Department of Homeland Security | Texas Public Radio

Department of Homeland Security

Richard Loria for Texas Public Radio

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.


David Martin Davies | Texas Public Radio

The acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security continued his tour of immigration facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday.

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.

Megan Zerez for KERA News

On Fronteras:

  • A San Antonio-based nonprofit steps up to assist asylum seekers and refugees going through the appeals process in immigration court (00:15).
  • Refugees making their new homes in Texas share their food culture through community gardens (16:38).


Mani Albrecht / Wikimedia Commons | http://bit.ly/2QBvUB9

Last year, Donald Trump’s election promise to build a wall had companies working in border security riding a high.  

 

“With his emphasis on border security, I think the people in this industry got a little excited,” said Mike Beltrani, a vice president at Telephonics Corporation.


AARON SCHRANK/TPR

President Obama expanded use of family detention camps a couple of years ago to include lockups for thousands of Central American women and children seeking asylum at the Southern border. That’s been a gold mine for the corporate prison industry. Private prison giant CoreCivic--formerly known as the Corrections Corporation of America--has put up record profits running a 2,400-bed family jail in the tiny city of Dilley. But some in Dilley worry hosting the hub of a controversial family detention policy hasn't paid off for locals. 

The Obama administration has announced some changes to the visa waiver program, which allows travelers from some 38 countries including France, Belgium and other European countries, to come to the U.S. without a visa.

The White House announced several steps, including attempting better tracking of past travel, fines for airlines that don't verify passport data, assisting other countries on the screening of refugees and with border security.

A government watchdog says the Department of Homeland Security can't say for sure whether its system to detect a biological terror attack actually works.

In a report released Monday, the Government Accountability Office says the BioWatch system has issued dozens of false alarms since its introduction. It recommends that Homeland Security, which oversees the system, hold off any upgrades until the department can be sure of BioWatch's current capabilities.