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Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended the administration's "zero tolerance" policy that calls for separating families who cross the border illegally, saying the undocumented immigrants shouldn't get special treatment.

"That's no different than what we do every day in every part of the United States — when an adult of a family commits a crime," she told NPR. "If you as a parent break into a house, you will be incarcerated by police and thereby separated from your family."

Pu Ying Huang for The Texas Tribune

KINGWOOD — Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday vowed to challenge Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez over her views on border security and immigration, emphasizing an early contrast with the former Dallas County sheriff who has not yet secured her party's nomination. 

U.S. Border Patrol agents were caught on camera trying to ditch an injured and apparently incoherent man across the Mexican border because they said he "looks" Mexican, according to NBC News.

From Texas Standard.

About 250 Texas National Guard troops have deployed to the Texas-Mexico border. Texas’ Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll eventually send more than 1,000. But even with the state’s leadership so supportive of any appearance of cracking down on illegal immigration, are the Guard troops really doing immigration enforcement? And how do folks who already work on border law enforcement perceive the influx of military personnel?

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

As the White House continues to expand deportations and push measures to curb illegal immigration, many Texas immigrants are forced to navigate the immigration system without the help of an attorney.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called a 200 percent spike in illegal border crossings in March compared with a year ago "a dangerous story" as she pressed lawmakers Wednesday to provide funding for President Trump's proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nielsen appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security to push for approval of the Trump administration's $47.5 billion FY 2019 budget request for her department, which includes $18 billion for the border wall.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

California Gov. Jerry Brown agreed Wednesday to deploy 400 National Guard troops in response to a Trump administration request to border state governors. But in a letter sent Wednesday, Brown says California troops will not enforce federal immigration laws or build a border wall.

The Trump administration announced two measures late Friday to further restrict illegal border crossings.

The president issued a presidential memorandum ending a policy commonly called "catch and release," which released illegal immigrants from detention as they awaited an immigration court hearing.

The memo directs various government agencies, the Departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Justice and Defense to report within 45 days on measures they are taking to end "catch and release."

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock

Arizona and Texas announced Friday that they would send 400 National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border by next week in response to President Donald Trump's call for troops to fight drug trafficking and illegal immigration.

The number of immigrants illegally crossing the southern border plummeted when Donald Trump took office. But the number is again on the rise. In response, the president plans to deploy up to 4,000 National Guard troops.

In West Texas, immigrant shelters are overflowing with recent arrivals and some migrants are trying more dangerous routes to evade capture.

The intake room at Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in downtown El Paso, is packed these days. Parents and squirming children sit with their travel bags. They are the aggravations of Donald Trump.

Christine Ruddy / Shutterstock

The news that President Trump will send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border is being met with some mixed reaction in southern Texas.

Updated at 8:40 p.m. ET

President Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday for the deployment of National Guard troops along the Southern border with Mexico in a bid to cut down on illegal immigration.

Kirstjen Nielsen, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said earlier in the day that Trump's order would direct her department and the Pentagon to work with governors of the states along the Southwestern border.

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

President Trump says he wants to use military troops to help secure the U.S. border with Mexico. He made the suggestion Tuesday during a White House summit meeting with Baltic leaders.

Trump also renewed his call for a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria. And he expressed support for embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Since the weekend, Trump has been tweeting about a caravan of Central Americans, most of them from Honduras, who are making their way north through Mexico.

The mysterious death of a Border Patrol agent in West Texas last November led to two opposing theories. President Trump and many Border Patrol agents were convinced that smugglers or illegal border-crossers attacked the agent and his partner with rocks. The local sheriff says from the beginning he knew it was an accident — but nobody wanted to listen.

Culberson County, Texas, is a vast badland of thornbrush, mountain, big sky, and tractor-trailers hurtling down a lonely stretch of Interstate 10. The law in Culberson County is Sheriff Oscar Carrillo.

From Texas Standard.

You can squeeze a lot into a spending proposal that’s 2,200 pages long and $1.3 trillion deep. But if you look at the fine print in the spending deal passed by Congress and signed by the president late Friday, you may notice something big in there when it comes to Texas – $1.6 billion in new border security infrastructure.

President Trump visits California Tuesday where he will appear at the U.S.-Mexico border to promote the prototypes of the border wall he has promised to build in his fight against illegal immigration.

There will be protests by opponents who oppose construction of the wall, as well as local supporters who say a border wall is exactly what's needed to keep the country safe.

The prototypes are being displayed near where there is already about 14 miles of border fencing topped with razor wire.

Mani Albrecht/CBP Media Relations

The Trump administration will be able to move ahead with building a wall along the country’s southern border after a federal judge ruled the administration could continue waiving environmental regulations for the barrier’s construction.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

The FBI says it has found no foul play in the mysterious death of a border agent beside a remote West Texas highway last November in an incident that many assumed to be a homicide, and which prompted calls for greater border security.

An autopsy released Tuesday night concluded Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died of "blunt force trauma" to his head caused by an "undetermined manner of death."

About 10 years ago, a recent college graduate named Francisco Cantú told his mother what seemed like good news: He got a job.

"I think she was terrified when I decided to join the Border Patrol," he says. "And I think she was also confused about why I was doing this."

Cantú had studied the border in school, but he wanted to understand it more deeply. He attended the Border Patrol Academy and emerged equipped to patrol the Arizona wilderness.

The recent arrest of an activist from the group No More Deaths is highlighting the rising number of people who die crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and the challenges that humanitarian workers confront when they try to help.

Updated at 8:25 a.m. ET

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told a caucus of Hispanic lawmakers on Wednesday that he has persuaded President Trump that building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border is unnecessary, signaling a possible reversal on the key campaign promise.

Kelly, who was secretary of Homeland Security before taking over as chief of staff in July, said that candidate Trump had not been "fully informed" about the border situation when he pledged repeatedly on the campaign trail to build the 2,200-mile wall and get Mexico to pay for it.

How The Federal Government Abused Its Power To Seize Property For A Border Fence

Dec 28, 2017
Juan Cavazos at his home on Oklahoma Avenue in Brownsville, Texas. The federal government took part of the former teacher's land to build the border fence.
Martin do Nascimento for The Texas Tribune

BROWNSVILLE — The land agents started working the border between Texas and Mexico in the spring of 2007. Sometimes they were representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Other times they were officers from the U.S. Border Patrol, uniformed in green, guns tucked into side holsters.

Arrests of people trying to cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico plunged to the lowest level since 1971, as fewer people attempted the trek, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday.

Meanwhile, immigration arrests in the interior of the country increased by 25 percent, the data show.

The newly released data provides the most comprehensive look yet at how immigration enforcement is changing under the Trump administration.

From Texas Standard:

More than two weeks after the death of Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez, questions remain about how he and a fellow agent were seriously injured while on patrol around Van Horn in west Texas.

From Texas Standard.

Scouting has long been considered a path for young people to learn life skills, but a program along the United States-Mexico border goes a lot further than how to start a campfire or care for a park. It's run under the auspices of the U.S. Border Patrol, and it’s not so much camping in the wilderness but rather something much more intense, closer to bona fide basic military training.

Eric Gay

More than two days after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another seriously wounded while on patrol in West Texas, exactly what happened to the agents is still unclear.

Gov. Greg Abbott Calls For More Resources Following Border Patrol Agent's Death

Nov 20, 2017
Callie Richmond for The Texas Tribune

State and national leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, said more resources should be devoted to border security following the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent Sunday.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

Immigrant advocates are protesting the Border Patrol's apprehension this week of a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy in the country illegally, after she was operated on at a Texas hospital.

Federal immigration officers intercepted the child as she and an adult cousin, who is a U.S. citizen, were in an ambulance being transferred between two hospitals so that she could receive emergency gallbladder surgery.

Updated October 20

Construction crews are erecting eight looming prototypes of President Trump's border wall in a remote section of the San Diego borderlands. Four are solid concrete; four are made of steel and concrete; one is topped with spikes. They all approach 30 feet in height. Customs and Border Protection is paying $20 million to six construction companies from Mississippi, Maryland, Alabama, Texas and Arizona. Crews in white hardhats operating cranes and forklifts are expected to complete the models by the end of the month.

After months of competition and preparation, contractors broke ground Tuesday on eight prototypes for President Trump's long-promised border wall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that the companies would have about 30 days to complete construction on their prototypes in San Diego.

"We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls," CBP's acting deputy commissioner, Ronald Vitiello, said in a statement Tuesday.

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