U.S. Department of Homeland Security | KERA News

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Associated Press

The Trump administration has begun enforcing radical new restrictions on who qualifies for asylum as tens of thousands of migrants wait on the Mexican border, seeking refuge.

U.S. officials have sent back to Mexico more than 30,000 asylum-seeking migrants to wait for their immigration court dates. This is part of the Trump administration’s Remain in Mexico program. Pregnant women are among some of the people sent back. But one attorney from the Rio Grande Valley pushed back at the policy. She tried to get her client paroled and back into Texas.


Associated Press

The Trump administration is moving to end a long-standing federal court agreement that limits how long immigrant children can be kept in detention, a decision that will almost certainly lead to a new court fight over the government's ability to hold migrant families until their cases are decided.

Associated Press

The Trump administration is expanding its power to quickly deport certain undocumented immigrants. A fast-track process known as “expedited removal” allows immigration authorities to deport some people without a hearing in front of a judge.

The Trump administration announced on Monday it is expanding fast-track deportation regulations to include the removal of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove they have been in the U.S. continuously for two years or more.

Associated Press

The U.S. government on Friday expanded its requirement that asylum seekers wait outside the country to a part of the Texas Rio Grande Valley across from one of Mexico's most dangerous cities.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is taking questions from the House oversight committee. His agency has been under scrutiny for conditions at the detention facilities holding migrants along the southern border. An inspector general report found "dangerous overcrowding" and poor conditions for children and adults. 

Associated Press

The number of migrants taken into custody after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border dropped last month for this first time this year. About 104,000 migrants were taken into custody in June, down 28% from May, giving local shelters a small break from the overwhelming conditions just weeks ago.

Associated Press

 

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.

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.

Homeland Security agents created a fake university in Michigan to attract foreign nationals who wanted to use student status to extend U.S. visa privileges, according to a federal indictment unsealed Wednesday. The University of Farmington didn't have any professors or hold any classes — but that didn't matter to "students" who used the sham school to stay in the U.S. illegally, the government says.

For nearly a year before family separation became an official and controversial policy of the Trump administration in the spring of 2018, federal immigration agents separated "thousands" of migrant children from their parents. That's according to a government watchdog report released Thursday.

Pedestrians and cars cross from Mexico into the U.S. at the Paso del Norte Port of Entry near downtown El Paso on Jan. 15, 2019.
Jorge Salgado for The Texas Tribune

 

As the government shutdown approached its fifth week and Washington Democrats and President Donald Trump showed no signs of coming to an agreement on how to end the stalemate Tuesday, U.S. Border Patrol vehicles could be seen patrolling just north of the Rio Grande near El Paso’s Paso del Norte bridge.

From Texas Standard:

As we've seen since 9/11, partnerships to strengthen national security can sometimes make for interesting bedfellows. One case in point is a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and Texas A&M's AgriLife Extension Service. Under the 10-year project, the institutions will launch a new Center for Excellence in cross-border threat screening and supply-chain defense. The project has nearly $4 million in funding for its first year.  

Two new reports from the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog say the agency was unprepared to implement the Trump administration's family separation policy and detail health and safety risks at a California ICE processing facility.

Some physicians who examined immigrants while working for the federal government had histories of diluting vaccinations, exploiting women and hiring a hit man to kill a dissatisfied patient, according to a scathing report released by the Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog.

Since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has kept his campaign promises of tougher immigration policies, leading to a constant flow of policy changes — from scaling back on programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to his “zero-tolerance” policy along the border that’s led to separation of parents and children attempting to cross into the U.S.

All of these individual actions amount to a broader strategy that is now becoming clear.

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.

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.

Julia Reihs / KUT News

Catholic Charities Fort Worth says it's housing a dozen children who were separated from their families at the border after fleeing violence in Central America.

Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio

An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking voices of small Spanish-speaking children crying out for their parents at a U.S. immigration facility took center stage Monday in the growing uproar over the Trump administration's policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is continuing to defend the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy that results in separating children from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen appeared at the White House press briefing on Monday, falsely blaming Democrats for the current crisis and arguing that the impetus is on Congress to pass a law to close legal loopholes.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the administration's "zero tolerance" policy that calls for separating families who cross the border illegally, saying the undocumented immigrants shouldn't get special treatment.

"That's no different than what we do every day in every part of the United States — when an adult of a family commits a crime," she told NPR. "If you as a parent break into a house, you will be incarcerated by police and thereby separated from your family."

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called a 200 percent spike in illegal border crossings in March compared with a year ago "a dangerous story" as she pressed lawmakers Wednesday to provide funding for President Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nielsen appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to push for approval of the Trump administration's $47.5 billion FY 2019 budget request for her department, which includes $18 billion for the border wall.

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

President Trump is nominating Kirstjen Nielsen to be the next homeland security secretary, the White House announced Wednesday.

Nielsen would succeed now-White House chief of staff John Kelly in the position if confirmed by the Senate. She currently serves as Kelly's principal deputy chief of staff and was also his chief of staff at the Department of Homeland Security.

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.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it will use its authority to bypass environmental laws and other regulations to "ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads" near the U.S.-Mexico border south of San Diego.

Updated 5:25 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is releasing more on its plans to crack down on illegal immigration, enforcing the executive orders President Trump issued in late January. Those orders called for increased border security and stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

The Department of Homeland Security issued the new rules on Tuesday, laid out in two documents signed by Secretary John Kelly.

Twelve Syrian refugees were expected to arrive in Texas on Monday, including a family of six in Dallas.

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