Fronteras: U.S. Customs and Border Protection is undergoing a shakeup following intense scrutiny over the Border Patrol’s use of force. Waves of unaccompanied Latino minors continue to make their way to Texas. What happens after they get here? The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is suing Texas, claiming the state has violated the civil rights of English language learners.
Management Shake-Up at Customs and Border Protection Following Use of Force Controversies
The majority of the minors seeking asylum cross through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. NPR's John Burnett is there this week. He joins us to tell us about the huge volume of kids crossing the border and about the conditions where some of them are now being detained. And John, you're in the city of Harlingen. What are you hearing?
Fronteras: If you're questioned by law enforcement at a traffic stop, what are you required to answer? As demographics change across the nation and in Texas, there’s growing concern about Alzheimer’s disease among Mexican-Americans—a population that continues to age. More minors from south of the border are making the dangerous journey to the U.S. illegally and alone. We visit Joint Base San Antonio Lackland where many of those minors are being housed.
On Thursday the military oversaw a media tour of the Air Force barracks at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, where 1,200 immigrant children who came to the U.S. without adults are being temporarily sheltered in San Antonio.
Situated in the midst of dozens of identical military barracks where young men and women go through Air Force basic training, one building is now filled with children.
There's a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico, from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States. In addition to grain, corn or scrap metal, these trains are carrying an increasing number of undocumented immigrants whose aim is to cross into the U.S.
And despite the many deadly challenges it poses, more and more children — both with adults and alone — have been making the risky journey. That prompted President Obama this week to warn of "an urgent humanitarian situation."
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. The number of children crossing the U.S. border on their own is soaring. Just since October, the U.S. found some 80,000 unaccompanied minors crossing over from Mexico. Those are just the kids who were caught.
Texas Matters: The Texas-Mexico border is seeing a human wave of children from Central America, but what can be done about it? Texas moves to privatize a big part of the foster care program, but will it make the troubled system any safer for the children? Also on this show: Is Texas ready for online voter registration?
Fronteras: The Democrat facing newly-nominated Republican Dan Patrick in the Texas lieutenant governor race says Sen. Patrick’s pledge to campaign in the minority community is “insulting.” New EPA rules to cut carbon emissions are expected to be unveiled soon. The new rules are expected to spur the use of a so-called clean coal technology. There are fewer than 100 fluent speakers of Kumeyaay left in Southern California and northern Baja California, where they once dominated. Efforts are now underway to preserve the endangered language.