Asylum

When Jesús Enrique Rodriguez Mendoza turned himself in to immigration officials, he figured he would be detained but assumed it would be for a short time. Instead, he spent nearly two years in an El Paso detention facility.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

A growing number of asylum-seekers are setting up makeshift camps on the Mexican side of the southern border, across from El Paso, while they await hearings with U.S. immigration officials. Some wait weeks or even months for that appointment. But now, the Trump administration is testing a secretive program called Prompt Asylum Claim Review to fast-track those hearings.

Casa Marianella in East Austin
Julia Reihs / KUT

For many people seeking asylum or citizenship in the U.S., getting here is just the start. Then there’s often the long legal work that needs to be done to stay in the country. For some families, there’s also the need for shelter.

Migrants from Honduras apprehended by Border Patrol
Julia Reihs / KUT

A federal district judge has reissued a nationwide block of a White House rule aimed at denying asylum to immigrants who didn’t first seek refuge apply in another country before reaching the United States.

Attorney General William Barr ruled Monday that immigrants fearing persecution because of threats against their family members are no longer eligible for asylum.

The case involves a Mexican man (identified as "L-E-A" in court documents) who sought asylum after his family was threatened because his father did not allow drug cartel dealers to use his store for business. That fear of endangerment traditionally has been the basis for legally recognizable claims for asylum.

Julia Reihs / KUT

President Donald Trump is proposing charging asylum seekers a fee to process their applications as he continues to try to crack down on the surge of Central American migrants seeking to cross into the U.S.

Reynaldo Leaf for The Texas Tribune

A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s policy of returning some asylum seekers to Mexico as they wait for their hearings in an American immigration court.

Julia Reihs/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Our attention turns once again to the Texas side of the Rio Grande where President Donald Trump has doubled down on his plan build a wall along the border with Mexico. Over the weekend, Trump said he may declare a national emergency to secure the funding for the wall after White House officials and top legislative aids failed to reach a compromise about it, and also failed to end the partial government shutdown.

While politicians hash out immigration policy in Washington, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling deals with the day-to-day impact of immigration in the Rio Grande Valley – one of Texas' busiest border-crossing regions. Darling says he sees several hundred asylum seekers per day come to respite centers in the area. And while media have focused on the Central American migrant caravans moving through Mexico, he says they've missed what's actually happening at the border.