Border Patrol postpones exercise after voter intimidation complaints

A border fence in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Border Patrol postponed a scheduled "crowd control" exercise in El Paso, Texas, on Tuesday after complaints that it could intimidate potential voters, BuzzFeed News reports.

The big picture: The "caravan-related exercise" in the hometown of Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke was set to take place near a neighborhood along the U.S.-Mexico border that is "almost exclusively Hispanic," according to Texas Monthly. Activist groups argued its Election Day timing could dissuade Hispanic voters from going to the polls, while U.S. Customs and Border Protection blamed the postponement on "inaccurate reporting that caused unneeded confusion."

What they're saying:

  • Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos told Texas Monthly he's "convinced the exercises aren't getting in the way of Texans going to the polls."
  • O'Rourke said: "Why the president is stirring these issues up at this moment with 24 hours before we decide this election, I'll leave that to you to conclude."
  • A CBP spokesperson said in a statement to Axios: "The U.S Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector postponed joint caravan-related exercises on the El Paso border scheduled for today out of an abundance of caution and due to inaccurate reporting that caused unneeded confusion in border communities. We will continue training exercises in the following days, as necessary to ensure border security and the safety of the American people, the traveling public, CBP personnel and the communities in which we serve."

What's next

University of Minnesota student jailed in China over tweets

Xi Jinping. Photo: Noel Celis - Pool/ Getty Images

A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States, according to a Chinese court document viewed by Axios. Some of the tweets contained images deemed to be unflattering portrayals of a "national leader."

Why it matters: The case represents a dramatic escalation of the Chinese government's attempts to shut down free speech abroad, and a global expansion of a Chinese police campaign a year ago to track down Twitter users in China who posted content critical of the Chinese government.

⚖️ Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump will see a full day of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What to watch for: Democrats now have 24 hours — spread out over three days — to take their time to lay out their case against the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It'll also allow them to highlight gaps that could be filled out by additional witnesses and documents from the administration.

This post will be updated with new developments as the trial continues.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

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