Joel Rose | Texas Public Radio

Joel Rose

At first, the boy running around this migrant shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, appears to be just like any other 8-year-old: Skinny, shy, giggly. You don't even notice his glass eye.

But it's a constant source of worry for his family, who fled Guatemala earlier this year. The boy, Jonathan, lost his eye to a tumor when he was a toddler. Now he needs medicine to keep the eye clean.

"It's a very delicate sickness, very complicated," said his father Giovani, speaking in Spanish through an interpreter. "He needs checkups frequently by medical specialists in the hospital."

NOEL KING, HOST:

The Trump administration has announced a major new step in its efforts to turn back asylum-seekers who are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. A new rule announced this morning requires migrants to apply for asylum in the first country they pass through on their way into the U.S.

NPR's Joel Rose covers immigration. He's with me in the studio now. Hi, Joel.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Hey, Noel.

For the first time this year, the number of migrants taken into custody by immigration authorities after crossing the Southwest border dropped in June.

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday that about 104,000 migrants were taken into custody after crossing the Southwest border — a 28% drop from May.

Migrant flows typically slow down in the hotter summer months, and federal officials credited Mexico with doing more to secure its borders and stop migrants from crossing into the U.S.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Several dozen Central American migrants crossed the U.S.-Mexico border again, this time escorted by federal agents to an El Paso, Texas, courtroom as part of an unprecedented effort by the Trump administration to control migration.

During a hearing last week, the judge asked the migrants one by one if they had a lawyer. Nearly all of them said, "No."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational activities including soccer, and legal aid for unaccompanied migrant children who are staying in federally contracted migrant shelters.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is charged with caring for minors who arrive at the Southern border without a parent or legal guardian, says the large influx of migrants in recent months is straining its already threadbare budget. ORR is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated 4:45pm E.T.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection temporarily suspended intake at the McAllen Central Processing Center on Tuesday, the largest migrant processing center in South Texas, after the outbreak of what the agency calls "a flu-related illness."

It is the same facility where a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy became ill last week, and died after he was transferred to another Border Patrol station.

Updated June 4

President Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on Mexican goods as early as next week — unless Mexico does more to stop the flow of migrants reaching the U.S. border.

The diplomatic maneuver is the latest in a long line of White House efforts to reshape migration patterns and restrict immigration to the United States. It also may turn out to be the latest policy proposal that falls short of accomplishing what Trump wants.

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