Immigration

The White House announced Tuesday that it has quietly drafted a 600-page immigration bill and has lined up ten 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.

U.S. Government Moves Migrant Children After Poor Conditions Are Exposed

Jun 24, 2019
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The U.S. government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following reports that more than 300 children were detained there, caring for each other with inadequate food, water and sanitation.

U.S. Border Patrol agents have located four bodies by the Rio Grande in Texas' Rio Grande Valley, near the U.S. border with Mexico. Three of the deceased were children — one toddler and two infants — and the other was a 20-year-old woman.

"It's an incredibly heartbreaking situation, which seems to happen far too often," said Special Agent in Charge Michelle Lee of the San Antonio FBI office.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

President Trump is delaying immigration raids that were set to begin this weekend, saying he will give Congress two weeks to make changes to asylum law before dispatching Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents around the country to deport undocumented immigrants.

Immigration rights advocates had been preparing for the planned sweep of recently arrived migrants, which, according to sources familiar with the planned raids, were set to begin as soon as Sunday in 10 cities around the country.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET Saturday

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to begin arresting and deporting thousands of migrant families in 10 cities across the country, according to sources familiar with the planned raids.

The roundups are targeted at recently arrived migrant families whose cases were fast-tracked by the Justice Department after being sent final deportation orders from a judge and failing to show up for court.

ICE raid
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Local immigration groups are preparing for the possibility of immigration raids targeting people with deportation orders starting as soon as Sunday.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state will deploy 1,000 troops from the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border to aid the federal government with border security efforts.

Thousands Of Asylum Seekers Left Waiting At The U.S.-Mexico Border

Jun 17, 2019
Julia Reihs / KUT

Over the past three months, the number of Central Americans arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border has jumped exponentially, and total border crossings have reached levels last seen in 2006.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

A high-ranking Census Bureau official privately discussed the citizenship question issue with GOP redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller in 2015, according to emails cited in a new court filing in the legal battle over the potential census question.

Premature Migrant Baby Found At Texas Border Patrol Facility

Jun 14, 2019
Eddie Gaspar for KUT

The teenage girl with pigtail braids was hunched over in a wheelchair and holding a bunched sweatshirt when an immigrant advocate met her at a crowded Border Patrol facility in Texas.

Updated Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET

A day after U.S. and Mexico officials announced an agreement to avert tariffs — set to begin on Monday — affecting billions of dollars in imports from Mexico, President Trump took a victory lap on Twitter.

Under a joint agreement released by State Department officials, Mexico will assist the United States in curbing migration across the border by deploying its national guard troops through the country, especially its southern border.

Lynda M. González for KUT

The federal government is opening a new facility to hold migrant children in Carrizo Springs, Texas, and considering detaining hundreds more youths on three military bases around the country, adding up to 3,000 beds to the already overtaxed system.

Updated at 7:22 p.m. ET

President Trump tweeted that talks with Mexican officials would continue Thursday, raising hopes they may be able to reach an agreement to avert potentially crippling tariffs on Mexican imports.

The possibility of a deal comes amid great pressure from the Mexican government and top Republican leaders who warned of potentially disastrous consequences.

The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational activities including soccer, and legal aid for unaccompanied migrant children who are staying in federally contracted migrant shelters.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is charged with caring for minors who arrive at the Southern border without a parent or legal guardian, says the large influx of migrants in recent months is straining its already threadbare budget. ORR is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Pages