Border & Immigration | KERA News

Border & Immigration

Dr. Eugene Marciniak recently examined about a dozen patients at a Catholic retreat center in Las Cruces, N.M. He set up shop at a corner table in the cafeteria and called families over one by one: a mother with belly pain, a child with a low-grade fever, a teen girl with a cracked and possibly infected tooth. They had just been released from government custody and were staying at the center for a night or two before joining relatives in other parts of the United States.

Two NFL players made a stop in the Rio Grande Valley this week to learn first-hand what is going on at the border and to provide some help to migrant families in both the U.S. and Mexico.

The acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security continued his tour of immigration facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday.

Armando Farias, 56, tends to his small shop filled with Mexican goods at Plaza Garland.
Miguel Perez / KERA News

Plaza Garland is an indoor marketplace where mariachi bands play regularly and merchants sell everything from Mexican ice cream and custom-made piñatas to gold jewelry and handmade toys.

It's nothing like the old Kmart that used to stand in its place.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / The Texas Tribune

It took Ciudad Juárez resident Norma Martinez about 90 minutes just to get halfway through the pedestrian line at the Paso Del Norte Bridge bridge Saturday afternoon.

A plan under consideration by President Trump to transfer detained immigrants to "sanctuary cities" should be viewed as an overture to Democrats, not political retribution, a White House spokesman said on Sunday.

Arivaca, Ariz., is a tiny village, population about 700, with an outsize problem.

It sits just 11 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border and has become a magnet for self-styled militia groups from out of state that say they want to patrol the border and stop migrants. Their presence has strained a town that has long prided itself on its live-and-let-live, cooperative spirit.

When the women of Arivaca gather for Monday afternoon gentle yoga, there are certain topics they know to avoid.

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought his Bach Project to the sister cities of Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on Saturday. Laredo’s “Day of Action” featured performances in both cities to celebrate the relationship between the two communities.

World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma brought his Bach Project to the sister cities of Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, on Saturday. The "Day of Action" featured performances in both cities to celebrate the relationship between the two communities.

Ma played the opening notes of Johann Sebastian Bach's Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello in a park next to the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge, one of the crossings that connect the U.S. and Mexican cities.

From Texas Standard:

It’s hard to miss the large colosseum-like structure off Ranch Road 1017 in the Rio Grande Valley. It’s the Santa Maria Bullring, and it’s where Fred and Lisa Renk have been running bloodless bullfights for the past 19 years.

President Trump repeated a false claim to reporters Tuesday, wrongly blaming the Obama administration for instituting a policy in which children were separated from their parents at the Southern border.

"I'm the one that stopped it," Trump said. "President Obama had child separation."

Trump made the comments during a photo op prior to his meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Updated Tuesday at 7:58 a.m. ET

Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles is leaving his job, according to the White House.

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Alles "has done a great job at the agency" and would be stepping down shortly to be replaced by James M. Murray, a career Secret Service member who will start in May.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen listens to President Donald Trump at a roundtable on immigration and border security at the U.S. Border Patrol Calexico Station in Calexico, Calif., Friday April 5, 2019.
Associated Press

Kirstjen Nielsen said Monday she still shares President Donald Trump's goal of securing the border, a day after she resigned as Homeland Security secretary amid Trump's frustration and bitterness over a spike in Central American migration.

Hugh Fitzsimons is a rancher and writer. He raises bison at the Shape Ranch in the southwestern part of Dimmit County, about 10 miles away from the Mexican border. He considers his ranch a world apart from the two nations divided by the Rio Grande.


Updated at 11:17 p.m. ET

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving her post, President Trump announced Sunday as he continues to focus on restricting border crossings amid a recent surge. Nielsen had recently warned a congressional panel of a "catastrophe" on the southern border after the number of crossings hit a 10-year high.

President Trump has backed off his threats to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border. But uncertainty and disruptions along the border have created anxiety for many residents.

Hundreds of Customs and Border Protection officials have been reassigned from their usual posts at ports of entry, to help with the migrant families crossing the border in growing numbers. That's led to longer and more unpredictable wait times at the international bridges, and mounting stress for everyone from business owners to university students.

More than 76,000 people were apprehended or surrendered on the Southern border in February and administration officials project that number would surpass 100,000 for March.

The highest number of crossings are taking place in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

On Friday morning, a group stood outside the Dallas office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, waiting for news about their friend, Salvador Hernandez.

They were there to fill out paperwork and pay his $2,500 bond. Hernandez was one of the 284 employees of CVE Technology Group arrested by immigration agents in Allen.

Katrina Berger, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge, during a press conference in Irving, Texas, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

With a helicopter hovering overhead, about 200 law enforcement officials descended Wednesday on CVE Technology Group in Allen and detained more than two-thirds of the workers.

What will happen to decision-makers at the company remains unclear.

ICE agents and personnel at CVE Technology in Allen, Texas, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
Anthony Cave / KERA News

There were more than four times as many women than men arrested Wednesday in the country's largest immigration raid in 10 years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The 284 workers came from 15 different countries.

Family members of workers inside CVE Technology in Allen, Texas, took concerned phone calls, sent worried texts and waited for updates throughout the afternoon while ICE conducted raid operations.
Anthony Cave / KERA News

Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Wednesday arrested 284 employees at a technology repair company in a Dallas suburb on charges of working in the United States illegally. Officials say it's the largest worksite raid in the country in 10 years.

From Texas Standard:

On Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he would close some or all of the U.S. border with Mexico this week “[i]f Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration.” There are over 40 U.S.-Mexico border crossings and more than 300 ports of entry, and experts predict their closure would affect more than $1.7 billion worth of commerce every day. Areas along the U.S.-Mexico border would experience the most direct impact, but ripple effects could spread beyond the region.

A family under the Paso del Norte bridge in El Paso. The makeshift facility where U.S. Border Patrol housed migrants was open air and surrounded by barbed wire fence.
Lynda M. Gonzales / KUT

As families seeking asylum continue to be released, the American Civil Liberties Union Border Rights Center and ACLU of Texas are calling for an investigation into the conditions at a temporary U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in El Paso.

From Texas Standard

A federal judge in Arizona on Thursday sentenced Border Patrol agent Marco De La Garza Jr. to one year of probation and a $1,000 fine. De La Garza had been indicted on three counts of passport fraud and making false statements on his application for a federal background check.

Updated at 3:08 p.m ET

Frustrated by the large number of Central Americans who have been entering the country from Mexico, President Trump doubled down on his threat to close the Southern U.S. border.

"I'm ready to close it," Trump said Tuesday. "If we don't make a deal with Congress, the border is going to be closed, 100 percent."

An asylum-seeking boy from Central America runs down a hallway of a shelter in San Diego after arriving from an immigration detention center on Dec. 11, 2018. Experts say when parents are detained or deported, the children's trauma can last a long time.
Associated Press

In the small town of Honey Grove, Texas, several families face an uncertain future after an immigration raid in August.

Experts say that for children whose parents are detained or deported, the trauma can last a long time.

The number of asylum-seeking migrants released by Customs and Border Protection grew over the weekend. Hundreds of families arrived at San Antonio’s bus station, and area charities and the City of San Antonio scrambled to provide emergency services. It was an unprecedented humanitarian response.


Steven Dillingham, the new director of the U.S. Census Bureau, is refusing to step into the controversy surrounding a potential question for the upcoming national head count.

The hotly contested question asks, "Is this person a citizen of the United States?"

Editor's Note: This story contains graphic content.

An autopsy report has revealed that a 7-year-old girl who migrated to the United States from Guatemala died from a bacterial infection known as streptococcal sepsis while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The Social Security Administration may be the latest front in the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration.

The agency is reviving the controversial practice of sending "no match" letters to businesses across the country, notifying them when an employee's Social Security number doesn't match up with official records.

That may sound innocuous. But these no-match letters are expected to set off alarm bells. That's what happened when they arrived in the mail back in the mid-2000s.

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