illegal immigration

The number of people apprehended by U.S. authorities, either attempting to cross the southwest border illegally or presenting themselves at a port of entry, declined for the fifth consecutive month, according to new figures released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Just over 45,000 people were apprehended in October, down from a spike of 144,000 in May — an almost 70 percent decline.

Authorities also report a significant demographic shift among those apprehended.

Updated at 10:02 p.m. ET

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is leaving his post, the latest casualty at the department responsible for protecting U.S. borders.

President Trump said in a tweet Friday night that McAleenan had done an "outstanding job" but that he wanted to "spend more time with family and go to the private sector."

Trump added that he would announce a new acting secretary next week.

Updated at 3:34 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has announced it is ending a federal court agreement that limits how long migrant families with children can be detained.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan outlined the new policy Wednesday, which replaces the Flores settlement agreement.

That's been a longtime target of immigration hard-liners in the Trump administration, who contend the settlement has acted as a lure to families in Central America.

As the Trump Administration prepares to accelerate construction of a border wall, Nayda Alvarez is preparing for the possibility that it will cut directly through her backyard.

Alvarez, a high-school teacher, received a letter last year from Customs and Border Protection about plans to build the wall on her family land in Starr County, Texas, that backs up to a bend in the Rio Grande.

"All this area was my grandfather's," she says. "So we've been here for about five or six generations. ... This is where we come fishing. We have our cookouts. We spend Easter here."

The children's lawyer was incensed. Her two tiny clients — one of them blind — had been in a shelter for three months, separated from their mother.

The family had traveled from Mexico to the United States, reaching Nogales, Arizona, on March 1, 2018. Officials at the border found that the mother, Nadia Pulido, had "credible" reasons for seeking asylum from an ex-partner who, she says, beat her and stalked her after their relationship ended.

Updated July 19 at 12:25 p.m. ET

Mark Morgan, acting head of Customs and Border Protection, said on Thursday that his agency is rolling out the Trump administration's new asylum rule as a small "pilot" for now but that officials expect it to be blocked in court.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents mine millions of driver's license photos for possible facial recognition matches — and some of those efforts target undocumented immigrants who have legally obtained driver's licenses, according to researchers at Georgetown University Law Center, which obtained documents related to the searches.

Updated at 5:58 p.m. ET

After a brief showdown over competing emergency humanitarian aid measures to alleviate the crisis at the southern border, the House voted 305-102 on Thursday to pass the Senate's less restrictive version of the bill.

The Senate had approved the legislation Wednesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said President Trump supports the bill.

A 16-year-old has become the fifth migrant child since December to die after being apprehended at the U.S. border.

Lawmakers Pass 'Sanctuary Cities' Ban

May 3, 2019
MIAMI HERALD

Legislation that would give Florida one of the strictest laws in the nation against so-called sanctuary cities is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis, giving him a chance to fulfill a key campaign promise.

The governor praised the final passage of the bill Thursday by the House and Senate after emotional debate in both chambers during the final days of the legislative session. He thanked House Speaker Jose Oliva and Senate President Bill Galvano, as well as the sponsors of the bill for “recognizing the importance of the issue.”

A 16-year-old boy who traveled to the U.S. from Guatemala has died in U.S. custody in Texas, becoming the third child since early December to die after being detained. He had arrived at the border unaccompanied by his parents or other relatives.

Officials have not yet revealed the boy's identity.

SAMATHA GROSS / MIAMI HERALD

In a move that’s ignited fierce debate, Florida lawmakers appear set to approve controversial legislation that aims to ban so-called "sanctuary cities" in the state. Bills in the House and Senate both passed their final committees last week and are making their way to discussion. 

The legislation would require local police to honor requests from federal immigration authorities to detain people who are thought to be in the United States illegally. The House version would fine local governments that don’t cooperate with federal requests.

With days to go before the midterm elections, President Trump continues to ratchet up his rhetoric on immigration. The president's latest target is asylum-seekers, whom he accuses of exploiting "loopholes" in U.S. immigration laws.

Updated at 6:43 p.m. ET

President Trump delivered a White House broadside against illegal immigration Thursday, underscoring what has become his central focus in the final days of the midterm election campaign.

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