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.

Immigrant communities are bracing for nationwide raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to begin on Sunday, planning protests and working with legal aid groups to provide advice to those affected.

The raids are expected to target recently arrived migrant families who have already received final orders of removal from an immigration judge.

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:

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General is warning about "dangerous overcrowding" in Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

In a strongly worded report, the inspector general said the prolonged detention of migrants without proper food, hygiene or laundry facilities — some for more than a month — requires "immediate attention and action."

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."

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET Friday

Bleak scenes of tearful, malnourished children reeking of filth and jammed into frigid, overcrowded quarters have emerged in new accounts from immigrant rights lawyers, who conducted dozens of interviews with children inside Border Patrol stations across Texas.

The descriptions contained in sworn declarations as part of a legal case stand in stark contrast to what was seen when federal officials opened the doors of a Border Patrol facility outside El Paso on Wednesday.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Trump administration has named Ken Cuccinelli to serve as acting director of the agency in charge of legal immigration, raising concerns among immigrant rights advocates.

Cuccinelli has never worked at the agency that he's now tasked with leading. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, with more than 19,000 employees and contractors, is charged with adjudicating requests for citizenship, green cards and visas.

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.

A federal judge in California has temporarily blocked the Trump administration from transferring funds from military accounts to begin building additional border fencing.

U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam in Northern California granted a preliminary injunction blocking the administration from moving $1 billion in Defense Department funds intended for anti-drug activities.

The judge did not rule on an additional $3.6 billion in funds from military construction projects that have yet to be identified by the Defense Department.

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.

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.

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.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

Immigration authorities are expressing alarm about the growing number of migrants crossing the Southern border.

Federal agents apprehended more than 4,000 migrants crossing the border on each of two days this week — the highest daily total recorded in 15 years, according to a senior official with Customs and Border Protection.

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.

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.

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