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California leads nation — by far — in naturalized citizens, data show

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6038877870001_6038874661001-vs California leads nation -- by far -- in naturalized citizens, data show fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/immigration/demographics fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 1002331e-b4bd-587c-91c7-5e83f75255bc

If you’re a naturalized citizen in the United States – a person born elsewhere who has become a legal U.S. citizen – there’s a good chance you live in California, government statistics show.

In 2017, California added more than 150,000 naturalized citizens, or nearly twice the number of the second-place state, New York.

California also led the nation in adding naturalized citizens in 2016 and 2015, again adding more than 150,000 each year, the Orange County Register reported.

LUCIA SUAREZ SANG: I’M A PROUD (NEW) AMERICAN — AND THIS HAPPENED WHEN I SAID MY FIRST PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

New York ranked second each of the three years, adding 86,407 naturalized citizens in 2017; 93,376 in 2016; and 90,368 in 2015, the report said, citing data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Completing the top 10 states for 2017 were Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois, Virginia, Maryland and Georgia. (Washington state made the top 10 in 2016.)

Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s new citizens in 2017 came from North America, while 36 percent came from Asia and 9.2 percent hailed from Europe, the data show.

Mexico supplied 17 percent of the new U.S. citizens, followed by India at 7.2 percent and China at 5.3 percent.

Citizenship has become a key topic of political debate as the nation grapples with its immigration and border security problems. The Trump administration has been seeking to add the question, “Are you a citizen of the United States,” to the U.S. Census, but has faced opposition in Congress and in court.

NATURALIZED US CITIZEN CHARGED WITH BECOMING ISIS SNIPER AND WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR

Meanwhile, the newest U.S. citizens tend to score much higher on a federal government-issued civics test than do native-born Americans, the Register reported.

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Some 90 percent of people applying for U.S. citizenship pass the test, administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, while more than 40 percent of native-born Americans flunk the same test, according to Concordia University’s Center for Public Policy.

The civics test includes such questions as, “What are the two parts of the U.S. Congress?” and “How many U.S. senators are there?”

You can find the test questions and answers by clicking here.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6038877870001_6038874661001-vs California leads nation -- by far -- in naturalized citizens, data show fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/immigration/demographics fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 1002331e-b4bd-587c-91c7-5e83f75255bc   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6038877870001_6038874661001-vs California leads nation -- by far -- in naturalized citizens, data show fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/immigration/demographics fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 1002331e-b4bd-587c-91c7-5e83f75255bc

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Nevada girl, 9, dies days after wind blew bounce house into power lines

A 9-year-old Nevada girl has died just days after a gust of wind lifted a bounce house she was inside 10 feet off the ground into power lines last Sunday.

Elizabeth “Lizzy” Hammond’s family confirmed the girl’s death Friday, the same day hundreds of emergency responders and hospital staff lined the hallways of Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno for an honor walk as Lizzy’s family donated her organs.

2 CHILDREN KILLED AFTER DUST DEVIL BLOWS AWAY BOUNCE HOUSE IN CHINA

Westlake Legal Group renown-medical-center Nevada girl, 9, dies days after wind blew bounce house into power lines fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 08f53fea-6458-503b-bd7a-311c03283cea

Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno (Google Maps)

“We believe that her beautiful spirit will carry on within those individuals that she helps,” the family said in a statement. “She was a warm, kind, and selfless girl who loved everything and everyone.” She also volunteered to feed the homeless.

Two other children who were in the bounce house were treated for minor injuries.

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The incident remains under investigation, according to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. The inflatable house was secured to the ground when the wind pulled it up.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group renown-medical-center Nevada girl, 9, dies days after wind blew bounce house into power lines fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 08f53fea-6458-503b-bd7a-311c03283cea   Westlake Legal Group renown-medical-center Nevada girl, 9, dies days after wind blew bounce house into power lines fox-news/us/us-regions/west/nevada fox news fnc/us fnc Brie Stimson article 08f53fea-6458-503b-bd7a-311c03283cea

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WATCH: Veteran climbs flag pole, fixes American flag at Navy SEAL monument

A veteran has captured the hearts of social media users after he climbed a flag pole at the Navy SEAL monument in Virginia to fix a loose American flag.

Dom Raso, a former SEAL himself, says he was on his morning run Thursday in Virginia Beach when he spotted the flag out of place and broken off the pole.

Video posted on Facebook shows Raso climbing up the pole and then clipping the flag’s loose end to the pole, before sliding back down.

AMERICAN SOLDIER GETS SURPRISE FROM HIS PARENTS FOLLOWING EMOTIONAL HOMECOMING

“This was my fourth attempt at trying to get up and fix the flag,” Raso said. “I couldn’t go by this flag this morning and not give it everything I had. The gold stars on this monument and the sacrifice that has been made for us all was something I wasn’t just going to pass by. This flag pole climb reminded me about EVERYTHING in life.”

Westlake Legal Group FS_American_Flag WATCH: Veteran climbs flag pole, fixes American flag at Navy SEAL monument Keith Harden fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox news fnc/us fnc e61aae01-8efc-5906-9d19-9ba627f6fba8 article

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In another post, Raso encourages his fellow Americans to continue to “step up and do what is right.”

“It doesn’t take many, it just takes a determined and convicted few,” he said. “I believe with all my heart and soul there is a wave of patriots in this country growing in strength and confidence each day. While we watch parts of our country fall to mainstream confusion, complacency, and ignorance, there is a few that are willing to climb or stand or do whatever it takes.”

Westlake Legal Group FS_American_Flag WATCH: Veteran climbs flag pole, fixes American flag at Navy SEAL monument Keith Harden fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox news fnc/us fnc e61aae01-8efc-5906-9d19-9ba627f6fba8 article   Westlake Legal Group FS_American_Flag WATCH: Veteran climbs flag pole, fixes American flag at Navy SEAL monument Keith Harden fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/virginia fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox news fnc/us fnc e61aae01-8efc-5906-9d19-9ba627f6fba8 article

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Florida sheriff orders investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s work release program

Westlake Legal Group AP19199629064791 Florida sheriff orders investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's work release program Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 464e087e-a227-5a4e-818f-9d4ab0378842

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw launched an investigation Friday into whether wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein was properly monitored during his work release program while serving time for soliciting prostitution from underage girls more than a decade ago.

The inquiry will focus on whether deputies assigned to Epstein violated any rules or regulations, Bradshaw said in a statement, adding that “all aspects of the matter will be fully investigated to ensure total accountability and transparency.”

FORMER NEIGHBORS DESCRIBE YOUNG EPSTEIN AS ‘NERDY’, QUIET WITH NO SIGNS OF PREDATORY BEHAVIOR

Epstein, 66, was allowed to spend six days a week at the office of his now-defunct Florida Science Foundation rather than in jail under a heavily-criticized 2008 plea deal with federal prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to solicitation of a minor and registered as a sex offender.

A deputy was assigned to remain with him in his office at all times, according to the work release program rules.

Logs show Epstein was escorted to his home by deputies at least nine times, WPTV reported, even though he was only allowed to leave his office to go to the jail. He was also allegedly left in his home unsupervised for up to three hours on some occasions.

One former deputy told The Associated Press he remembers young women visiting Epstein at his office but couldn’t say whether anything inappropriate occurred.

JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S PRIVATE ‘ISLAND OF SIN’ AND SEX DOLLS: 5 WEIRD DETAILS TO KNOW

“I do remember young women coming in and going back into the office area,” now-retired deputy Jeffrey Rice said Thursday. He said the girls were maybe in the early 20s.

“They just kind of said they were office assistants,” he said.

The plea deal allowed Epstein to be out of the county jail from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., but records show that on some occasions his personal limousine dropped him off as early as 7:15 a.m. or picked up as late as 10:40 p.m.

Rice said when he escorted Epstein home, he stood guard outside the house but wasn’t aware of what Epstein was doing or if anyone else was inside. He contacted a sergeant for clarification on what he was supposed to do.

“I didn’t do an interior sweep of the residence,” he said. “I followed instructions to the letter.”

Sex offenders are now banned from participating in the county’s work release program but apparently weren’t in 2008, according to a copy of the rules at the time.

Federal prosecutors allege Epstein paid underage girls for massages and then molested them at his homes in Plam Beach and New York between 2002 and 2005. He’s pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

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Brad Edwards, a lawyer for several of Epstein’s accusers, held a news conference in New York this week saying said he had been in contact with a woman who had “sexual contact” with Epstein in his office while he was still serving his sentence. Edwards wouldn’t identify the woman. Epstein’s lawyers did not respond to numerous emails requesting comment throughout the week.

He was denied bail Thursday and faces up to 45 years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19199629064791 Florida sheriff orders investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's work release program Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 464e087e-a227-5a4e-818f-9d4ab0378842   Westlake Legal Group AP19199629064791 Florida sheriff orders investigation into Jeffrey Epstein's work release program Louis Casiano fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/florida fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/person/jeffrey-epstein fox news fnc/us fnc article 464e087e-a227-5a4e-818f-9d4ab0378842

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Utah city will replace ‘dummy’ cameras at park where Mackenzie Lueck was last seen

Westlake Legal Group Ajayi-Lueck_AP Utah city will replace ‘dummy’ cameras at park where Mackenzie Lueck was last seen Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc article 8bffc451-6cce-559d-b1e6-6c20c4ed5187

A Utah municipal council’s members voted 4-3 on Tuesday to replace “dummy” cameras in the park where University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck was last seen alive.

On June 17 around 3 a.m., the 23-year-old Lueck met with 31-year-old Ayoola Ajayi at Hatch Park near Salt Lake City after she’d been dropped off by a Lyft driver, according to police. Ajayi was arrested and charged with her murder in late June.

MACKENZIE LUECK’S ALLEGED KILLER MAKES 1ST COURT APPEARANCE

Police say phone records indicate that Ajayi was the last person to communicate with Lueck before her disappearance, and that they were both in the area around 3 a.m.

Authorities were not able to use surveillance footage from the 17 cameras at the park because only four of them were functional at the time of her disappearance. This was the case in spite of signs indicating otherwise, City Manager Ken Leetham said in June, according to reports by the Desert News. Many of the cameras were “dummy” units only, meant to deter crime.

The North Salt Lake City Council committed to replacing the cameras, at the urging of Lueck’s friend Ashley Fine. At the meeting, Fine said the faux cameras give people at the park “a false sense of security.”

The council acknowledged that the community needs new cameras because people now know the ones in place don’t work. But Mayor Len Arave would not reveal when they would be replaced. The cameras run about  $6,000 to $8,000 each.

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“I don’t think it would have saved her life, but I think it would have given us a lot more evidence,” Fine said. “It would have saved a lot of tax dollars because the police wouldn’t have had to get as many warrants … and just time, precious time.”

Lueck, who died from blunt-force trauma to the head, was discovered by police with her arms bound behind her, in a canyon 85 miles from Ajayi’s home.

Westlake Legal Group Ajayi-Lueck_AP Utah city will replace ‘dummy’ cameras at park where Mackenzie Lueck was last seen Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc article 8bffc451-6cce-559d-b1e6-6c20c4ed5187   Westlake Legal Group Ajayi-Lueck_AP Utah city will replace ‘dummy’ cameras at park where Mackenzie Lueck was last seen Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/west/utah fox-news/us fox news fnc/us fnc article 8bffc451-6cce-559d-b1e6-6c20c4ed5187

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Teen rapper convicted of murder in Texas home invasion

A teen rapper in Texas was found guilty Friday in the death of a 21-year-old man during a home invasion robbery.

Taymor McIntyre, 19, who goes by Tay-K, was convicted by an Arlington jury of murder and aggravated robbery for his role in the July 2016 death of Ethan Walker in his home in Mansfield, southeast of Fort Worth.

Another person in the home was injured.

At the start of his trial, McIntyre pleaded guilty to two other counts of aggravated robbery related to the home invasion.

KIM KARDASHIAN THANKS TRUMP, POMPEO AND KUSHNER FOR EFFORTS TO GET A$AP ROCKY RELEASED FROM SWEDEN JAIL

Westlake Legal Group AP19200686489736 Teen rapper convicted of murder in Texas home invasion Louis Casiano fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/us fnc f0abba58-9b2e-5d8d-9b40-229ecbe78ca5 article

This undated photo provided by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office shows Taymor McIntyre. A Texas jury has convicted the teenage rapper of murder in the 2016 shooting death of a man during a home invasion. (Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The man who shot Walker was sentenced last year to life in prison. McIntyre was charged with murder because he recruited the gunman and planned the robbery, Tarrant County prosecutors said.

The teen still faces a capital murder charge in Bexar County for the April 2017 killing of a man at a San Antonio Chick-fil-A, KDFW-TV in Dallas reported.

The killing triggered a nationwide manhunt. While McIntyre was on the run, his single “The Race” was posted to YouTube, and it made the Billboard Hot 100 after his June 2017 arrest in New Jersey.

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A mixtape he created while in police custody called “Santana World” made more than $500,000, according to the news station. Walker’s family and the survivor of the home invasion are suing McIntyre’s record label for the tape’s profits.

He faces life in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Westlake Legal Group AP19200686489736 Teen rapper convicted of murder in Texas home invasion Louis Casiano fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/us fnc f0abba58-9b2e-5d8d-9b40-229ecbe78ca5 article   Westlake Legal Group AP19200686489736 Teen rapper convicted of murder in Texas home invasion Louis Casiano fox-news/world/crime fox news fnc/us fnc f0abba58-9b2e-5d8d-9b40-229ecbe78ca5 article

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Ex-NSA contractor gets nine years in prison for stealing classified documents

A former contractor for the National Security Agency was sentenced to nine years in federal prison with three years of supervised release Friday, a result of a plea deal for stealing troves of classified government documents over two decades and keeping them at his home in Maryland.

Harold T. Martin, 54, who was arrested by the FBI in August 2016, originally pleaded not guilty to 20 counts of willful retention of national defense information that prosecutors said he hoarded in his home and car, but then changed his plea to guilty on one felony count. His sentence “is one of the longest ever imposed in this type of case,” U.S. District Attorney for Maryland, Robert K. Hurshould, said in a statement on Friday.

Westlake Legal Group AP19184564961554 Ex-NSA contractor gets nine years in prison for stealing classified documents Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox news fnc/us fnc article 818c87cb-b17d-5408-ba60-4b714133956c

FILE – In this Oct. 5, 2016 file photo, the house of Harold Thomas Martin III is seen in Glen Burnie, Md.  (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Hurshould said that the harsh punishment should “serve as a warning that we will find and prosecute government employees and contractors who flagrantly violate their duty to protect classified materials.”

There was no suggestion he passed any of the information on to other countries.

FORMER NSA CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY IN THEFT OF CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS

Martin, who was employed by at least seven different private companies and assigned as a contractor to various government agencies for over 23 years, had maintained high levels of security clearance, according to his plea deal. He held clearance to access and handle both Top Secret and Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) throughout his tenure and was able to access government computer systems, programs, and information in secure locations, including classified national defense information, which he compromised by keeping them in his personal possession.

Prosecutors noted that Martin’s actions forced the government to change and abandon national security programs that were contained in the documents and “harmed Intelligence Community sources and methods,” Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone, at the FBI Baltimore Field Office said in a statement Friday.

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Martin’s defense team argued in a March court appearance that their client, a former Navy lieutenant, had no intention to harm his country or the intelligence agencies he served but instead said he was a “compulsive hoarder” who took work documents home with him as a result of his ADHD, for which he took medication.

“His actions were the product of mental illness. Not treason,” his lawyers said in a statement at that time.

“Instead of respecting the trust given to him by the American people, Martin violated that trust and put our nation’s security at risk.  This sentence will hold Mr. Martin accountable for his dangerous and unlawful actions,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said Friday.

Westlake Legal Group AP19200077795642 Ex-NSA contractor gets nine years in prison for stealing classified documents Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox news fnc/us fnc article 818c87cb-b17d-5408-ba60-4b714133956c   Westlake Legal Group AP19200077795642 Ex-NSA contractor gets nine years in prison for stealing classified documents Vandana Rambaran fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/maryland fox news fnc/us fnc article 818c87cb-b17d-5408-ba60-4b714133956c

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Naturalized U.S. citizen charged with becoming ISIS sniper and weapons instructor

A 42-year-old Brooklyn, New York, man has been charged with providing and attempting to provide material support – including training, services and personnel – to ISIS in Syria, the Department of Justice announced Friday after unsealing a criminal complaint in Brooklyn federal court.

Ruslan Maratovich Asainov, a Kazakhstan-born, naturalized U.S citizen is alleged to have traveled to Istabul, Turkey, in late 2013 before moving across the border into Syria where he became a sniper for the designated terrorist outfit.

Asainov then rose through the ranks, prosecutors contend, to become an “emir” and oversaw the training of other ISIS recruits in the use of weapons. He is also accused of attempting to entice another person residing in the U.S. to join ISIS in Syria.

ISIS SLEEPER CELLS BURN, BLOW UP AND SLAUGHTER HUNDREDS IN UPTICK OF ATTACKS ACROSS IRAQ AND SYRIA

“The defendant, a naturalized U.S. citizen residing in Brooklyn, turned his back on the country that took him in and joined ISIS, serving its violent ends in Syria,” U.S Attorney Richard Donoghue stated, highlighting that he will now face justice in an American courtroom. “We hope countries around the world, including our European allies and partners, will likewise repatriate and prosecute their own citizens for traveling to support ISIS.”

Westlake Legal Group isis-flag-Reuters Naturalized U.S. citizen charged with becoming ISIS sniper and weapons instructor Hollie McKay fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 5db5ad69-04d8-51ae-a8d5-a91e186fbd8f

A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country. 

In March 2015 he requested $2,800 from an informant to purchase a rifle scope, sending photographs of boasting about the group’s barbarity and declaring his wish to die on the battlefield. Instead, he was later detained by the U.S-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and transferred into FBI custody on Wednesday.

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He is slated to appear in court Friday afternoon.

“This arrest serves as a warning to anyone anywhere in the world who intends to support or conduct attacks on behalf of terrorist groups against the United States,” added NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill. “You will be brought to justice.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061662582001_6061665498001-vs Naturalized U.S. citizen charged with becoming ISIS sniper and weapons instructor Hollie McKay fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 5db5ad69-04d8-51ae-a8d5-a91e186fbd8f   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6061662582001_6061665498001-vs Naturalized U.S. citizen charged with becoming ISIS sniper and weapons instructor Hollie McKay fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/terrorism fox-news/us/crime fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/politics/justice-department fox news fnc/us fnc article 5db5ad69-04d8-51ae-a8d5-a91e186fbd8f

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Border deaths declined in Trump’s first two years in office, data shows

A gut-wrenching photograph late last month of a father and daughter in the Rio Grande – while attempting to cross from Mexico into the United States – sharply exacerbated existing tensions over the ongoing border and migration crisis dividing Americans.

But while politicians and Presidential hopefuls expressed their outrage and pointed fingers at the Trump administration, official data indicates that Mexico-U.S. border deaths have actually declined in the first two years of the current administration.

Westlake Legal Group AP19199710323814 Border deaths declined in Trump’s first two years in office, data shows Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc article 06035c53-994d-5a80-85b8-77d32f6defba

The hand of a youth from Nuevo Laredo rests on the gate as he stops to watch a train pass, above the Rio Grande river on International Bridge 1 Las Americas, a legal port of entry which connects Laredo, Texas in the U.S. with Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP)

According to statistics compiled by the United States Border Patrol, there were 298 border deaths in 2017 and 283 in 2018, making it an average of 291 per year. The average yearly deaths under President Obama stood at 372 and 382 under the Bush administration.

IMAGE OF DEAD FATHER, DAUGHTER AT US-MEXICO BORDER DRAWS REACTIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD

However, as an analysis by National Review highlighted, Trump also likely benefitted from a drop in overall illegal border crossings, a trend that was sparked during Bush’s second term.

WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE BELOW

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-03ea45342b4c43e2b61c585fc28ab29e Border deaths declined in Trump’s first two years in office, data shows Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc article 06035c53-994d-5a80-85b8-77d32f6defba

The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, Monday, June 24, 2019, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas. This photograph was first published in the Mexican newspaper La Jornada.  (AP)

FORMER TOP OBAMA ADVISERS SUGGEST TRUMP COULD BE TRYING TO WORSEN MIGRANT BORDER CRISIS TO BOOST 2020 CHANCES

“But the reality is that deaths at the U.S-Mexico border decreased after Donald Trump became president,” the analysis stated. “The fact remains that the totals from 2017 (298) and 2018 (283) are two of the lowest since 1999 – and there was no mass outcry in earlier years with much higher numbers.”

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Indeed, the tragedy of border deaths has been happening for several decades. The highest number of border deaths on record, official data shows, was in 2005 in which the trek claimed 492 lives, seconded by 2012 in which 471 deaths were recorded by Border Patrol.

Westlake Legal Group AP19199710323814 Border deaths declined in Trump’s first two years in office, data shows Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc article 06035c53-994d-5a80-85b8-77d32f6defba   Westlake Legal Group AP19199710323814 Border deaths declined in Trump’s first two years in office, data shows Hollie McKay fox-news/world/world-regions/location-mexico fox-news/us/immigration/illegal-immigrants fox-news/us/immigration/border-security fox-news/us/immigration fox news fnc/us fnc article 06035c53-994d-5a80-85b8-77d32f6defba

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Remains of more than 20 American service members killed in bloody WWII battle return home

More than 20 American service members who were killed in a bloody World War II battle are finally back on U.S. soil – and are one step closer to getting the burials they rightfully deserve.

An Air Force plane carrying the remains of 22 who died during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943 – which took place on and around the remote island of Betio in the Pacific – landed Wednesday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. The caskets containing the remains, which were draped in American flags, were then carried off the aircraft by Marines as part of a ceremony.

“We welcome home more than 20 American servicemen still unaccounted for from the battle of Tarawa during World War II,” Acting Defense Secretary Richard V. Spencer said. “We do not forget those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, and it is our duty and obligation to return our missing home to their families and the nation.”

Westlake Legal Group hawaii-remains-2 Remains of more than 20 American service members killed in bloody WWII battle return home Greg Norman fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox news fnc/us fnc article 4157ee68-d8c5-5c54-942f-15802516574f

Service members and guests stand as “Taps” is played over transfer cases carrying the remains of unidentified service members lost in the Battle of Tarawa during World War II. (AP)

Forensic archaeologists from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) are now working to identify the remains and notify the next of kin, the Defense Department says. They are believed to belong to members of the 6th Marine Regiment who died during the last day of the 76-hour battle, the Associated Press reports.

GRAVES OF MORE THAN 30 US MARINES, SAILORS FROM WWII DISCOVERED ON REMOTE ISLAND

The remains were found in March by History Flight, a nonprofit group that has helped bring home 272 individuals from the battle site since 2015.

On Nov. 20, 1943, more than 18,000 U.S. Marines and sailors were sent to secure Betio Island, part of the nation of Kiribati’s Tarawa atoll.

“Over several days of intense fighting at Tarawa, approximately 1,000 Marines and Sailors were killed and more than 2,000 were wounded, while the Japanese were virtually annihilated,” the DPAA says.

“Servicemen killed in action were buried where they fell, or placed in large trench burials constructed during and after the battle,” it added. “These graves were typically marked with improvised markers, such as crosses made from sticks, or an up-turned rifle.”

Westlake Legal Group hawaii-remains Remains of more than 20 American service members killed in bloody WWII battle return home Greg Norman fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox news fnc/us fnc article 4157ee68-d8c5-5c54-942f-15802516574f

U.S. Marines carry transfer cases holding the remains of unidentified service members lost in the Battle of Tarawa during World War II, during what is known as an honorable carry conducted by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), in a hangar at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii. (AP)

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Around 3,000 Japanese soldiers and 1,000 Korean laborers were killed during the battle and their remains, the DPAA says, have sometimes been found comingled with those of Americans.

As of today, more than 72,000 Americans who were involved in World War II remain unaccounted for, according to the Defense Department.

Westlake Legal Group hawaii-remains-2 Remains of more than 20 American service members killed in bloody WWII battle return home Greg Norman fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox news fnc/us fnc article 4157ee68-d8c5-5c54-942f-15802516574f   Westlake Legal Group hawaii-remains-2 Remains of more than 20 American service members killed in bloody WWII battle return home Greg Norman fox-news/us/military/military-families fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox news fnc/us fnc article 4157ee68-d8c5-5c54-942f-15802516574f

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