Recent Reports From the Border / by Karie Luidens

Neal Rosendorf Texas Monthly.jpg

New Mexico sues feds over migrant policy

Published: Monday, June 10th, 2019 at 7:11pm
Albuquerque Journal

A record number of asylum seekers are crossing the border into the United States, and the U.S. Border Patrol does not have enough holding cell space for families. More than 104,000 migrant parents with children seeking asylum have crossed the border since October in the El Paso sector, which includes all of New Mexico.

This year, federal immigration officials have released roughly 9,000 migrants in Las Cruces and an additional 4,700 migrants in Deming, according to the lawsuit, with hundreds also being bused weekly to Albuquerque.

“The Trump administration has consistently and flagrantly failed in its response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis at our southern border as well as in addressing legitimate security concerns,” [NM Gov. Michelle] Lujan Grisham said. “The president has shown time and again he is interested only in demonizing the vulnerable people who arrive at our border … while taking no action to substantively and proactively protect immigrants and our southern border communities from human and drug trafficking.”

Border Patrol is confiscating migrant kids' medicine, U.S. doctors say

Caitlin Dickson
June 4, 2019
Yahoo News

Yahoo News spoke to five doctors, including Russell and Griffin, who volunteer at shelters and clinics on the border and each confirmed that they regularly see migrants with chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma, seizures and high blood pressure, for which they claim to have had medication that was confiscated while they were in custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and neither returned nor replaced. It happens more frequently to adults, who are more likely to be on such medications in the first place, but doctors said they’ve been hearing similar reports from increasing numbers of children or their parents.

In El Paso, Border Patrol Is Detaining Migrants in ‘a Human Dog Pound’

Immigration officials have resumed the much-criticized practice of keeping people outdoors for weeks to relieve dangerous overcrowding.

JUN 11, 2019
Texas Monthly

Rosendorf described it as “a human dog pound”—one hundred to 150 men behind a chain-link fence, huddled beneath makeshift shelters made from mylar blankets and whatever other scraps they could find to shield themselves from the heat of the sun. “I was able to speak with detainees and take photos of them with their permission,” Rosendorf said in an email. “They told me they’ve been incarcerated outside for a month, that they haven’t washed or been able to change the clothes they were detained in the entire time, and that they’re being poorly fed and treated in general.”

The Trump Administration Has Let 24 People Die in ICE Custody

By Gaby del Valle
Jun 10, 2019

Two dozen immigrants have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, according to a new NBC News analysis of federal data.

That figure doesn’t include the deaths of at least four immigrants who died shortly after being released from ICE custody. It also doesn’t include the deaths of immigrants held by other federal agencies, including at least five migrant children who have died while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection or the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services charged with caring for unaccompanied migrant children who enter the U.S.

Advocacy groups that work with migrants attribute the death toll to substandard conditions in more than 200 detention centers across the country. “What we're seeing is a reckless and unprecedented expansion of a system that is punitive, harmful and costly,” Katharina Obser, a senior policy adviser at the Women’s Refugee Commission, told NBC. “The U.S. government is not even doing the bare minimum to ensure [immigrants] are getting the medical care and the mental health care they need.”