MCC photo/Saulo Padilla

MCC U.S. board and staff members visit the border wall in Arizona in June 2018.

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Shutdown ends without border wall funding – for now

On January 25, portions of the federal government that had been without funding for 35 days reopened under a continuing resolution through February 15. The deal came one day after a proposal to pair border wall funding with protections for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) recipients failed in the Senate. The bill would have spent more than $5 billion on border fences and walls, increased immigrant detention and deportations, removed protections for asylum seekers and gutted the DACA and TPS programs while providing only a temporary and limited extension to both.

House Democrats are reportedly working on a compromise border security proposal that would include funding for improvements to ports of entry (where 85 percent of illicit drugs come through), additional customs agents, more immigration judges and technology such as sensors at the border – but not funding for walls or fences. All nine House members whose districts include the border oppose wall construction.

In February, construction is scheduled to begin on several miles of border walls and fences in Texas (with Fiscal Year 2018 funds) that will cut through a butterfly center, state parks, a wildlife refuge and the grounds of a historic chapel. Private landowners will lose access to their land and the river.

Action alert: Oppose border walls, support asylum seekers

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News & resources


PBS: At U.S.-Mexico border, a tribal nation fights wall that would divide them

House Natural Resources Committee: Grijalva, Democrats highlight destructive border wall impacts on Indian Country, southwestern communities at committee forum

The Hill: The enormous and irreparable impact Trump's wall will have on wildlife

NY Times: National emergency powers and Trump’s border wall, explained

Cato: 45,000 “special interest aliens” caught since 2007, but no U.S. terrorist attacks from illegal border crossers

NY Times: Trump claims there is a crisis at the border. What’s the reality?

Arizona Range News: Editorial: It’s time for Congress, not the White House, to step up and protect Arizona’s economy

“Would you please explain to President Trump just how much Arizona makes from trade with Mexico? This government shutdown over a border wall is ridiculous, and the constant attacks on Mexico aren’t doing our state any favors.”


Resources for further study:

National Geographic: 6 ways the border wall could disrupt the environment

NY Times: The border wall: What has Trump built so far?

Scientific American: How Trump's wall would alter our biological identity forever

KIND: The protection gauntlet: How the United States is blocking access to asylum seekers and endangering the lives of children at the U.S. border

Vox: What’s actually happening at the U.S.-Mexico border, explained

MPI: A wall cannot fix problems at border; smart solutions for asylum crisis can


ASYLUM (including family separation, unaccompanied minors)


Politico: Trump administration separated thousands more migrants than previously known, federal watchdog says

The Nation: Who killed Jakelin Caal Maquín at the U.S. border?

“She died of cardiac arrest, but the real killer was decades of U.S. policy in support of Guatemalan regimes that have displaced and slaughtered the Maya population.”

Orlando Sentinel: Trump administration expanding detention center for migrant children in Florida

“The two facilities can operate unlicensed and without required checks because they are located on federal property and thus don't have to comply with state child welfare laws.”


KIND: Amending TVPRA, terminating Flores: non-negotiable threats to immigrant and refugee children

Women's Refugee Commission: Women and children seeking protection are not "loopholes": funding the government must not come at the expense of refugees seeking protection

The Hill: Central American women fleeing domestic violence deserve refugee status

Marshall Project: We are witnesses: Becoming an American (short film series)



The Hill: Small but powerful amendment could lessen immigration detention

NIJC: DHS’s secret detention expansion is dangerous for immigrants, and for democracy

NBC: 22 immigrants died in ICE detention centers during the past 2 years

Reuters: $11 toothpaste: Immigrants pay big for basics at private ICE lock-ups

TRAC: Cancelled immigration court hearings grow as shutdown continues

“As many as 100,000 individuals awaiting their day in court may be impacted if the shutdown continues through the end of January… Individuals impacted by these cancellations may have already being waiting two, three, or even four years for their day in court.”

Human Rights First report: Prisons and punishment: Immigration detention in California


DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)

CNN: Supreme Court again takes no action on DACA, leaving policy in effect for now

Cato: Senate GOP bill doesn’t extend DACA. It guts it.



Cato: Senate GOP bill doesn’t extend TPS. It guts it.

NPR: A mom and her teenage daughter brace for a future apart



CensusFederal judge strikes down effort to add citizenship question to Census (CNN)

Root causesGuatemala expels U.N.-backed anti-corruption panel, claiming overreach (NY Times)

RefugeesWelcome, new Congress! Here’s 5 things you need to know about refugees (The Hill)

Sensitive locationsFiling immigration enforcement civil rights complaints for violations of the “Sensitive Locations” policy at or near your school (NILC)

EnforcementHow a crackdown on MS-13 caught up innocent high school students (NY Times)

Migration trendsU.S. undocumented population continued to fall from 2016 to 2017, and visa overstays significantly exceeded illegal crossings for the seventh consecutive year (CMS)

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Update created January 30, 2018, by Tammy Alexander, Senior Legislative Associate for Domestic Affairs.

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