Immigration and Justice

These stories delve into the world of immigration policy and law enforcement in America - particularly, through the lens of people living in a southwestern border state. 

ICE facilities in Texas house more than half of detainees with COVID in US

Migrant detention centers in Texas currently house more than half of all detainees with COVID-19 in the country, federal data shows. Currently, 600 migrants in detention facilities around the country have COVID-19 and are under isolation or monitoring, according to data released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday. Of those, 319 are in Texas centers, located in or near Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio. One of Texas’ 30 detention facilities, a La Quinta Inn in Pearsall

Justices concede likely impact of DACA ruling, still question program

Justices concede likely impact of DACA ruling, still question program WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court grappled Tuesday with the push to end the DACA program, with some justices suggesting that the Trump administration’s justification for the move was flimsy and did not take into account its full impact. But other justices seemed to agree with Solicitor General Noel Francisco that the administration had provided more than enough reasons for its decision, and that doing away with DACA was just an

Lawyers leery of ICE's move to schedule court dates for DACA recipients

Lawyers leery of ICE’s move to schedule court dates for DACA recipients WASHINGTON – Lawyers in Arizona and southern Nevada said they have started receiving notices that Immigration and Customs Enforcement wants to set new court dates for their clients who are currently protected from deportation by DACA. The notices started coming just weeks before the Supreme Court’s Nov. 12 arguments on several challenges to the Trump administration’s effort to do away with the Deferred Action for Childhood

Migrant Families Sue Over Extraordinary Harms of Family Separation

Five asylum-seeking families have sued the government for the “substantial and ongoing trauma” they say they suffered after being separated from one another when they crossed the border from Mexico into Arizona last year. The lawsuit was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix on behalf of five mothers and their children, all from Guatemala, who were separated in May 2018 and kept apart for at least two months, during which the mothers had little to no communication with their children.

Opponents promise Supreme Court decision won't be last word on asylum

Opponents promise Supreme Court decision won’t be last word on asylum WASHINGTON – Critics vowed Thursday that the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the Trump administration’s restrictive asylum policy move forward will not be the last word and that they intend to keep challenging the plan. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli welcomed the ruling that said the administration can enforce the policy for now – but even he said he expects his agency will “immediately g

Advocates alarmed by reports administration may lower refugee cap again

Advocates alarmed by reports administration may lower refugee cap again WASHINGTON – Advocates reacted with alarm Tuesday to published reports that the Trump administration may again cut the number of refugees allowed in to the U.S., a move they said would endanger vulnerable people and tarnish the country’s standing. President Donald Trump has cut refugee admission limits every year since he took office, from a cap of 110,000 in the last year of President Barack Obama’s tenure to 45,000 in fi

Deferred action on DACA: Program lives on; advocates worry for how long

Deferred action on DACA: Program lives on; advocates worry for how long WASHINGTON – Two years after the Trump administration announced plans to kill Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program still has a pulse – though advocates worry about how long that might last. On Sept. 5, 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Obama-era initiative to protect young immigrants from deportation would be phased out over six months, and that the government would stop accepting

DHS plan to close Flores 'loophole' likely to get tied in knots

DHS plan to close Flores ‘loophole’ likely to get tied in knots WASHINGTON – The Trump administration has long complained about the Flores agreement, a 1997 court ruling that severely limits the amount of time that migrant children can be detained by the government. In theory, getting rid of the decades-old policy that the administration calls an immigration law “loophole” that incentivizes border crossing and forces family separations was only a matter of writing new regulations. Which the ad

ICE raids, touted by President Donald Trump, net 35 arrests

An immigration enforcement operation that President Donald Trump called an effort to deport "millions" of immigrants from the USA resulted in 35 arrests, officials said Tuesday. The action, dubbed "Operation Border Resolve" by the Trump administration, was touted as a significant show of force against an influx of Central American families crossing the border. The operation targeted 2,100 of the roughly 1 million people illegally in the USA with final deportation orders. Of those arrested, 18

Trump administration expands ICE's authority for quicker deportations

The Trump administration announced Monday its intention to expand authority for the expedited removal of undocumented immigrants who cannot prove that they have been in the U.S. continuously for at least two years. The Department of Homeland Security's expanded authority is set to go into effect on Tuesday. The change is the latest move in the administration's attempts to crack down on illegal immigration by vastly expanding DHS's ability to deport certain immigrants while circumventing due-pr

Federal refugee cuts defended as necessary, decried as ‘disastrous’

WASHINGTON — Three months after the Trump administration cut the number of refugees the U.S. will accept to the lowest level since 1980, aid groups in Arizona say they are already feeling the effects. “What used to be a very active program has slowed down dramatically and so before, we used to have maybe a handful of families arriving every week,” said Aaron Rippenkroeger. “Now, maybe it’s one family per week, or some weeks there won’t be any new arrivals at all.” Rippenkroeger, interim execut

Limited gains likely for immigration reform in Congress | Cronkite News

Immigration reform likely to make – limited – gains in next Congress WASHINGTON – Lawmakers and analysts believe there will be some progress on immigration reform after the new Congress is sworn in next month – but caution that it is more likely to come in baby steps than in big leaps. Six years after a Democrat-controlled Senate passed a sweeping immigration reform bill the stalled in the GOP-controlled House, control of the chambers has reversed. But the odds for comprehensive reform are exp

A year after its supposed demise, DACA renewals struggle along

A year after its supposed demise, DACA renewals struggle along WASHINGTON – A year after the Trump administration announced plans to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program had received more than 230,000 DACA renewal applications, with more coming in every day. Although no first-time applications are being accepted, courts that blocked the administration’s plan earlier this year also ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to accept and process renewal applicati
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