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immigrants

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

As the White House continues to expand deportations and push measures to curb illegal immigration, many Texas immigrants are forced to navigate the immigration system without the help of an attorney.

The number of immigrants illegally crossing the southern border plummeted when Donald Trump took office. But the number is again on the rise. In response, the president plans to deploy up to 4,000 National Guard troops.

In West Texas, immigrant shelters are overflowing with recent arrivals and some migrants are trying more dangerous routes to evade capture.

The intake room at Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in downtown El Paso, is packed these days. Parents and squirming children sit with their travel bags. They are the aggravations of Donald Trump.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency arrested 89 unauthorized immigrants, including dozens in North Texas, late last month.

On Friday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., said the Trump administration cannot prevent young, undocumented women in federal custody from seeking abortions.

That includes interfering with or blocking medical appointments, abortion counseling, and abortion services.

Russell Lee, Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

Along with the risks of poverty and unemployment during the Great Depression, Mexican immigrants and even U.S. citizens of Mexican descent faced an additional hazard: Around half a million of them were kicked out of the country to preserve jobs for white Americans.  

If you didn’t know this, it could be because it wasn’t covered the same way by every news outlet.

For immigrants, this past week has been a doozy: First, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services took the words "nation of immigrants" out of its mission statement. Then, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants held in detention are not entitled to bail hearings.

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.

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.

Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

It's indisputable that Texas has a depressing voter turnout history.

Year after year, the state ranks near the bottom in electoral participation, with turnout dipping even lower during non-presidential elections.

Graphic by Emily Albracht for The Texas Tribune

Most Texans believe immigrants are good for the state, but only 15 percent believe more legal immigrants should be admitted into the country, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The Dallas area led the nation in arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year, according to a report from Pew Research Center.

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The left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, based in Austin, works on everything from health care to hunger.

Executive Director Ann Beeson lays out the most pressing issues she thinks Texans, especially low-to-moderate income Texans, are up against in 2018.

In 2012, as Syria's internal unrest deepened into full-scale civil war, Syrians living in the U.S. were offered an opportunity: If they met certain conditions and paid the requisite fees, they could register for temporary protection from deportation — and avoid having to return to the violence that awaited them back home.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

It’s been a year since the Trump administration issued an executive order restricting entry into the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries. The travel ban has faced several legal challenges and immigrant advocates say it’s had a chilling effect on refugees and other immigrants.

As lawmakers in Washington consider a path forward on immigration policy, the debate is playing out along desolate stretches of the southwestern border where at least 7,209 people have died while crossing illegally over the past 20 years.

The recent arrest of an activist from the group No More Deaths is highlighting the rising number of people who die crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and the challenges that humanitarian workers confront when they try to help.

From Texas Standard:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested almost 500 people in just four days of immigration raids last month alone. While that operation did not target Texas, the crackdown has many of the estimated 1.6 million unauthorized immigrants in the state feeling worried.

A 61-year-old truck driver has pleaded guilty to two counts of human smuggling leading to the deaths of 10 unauthorized immigrants in San Antonio earlier this year.

James Matthew Bradley Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of transporting aliens resulting in death and one count of conspiracy, according to a statement released by the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas. Bradley faces up to life in prison.

The Department of Homeland Security put a notice in the wonky Federal Register that caught widespread attention this week: It plans to keep files on the social media activity of immigrants.

That touched off concern among immigrant rights groups that this was a new level of surveillance and an intrusion in their lives.

But Homeland Security officials say this is nothing new. In fact, the agency says, it has been collecting social media information on immigrants for years.

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

From the temporarily delayed Senate Bill 4, which cracks down on "sanctuary cities," to the decision to wind down a program that gives work permits to young people living in the country illegally, undocumented families in Texas are on edge.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The White House will announce its decision about DACA, an Obama-era immigration policy, on Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. President Trump had earlier said the announcement could come at some point over the weekend.

As a presidential candidate, Trump pledged to "immediately terminate" DACA, the program that former President Barack Obama began five years ago to protect immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

But once in the White House, Trump took a softer stance.

From Texas Standard:

In the first months of his administration, President Donald Trump has made good on a campaign promise: to tighten immigration restrictions and crack down on immigrants living in the United States illegally. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, or ICE, has rounded up immigrants in raids across the country, creating a boom for private prisons — an industry that's a growing part of the Texas economy.

A federal grand jury has indicted James Matthew Bradley, Jr., on five counts related to the discovery of dozens of immigrants who were crammed into a semi's trailer in a Walmart parking lot during hot weather in San Antonio last month.

Brandon Martinez, 16, was one of nearly 40 undocumented immigrants found on a blistering summer day inside an unventilated trailer parked at a San Antonio Wal-Mart. Ten died, and Brandon barely survived.

Federal officials who interviewed some of the survivors say that the human cargo was assembled and loaded into the truck in the border city of Laredo.

Some had paid smugglers to take them across the Rio Grande in rafts. One immigrant said there were as many as 200 people in the back of the truck.

From Texas Standard:

The first few days of the school year are an anxious time for most kids. But there’s a group whose levels of stress and anxiety are so high that they can only be compared to those who have experienced trauma.

Silvia Zuvieta Rodriguez is one of them.

“Since I was little I always had anxiety when it came to my parents not coming home at a certain time,” she says.

When transcripts of President Trump’s conversations with foreign leaders about refugee policy leaked to the press last week, one line got a lot of attention. It was a reference to “local milk people,” presumably dairy farmers, whom the president thought refugees wouldn’t work for.

As it turns out, though, some “milk people” worry it's Trump's immigration policies that may be bad for business.

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

In Dallas’ refugee-rich Vickery Meadow neighborhood, there’s a group of artists that’s determined to change the conversation around women and race. These artists are young, but age doesn’t stand in their way.

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?

One reason, experts say, is that entering the United States from Mexico illegally involves "two crossings." You must first cross the U.S./Mexico border, then one of the many Border Patrol checkpoints that exist farther into the United States.

Fifteen immigrant rights activists were arrested Wednesday after blocking traffic at the intersection of 15th Street and Congress Avenue during a sit-in to protest Attorney General Ken Paxton's push to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

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