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immigration

Updated at 6:12 p.m. ET

Homeland Security acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan says the U.S. has apprehended more than 800,000 migrants attempting to enter the country since last October, calling the numbers staggering and unprecedented, and that the influx has "challenged and overwhelmed every aspect of our border and immigration enforcement system."

Still, McAleenan said DHS "made significant strides in its effort to secure the border and help and protect migrants in our custody."

Capitol Building
Liam James Doyle / NPR

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan is taking questions from the House oversight committee. His agency has been under scrutiny for conditions at the detention facilities holding migrants along the southern border. An inspector general report found "dangerous overcrowding" and poor conditions for children and adults. Watch his testimony live Thursday at 10 a.m. ET. 

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Nationwide raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants have been scheduled to begin this Sunday, according to a report from The New York Times.

 

Detainees being housed inside fenced rooms at a government facility.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined 20 other attorneys general from across the U.S. to ask a court to force the federal government to keep children safe in immigration detention centers. The brief says media reports detail “deplorable and inhumane conditions,” including being denied basic necessities like like clean water and soap.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

More than 100 people showed up at Detroit’s immigration office on Thursday to protest conditions at migrant detention camps along the southern U.S. border.

Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib for Congress Facebook page

It was a tense and emotional visit for Democratic lawmakers at Border Patrol facilities in Texas where migrant families are being detained. 

Protesters gathered in Ypsilanti to call for Congressional action on immigrant detention practices
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Protesters gathered outside of the Ypsilanti office of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan) to call for the closure of immigrant detention centers and an end to family separation practices.

Jessica Prozinski is a protest organizer. She says the rally in Ypsilanti was one of almost 200 taking place on Tuesday in cities across the country.

“We are emotional, we are outraged,” Prozinski says. “But we also need a plan. Phone calls and emails are not enough.”

titikul_b / Adobe Stock

It’s not Camila Trefftz’s job to track this, but she tries to give the best estimates she can: so far this year, she’s says she's probably seen about 12 cases of kids being temporarily placed in Michigan after they were separated from their parents at the southern border.

But if you count the kids separated from relatives overall, not just parents? Then that number skyrockets, Trefftz says. Dozens, definitely. Maybe close to 100? She's not sure. The youngest they’ve seen was four months old. Another is younger than two, she says.

Kate Wells

She looks small in the high-ceilinged lobby, her hair pulled back in a heart-shaped barrette, wearing a sundress and pink ruffled socks. She holds hands with her caseworker, gazing up silently at the security guards as they smile at her, beckoning her through the metal detectors and telling her how pretty she looks.

Supreme Court blocks 2020 census citizenship question, Trump threatens delay

Jun 27, 2019
U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday to reject the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census — for now.

The Trump Administration said it wanted to add the question to enforce the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters' access to the ballot box. Those who opposed the move feared it would discourage the participation of minorities in elections. 

State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis standing at podium
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Michigan House Representative Lynn Afendoulis announced on Thursday that she’s running for Congress.

The Republican Afendoulis is running for Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes the city of Grand Rapids and Ionia, Barry and Calhoun counties.

Afendoulis says one of her biggest priorities is fixing the country’s immigration crisis.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

Editor's note: This story contains images that some readers may find disturbing.

The desperate and tragic plight of a father and daughter who drowned while trying to cross the border from Mexico into the U.S. has become a new flashpoint in the border crisis, after a photographer captured a haunting image that shows the pair lying facedown, washed onto the banks of the Rio Grande.

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.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The national debate over immigration reached another boiling point last week.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

President Trump has announced an immigration proposal that would dramatically reshape the legal immigration system in the United States.

The plan "puts jobs, wages and safety of American workers first," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday.

"We must implement an immigration system that will allow our citizens to prosper for generations to come," he said.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Mexican Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena Coqui is on a campaign swing of sorts through Michigan this week.

Barcena is rounding up support for ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). That’s a newly-renegotiated version of NAFTA that still needs to be ratified by Congress.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of people marched peacefully across the state on Wednesday, calling for the state to issue driver’s licenses to people regardless of their immigration status. People marched in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo.

Sergio Cira was one of the organizers of the Grand Rapids march. He says undocumented immigrants are held back from contributing to the community when they can’t get a driver’s license.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Immigrant’s rights marches are planned for Wednesday in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

Demonstrators are calling for the state to issue driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. The annual marches have drawn thousands of people into the streets in years past.

This year, the city of Grand Rapids is threatening arrests if demonstrators block traffic as they have in previous years.

courtesy Movimiento Cosecha GR

Two years ago, we shared with you the story of a young immigrant in Grand Rapids.

Brandon Reyes is part of a generation of immigrants known as dreamers, who arrived in the United States as children.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Local law enforcement would be required to cooperate with federal immigration officers, under a pair of bills that moved forward in Lansing Tuesday.

A number of people spoke out against the bills at a hearing of the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee. 

One of them was Maria Salazar. She told lawmakers if the bill becomes law, she’s afraid it will lead to more racial profiling and discrimination by police.

“I’m a U.S. citizen but I am afraid of them,” she told the lawmakers. “My kids are US citizens and they are afraid of the police officers.”

courtesy Movimiento Cosecha GR

An outspoken young activist leader in Grand Rapids’ immigrant rights community will remain in custody after an immigration judge denied him bond Friday.

Twenty-two-year-old Brandon Reyes is a “Dreamer,” and participant in the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the government program that protects some young, undocumented people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children from deportation.

Cheyna Roth / MPRN

Michigan Democratic Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin expects it will be difficult overriding President Trump’s veto of legislation to block his emergency declaration to build a southern border wall.

photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez


courtesy Movimiento Cosecha GR

A well-known immigration activist in West Michigan says he’s trying to stay optimistic after being arrested this week to face possible deportation.

Brandon Reyes is currently in the Calhoun County Correction Facility, which has an agreement to hold immigration detainees. Reyes grew up in Grand Rapids and is part of the “Dreamer” generation of immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. He was enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which was created to protect young immigrants from deportation.

photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department is changing its policy on cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez is a U.S. citizen. Born in Grand Rapids. He served in the Marines and saw combat in Afghanistan.

And last month federal immigration authorities took him into custody to face possible deportation.

Attorneys and immigration advocates in West Michigan are now demanding to know why, and how, this happened.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A lot of old cop movies have a scene like this one, in Die Hard -- where the feds show up and start bossing local police around.

Out in the real world, things are more complicated. Federal law enforcement can’t always just boss local law enforcement around. And that’s a key part of a big controversy happening right now in Kent County.

The controversy is about immigration enforcement.

The Michigan State Capitol
Matthileo / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, Michigan's lame-duck legislature moved to roll back previously-passed legislation that increased the state's minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave. Plus, a member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority weighs in on the state's plan to have the organization oversee a tunnel to house the replacement pipelines for of Enbridge's aging Line 5. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

image of furniture and mattresses on curb
User wolfpeterson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Today on Stateside, the Michigan Legislature’s newly-elected House Speaker discusses what issues he wants to prioritize when he steps into the position this January. Plus, a Democrat on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners talks about his party's plans after winning a majority on the board for the first time in four decades.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

man looking at cell phone
Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

This week, a group of faith leaders is taking a caravan of protestors 1,700 miles from Ann Arbor to the Tornillo detention center in Texas. 

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