Immigrants | Texas Public Radio

Immigrants

As thousands of migrant parents and children continue to stream across the U.S.-Mexico border every day, the Border Patrol is bringing in more agents and asking the Pentagon for additional help.

The Border Patrol says it needs more manpower to care for the migrants — more of whom are coming with infectious illnesses. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen says agents are on track to stop nearly 100,000 people crossing illegally this month — far exceeding last month's total.

From Texas Standard:

Pew Research Center recently published a report showing how a majority of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. live in one of 20 metropolitan areas. But there was another statistic within the report that was important in its own right: The number of unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. has gone down over the last decade. As of 2016, Pew estimates there were about 10.7 million, compared to about 12.2 million in 2007.

Mark Hugo Lopez is director of global migration and demography at Pew Research, and says there's been a large decline in unauthorized immigrants from Mexico, in particular. At the same time, there's been an increase of unauthorized immigrants from other countries, whom Lopez says have most likely overstayed their visas.

Thousands of migrant children continue to arrive at the Southern border every month, without their parents, to ask for asylum. The government sends many of them to an emergency intake shelter in South Florida. That facility has come under intense scrutiny because it's the only child shelter for immigrants that's run by a for-profit corporation and the only one that isn't overseen by state regulators.

A federal court on Wednesday blocked the Trump administration's attempts to turn away asylum-seekers who claim fear of domestic violence or gang violence. The decision is another setback for the administration's efforts to limit the number of asylum-seekers allowed into this country.

Back in June, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions handed down a decision that said claims of domestic violence and gang violence should not qualify a person for protection in the United States. That policy was challenged in court by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Updated at 4:59 pm ET

The Department of Health and Human Services is changing the ways it conducts background checks on sponsors of migrant children, a surprise move that will mean the release of hundreds of such children from controversial government-contracted shelters across the country.

More than a dozen members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called for an independent investigation into the death last week of a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl in U.S. custody, saying the absence of medically trained agents and a series of "disturbing systematic failures" prevented government officials from providing adequate care for the child.

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to shifting racial and ethnic demographics in Texas, often the first thing that comes to mind is the state's growing Latino population. In fact, one of the fastest-growing racial groups in Texas is Asian Americans. Two Texas cities, Houston and Arlington, have some of the country's largest Vietnamese populations, and those communities grew quickly during the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. But reporting from The Atlantic last week revealed that the Trump administration is looking to deport some Vietnamese immigrants who've committed crimes in the U.S.; some of them immigrated here after fleeing Vietnam during the war.

Earlier this week President Trump said his administration is no longer releasing migrants from custody. "We're going to catch," he said. "We're not going to release."

From Texas Standard:

Over the years, Texas has served as a gateway for many traditions now embraced as a part of life. A lot of these cultural mashups that Texans celebrate come from our neighbors to the south.

Long before he began studying for a career in health care, Marlon Munoz performed one of the most sensitive roles in the field: delivering diagnoses to patients.

As an informal interpreter between English-speaking doctors and his Spanish-speaking family and friends, Munoz knew well the burden that comes with the job. He still becomes emotional when he remembers having to tell his wife, Aibi Perez, she had breast cancer.

Pages