Joel Rose | Texas Public Radio

Joel Rose

The debate over immigration has exposed real differences in how Americans understand America. In a new essay collection, 26 writers and artists reflect on a polarized country.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In a desolate stretch of desert outside Yuma, Ariz., there's a spot where more than 350 migrants, including children, burrowed under the steel border fence a few weeks ago.

"This only goes down just about probably another foot, this steel," said Anthony Porvaznik, chief patrol agent for the Yuma sector of the Border Patrol. He says smugglers tried digging in more than a dozen spots, looking for places where the ground was soft enough.

"This is very sandy," Porvaznik said. "It's like that all the way down, and so it was easy to dig."

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

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Democrats and immigrant rights groups were quick to oppose President Trump's proposal to end the government shutdown over the weekend because it includes $5.7 billion for an expanded border wall.

Now that they've seen the full language of the bill, they've found other reasons not to like it.

When the young woman from Nicaragua got off the plane in South Florida, she hadn't seen her parents since they left their tiny Central American town to find work in the U.S. more than a decade ago.

"When I saw them, I ran to hug them," she said through an interpreter, her eyes lighting up as she described their reunion at the airport.

"I felt a huge joy when I saw them again, and I knew that I was going to be here, protected," she said.

President Trump used his first prime-time address from the Oval Office to make the case for his controversial border wall. The president's demand for $5.7 billion in wall funding — and Democrats' opposition — has led to a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Here we check some of the arguments made by the president and top Democrats in their response.

Trump's Speech

Claim 1: Humanitarian and security crisis

"There is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southern border."

Updated 3:55 pm E.T. Friday

The government shutdown began with the president's demand for border security money. But it has also halted E-Verify, a federal program that's supposed to prevent immigrants from working here illegally.

If U.S. employers want to check whether their prospective hires are eligible to work, they can't. The E-Verify database is "currently unavailable due to a lapse in government appropriations," according to a note on the government-run website.

In 1968, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were at the top of their game. Aretha Franklin released two great records. The Kinks, The Byrds and Van Morrison put out some of their best work, too.

The secretary of homeland security is traveling to the Texas border town where an 8-year-old migrant from Guatemala was detained before dying in U.S. custody the day before Christmas.

Election after election, pundits predict that Latinos will be a powerful voting bloc. And Latino voters consistently underperform those expectations by failing to turn out at the polls in big numbers.

But this year's midterm results in Nevada, Arizona and other states suggest that Latino turnout is up dramatically — a development that could reshape the electoral landscape for 2020 and beyond.

Pages