Joel Rose | KERA News

Joel Rose

Joel Rose is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers immigration and breaking news.

Rose was among the first to report on the Trump administration's efforts to roll back asylum protections for victims of domestic violence and gangs. He's also covered the separation of migrant families, the legal battle over the travel ban, and the fight over the future of DACA.

He has interviewed grieving parents after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, asylum-seekers fleeing from violence and poverty in Central America, and a long list of musicians including Solomon Burke, Tom Waits and Arcade Fire.

Rose has contributed to breaking news coverage of the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in South Carolina, Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath, and major protests after the deaths of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Eric Garner in New York.

He's also collaborated with NPR's Planet Money podcast, and was part of NPR's Peabody Award-winning coverage of the Ebola outbreak in 2014.

Election after election, pundits predict that Latinos will be a powerful voting bloc. And Latino voters consistently underperform those expectations by failing to turn out at the polls in big numbers.

But this year's midterm results in Nevada, Arizona and other states suggest that Latino turnout is up dramatically — a development that could reshape the electoral landscape for 2020 and beyond.

The man accused of sending more than a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and critics of President Trump will be held without bail, a judge ruled on Tuesday.

Cesar Sayoc made his first court appearance in Manhattan, after being transferred from Florida to New York's federal Metropolitan Correctional Center on Monday. The charges against Sayoc were filed in the Southern District of New York.

The 56-year-old appeared in court wearing a blue T-shirt with his gray hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. He did not wear handcuffs or shackles.

With days to go before the midterm elections, President Trump continues to ratchet up his rhetoric on immigration. The president's latest target is asylum-seekers, whom he accuses of exploiting "loopholes" in U.S. immigration laws.

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Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

President Trump delivered a White House broadside against illegal immigration Thursday, underscoring what has become his central focus in the final days of the midterm election campaign.

President Trump says he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order. But most legal scholars — and even leaders of the president's own party — are skeptical.

In an interview with Axios, published Tuesday, the president said he wants to end the automatic right to citizenship for babies born in the U.S. to noncitizens.

The caravan of migrants making its way across Mexico may be thousands of miles from Tennessee. But it's not far from voters' minds.

"That's one of my deepest concerns," said James Harrell of Shelbyville. "We have no idea who these people are, what countries they're coming from."

Hurricane Michael was especially brutal to the working-class suburbs just east of Panama City, Fla., where communities that were just scraping by before the storm now face a daunting recovery.

"This side of town is a poor side of town, and we are usually the last to get the services," said Matilda Conway, who stayed during the storm with her husband and her dogs in Springfield, Fla.

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The over-budget spending on ICE Air that John just described is just one of the extra costs of the immigration crackdown throughout the federal government, and NPR's Joel Rose has been tracking that spending. Hi there, Joel.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.

The Trump administration says it wants to move to a "merit-based" immigration system — one that gives priority to immigrants who speak English and are highly educated.

But critics say that rhetoric is at odds with the administration's actions.

"Show me any policy that's come out so far that has actually made it easier for highly skilled immigrants," says Doug Rand, who worked in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Barack Obama.

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The Trump administration's push to deport more immigrants in the country illegally has hit a legal speed bump.

For years, immigration authorities have been skipping one simple step in the process: When they served notices to appear in court, they routinely left the court date blank. Now, because of that omission and a recent Supreme Court decision, tens of thousands of deportation cases could be delayed, or tossed out altogether.

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Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is proposing to lift court-imposed limits on how long it can hold children in immigration detention.

A federal judge in Texas declined to issue a preliminary injunction in a case over the future of DACA — but he says the six-year-old program is likely unlawful.

The decision is a setback for Texas and nine other states that are suing to terminate DACA. The Obama-era program protects approximately 600,000 immigrants from deportation and allows them to work legally, even though they were brought to the country illegally as children.

The death of a toddler is renewing concerns about the quality of medical care that immigrant families receive in federal detention centers.

Eighteen-month-old Mariee Juárez died after being detained along with her mother Yazmin Juárez at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas. Her mother says Mariee was a happy, healthy child when they arrived at the U.S. border in March to seek asylum.

Then they were sent to Dilley. Six weeks after being discharged, her mother says, Mariee died of a treatable respiratory infection that began during her detention.

Omolara Uwemedimo says it's hard to imagine what her parents, who immigrated to New York from Nigeria decades ago, would have done if they had had to choose between food stamps and getting their green cards.

Her parents worked factory jobs back then, but when her mother got pregnant with her, Uwemedimo says, the doctor put her on bed rest.

"She actually used food stamps when she was pregnant," Uwemedimo said. "And she says that pretty much saved them in terms of not having to move out of their apartment because of the fact that they had that help."

The last time Pablo saw his son was in Texas.

Pablo and his 7-year-old son crossed the Rio Grande illegally and turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents. They were separated by force, and Pablo was deported back to Guatemala — without his son. Immigration officials tried to assure him that his son would follow in a week.

That was three months ago.

"You can't live without a child," Pablo said through an interpreter.

Updated Aug. 8 at 5:24 p.m. ET

Immigration lawyers are challenging the Trump administration's crackdown on asylum-seekers in court.

Under a sweeping new policy announced in June by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the administration says domestic abuse and gang violence should "generally" not be considered grounds for asylum claims.

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For weeks, the Trump administration has faced scorching criticism for separating migrant families at the border, and detaining immigrant children in inhumane conditions.

On Tuesday, the administration pushed back.

Matthew Albence, a top official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, even compared family detention centers to "summer camps."

"We have officers in these facilities," he said. "I think the best way to describe them is to be more like a summer camp.

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

The federal judge who ordered the reunification of thousands of migrant families says the Trump administration deserves "great credit" for its efforts.

But Judge Dana Sabraw also faulted the administration for "losing" hundreds of parents, leaving a significant number of families separated a day after the court-imposed deadline to reunite them.

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In May, Lourdes walked across the bridge from Mexico to El Paso, Texas, and requested asylum. The first step is an interview with an asylum officer.

"I told him that I have the evidence on me," Lourdes said, through an interpreter. She told the asylum officer about the scar on her arm, and the four missing fingers on her left hand — all evidence, she says, of a brutal attack by a gang in her native Honduras.

But the asylum officer rejected her claim.

"I don't know what happened," Lourdes said. "I don't know how I failed."

Many of President Trump's immigration policies are deeply unpopular, including recent efforts to deter illegal immigration by separating migrant families at the border, according to a new NPR-Ipsos poll.

But Americans are polarized in their attitudes about immigrants and the U.S. system for admitting them, the polls shows, with Republicans much more likely to support the president's policies, including the travel ban, the border wall, and changes to legal immigration.

When it comes to immigration policy, American opinions often break down along party lines, with most Republicans supporting President Trump's views and Democrats vigorously opposed.

But according to a new NPR-Ipsos poll, there is an even better predictor of how you feel about immigration: where you get your TV news.

A week ago, Yeni Gonzalez was in an immigration detention center in Arizona more than 2,000 miles from her children.

On Tuesday, the 29-year-old stood outside the social services agency in New York City where she had just seen her kids for the first time in 45 days, clutching a blue and white lollipop in her hand.

"I feel very happy because I just saw my children, and my daughter gave me that lollipop," Gonzalez said in Spanish.

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