Border & Immigration | KERA News

Border & Immigration

More than 6-in-10 Americans disapprove of President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency so he can build barriers along the U.S border with Mexico, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

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Veronica G. Cardenas / Texas Public Radio

Editor's note: KERA radio will air a statewide call-in special from Texas Public Radio on Monday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. It's called "The Reality At The Border" and features voices from the Texas-Mexico border in the wake of President Trump's national emergency declaration. Listen here or on 90.1 FM.

A construction crew works to erect a portion of the border wall along Oklahoma Ave. south of Brownsville on June 9, 2009.
Brad Doherty for The Texas Tribune

Once again, the Rio Grande Valley is seeing the signs that more border fencing is coming: construction equipment gathering near the Rio Grande, brush being cleared, residents receiving letters from the government asking to survey their property and possibly claim some of it through eminent domain. 

Texas lawmakers in Washington reacted to President Trump’s national emergency declaration with bipartisan uncertainty or disapproval.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Calling it "a great thing to do," President Trump declared a national emergency on Friday in order to help finance a long-promised wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a highly unusual move from an unconventional president.

The bill would prohibit fencing at the National Butterfly Center in Mission and four other landmarks.
Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said Thursday that he's added language to a compromise bill aimed at avoiding another government shutdown that would prohibit border fencing at five major landmarks in the Rio Grande Valley.

Updated at 9:14 p.m. ET

President Trump will support a border security funding compromise, averting a partial government shutdown early Saturday — but he also will declare a national emergency in order to build the wall he has pushed for along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Spending negotiators may have reached an agreement on an outline to avoid a government shutdown, but the final legislation is still incomplete less than three days before the Friday deadline.

The National Butterfly Center, in danger of losing access to most of its wildlife nature preserve along the Rio Grande, is asking a court to stop federal officials from building a border wall across its land.

An excavator west of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, next-door neighbor to the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas
National Butterfly Center via Facebook / @NatButterflies

The nonprofit National Butterfly Center has asked a federal judge to stop border wall activity on its property as the Trump administration gears up to build new barriers in South Texas and may soon win funding for more.

President Trump took his fight for a wall to the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday night, promising a crowd in El Paso, Texas, that he would press forward for its construction — even as news was breaking in Washington that a deal reached between congressional negotiators would fall far short of his funding demands.

Updated at 4:43 p.m. ET

A man in a red Make America Great Again cap violently shoved a BBC cameraman and shouted profanities during President Trump's rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday night, in a startling moment that briefly interrupted the president's speech.

President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso, Texas.
Associated Press

President Donald Trump on Monday presented the border wall as a work in progress, hailing the start of a "big, big portion" with much more coming soon. That's a hefty exaggeration from a president who has yet to see an extra mile of barrier completed since he took office.

Updated at 1:39 a.m. ET Tuesday

Congressional negotiators have reached what they are calling "an agreement in principle" on a border-security spending agreement. Details of the agreement have not yet been released. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., says the full details will be released when the drafting of the bill is complete — a process that could be finished on Tuesday, at the earliest.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with a group of sheriffs from around the country before leaving the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, for a trip to El Paso, Texas.
Associated Press

President Donal Trump's signature pledge to American voters — a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border — is threatening to become a model of unfulfilled promises.

He will try to turn the debate back to his political advantage with a rally at 8 p.m. Central Monday in El Paso. We will livestream PBS NewsHour's coverage and commentary here.


During President Donald Trump’s recent State of the Union Address, he paid special attention to the state of the Southern border.

word-spacing:0px">"As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States. We have just heard that Mexican cities, in order to remove the illegal immigrants from their communities, are getting trucks and buses to bring them up to our country in areas where there is little border protection. I have ordered another 3,750 troops to our southern border to prepare for the tremendous onslaught," Trump said. 

Under the National Emergencies Act of 1976, the president can declare an emergency for just about anything. As President Trump has considered using that authority to circumvent Congress and build a wall along the Southern border, that near-unlimited presidential power has gotten a lot of attention. But it isn't the whole story.

From left, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., speak with reporters after a briefing with officials about the US-Mexico border, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019.
Associated Press

Congressional bargainers seem close to clinching a border security agreement that would avert a fresh government shutdown, with leaders of both parties voicing optimism and the top GOP negotiator saying he believes President Donald Trump would back the emerging accord.

The congregation of about 1,700 Central American migrants in Piedras Negras, Mexico, this week sparked a swift response from the U.S. Hundreds of Army soldiers and law enforcement personnel tightened security measures in Eagle Pass. Residents accustomed to easy passage between two nations experienced long waits on the bridges, body searches, diminished commerce and unease over the sudden show of armed force in their small town.

Tuesday night, President Trump stands before a joint session of Congress, assesses the state of the union and likely makes another case for more than $5 billion in funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump has said he'd be willing to shut the government down again if the funding doesn't materialize. 

But money has already been allocated for some border wall projects, including a 6-mile stretch of wall in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

The most important political issues of the past year will be on display Tuesday night, not only in what President Trump says in his State of the Union address but in who will be in the audience.

Furloughed federal workers, Border Patrol agents, immigrants, school shooting survivors and the first inmate to benefit from a new criminal justice law will be among those to gather in the chamber of the U.S. House.

HOUSTON – The U.S. government is preparing to begin construction of more border walls and fencing in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley, likely on federally owned land set aside as wildlife refuge property.

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg will be in Washington D.C. Tuesday to attend the second State of the Union Address delivered by President Donald Trump.


Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says its agents seized a record amount of fentanyl Saturday from a produce truck attempting to enter the country from Mexico at Arizona's Port of Nogales crossing.

"What they have set in motion is going to disenfranchise U.S. citizens and it's going to infringe on their right to vote," said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas.
Associated Press

State Rep. Rafael Anchia had been alarmed by the actions of the Texas secretary of state’s office for days by the time the agency’s chief, David Whitley, walked into the Dallas Democrat’s Capitol office on Monday.

Shutterstock

Immigrants around the country have staged hunger strikes over the past month to protest conditions inside detention facilities, prompting officials to force-feed six of them through plastic nasal tubes at a Texas location, The Associated Press has learned.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington. Negotiators are hopeful of an agreement as they officially kick off talks on a homeland security spending bill that has been trapped in a stalemate over Presid
Associated Press

Capitol Hill negotiators are hopeful of an agreement as they officially kick off talks Wednesday on a homeland security spending bill stalled over funding for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

Leah McElrath / Associated Press

Election officials across counties in North Texas are in something of a holding pattern when it comes to checking for suspected non-U.S. citizens on their voter rolls. 

A "vote" sign in a yard in west Austin on March 6, 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

 

After flagging tens of thousands of registered voters for citizenship reviews, the Texas secretary of state’s office is now telling counties that some of those voters don’t belong on the lists they sent out.

A Latino civil rights organization filed a lawsuit in federal court today against Texas' effort to identify noncitizens who are registered to vote.

The lawsuit brought by the the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) argues state officials violated the Voting Rights Act when they advised local registrars to remove alleged noncitizens from their voter rolls.

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