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immigration

His name is Johan.

He drank a bottle of milk and played with a purple ball as he waited for the immigration judge, The Associated Press reported.

John W. Richardson, the judge at the Phoenix courthouse, said he was "embarrassed to ask" if the defendant understood the proceedings. "I don't know who you would explain it to, unless you think that a 1-year-old could learn immigration law," he told Johan's attorney.

Updated 10:20 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is asking a federal judge for an extension of the deadline set to reunify all of the migrant parents who were separated from their children at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In a court hearing Friday, U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw delayed until at least Monday any decision on the government's request and he ordered the government to provide a complete list of the reunification status of 101 children under the age of 5 who have been separated from their parents.

The Trump administration's practice of separating children from their parents at the border is not just heartbreaking to other immigrants but also terrifying. Even immigrants who are in the country legally are beginning to worry that their families could be broken apart, too.

The anti-immigrant threats and actions have many Hispanic Americans in particular living on edge.

Tears immediately start streaming down the cheeks of Sarah, a Mexican immigrant, when she is asked about watching recent news stories on TV.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar says that the government will meet deadlines imposed by a federal judge to reunite migrant families that have been separated by the U.S. government.

At the same time, he criticized the deadlines as "artificial" and said that they could prevent the government "from completing our standard — or even a truncated — vetting process."

The Trump administration's separation policy has been met with widespread outcry, marches and legal action.

Rachel Zein for The Texas Tribune

The federal government plans to meet a pair of ambitious court-ordered deadlines for reuniting families separated at the border — even though officials say doing so may mean relaxing government standards in the process of vetting those parents.

Activists in two separate protests against the Trump administration's immigration policies were arrested at the Statue of Liberty on Wednesday — one group unfurling a banner calling for the abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, while in another act of defiance, a woman climbed the statue's base to protest immigrant family separations.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic candidate challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz for his seat, has so far resisted pressure from grassroots groups to call for abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The agency has become a lightning rod under the Trump administration.

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.

In a legal setback for the Trump administration's immigration policies, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., has ruled that the government may not arbitrarily detain people seeking asylum.

The ruling comes in a case challenging the administration's policy of detaining people even after they have passed a credible fear interview and await a hearing on their asylum claim.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

Thousands of immigrant rights advocates took to the streets in Dallas, Fort Worth and across Texas on Saturday – part of a series of protests held across the country against President Trump’s immigration policies.

Protesters gathered in major cities and small towns across the United States to denounce President Trump's immigration policies.

The "Families Belong Together" marches were planned in response to the administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the southern border.

Thousands Across Texas Protest At 'Families Belong Together' Rallies

Jun 30, 2018
Kelly West for The Texas Tribune

AUSTIN – As the temperature inched to the triple digits and sweating crowds swarmed the south lawn of the Texas State Capitol, speakers declared with grief, hope, indignation and determination that the Trump administration's immigration policies do not reflect their values.

In response to a federal court order, the Trump administration announced a new policy with regard to migrant families on Friday. The administration will now hold families together for longer than 20 days.

Now that President Trump can no longer separate migrant families apprehended at the border, his administration is preparing to lock them up as a unit.

The Defense Department is under orders to confine up to 12,000 immigrant parents with their children on military bases, as a way to deter future illegal immigration. Two installations in Texas plan to start putting up temporary housing after July Fourth.

Family confinement has a troubled, litigious history in the United States, and legal advocates for immigrants are preparing for a major battle ahead.

The Department of Defense plans to start building tent encampments on two military bases in Texas to house migrant families apprehended at the border. Construction is expected to begin after the July 4 holiday.

The Pentagon said in a statement that the Department of Homeland Security asked the Defense Department to house and care for an "alien family population" of up to 12,000 people.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

Raphael A. Sanchez, who was chief counsel at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Seattle when he opened credit cards and took out loans using the personal information of vulnerable immigrants, has been sentenced to four years in prison.

At a highway-side motel in Harlingen, near the border in Texas, a small meeting room has been turned into something of a war room. Volunteer lawyers and aid workers eat tacos and strategize about how to help detained immigrants.

"It's almost triage, that's what it feels like," says Natasha Quiroga, who flew in from Washington, D.C. with the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

A federal judge in San Diego has barred the separation of migrant children and ordered that those currently detained under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy be reunited with families within 30 days.

A Honduran father caught crossing the border illegally with his daughter was released from custody with an ankle monitor in El Paso, Texas, on Monday — the same day his daughter turned 10 years old in a government-run shelter.

The father and daughter have been separated for the month he was in Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention, and she was in a shelter run by the Department of Health and Human Services. He said he called a 1-800 number that HHS set up to get an update on his daughter.

Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET

Despite pressure from President Trump for the U.S. to arrest and prosecute anyone caught crossing the border illegally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says its agents will temporarily suspend the practice of detaining adults who arrive with children — something that had been a tenet of Trump's "zero tolerance" policy.

The U.S. says it has reunited more than 500 migrant children that the government separated from their parents. That means there are about 2,000 children to go. Officials say they have a plan, though parents and their advocates tell a different story.

On Sunday, a Department of Homeland Security bus pulled up outside Annunciation House, a shelter for migrants and refugees in El Paso, Texas. Parents filed off and walked into the shelter. Some wore their pant legs rolled up, exposing GPS ankle monitors.

Courtesy of Alia Salem

A group of North Texas activists traveled to McAllen, Texas, over the weekend to protest the separation of immigrant parents from their children – many of whom are being held in detention centers.

Immigration took center stage at the Texas Democratic Party convention in Fort Worth last weekend. Delegates from across the state are concerned about the Trump administration policy that was separating families at the border until it was reversed last week.

Updated at 12:13 p.m. ET

The Pentagon will build tent camps at two U.S. military bases to house people who cross the southern border illegally, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday.

The defense chief did not give details about which bases would contain the temporary camps. However, NPR's Tom Bowman reports that the two military bases are in Texas.

House Republican leaders will start the coming week the same way they started last week: facing partywide insurrection over an immigration bill that has been repeatedly sabotaged by President Trump.

The Trump administration has released its plan for reuniting children who have been separated from their parents as a result of the president's "zero tolerance" immigration policy, but in a fact sheet issued on Saturday, it provided no timeline for when those reunifications will happen.

This converted schoolhouse still chirps with the sound of children. A volunteer teacher points at her eye and elicits the English word: "¿Cómo se dice 'ojo'?" she asks the group of 6- to 10-year-olds.

They hesitate and look at one another until one of them gets it, and they join in a collective scream: "Eye!"

It feels like a bit of normalcy for this group of Central American children who fled their home countries and are temporarily living in a family shelter in Mexico City.

Updated at 5:09 p.m. ET

In the image, a little girl wails in uncomprehending sadness and anxiety.

Her face flushed nearly as pink as her shirt and shoes, she stares up at her mother and a U.S. official, both too tall to be seen. The 2-year-old Honduran child's panic is so palpable, it's difficult for a viewer not to feel it, too.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

After days of damaging news stories about an administration policy that separated immigrant families at the Southern border, President Trump tried to change the narrative Friday. He spoke up for grieving family members who have lost loved ones at the hands of people in the country illegally.

The fear of family separation is not new for many immigrants already living in the U.S. In fact, that fear, heightened in recent weeks, has been forcing a tough decision for some families. Advocates say a growing number of American children are dropping out of Medicaid and other government programs because their parents are undocumented.

Marlene is an undocumented resident of Texas and has two children who are U.S. citizens. (NPR is not using Marlene's last name because of her immigration status.) One of her kids has some disabilities.

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