Texas Legislature sends $1.54 billion bill for border barriers to Gov. Abbott
Senate Bill 3 would also appropriate $40 million for state troopers to patrol Colony Ridge, a housing development outside of Houston, and allow the state to send money to local jurisdictions to offset the cost of enforcing another immigration-related bill.
Texas Legislature tries again with bills making illegal border crossings a state crime
Immigration experts say the most recent proposals would raise constitutional challenges in the U.S. and Mexico, as federal courts have repeatedly ruled that immigration law enforcement falls under federal jurisdiction.
Fighting between legislative leaders imperils Texas border security bills
The governor, lieutenant governor and House speaker generally agree on building more border barriers and making illegal border crossings a state crime. But disagreements over strategy and personal animosity mean those measures face long odds this special legislative session.
State Senate approves bill to spend $1.5 billion for border walls, more policing of Liberty County development
Along with the money to build more border barriers, Senate Bill 6 would devote $49 million to beef up law enforcement of the Colony Ridge development that’s become a target of far-right media.
Federal judge orders immigration agents to stop removing Texas’ concertina wire on the border
Border Patrol agents have cut through the state’s wire to free migrants or take them into custody. Judge Alia Moses will hear arguments from Texas and the Biden administration next week to determine whether her temporary order will continue past Nov. 13.
How Texas lawmakers are trying to deter illegal immigration and secure the border
Two Texas House members and an immigration lawyer sat down with Matthew Watkins, the Tribune’s managing editor of news and politics, to discuss the current state of Texas’ border and immigration bills that lawmakers are weighing during the special session.
Biden administration settles lawsuit over Trump-era migrant family separation policy
If the settlement is approved, the federal government would be prohibited from adopting a similar policy for the next eight years. Affected immigrants would be allowed to be in the country legally and receive work permits and other benefits.
Texas can keep buoys in the Rio Grande while legal challenge continues, federal appeals court rules
Nearly three months after Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the deployment of the 1,000-foot line of buoys and mesh in the Rio Grande, an Austin federal judge ordered the state to remove the barrier and stop building further obstructions in the river. One day later a higher court sided with Texas.
State investigating claim that DPS troopers were told to push migrants back into the Rio Grande and deny them water
The Office of the Inspector General is investigating the claims, which include pushing small children and women with nursing babies back into the river and turning away a 4-year-old girl who later passed out on the riverbank from the heat.
Dan Patrick says Senate won’t budge on property tax relief — but there’s no House to negotiate with
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says the Senate won’t accept a property tax relief bill the lower chamber left behind before adjourning for the special session. An anti-migrant smuggling bill also appears imperiled.
Sheriff files criminal charges over Florida’s transport of migrants from San Antonio to Massachusetts
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office didn’t say who it has accused of unlawful restraint in connection with last year’s flight to Martha’s Vineyard paid for by Florida. On Monday, California announced it’s investigating similar flights from El Paso to Sacramento.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigation finds multiple failings in the death of 8-year-old girl in federal custody
After discovering that contracted medical staff ignored the mother’s pleas to take the girl to the hospital as her condition declined, the federal agency said it is taking action to ensure an in-custody death “never happens again.”
An 8-year-old child died while in federal custody on the border on Wednesday
The child and her family were in custody at a border station in Harlingen before she was transported to a local hospital. The death comes less than a week after the expiration of Title 42, which had allowed authorities to quickly expel migrants from the U.S. during the pandemic.
After Title 42’s end, Texas DPS pauses Austin patrols so officers can head to the border
Despite no major influx in border crossings, state troopers will be relocated to border cities. Austin and the Texas Department of Public Safety faced criticism for the racial disparities in state trooper arrests in the capital.
Border didn’t see a “major influx” of migrants when Title 42 ended, federal official says
Although migrants lined up by the hundreds in El Paso and other border crossings as the public health order was winding down, a Biden administration official said there wasn’t a rush to the border when Title 42 was lifted.
In the final hours of Title 42, migrants line up and border cities brace for the unknown
Long lines formed again next to the border wall in El Paso — a scene repeated in other parts of the southern border — as migrants anticipated the end of a policy that has allowed immigration agents to quickly expel them.
Texas sends more buses with migrants to Washington, D.C., the day before Title 42 is set to end at the border
As the Biden administration prepares to end the Trump policy that quickly expels migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, Gov. Greg Abbott orders two more buses to take migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence.
As U.S. prepares to end rapid expulsions of migrants, a Venezuelan family decides to risk crossing the border
A Venezuelan couple with two children waited in Mexico for weeks for a chance to claim asylum. They decided to cross the border after a relative died in a detention center fire and other family members successfully made it across.
New Biden plan will let people in Latin American countries apply to legally enter U.S., Canada or Spain
As it prepares for the end of Title 42, which lets U.S. officials rapidly expel migrants, the Biden administration said it will open centers in Guatemala and Colombia where people can apply to legally enter the three participating nations.
Family of dead National Guardsman urges Legislature to make death benefits bill named for him retroactive
While the state guarantees law enforcement officers, like Department of Public Safety troopers, a $500,000 death benefit for their families if they die on duty, National Guard troops who stand shoulder to shoulder with those DPS officers on Operation Lone Star don’t have the same benefit.
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn eyes the seemingly impossible: a bipartisan deal on immigration
Riding the success of his historic congressional session last year where he helped pass the first gun safety bill signed into law in a generation, Cornyn is hopeful that his ability to strike deals across the aisle will help Congress achieve another elusive legislative goal: an immigration deal.
Buses from Texas drop off more than 100 migrants in a bitterly cold Washington, D.C., on Christmas Eve
Gov. Greg Abbott reportedly sent the migrants, who arrived at Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence Saturday night. The governor has been busing migrants to Democratic-let cities since April and first sent buses to Harris’ home in September.
With rifles and razor wire, National Guard and state troopers are blocking migrants at the border in El Paso
As cities on the Texas-Mexico border continue preparing for a possible influx of migrants and Title 42 remains in limbo, a shallow spot in the Rio Grande where thousands have recently crossed became the scene of a standoff Monday.
Anticipating a surge in border crossings amid cold temperatures, El Paso declares a state of emergency
With Title 42 ending Wednesday, El Paso officials expect the number of migrants crossing the border could double. Declaring a state of emergency should open more options to provide migrants shelter from below-freezing temperatures.
After a Texas National Guard member died, his family got no financial payment. Lawmakers want to change that.
In April, Bishop Evans drowned after jumping into the Rio Grande to save two migrants being swept away by the current. His family members will receive no financial payment, but they would if he worked for DPS or was under federal deployment.
Despite lack of evidence, Greg Abbott calls to investigate whether nonprofits help migrants cross into Texas
The governor did not say what prompted the call or whether it’s in response to a recent Fox News story on Mexican nonprofits aiding migrants. The reporting did not allege any improper action by U.S.-based nonprofits.
In El Paso, migrants are sleeping on the streets after thousands crossed the border last weekend
A Nicaraguan fisherman planned to spend the night in a parking garage with other migrants, then a good Samaritan offered him a place to sleep. The city is struggling to handle a sudden influx of migrants that has overwhelmed local resources.
Feds often hand migrants over to state police rather than process immigration claims, complaint says
State police often rely on federal immigration officials to lock up migrants on state trespassing charges, according to a new complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. The collaboration contradicts federal and Texas officials’ attacks on each other’s immigration policies.
An Afghan soldier fleeing the Taliban spent months reaching the U.S. to request asylum. He was arrested at the Texas border.
Abdul Wasi Safi was trying to reach his brother, who immigrated legally to Houston after helping the U.S. military. Legal experts say Wasi may have to serve a criminal sentence before he can pursue asylum.
Gov. Greg Abbott embraces “invasion” language about border, evoking memories of El Paso massacre
In the days since Abbott was reelected for a third term, he has embraced the word like never before, using it in a letter to President Joe Biden, echoing the intensifying language many Republicans have adopted in recent years.
U.S. can’t quickly expel migrants under pandemic-era health rule, federal judge says
Title 42 was invoked early in the pandemic by the Trump administration and continued under President Joe Biden. Since then, immigration officials have used it more than 2 million times to turn away asylum-seekers at the border.
Border Patrol reports 2.4 million migrant arrests at southwest border this year, the most ever
The historic pace of migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has fueled Republicans’ focus on the crisis, but despite the efforts of Gov. Greg Abbott’s Operation Lone Star, encounters in Texas have increased.