Joel Rose | Texas Public Radio

Joel Rose

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

The Department of Justice issued an order on Tuesday that could keep thousands of asylum-seekers detained while they wait for their cases to be heard in immigration court — a wait that often lasts months or years.

The ruling by Attorney General William Barr is the latest step by the Trump administration designed to discourage asylum-seekers from coming to the U.S. hoping for refuge.

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President Trump is again threatening to close the southern border unless Mexico blocks all illegal immigration into the United States. Here he is speaking to reporters in Florida today.

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The Social Security Administration may be the latest front in the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration.

The agency is reviving the controversial practice of sending "no match" letters to businesses across the country, notifying them when an employee's Social Security number doesn't match up with official records.

That may sound innocuous. But these no-match letters are expected to set off alarm bells. That's what happened when they arrived in the mail back in the mid-2000s.

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Irsi Castillo clutches her 3-year-old daughter to her chest to shield her from the wind. They've just crossed the Rio Grande and stepped onto U.S. soil in El Paso, Texas, after traveling from Honduras.

Thousands of migrants like Castillo are crossing the border every day and turning themselves in to the Border Patrol. They're fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.

Updated 8:54pm E.T.

As New Zealand grapples with the aftermath of the attack on two Muslim congregations in Christchurch, the mass shootings on the other side of the world have struck fear through Muslim American communities and renewed calls for action against the rise of bigotry in the U.S.

The Trump administration is expanding a hard-line immigration policy that forces asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their assigned court dates in the U.S.

The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended more than 66,000 migrants at the Southern border in February, the highest total for a single month in almost a decade.

For years, volunteers have left food and water in remote stretches of desert along the U.S.-Mexico border. They say they're trying to save the lives of migrants making the dangerous crossing. But the government argues these volunteers are encouraging illegal immigration.

Now several volunteers face jail time when they're sentenced on Friday.

"What we've seen in the last two years is a real escalation," said Catherine Gaffney, a spokeswoman for the activist group No More Deaths.

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