Top stories: Drive-thru citizenship; Border most-wanted program expanded; New COVID-19 restrictions


New US citizens sworn-in drive-thru style

It had been four months since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in San Diego staged a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens. The events had been on hold due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. So today, instead of being in a giant hall like normal ceremonies, 147 people had to take the oath while in their cars inside a parking lot at the Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, Calif.

EXCLUSIVE: Manhunt for border’s Most Wanted expands after successful launch

After a successful early run in West Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, a binational crime-stoppers program is expanding.

The “Se Busca Informacion” (Information Wanted) initiative is being rolled out this week in the Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector and in the Mexican state of Coahuila. The program employs telephone tips line based on the U.S. side, posters and billboards at ports of entry and in Mexico. The posters feature some jovial, smiling faces that law-enforcement officials say may hide heinous crimes.

With governor’s OK, local South Texas leaders enact restrictions to stop spread of COVID-19

Just days after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said local authorities can take more control to control rising coronavirus cases, two South Texas jurisdictions on the border with Mexico enacted stricter restrictions in the hopes of stopping the spread of the virus.  On Wednesday afternoon, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez announced that an overnight curfew would be in effect for all residents, although the times will vary depending upon age. Starting Thursday, the Laredo City Council has mandated that facial masks be worn inside all businesses, including gyms. And those attending bars or Bingo halls or 8-liner facilities, also called maquinitas, must give their address and phone number and this information must be submitted to the health department weekly or face a $1,000 fine. Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said that the number of cases in his city, located across the Rio Grande from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, dramatically increased when Abbott told local officials that they must heed the governor’s phased-in reopening plans for the state. And Saenz said he is glad to once again have more control of what is happening in his “unique” border city.

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