Migrants

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.

It's back-to-school time on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and in the border town of Matamoros, Mexico, migrant children are attending a different kind of classroom.

Volunteers have created a pop-up school on a downtown sidewalk in hopes of giving the kids some sense of stability.

"One, two, three, four ..." Tito, an asylum-seeker from Cuba, counts in Spanish in front of a group of children attending the sidewalk school recently.

He fled his native Cuba because he feared being persecuted for being gay, and he asked that we not use his last name.

Migrants under a bridge
Lynda M. González for KUT

Almost 40 child welfare and medical groups in Texas sent a letter to federal and state leaders Thursday expressing concern about the treatment of child migrants on the state’s southern border. They say poor living conditions are causing trauma among these children, which could have lasting effects.

Updated at 6:12 p.m. ET

Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan says the U.S. has apprehended more than 800,000 migrants attempting to enter the country since last October, calling the numbers staggering and unprecedented, and that the influx has "challenged and overwhelmed every aspect of our border and immigration enforcement system."

Still, McAleenan said DHS "made significant strides in its effort to secure the border and help and protect migrants in our custody."

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

The border, the wall, the immigration issue – they're all front and center right now in Washington, as they have been almost every day of 2018.

Veronica G. Cardenas for The Texas Tribune

A federal judge on Wednesday struck down the bulk of a recent White House policy that made it more difficult for victims of domestic and gang violence to seek asylum in the United States.

flickr.com/texasmilitaryforces; U.S. Army photo by Maj. Randall Stillinger.

President Donald Trump is now planning to send between 800 and 1,000 active-duty U.S. troops to the southern border to counter a caravan of migrants from Central America. The migrants are now making their way through Mexico. The president has called the approaching caravan a national emergency.

To get a perspective from the border, Texas Standard Host David Brown spoke with John Ferguson, the mayor of Presidio, in far west Texas, and Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

On a recent, perfect morning at Johnson Farms in northern Michigan, workers climb wooden ladders high up into the trees, picking bags strapped across their bodies. The branches are heavy with fruit that glows in the morning sun. Their fingers are a blur, nimbly plucking fruit and filling bushel bags: about 50 pounds per load. It's hard, sweaty work.

Apple season was just getting underway on Old Mission Peninsula, a finger of land poking into Lake Michigan, dotted with lush farms.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The deaths of 10 migrants in a sweltering 18-wheeler in San Antonio has raised a lot of questions. One of them: Why transport people in the back of a tractor-trailer, especially after they have already crossed the border?

Texas Observer

From Texas Standard:

John Carlos Frey, a reporter with the Texas Observer, joins the Texas Standard to talk about the wrong-doings he found while looking into an inquiry led by the Texas Rangers.