Immigration

Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio

Texas politicians have called on the Trump administration to end its policy of separating immigrant families crossing the border illegally, and are asking the state to stop assisting immigration authorities along the border until the policy ends. 

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced emergency legislation Monday evening to keep immigrant families together after they cross the border into the United States.

Updated at 7:20 p.m. ET

House Republican leaders are reworking their "compromise" immigration bill to include a provision that modifies — but doesn't completely end — the "zero tolerance" policy being enforced now by the Trump administration.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is continuing to defend the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy that results in separating children from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen appeared at the White House press briefing on Monday, falsely blaming Democrats for the current crisis and arguing that the impetus is on Congress to pass a law to close legal loopholes.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Laura Bush, the former first lady of the U.S. and of Texas, called the Trump administration's zero tolerance policy of separating immigrant children from their parents "cruel" in an op-ed published in the Washington Post Sunday evening. 

"It breaks my heart," she wrote. 

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

With chants of "families united" and "free our children now," hundreds of people marched to the tent city in Tornillo, Texas, where children have been detained for immigration violations.

The Father's Day march near El Paso was primarily organized by Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas, who is also running for Senate against Ted Cruz. He says the march was the brainchild of Veronica Escobar, who is running to fill his seat in the House, as well as other community leaders.

The Department of Homeland Security says 1,995 minors were separated from their "alleged adult guardians" at the southern border in just over a monthlong period.

A DHS spokesman said the separations occurred between April 19 and the end of May under the administration's relatively new "zero tolerance" policy, in which parents have also been arrested.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Trump administration has selected Tornillo Land Point of Entry, a crossing point along the Texas-Mexico border near El Paso, as the site of its first temporary shelter for immigrant children separated from their parents under the administration's "zero tolerance" policy, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

On Monday, the Department of Justice announced an important policy change – one that will affect the qualifications for claiming asylum in the U.S.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Pediatricians are warning that a federal policy separating parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border poses serious long-term health issues for children. In some cases, they say, the separation could cause “irreparable harm.”

Photo by James Tourtellotte/U.S. Customs and Border Protection

From Texas Standard.

Under federal law, anyone who reaches a U.S. port of entry may make a claim for asylum. But now it appears U.S. Customs and Border Protection has adopted a new tactic to keep out immigrants – telling agents to stop would-be asylum seekers before they reach a border checkpoint.

Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

From Texas Standard.

The American Civil Liberties Union has released a report based on some 30,000 pages of internal records from the Department of Homeland Security between 2009 to 2014, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. What they’ve found is what they call “the pervasive abuse and neglect of unaccompanied immigrant children detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Public health experts in Texas are concerned that a growing number of American children are forgoing services like Medicaid and food stamps because their parents are undocumented. The trend could get worse, they say, if a proposed change to immigration policy goes through.  

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The Travis County Jail saw a drastic reduction in the number of undocumented immigrants it transferred into Immigrations Customs Enforcement custody in the first part of 2017, according to a new study.

A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to end deportation protections for some young immigrants, saying the White House was "arbitrary and capricious" in moving to end the Obama-era DACA program.

In a blow to President Trump, who has long railed against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia said the Department of Homeland Security had failed to provide an adequate rationale for why the program is unlawful.

Office of Senator Luther Strange/Wikimedia Commons (Public domain)

From Texas Standard.

Defining violent crime can be trickier than it sounds. Mugging someone on a sidewalk or robbing a store with a firearm are obviously violent acts. But, what about stealing something from an unoccupied and unlocked home? Even the Supreme Court has difficulty making the call.

President Trump is already tweeting his displeasure about a Supreme Court decision that makes it more difficult to deport a small number of lawful permanent residents convicted of crimes.

In a 5-to-4 decision Tuesday, the court overturned the deportation of a 25-year legal U.S. resident from the Philippines who was convicted of two burglaries.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

In response to President Donald Trump's call earlier this week to mobilize the U.S. military for border protection, the Texas National Guard deployed a handful of troops to the Texas-Mexico border on Friday evening, with plans to send 250 more in the next 72 hours.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered federal prosecutors on the southwest border to adopt a “zero tolerance” policy against anyone who enters or attempts to enter the country illegally, a mandate he said “supersedes” any prior directives.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday announced the National Guard will once again be deployed to the country’s southern border in an effort to stop illegal immigration into the country.

The announcement by DHS officials comes after President Donald Trump said this week he was deploying military units to the area because Congress, and especially Democrats, have refused to act on the border security.

Craig Sunter/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

New U.S. Census Bureau numbers show some Texas counties and metropolitan areas are growing because of both domestic and international migration.

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show Texas is still growing.

Updated at 5:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Immigrants in Texas are committing fewer crimes proportionally than natural-born citizens, according to a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute.

Researchers with the libertarian think-tank used 2015 data from the Texas Department of Public Safety to measure the criminal conviction and arrest rates of three groups: illegal immigrants, legal immigrants and native-born Americans.

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

The Senate failed to pass any immigration legislation before a self-imposed Friday deadline, leaving lawmakers with no plan to address the roughly 700,000 immigrants who stand to lose legal protections as early as March 5.

The defeat follows a rocky 24 hours of negotiations on a bipartisan bill that failed following a veto threat from President Trump. By a 39-60 vote, senators rejected a White House-backed plan that became a partisan lightning rod after Trump insisted his plan was the only one he would sign.

Jude Matsalla/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Many folks will be watching the State of the Union to hear what President Trump might say about immigration. The latest White House proposal has two key numbers – 1.8 million is how many so-called Dreamers could be put on a path to citizenship, and 25 billion is how much funding the Trump Administration wants for border security, including building a wall.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

From Texas Standard.

Reports last year show that immigrant detention centers in Texas, including the Karnes City and Dilley centers, were operating below capacity. Illegal border crossing arrests are at a 46-year low. There is one immigration-related statistic, though, that increased over the past year. A report by the Houston Chronicle and the nonprofit investigative organization Injustice Watch found that 2017 was the deadliest year since 2009 in immigrant detention facilities nationwide. Twelve detainees died in custody last year – and some of those deaths were deemed preventable.

San Antonio Police Department

From Texas Standard.

Two days before Christmas, on the east side of San Antonio, police made a discovery – one that had echoes of earlier incidents involving undocumented immigrants being smuggled into Texas and suffocating in tractor trailers.

This time there were no deaths. The driver of the truck was charged under a state human smuggling law, and the 12 people in the trailer were questioned and released.

Now Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate whether San Antonio police may have violated Texas law.

Federal immigration enforcement agents raided 7-Eleven stores across the country early Wednesday, in search of employees who are in the U.S. illegally and managers who knowingly employ them.

Agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted sweeps of 98 stores in 17 states and Washington, D.C., arresting 21 people on suspicion of being in the country illegally.

Updated 9:55 a.m. ET

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program late Tuesday night.

Widely known as DACA, the program protects young immigrants from deportation. In September, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program would be phased out.

It may be a new year, but Congress plans to spend most of January wrapping up old business left over from 2017.

Congressional leaders are promising to head off any chance of a government shutdown well before the Jan. 19 deadline, but a nearly yearlong fight over President Trump's demands to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border could threaten those plans.

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