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Government Declares Undocumented Immigrant Child, Mother A "National Security Threat"

The Obama administration is using a Bush-era decision by former Attorney General John Ashcroft to classify the flood of undocumented immigrants that have hit the southern border as a “national security threat” in an effort to deny them bond during immigration status hearings.

Immigration attorneys said the argument, based on a 2003 decision by Ashcroft, has been employed against undocumented immigrant mothers with children being held at the Artesia, New Mexico, detention facility. Read more >

Transgender Woman Says Immigration Detention Officials Told Her To Pretend Her Rape Was Consensual

Marichuy Leal Gamino is a 23-year-old transgender woman who has spent more than a year living in an immigration detention facility, housed with men. Though she spent most of her life growing up in Arizona, she was born a Mexican citizen, making her an undocumented immigrant. After repeatedly experiencing harassment and threats of abuse, she says she was sexually assaulted last week by her cellmate. Read more >

Rep. Steve King to DREAMers: ‘You’re Very Good at English’

Two of the country’s most outspoken DREAMers – young immigrants brought illegally into the U.S. as children – confronted Rep. Steve King at a fundraising event this week. And while the Iowa Republican is known for his extremely reactionary positions on immigration, the activists say he managed to surpass their expectations. Read more >

The Meltdown of the Anti-Immigration Minuteman Militia

In early July, Chris Davis issued a call to arms. "You see an illegal, you point your gun right dead at them, right between the eyes, and say, 'Get back across the border, or you will be shot,'" the Texas-based militia commander said in a YouTube video heralding Operation Secure Our Border-Laredo Sector, a plan to block the wave of undocumented migrants coming into his state. "If you get any flak from sheriffs, city, or feds, Border Patrol, tell them, 'Look—this is our birthright. We have a right to secure our own land. This is our land.'" Read more >

Talking to Deported Immigrants Through the Fence at the US/Mexico Border

The recent influx of children and adults arriving at the US border has thrust immigration onto center stage yet again. Every busload of immigrants seems to be met by hostile protesters, who characterize the immigrants as disease carriers, job stealers, and criminals. This type of discourse isn't new: conservative policymakers and the less-informed masses have long stereotyped and dehumanized these groups of people. But between the discussions by politicians and protesters, it can be too easy to forget that, at the heart of the drama, we're talking about actual human beings. Read more >

House Passes Anti-Immigration Bills as Protest Grips D.C.

The House of Representatives was set to go on vacation last Friday—but decided to extend its recess one day in order to pass two anti-immigration bills.  Read more >

House Republicans Agree on Border Measures

House Republicans emerged from a closed-door emergency meeting Friday morning largely unified over how to handle the flood of tens of thousands of young migrant children from Central America pouring over the nation’s southern border.

Speaker John A. Boehner had called the meeting after conservative lawmakers, in an embarrassing rebuke to the new Republican leadership team, balked at passing a $659 million bill to address the crisis. Read more >

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No, National Parks Don’t Cause Problems For Border Control

The House decided not to vote on its controversial border bill due to lack of support Thursday, a move that means that the public lands along the border are, at least for now, safe from the interference the bill would have allowed. Read more >

On the Border, Who Gets to Be a Refugee?

A poll by the Public Religion Research Institute asked Americans whether they thought children illegally crossing the United States border from Mexico “should be treated as refugees and be allowed to stay.” Sixty-nine percent of respondents said “yes,” according to The New York Times’s Julia Preston, and “about a quarter of Americans in the survey, 27 percent, said the minors should be ‘treated as illegal immigrants’ and deported Read more >

House GOP Pulls Border Bill Rather Than See it Defeated

House Republican leaders pulled Speaker John A. Boehner’s slimmed-down legislation to address the brewing immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border rather than see it defeated, amid a conservative revolt that the $659 million proposal did not address the core issues. Read more >