The federal government continues to struggle with a flood of immigrant children arriving at the U.S. border with Mexico. Today, a class-action suit filed in Seattle seeks additional legal help for these and all other children who face possible deportation.
It's turning into the largest influx of asylum seekers on U.S. soil since the 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba.
Since October, more than 52,000 children — most from Central America and many of them unaccompanied by adults — have been taken into custody. That's nearly double last year's total and 10 times the number from 2009.
People who enter the U.S. and nearby countries illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras should not be forced to return home and should be treated as refugees, a U.N. agency says. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says people from those countries are subject to persecution.
From Geneva, Lisa Schlein reports for our Newscast unit:
Homeland Security buses carrying migrant children and families were rerouted Tuesday to a facility in San Diego after American flag-waving protesters blocked the group from reaching a suburban processing center.
The standoff in Murrieta came after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to complain to elected officials about the plan to transfer the Central American migrants to California to ease overcrowding of facilities along the Texas-Mexico border. Many protesters held U.S. flags, while others held signs reading “stop illegal immigration,” and “illegals out!”
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson yesterday toured the warehouse in Nogales, Arizona, where some of the 52,000 unaccompanied children who’ve illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in the past year are being held.
Republicans blame Obama administration policies for the recent wave of child immigrants. The White House blames gang violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Vice President Joe Biden heads to Guatemala this week to meet with leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador about the wave of unaccompanied children coming across the U.S. Mexico border from those Central American countries.
Border patrol agents are finding children as young as 4, with notes pinned on their clothing with instructions on how to contact relatives in the U.S.
RadioActive’s Leija Farr grew up celebrating Kwanzaa, the year-end celebration that started in 1966 as a way for African Americans to connect with their African heritage. The Swahili language is at the heart of the celebration. As Leija discovered, that language connects her with new immigrants from parts of Africa. Like Leija’s community, native speakers are grappling with how to keep the language going. Here’s Leija’s story, in her own words.
Chances for immigration reform dimmed even more this week, following the defeat of House Republican leader Eric Cantor. His surprising loss in the Virginia primary to Tea Party candidate David Brat is causing ripple effects here in Washington state, too, as local immigration advocates are rethinking their strategy.
This is the week undocumented students in Washington will become eligible for state college tuition aid. The Real Hope Act is just one of dozens of new state laws that take effect Thursday, 90 days after the Washington Legislature adjourned.
Digging into the nitty gritty of immigration law, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that some immigrant children who turn 21 while their parents' immigration application is still pending have to go to the back of the line and start over.
The Associated Press explains:
"The justices on Monday sided with the Obama administration in ruling that immigration laws do not let children who age out of the system qualify for visas.