Immigration

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Rotten sandwich meat that’s turned green or black; noodle soup cooked so little that the noodles are still hard; drinking water that smells like chlorine, Clorox or “just bad.” Cramped, cold conditions; tearful separations of children and mothers; guards who said Mexicans won’t ever receive asylum in the United States.

5 Facts To Know About Migrant Family Reunification

Jul 19, 2018

A federal court in San Diego has given the government until July 26 to reunite thousands of children with their parents. It has been a chaotic, much disputed process, but a process that is undeniably underway. Here are five questions about family reunification answered:

1. When did family separations start?

A Texas nonprofit that works with families separated at the border has turned down a $250,000 contribution from Salesforce, a company under pressure for its work creating software for the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

KUT hosted a community discussion Wednesday at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center about how federal immigration enforcement has impacted communities in Austin. Members of the community who have experienced deportations in their families and people who work with immigrant communities shared their stories.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises of tougher immigration policies, leading to a constant flow of policy changes — from scaling back on programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to his “zero-tolerance” policy along the border that’s led to separation of parents and children attempting to cross into the U.S.

All of these individual actions amount to a broader strategy that is now becoming clear.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Over the last month, thousands of people have rallied in Austin and across the country to protest the Trump administration’s so-called zero-tolerance immigration policy, which has left thousands of migrant children separated from their parents after attempting to cross the U.S. border.

La política de inmigración de la administración del Presidente Donald Trump ha provocado la indignación de algunos, el elogio de otros, y en algunas partes de la comunidad, el miedo.

Le invitamos el miércoles, 18 de julio, a las 7:00 p.m. en el Museo George Washington Carver y Centro Cultural para Más Allá de la Frontera: Cómo afecta la aplicación de la ley de inmigración a Austin. 

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Residents of the Stony Point neighborhood are still reeling after the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Department turned roughly a dozen members of the community over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) late last month.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / Texas Tribune

The federal government said Thursday morning that it has reunited 57 immigrant children under the age of 5 who had been separated from their parents after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. In doing so, the government declared that its efforts to reunite "eligible children" in that age group complete.

Renee Dominguez for KUT

There’s a lot of uncertainty about what’s happening with children separated from their parents at the Mexico border, but Austin-based Circle of Health International says much of what it sees these days is predictable and familiar.

Of the nearly 3,000 migrant minors who were separated from their parents and placed in federal custody, the Trump administration says at least 102 are under 5 years old. And for several weeks, administration officials have been under a court-ordered deadline: Reunite those young children with their parents, and do it quickly.

The Trump administration's immigration policies have prompted outrage from some, praise from others — and in some parts of the community — fear.

Join us on Wednesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. at the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center for Beyond the Border: How Immigration Enforcement Impacts Austin. We'll hear stories from members of the community about how federal immigration policies are affecting them personally, how those policies are affecting public health and how they're affecting the economy.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Hundreds of Episcopal Church leaders from around the country protested the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy outside a detention center in Taylor on Sunday.

Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

The number of people who were apprehended or turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents near the U.S.-Mexico border last month dipped nearly 20 percent when compared to May, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced Thursday.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Congressman Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for his seat, has so far resisted pressure from grassroots groups to call for abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The agency has become a lightning rod under the Trump administration.

In a legal setback for the Trump administration's immigration policies, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled that the government may not arbitrarily detain people seeking asylum.

The ruling comes in a case challenging the administration's policy of detaining people even after they have passed a credible fear interview and await a hearing on their asylum claim.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This post has been updated.

Religious leaders say residents of a Del Valle neighborhood are feeling targeted after more than a dozen people were turned over to immigration officials during a Bastrop County traffic sting last month.

Renee Dominguez/KUT

Crowds descended on the lawn of the Texas Capitol this afternoon for the Families Belong Together rally despite triple-digit temperatures to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy. The demonstration in Austin was one of dozens held across the country Saturday. 

Demonstrators carried signs with messages including, "People are not illegal," "God is watching us," and "The Pilgrims were undocumented." 

At a highway-side motel in Harlingen, near the border in Texas, a small meeting room has been turned into something of a war room. Volunteer lawyers and aid workers eat tacos and strategize about how to help detained immigrants.

"It's almost triage, that's what it feels like," says Natasha Quiroga, who flew in from Washington, D.C. with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

A federal judge in San Diego has barred the separation of migrant children and ordered that those currently detained under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy be reunited with families within 30 days.

From Texas Standard.

While it appears that border agents are no longer applying a zero tolerance policy, it’s been a different scene on the other side of the state.

Shannon Najmabadi is the higher education reporter at the Texas Tribune. She has been reporting from a privately-operated U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility 75 miles outside Houston where adult men are being detained.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard.

In recent days we’ve been seeing a wave of protests at detention centers in South Texas over the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy at the border, which has led to the separation of families. There are now signs that something’s changing. Case in point: the detention camp in Tornillo, outside El Paso.

From Texas Standard.

In the present moment, all eyes are on the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexican border. However, Vance Blackfox can’t help but look back and remember the separations of his people in years past.

Updated at 12:13 p.m. ET

The Pentagon will build tent camps at two U.S. military bases to house people who cross the southern border illegally, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday.

The defense chief did not give details about which bases would contain the temporary camps. However, NPR's Tom Bowman reports that the two military bases are in Texas.

Julia Reihs

Immigration took center stage at the Texas Democratic Party convention in Fort Worth last weekend. Delegates from across the state are concerned about the Trump administration policy that was separating families at the border until it was reversed last week.

Julian Aguilar / The Texas Tribune

TORNILLO — Even as the Trump administration’s immigration policies are shifting daily, one thing has remained the same in this small desert town: Officials remain in the dark about what’s going on in the tent city constructed last week at this port of entry.

Pablo Andrés Rivero/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Many American media outlets – along with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Pope Francis, and even far-right French leader Marine Le Pen – have all criticized the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Josue Moreno is a bilingual journalist working at the Texas Standard this summer, and he’s looked into how Central American media are responding to the crisis.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

House Republican leaders delayed a vote on the "consensus" immigration legislation Thursday afternoon as they scrambled to convince enough GOP lawmakers to support the measure.

The vote on that bill was initially rescheduled for Friday morning. But after a closed-door meeting that lasted more than two hours, leaders delayed it even further — to next week, according to several House Republican sources.

Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio

President Trump signed an order Wednesday to stop family separations at the southern border, but experts say the more than 2,000 children who have already been separated could face major mental health problems.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday ending his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents who were detained as they attempted to enter the U.S. illegally.

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