immigration

Along the dry, rocky desert of El Paso, Texas, a brown fence stretches for miles. The fence marks the southern U.S. border that separates El Paso from its Mexican sister city, Juarez.

Twenty-two-year-old Antonio Villaseñor-Baca was born and raised in El Paso. His hometown is part of a huge "borderplex," where three cities — El Paso, Texas; Las Cruces, N.M.; and Juarez, Mexico — converge. Villaseñor-Baca has an uncle in Juarez, and while growing up, his dad would take him back and forth over the border a lot.

To Villaseñor-Baca, Juarez doesn't seem like another country.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

“Be brave, have fun,” Jennie Boggess instructs as she leads a room full of young students at Camp Curiosity, hosted by the Daviess County, Kentucky, Public Schools.

Boggess is the development director for the Owensboro Dance Theatre and today she is preparing students for a finale performance to cap the four-week summer camp.

The Trump administration is on a deadline to reunite families separated at the southern border. On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that all families have to be reunited within 30 days. But advocates and activists who have already been trying to reconnect individual migrant children with their parents say their experiences suggest the process of reunification will be complicated.

A case in point is Emily Kephart, who works for a nonprofit called Kids in Need of Defense, or KIND.

An immigration attorney in Bowling Green says she doesn’t think the government can realistically reunite the more than two thousand children separated from their parents who illegally crossed the southern border. 

Most families are coming from Central America where gang activity and drug trafficking are creating chaos. 

As the U.S. government works to reunite parents and children, immigration lawyer Judy Schwank says making matches has several challenges.

Updated at 4:40 a.m. ET Wednesday

Since early May, 2,342 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration that has prompted widespread outcry.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order reversing his policy of separating families — and replacing it with a policy of detaining entire families together, including children, but ignoring legal time limits on the detention of minors.

OFFICIAL HEADSHOT

Tennessee's leading U.S. Senate candidates are decrying the separation of immigrant families at the border, with Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn blaming liberals.

Legislative Research Commission Public Information

Republican State Senator Whitney Westerfield of Hopkinsville is speaking out against federal policy decisions responsible for separating children from their families entering the country illegally.

As the number of migrant children detained by the U.S. government grows to almost 2,000 minors, Trump administration officials defended the policy of separating children from their parents and authorities announced plans to house several hundred juveniles in a temporary tent shelter near El Paso, Texas.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the Bible to explain why the Trump administration has launched a policy of separating families seeking illegal entry into the United States.

"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order," Sessions said during a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET

House Republicans huddled for hours Thursday morning in another attempt to find party unity on an issue that divides the GOP like no other: immigration.

The meeting concluded with little tangible progress toward a final bill, but Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters there was agreement within the House GOP that they would continue to work on a bill that addressed "four pillars" of immigration policy outlined earlier this year by the White House. Ryan said that is "the most optimistic, plausible chance of getting [a bill] into law."

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