immigration

Maxwell Pearl / Flickr

The fight continues in Washington over President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and the national emergency he declared to secure funding to build it. But the border wall is only one element of a prolonged battle and debate over immigration in this country — both legal and illegal.

The Trump administration began implementing a new hard-line immigration policy by sending a single asylum-seeker from Central America back to Tijuana, Mexico, to await his assigned court date later this year in San Diego.

Politicians often have to change course when their campaign promises run up against reality. But when President Trump ran for office, and throughout his presidency, an explicit part of his pitch was that he wasn't like all the other politicians. Trump's "great wall" was a big concrete symbol of that.

Except that now it isn't even concrete. In recent weeks, he has been saying it will be made of "beautiful" steel slats. The way Trump has described the wall has changed a lot over time, to the point of contradiction. That includes how the wall will be paid for.

President Trump traveled to a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Texas, today, continuing on his campaign to drum up support for a $5.7 billion border wall. The visit came after weeks of Congressional debate about border security that has resulted in a partial government shutdown.

Updated at 11:27 p.m. ET

President Trump made his case to the American people Tuesday night for why a massive wall along the Mexican border is necessary, using his first Oval Office address to outline his conditions for ending the 18-day-and-counting partial government shutdown.

President Trump has suggested that he might resort to using "emergency" powers to build his border wall if he is not able to reach agreement on funding with congressional Democrats.

"We are looking at it very strongly," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "We're looking at a national emergency, because we have a national emergency."

The president does have broad powers to act in a crisis situation, but those powers are not unlimited. And critics say Trump should be careful about invoking them in this instance.

Emily Files

You may have heard of one of the world's fastest-growing refugee crises: the Rohingya exodus out of Myanmar, the Southeast Asian country also known as Burma.

After long waits in countries like Malaysia or Bangladesh, a tiny percentage of the world’s Burmese refugees end up right here in Milwaukee. In fact, they are the top arriving refugee group to Wisconsin.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

More troops are expected to be deployed to the Southern border to construct or upgrade 160 miles of fencing and provide medical care to a steady stream of migrant families arriving from Central America, according to military sources.

The deployment and fence construction along the California and Arizona borders would be paid for by the Pentagon, from the Department of Defense's discretionary funding.

Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET Friday

A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl who crossed the southern border into the United States illegally earlier this month died of dehydration and shock after being apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico.

The number of immigrant children being held in government custody has reached almost 15,000, putting a network of federally contracted shelters across the country near capacity.

The national network of more than 100 shelters are 92 percent full, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The situation is forcing the government to consider a range of options, possibly including releasing children more quickly to sponsors in the United States or expanding the already crowded shelter network.

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

In a testy Oval Office exchange with the two top congressional Democrats, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer, President Trump made clear he would be "proud" to shut down the government in less than two weeks if he doesn't get funding for his border wall.

Marti Mikkelson

Members of the faith community held a protest Monday at the U.S. Immigration and Customs office in downtown Milwaukee. They called on the Trump administration to allow immigrants and refugees stopped at the Mexican border to apply for asylum and enter the U.S.

U.S and Mexican authorities sealed the border south of San Diego last month after hundreds of refugees arrived seeking to escape unrest in Central America.

President Trump is expected to extend the deployment of thousands of U.S. troops to the U.S.-Mexico border into January rather than withdrawing the personnel in the middle of December, Pentagon officials tell NPR. The move would further extend the rare deployment of active-duty troops at the Mexico border, rather than just National Guard personnel.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The situation at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry has been chaotic and confusing in recent days. And reactions from the American public suggest that photos and footage from the scene serve as a sort of Rorschach test.

A federal court in San Francisco has temporarily blocked the Trump administration's new asylum ban, saying it violates existing law and would cause irreparable harm to immigrants.

Earlier this month, President Trump issued a proclamation saying anyone crossing the U.S. southern border without doing so through an official port would be ineligible for asylum.

The American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Center for Constitutional Rights and others quickly filed lawsuits seeking to block the order.

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