Immigration

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a highly anticipated set of cases that threatens the legal status of some 700,000 young immigrants — often called DREAMers — who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. It's a program that President Trump tried to rescind seven months after taking office, only to have the lower courts block his action.

Mitchell Santos Toledo came to the United States when he was 2. His parents had temporary visas when they brought him and his 5-year-old sister to the country. They never left. This spring, Santos Toledo will graduate from Harvard Law School. He is one of the 700,000 DREAMers whose fate in the U.S. may well be determined by a Supreme Court case to be argued Tuesday.

Officials in Matamoros, Mexico, are threatening to separate asylum seekers from their children.

Updated at 9:27 p.m. ET

Federal judges in three states — New York, California and Washington — have issued temporary injunctions against the Trump administration's "public charge" rule, preventing it from taking effect on Oct. 15.

The controversial rule would make it more difficult for immigrants to get green cards if it looks as though they might need public assistance. Titled "Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds," the rule sparked several legal challenges.

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.

After its failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, the Trump administration has forged ahead with ordering the Census Bureau to use government records to produce data about the U.S. citizenship status of every person living in the country.

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.

Courtesy of Southwest Key

Texas Health and Human Services has confirmed that applications have come in for two new shelters that would hold migrant youth who arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border without a guardian.  

The unaccompanied minor facilities are slated for the Rio Grande Valley, in McAllen and Los Fresnos. 

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has announced it is ending a federal court agreement that limits how long migrant families with children can be detained.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan outlined the new policy Wednesday, which replaces the Flores settlement agreement.

That's been a longtime target of immigration hard-liners in the Trump administration, who contend the settlement has acted as a lure to families in Central America.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Trump administration is closer to banning some low-income, legal immigrants who are relying on public services like food stamps from legally entering the United States.

He thought this might be his big chance. He would get spotted by a coach, offered a soccer scholarship and instantly be college-bound. Instead, Francisco Erwin Galicia, a U.S. citizen, was picked up by Border Patrol officers, processed into detention and held for 26 days.

"It nearly broke him," Galicia's lawyer, Claudia Galan told NPR. "He said the conditions were horrible, inhumane. And he was about to sign a deportation order ... even though he was born here."

Image via Social Media

Federal authorities have released an 18-year-old Dallas-born U.S. citizen who had been detained in immigration custody for more than three weeks after being stopped at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint, according to multiple reports.

The Trump administration announced on Monday it is expanding fast-track deportation regulations to include the removal of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the U.S. continuously for two years or more.

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

The White House announced Tuesday that it has quietly drafted a 620-page immigration bill and has lined up 10 Republican senators to co-sponsor the measure should it be introduced, according to a senior administration official involved in the process.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson of Houston
The Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee met with faith leaders in Houston on Saturday to invite undocumented immigrants to seek refuge in churches, mosques and synagogues and call on religious organizations to open their doors ahead of Sunday’s anticipated deportation roundup by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

Immigrant communities are bracing for nationwide raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to begin on Sunday, planning protests and working with legal aid groups to provide advice to those affected.

The raids are expected to target recently arrived migrant families who have already received final orders of removal from an immigration judge.

Lotus Carroll

In a setback for the state in its first enforcement action under a controversial, anti-“sanctuary cities” law passed in 2017, a district judge in Travis County has dismissed several of the Texas Attorney General’s Office’s claims against the city of San Antonio, which the state claimed had “materially limited” the enforcement of immigration laws.

The Housing Authority of the City of Austin
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Tuesday is the last day for public comment on a proposal that could evict or even separate thousands of families with mixed-citizenship status who receive housing assistance in Texas.

A crowd at the Texas Capitol protests migrant detention camps
Michael Minasi for KUT

Hundreds of people crowded the Texas Capitol on the Fourth of July to protest the detention of migrants at border camps. 

Office of the Inspector General

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General released a report on Tuesday detailing severe overcrowding and escalating tensions between detainees and Border Patrol agents at five facilities in the Rio Grande Valley.

Michael Minasi for KUT

Hundreds of protesters gathered in downtown Austin today to call for an end to the detention of migrants. 

Customs and Border Protection has launched an investigation into a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents in which members posted derogatory remarks targeting migrants and lawmakers.

A Border Patrol car
Julia Reihs / KUT

The head of the U.S. Border Patrol says sexist posts and comments mocking migrant deaths in a closed Facebook group for agents and employees are "completely inappropriate."

Residents in the Rio Grande Valley gathered at vigils in McAllen and Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday evening to remember the lives of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria.

The Salvadoran father and daughter drowned as they tried to cross the river between Matamoros and Brownsville on June 23. Valeria's mother, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, watched as her family was swept away.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

During the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2020 race, former Housing and Urban Development secretary Julián Castro challenged all candidates to join his call for the repeal of a controversial immigration law.

June Has Been A Deadly Month For Migrants Crossing The Border Into Texas

Jun 28, 2019
Residents hold a vigil at La Lomita Chapel in Mission
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

As the wrenching photo of a Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande continues to spark national debate about U.S. immigration policy, the death toll of migrants trying to illegally cross the border has been quietly rising in recent weeks.

The fates of almost 1 million people brought to the country illegally as children, known as DREAMers, are now in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court granted an appeal to the Trump administration's decision to end the DACA program, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Obama-era program to protect DREAMers will get a one-hour hearing before the high court next term. The court said it would consolidate three appeals into one argument.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

WASHINGTON — As reports of migrant children being held in squalid conditions at federal facilities near the border continue to draw outrage, Democrats successfully pushed a $4.5 billion humanitarian aid package through the U.S. House late Tuesday evening with a vote of 230 to 195.

An ICE agent
Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Federal immigration authorities say they arrested 52 people in Central and South Texas last week.

The arrests came before telegraphed operations in 10 major cities, including Houston, that President Donald Trump had touted. The president tweeted Saturday that he would delay the large-scale raids to give Congress time to make adjustments to U.S. asylum laws.

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