in Washington.  (AP)

"We do not want to let a Trump temper tantrum govern our policies or cause the shutdown of a government, which everyone on both sides of the aisle knows is the wrong idea," Schumer said. If Trump "wants to shut down the government over Christmas over the wall, that's his decision," he said.

But House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Democrats were the ones playing politics.

Trump "wants to secure the border. He got elected president on that platform," Scalise told Fox News Channel.

If there's a better way to secure the border than the $5 billion plan Trump has laid out, Democrats "need to come with an alternative," House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Monday. "They can't come and say they want to shut the government down for no reason because they don't want border security. They'll lose that argument with the American people."

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Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said Monday he does not believe Trump or Democrats want to shut the government down.

"When I was with him the indication was he didn't want to shut the government down, but he did want his wall," Shelby said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Eight-month-old boy pushed under hole in US-Mexico border wall as attempts to cross illegally prove perilous

SAN DIEGO – Eight-month-old Daniel Mendez was dressed in a gray hooded sweatshirt. The bottoms of his white-footed onesie were caked in dirt and grime and he was holding his bottle. He smiled at his father, Joel Mendez, one last time before being pushed under a crudely dug hole at the border wall separating Mexico and the United States.

Honduran migrant Mendez, 22, handed off baby Daniel to his 24-year-old girlfriend Yesenia Martinez, who had climbed under moments earlier, ready to cross onto American soil this past Friday. Mendez didn’t make the risky journey. He stayed behind in Tijuana to work because he said he feared immediate deportation if he'd crossed.

Cradling Daniel, Martinez surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents waiting for border crossers.

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Like Martinez, many Central American migrants — who are frustrated by the asylum process or say they feel unsafe because Mexicans are becoming more hostile towards them — have been taking matters into their own hands. At times, the results have been deadly.

On Wednesday night, an unidentified migrant and two others from El Salvador were spotted illegally entering the country about two miles west of the Gran Plaza Outlets near Calexico, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

Border Patrol agents arrested two men after they swam across the All-American Canal, which runs parallel to the Mexico-California border. The third man was struggling to stay afloat; the two others left him behind. A search-and-rescue team was unable to get to him because a freak storm that night triggered heavy rain and low visibility. His body was recovered the next morning.

Honduran migrant Joel Mendez, 22, feeding his eight-month-old son Daniel as his partner Yesenia Martinez, 24, crawled through the hole under the U.S. border wall. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“This incident tragically illustrates how human smuggling organizations place migrants in perilous situations,” Chief Patrol Agent Gloria I. Chavez said. “This man put his trust in human smugglers and it cost him his life.”

U.S. inspectors at the main border crossing in San Diego are processing up to 100 asylum claims every day, but thousands still wait. And while the U.S. and Mexico have worked to make the journey into America seem less appealing, many in the caravan claim it’s still better than the realities they face at home, which include extreme violence and poverty. Most, upon crossing illegally, claim asylum.

In late November, a Honduran teenager who was 8 months pregnant scaled the border wall with her 3-year-old son and husband. Maryury Elizabeth Serrano-Hernandez and her family had traveled more than 2,000 miles.

Moments later, Martinez surrendered to waiting border guards while Mendez stayed behind in Tijuana to work, saying he feared he’d be deported if he crossed. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

She, too, claimed asylum after she crossed illegally and was taken to the Imperial Beach Station in San Diego County for processing. She started experiencing pain and went into labor early. Serrano-Hernandez was rushed to a hospital in San Diego where she gave birth and is believed to be the first member of the migrant caravan to have a child in the United States. Border Patrol told Fox News that members of her family “placed into immigration proceedings and released on their own recognizance on December 2.”

The controversy at the border – and the administration’s response to it – has polarized much of the country. Last month, images of federal agents firing tear gas on hundreds of migrants sparked some outrage with several high-ranking Democrats blaming the White House. Those complaints were tamped down after data from the Department of Homeland Security revealed that agents also used tear gas at the U.S.-Mexico border dozens of times during the Obama administration.

HONDURAN WOMAN, 19, IN MIGRANT CARAVAN SCALES BORDER WALL TO GIVE BIRTH

President Trump has vowed to stop migrants from entering the U.S. He’s ramped up rhetoric about the types of people seeking asylum and has claimed many in the caravan are hardened criminals and ready to wreak havoc. He’s also sent thousands of troops to patrol the border.

Yesenia Martinez, 24, carrying her eight-month-old son Daniel as she looked for a place to cross the U.S. border wall. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

The border mission was supposed to come to an end on Dec. 15, but on Tuesday, Defense Secretary James Mattis extended the deployments of active duty troops into early 2019.

MIGRANT DROWNS IN CANAL AFTER ILLEGALLY CROSSING BORDER DURING STORM, OFFICIALS SAY

Currently, there are about 5,600 troops stationed in Texas, Arizona and California. Some troops in California have been helping Border Patrol place concertina wire and construct concrete barriers at border crossing points – something Mattis indicated two weeks ago was close to completion.

Fox News’ Katherine Lam and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You can find Barnini Chakraborty on Twitter @Barnini.

Southwest border crossing apprehensions spiked in November, DHS reveals

The number of immigrants who were apprehended while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally or who were deemed inadmissible at a port of entry last month increased by 60 percent from the same period in 2017, according to numbers released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 62,456 people were apprehended or turned away while attempting to cross the southwestern border in November. By comparison, 39,051 people were apprehended in November of last year. Of those apprehended this past November, 51,856 were apprehended between ports of entry — a slight uptick from the 51,001 who were apprehended in October. The remaining 10,600 people presented themselves at a port of entry and were deemed inadmissible, up from the  9,771 who were deemed inadmissible in October.

The numbers were released as Congress gears up for another funding fight over President Trump's proposed border wall. The president has demanded that an upcoming bill to fund the government past Dec. 21 include at least $5 billion for his proposed wall, something Democrats have rejected.

Pregnant migrant scales border wall, gives birth in US

Honduran woman believed to be the first migrant caravan member to have a child in the U.S. after scaling the border wall with her family; CRTV host Michelle Malkin reacts.

"The November 2018 border numbers are the predictable result of a broken immigration system – including flawed judicial rulings – that usurps the will of the American people who have repeatedly demanded secure borders," DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman said in a statement. " …The President has made it clear: these violations of law will not stand. We will enforce our laws to the maximum extent possible …

"We will continue to push Congress to step up and confront these legal failures," Waldman added. "If Congress once again kicks the can down the road and refuses to close the well-known and devastating loopholes and fund the President’s wall it will be a continuation of a decade’s long dereliction of duty."

Thousands of migrants have come up from Central America in recent weeks as part of caravans. Last month, Trump used his national security powers to put in place regulations that denied asylum to anyone caught crossing illegally, but a judge has halted that change as a lawsuit progresses. The president has repeatedly said the wall is needed to stop an "invasion" of migrants and others seeking to cross into the U.S. illegally.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday that the lame-duck Congress should pass a half-dozen government funding bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding DHS. Funding for the homeland agency should address border security and does not necessarily include a wall, Pelosi said.

Pelosi: No DACA deal in exchange for border wall funding

Raw video: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi answers reporter’s question on border wall funding and DACA during her weekly press conference.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money "can only be used for fencing" and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, said Schumer, who called the wall "a nonstarter" for Democrats.

Schumer called the spat over the wall unnecessary, noting that the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. "The idea that they haven't spent last year's money and they're demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all," he said.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., said the key question is whether Trump will sign a bill without funding for the wall.

"It doesn't matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue," Blunt said. "He has given every indication that he would."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Border Patrol agent won’t be tried a third time in teen’s death

PHOENIX – Federal prosecutors on Thursday said they would not pursue another trial against a Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a Mexican teenager across a border fence but who was twice acquitted.

A filing in court shows prosecutors say they will no longer pursue the case against Lonnie Swartz, the agent who killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez in October 2012.

"Agent Swartz is relieved and looking forward to moving on with his life without the threat of criminal prosecution hanging over his head," his attorney, Sean Chapman, said in an email to The Associated Press.

In April, Swartz was acquitted of second-degree murder, but a jury deadlocked on manslaughter charges. Prosecutors re-tried Swartz on voluntary and involuntary manslaughter charges.

They said Swartz lost his cool when he became frustrated at rock-throwers from the Mexican side of the border while on the job.

The second trial, which began in October, ended with a not guilty verdict on the involuntary charge, but the jury again deadlocked on voluntary manslaughter.

Swartz was the rare agent who was prosecuted for use of force. The shooting, and his indictment three years later, came at a time when the Border Patrol was increasingly under scrutiny for its use of force, especially pertaining to rock-throwers, or people on the Mexican side of the border who throw rocks to distract agents.

Swartz's attorney said he was acting in self-defense and following Border Patrol policy when he fired at least 16 shots at Elena Rodriguez through the slats of a border fence dividing Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales, Sonora.

Prosecutors said Elena Rodriguez was throwing rocks at Swartz and other law enforcement officers who were on scene chasing a suspected drug smuggler in an effort to distract them.

The boy's family still denies that he was involved. They say his killing was not justified.

The announcement on Nov. 21 that the jury had found Swartz not guilty on involuntary manslaughter but had deadlocked on voluntary manslaughter was met with protests from activists who marched through downtown and shut down a busy intersection.