immigration

News
12:09 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

More Women Than Men Now Immigrating to U.S. From Mexico, Study Says

Google Maps

When you hear the words "Mexican immigrant," what image pops into your head? 

Maybe you're picturing a male day laborer. But Rogelio Saenz from the University of Texas at San Antonio says the latest data does not reflect that.

"Women are becoming​ much more a part of the Mexican immigrant population," Saenz says.

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Immigration
9:35 am
Sat July 25, 2015

Judge Says Detaining Immigrant Children Violates Agreement

A detention facility in Karnes City, Texas, designed to house mothers and children aprehended at the border
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

A federal judge ruled Friday in favor of immigrant rights lawyers who have said the current detention of immigrant children violates a court settlement from 1997 known as the Flores vs Meese Agreement. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee issued her decision in California.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has yet to announce how it will proceed. DHS recently changed the rules of how it releases mothers and children currently in detention. 

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Texas
10:58 am
Thu July 23, 2015

State Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Birth Certificates

Local vital statistics offices, which are overseen by DSHS, have refused to accept what the families argue were once acceptable forms of IDs for non-citizens, including passports and Mexican matrícula cards issued by Mexican consulate offices.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday asked a federal district judge to dismiss a lawsuit that claims a state agency violated the U.S. Constitution by denying birth certificates to U.S.-citizen children of immigrant parents.

Attorneys with Paxton’s office said that the Texas Department of State Health Services, which is being sued by 17 families living in Cameron, Hidalgo and Starr counties, has sovereign immunity under the 11th Amendment and cannot be sued in federal court because it has not waived that right, according to court documents. 

The immunity extends to interim DSHS Commissioner Kirk Cole and State Registrar Geraldine Harris, who are also named as defendants in the suit, Paxton's office argues.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

Congress to Vote on Sanctuary Cities

Undocumented immigrants are brought back into Mexico.
Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune: Republicans in Texas who grouse that the federal government doesn’t enforce immigration laws might soon have Congress to thank for beefing up enforcement at the state and local levels.

The U.S. House is on track to vote later this week on legislation that would cut off federal funding for cities that don't enforce immigration laws. 

Most members of Congress interviewed by The Texas Tribune on Tuesday had not yet read the legislation — dubbed the Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities Act — but said they were considering it ahead of the likely Thursday vote. 

“I think we need to obey the law, but I want to see what sort of language they have on it,” said U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat.

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Texas Standard
3:12 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

These Dallas Apartments Are Evicting Tenants Without Social Security Numbers

Danny Cendejas with the Texas Organizing Project is doing what he can to help people without social security cards keep their homes.
DonkeyHotey flickr

From Texas Standard:

Immigration is often discussed in terms of government policy and official enforcement efforts – or lack thereof, depending on whom you ask. But when citizens take actions into their own hands, the dimensions of the discussion get more complicated.

In Dallas, one landlord is reportedly checking the immigration status of tenants and rejecting lease renewals of those who don’t have social security numbers. Now some people are urging Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the Dallas City Council to step in and stop these unofficial immigration checks.

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Austin
4:25 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

How Could Austin Become More Welcoming to People From Other Countries?

An Austin commission is compiling a report trying to gauge how welcoming the city seems to new people.
Jessica Wright/flickr

What does it mean to be a "welcoming" city?

More specifically, what would Austin need to do to become more welcoming toward people from other countries? Perhaps it would need to implement signage in different languages, or perhaps, it'd need to do other things.

In order to find out what those other things are, a team of advisors recently surveyed Austinites and is compiling the answers into a report.

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Texas
12:33 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Immigration Attorneys Prepare to Represent Detained Women in Asylum Cases

Immigration attorneys take notes in a mock courtroom. The attorneys are undergoing training to represent women and children in asylum cases.
Joy Diaz/KUT News

For the mothers and children detained at an immigrant facility in Karnes County, about 100 miles south of Austin, their best chance for release is to find attorneys willing to represent them pro bono.

And in turn, the lawyers willing to take on these cases need specific training. So this week at the University of Texas School of Law, a group of immigration attorneys attended a training session to brush up on the type of asylum cases faced by the women and children housed at Karnes County Residential Center.

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Austin
3:26 pm
Wed April 15, 2015

Update: Immigrant Affairs Commission Appointee Steps Down

Rebecca Forest speaks at a 2011 anti-immigration rally.
Screenshot from Youtube.

Update Wednesday, April 15, 2015, 3:30 p.m. Council member Don Zimmerman confirmed that Rebecca Forest has stepped down from her appointment to the Immigrant Affairs Commission.

Of Forest's remarks, made at the 2011 rally (see the youtube video below), Zimmerman said, "I don't judge Rebecca Forest by a clumsy remark. I judge her based on ten years of knowing her, and she's not a bigoted person."

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2015 Legislature
10:25 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Hispanic Evangelicals Say Texas Bill Wrongfully Targets Undocumented Christians

Hispanic evangelical pastors in Texas say they oppose a bill by Sen. Charles Perry, shown here, that prohibits local governments from passing sanctuary city measures.
KUT News

Hispanic evangelicals in Texas have common ground with some conservative Texas lawmakers on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion. When it comes to a measure known as the sanctuary cities bill, however, evangelicals say their faith stops them from supporting the measure.

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Texas
5:17 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Group Reports Hunger Strike at Immigrant Detention Center

Karnes Detention Center after it was renovated in 2014.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT News

More than 40 mothers held in the Karnes Detention Center started a hunger strike Tuesday to protest for their release, according to the San Antonio legal aid organization RAICES. The center detains immigrant families who cross the border illegally.

RAICES says it recorded a phone call with a detainee, which it posted to YouTube. In it, a woman speaking in Spanish confirms the strike and reports that more women are joining up.

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Border & Immigration
8:10 am
Mon March 16, 2015

After Suicide Attempts, Advocates Draft Petition to End Immigrant Detention

A view of the Karnes County Detention Center shortly after its opening in July 2014.
Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

There's a new petition making the rounds through Texas and the United States.

Its goal is to end the incarceration of immigrant mothers and children. A catalyst for the petition was a recent wave of suicide attempts by some of the women in detention in facilities in Texas.

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Immigration
9:30 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Feds Ask Court to Move Forward with Immigration Program, Perhaps Without Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott appeared on Fox News Sunday to talk about Texas' resistance to the Obama administration's Deferred Action Program.

The Obama administration wants to move forward with its Deferred Action Program that would shield some illegal immigrants from deportation. But a federal court halted the administration's program last week.

On Monday, the administration asked the court to lift last week's order. In its request, the administration is offering options: Let the program go forward nationwide or let it go forward everywhere except in Texas.

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Texas
5:14 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Questions Arise About Sexual Assault Findings at Texas Detention Center

Immigration Detention Center in Karnes City, Tex.
KUT News

The Department of Homeland Security says it has found no evidence that women at the Karnes Immigrant Detention Center in Texas are being sexually assaulted. DHS released the results of its investigation today.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) says the DHS investigation was not thorough enough.

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Education
2:38 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

McRaven: Keep In-State Tuition for Undocumented Students

Chancellor Adm. William McRaven discusses his vision for the UT System at a Texas Tribune event on Feb. 5, 2015.
Credit Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From the Texas Tribune:

Allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition is the “morally right thing to do,” University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven said Thursday.

“My job is to help educate the young men and women of Texas,” McRaven said in an interview with Texas Tribune CEO and Editor in Chief Evan Smith. “If we have been doing that for these undocumented students for, at a minimum, the past three years as they’ve made it through high school, and in many cases since they were in elementary school, I think it’s appropriate to continue to educate them.”

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Immigration
5:05 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Ahead of Deferred Actions, Mexican Consulates Issue Birth Certificates

Dozens of people trickled into the Mexican Consulate Friday to get certified copies of their birth certificates. The documents will be needed if Obama's deferred action for adults goes forward. Friday was the first day Consulates started issuing.
Joy Diaz/KUT News

Mexican Consulates all over the U.S. are now providing Mexican nationals with birth certificates. The change comes after President Obama's executive action that would prevent some undocumented adults from deportation. That program is believed to be similar to the deferred action for children.

In the past, birth certificates for Mexican nationals came from relatives back home, and the process normally took weeks, if not months.

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Politics
4:53 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Texas Leads State Coalition Lawsuit Against Presidential Immigration Action

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, announcing a lawsuit over the Obama administration's executive order on immigration policy.
Filipa Rodrigues/KUT

Texas is part of a lawsuit filed by 17 states over President Obama's executive action on immigration. The lawsuit was filed Wednesday afternoon in the Federal District Court in Texas and names the heads of immigration enforcement agencies as defendants. 

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Border & Immigration
1:35 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Gov. Perry Orders Most State Agencies To Use E-Verify For Checking Legal Status

Gov. Rick Perry and Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw address Texas-Mexico border operations at a press conference on Dec. 3, 2014.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Texas Gov. Rick Perry is ordering all state agencies under control of the governor's office to use E-Verify to check the residency status of employees and prospective employees. According to his office, 17 state agencies already use it. This announcement is something of a change of heart.

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Border & Immigration
9:54 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Outreach Begins For Immigrants Who May Be Wary to Come 'Out of the Shadows'

A student on the UT-Austin campus protests the deportation of undocumented immigrants.
Photo by Jorge Corona

The specifics of how undocumented people will register under the immigration overhaul announced by President Obama last week that would bring nearly 5 million immigrants "out of the shadows" are still unclear.  But some groups in Austin are already reaching out to people who may benefit.  

Bill Beardall is with the Equal Justice Center, one of the groups organizing a series of educational forums for immigrants that start this week.   He says after this kind of policy change, immigrants are often initially reluctant to register.

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Texas Standard
4:27 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

What Can Immigrants Expect Following Obama's Executive Order?

Immigration reform advocates protest in this file photo from 2009.
Mariana Salazar for KUT

President Barack Obama announced broad changes to national immigration policy last night, affecting up to five million undocumented U.S. residents.

Immigrants who have been living in the United States for at least five years, who have children who are U.S. citizens or whose children are legal residents, may stay in the U.S. temporarily without fear of deportation, provided they register with the government, pass a criminal background check and pay their taxes. 

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Border & Immigration
7:53 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Obama Goes It Alone, Shielding Up To 5 Million Immigrants From Deportation

President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:01 pm

After six years of often bitter back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama announced he has decided to go it alone by temporarily shielding up to 5 million immigrants from being deported.

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