immigrant children

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.

Courtesy of Alina Rodriguez

17 self-portraits of student artists, ages six to 12, from The Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth are part of a new Coral Gables Museum art exhibition.

Retra-Tablos: Reclaiming Culture and Ancient Textile Art” features self-portraits that include Mayan deities, symbols, Catholic iconography and American pop culture to illustrate each student artist’s culture and journey. 

 

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

The Homestead detention center for migrant children is expected to close at the end of this month. The private prison company that runs the facility will not have its federal contract renewed when it expires Nov. 30.

AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD

The government has spent more than $33 million in 46 days to keep the Homestead detention center up and running even though no children are housed there, according to federal officials.

On Wednesday, Jonathan Hayes, the acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement — the agency in charge of housing unaccompanied migrant children — testified at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing, along with other Department of Homeland Security leaders, about mental health services for migrant children.

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.

A federal appeals court in California ruled that migrant children detained by U.S. immigration authorities must be provided with edible food, clean water, and basic hygiene items such as soap and toothbrushes, in accordance with a decades-old court order.

Wilfredo Lee / AP

Citing what it calls a slew of human-rights violations, Amnesty International is calling on the U.S. government to shut down the Homestead detention center before children in Miami-Dade start school again next month.

Gerard Albert III / WLRN News

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee toured the Homestead child detention center Monday morning. 

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History may add drawings made by formerly detained migrant children to its famous collection.

The drawings depict time spent in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Some of the children's images appeared to show stick figures with frowns and people on floors under blankets.

Courtesy of Congresswoman Lois Frankel

U.S. Congresswoman Lois Frankel visited Lake Worth's facility for immigrant girls Monday. Frankel, who has also visited detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border, said the 37 girls housed in Lake Worth are "the lucky ones," compared to those staying in border facilities. 

"I found it very welcoming, very spacious, very clean," she said. "All the girls were in classrooms, some were learning English."

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET Monday

The Trump administration's immigration policies have drawn condemnation, but increasingly the criticism has also turned to a web of companies that are part of the multibillion-dollar industry that runs detention facilities housing tens of thousands of migrants around the country.

Businesses that supply goods and services to support those detention centers face increasing public and political scrutiny from investors, employees and activists.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

DANIEL A. VARELA / MIAMI HERALD

David Nurenberg spent his Father’s Day roughly 1,500 miles away from 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, with children who aren’t his own.

The 42-year-old traveled from Boston, Massachusetts, to Homestead on his own dime Friday night to attend a protest outside the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children in southwest Miami-Dade County.

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

Jose A. Iglesias / Miami Herald

One of the more disturbing sounds to hit the media airwaves last summer was a recording obtained by ProPublica of Central American children crying at an immigration detention center in Texas. They’d been separated from their parents, who had come to seek U.S. asylum.

At that same place the summer before, in 2017, a Guatemalan girl named Ana was taken from her father. She was three. Ana was sent to a relative in Immokalee, Florida, who took her to immigration lawyer Jennifer Anzardo Valdes in Miami.