immigration

Andrea Tudhope / America Amplified: Election 2020

On a Monday night, a week before the Iowa caucuses, about 20 residents gathered at the Norelius library in Denison, Iowa, for a mock caucus. Latina activist Alma Puga, the organizer, called the caucuses the "Disneyland of politics."

Rand Paul / paul.senate.gov

One way to reduce the tide of immigrants entering the United States illegally is to expand federal laws allowing newcomers to enter the country legally, Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Monday.

Updated at 9:14 p.m. ET

President Trump will support a border security funding compromise, averting a partial government shutdown early Saturday — but he also will declare a national emergency in order to build the wall he has pushed for along the U.S.-Mexico border.

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.

The Department of Justice has once again petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene in pending cases over the future of DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Obama-era program that protects immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

The program is keeping about 700,000 young people from being deported, NPR's Joel Rose notes. At the moment, DACA is accepting renewals but not new applicants. If the program is ended, currently protected individuals could be deported, though it's not clear how quickly that might happen.

The hotel chain Motel 6 has agreed to pay $7.6 million to settle a class-action lawsuit after multiple Motel 6 locations gave guest lists to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

Sharing those lists led to arrests and deportations of an as-yet-unknown number of hotel guests.

The settlement deal was tentatively reached in July, but details were not public until this week. The agreement, which still needs to be approved by a federal judge, calls for Motel 6 to pay money directly to affected guests and also to impose tighter controls over private information.

Along the dry, rocky desert of El Paso, Texas, a brown fence stretches for miles. The fence marks the southern U.S. border that separates El Paso from its Mexican sister city, Juarez.

Twenty-two-year-old Antonio Villaseñor-Baca was born and raised in El Paso. His hometown is part of a huge "borderplex," where three cities — El Paso, Texas; Las Cruces, N.M.; and Juarez, Mexico — converge. Villaseñor-Baca has an uncle in Juarez, and while growing up, his dad would take him back and forth over the border a lot.

To Villaseñor-Baca, Juarez doesn't seem like another country.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

“Be brave, have fun,” Jennie Boggess instructs as she leads a room full of young students at Camp Curiosity, hosted by the Daviess County, Kentucky, Public Schools.

Boggess is the development director for the Owensboro Dance Theatre and today she is preparing students for a finale performance to cap the four-week summer camp.

The Trump administration is on a deadline to reunite families separated at the southern border. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that all families have to be reunited within 30 days. But advocates and activists who have already been trying to reconnect individual migrant children with their parents say their experiences suggest the process of reunification will be complicated.

A case in point is Emily Kephart, who works for a nonprofit called Kids in Need of Defense, or KIND.

An immigration attorney in Bowling Green says she doesn’t think the government can realistically reunite the more than two thousand children separated from their parents who illegally crossed the southern border. 

Most families are coming from Central America where gang activity and drug trafficking are creating chaos. 

As the U.S. government works to reunite parents and children, immigration lawyer Judy Schwank says making matches has several challenges.

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