U.S.-Mexico border

Updated at 6:54 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has notified Congress that it plans to divert $3.8 billion from the Defense Department's budget to build the border wall.

This is in addition to more than $11 billion that's already been identified to construct more than 500 miles of new barriers along the southern U.S. border with Mexico. That includes money that Congress has appropriated and funding that was previously diverted from military construction and counternarcotic operations.

David J. Phillip / Associated Press

Few issues dominate our politics today more passionately than immigration, but we rarely see the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border dramatized in fiction. Now Texas author and border native Oscar Cásares has written what one critic calls a “quietly suspenseful” novel titled “Where We Come From.”

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.

The Trump administration has started the arduous process of canceling $3.6 billion in military construction projects to fund its plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper began notifying lawmakers Tuesday which projects will be canceled in their districts. Top Democrats immediately blasted the plan.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., was among the first lawmakers to say his district will be impacted by the funding cuts, for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

A picture of an armed Mexican National Guard soldier impeding a crying migrant mother and her child from getting to the United States is spreading on social media and making headlines in Mexico.

Critics of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's tighter border enforcement have seized on the image to decry Mexico's new security plan, implemented after intense pressure from the Trump administration.

Updated 8:05 p.m. ET

Hours after a federal judge on the East Coast refused to block a Trump administration rule requiring most asylum-seekers to ask for protection in another country before they try to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, a judge on the West Coast put a stop to the new policy.

U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a preliminary injunction against the controversial rule unveiled by the White House and applied on a "pilot" basis last week.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

JOHN MOORE / GETTY IMAGES

A 15-year-old boy from Houston, who was picked up by immigration authorities in Texas and sent to the Homestead children’s detention center even though he has lived in the U.S. since he was an infant and his parents live in the U.S., walked out of the facility on Sunday, two days after a story about his plight appeared in the Miami Herald.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

A House panel heard at times emotional testimony about conditions at facilities run by the Department of Homeland Security.

The hearing of the House oversight committee grew heated as Democrats and Republicans on the panel argued over who bore responsibility for the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions at detention centers on the southern border.

Republican lawmakers who represent border districts and Democratic lawmakers who have recently traveled to the border each testified.

U.S. Border Patrol agents and Mexican law enforcement are searching for a 2-year-old girl who went missing in the Rio Grande. They are searching a section of the river near the border city of Del Rio, Texas, which is about 150 miles west of San Antonio.

"Any time a child is lost it is a tragic event," said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz in a statement Tuesday evening. "I can not imagine the anguish the parents of this young girl must be feeling and I hope our search efforts pay off with a positive outcome."

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."

Residents in the Rio Grande Valley gathered at vigils in McAllen and Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday evening to remember the lives of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month-old daughter, Angie Valeria.

The Salvadoran father and daughter drowned as they tried to cross the river between Matamoros and Brownsville on June 23. Valeria's mother, Tania Vanessa Ávalos, watched as her family was swept away.

MARCOS ALEMAN
EMILIO ESPEJEL / AP/ Via the Miami Herald

The young father and daughter who drowned in each other's arms last week in an attempt to swim across the Rio Grande to the United States have been returned to El Salvador for an expected burial at a private ceremony in the capital Monday.

Their bodies entered the Central American country by land Sunday from neighboring Guatemala.

Photographs of Valeria, lying face down in the water with her little arm wrapped around the neck of her father, Oscar Alberto Martínez, broke hearts around the world and underscored the dangers that migrants undertake in trying to reach the U.S.

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.

Updated Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET

A day after U.S. and Mexico officials announced an agreement to avert tariffs — set to begin on Monday — affecting billions of dollars in imports from Mexico, President Trump took a victory lap on Twitter.

Under a joint agreement released by State Department officials, Mexico will assist the United States in curbing migration across the border by deploying its national guard troops through the country, especially its southern border.

Pages