r. gil kerlikowske


These days it seems like there’s always a new story on immigration. To help you keep up, here’s a recap of NPR’s immigration coverage from April 2014 to present.

Unaccompanied minors began arriving at the border in record numbers this year. Hundreds of planned anti-illegal immigration protests this weekend follow on the heels of isolated uprisings in Lawrenceville, Virginia and Murietta, California. These protesters attempted to block immigrant children from reaching detention centers. As lawmakers started the conversation on what can be done, NPR talked to legal experts about how the system deals with underage migrants and the 2008 law that is slowing down the process. We also went to the source, hearing an on-the-ground look from Honduras at how gang violence drives the surge and investigating the particular challenges Mayan immigrants face. Tell Me More picked up the story in Brownsville, Arizona with a look inside an immigrant detention center.

Last week’s exclusive interview with R. Gil Kerlikowske, the new Customs and Border Protection commissioner, shed some light on how the border patrol addresses its agents’ use of deadly force. The border patrol-use of force story goes back to at least 2010, when 14-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez was shot by a U.S. border patrol agent while standing in Mexico. In July, a federal appeals court found that Hernandez can claim constitutional protection. The border patrol’s use of force policies have been getting an overhaul, with the publishing of the official policy and the firing of Internal Affairs Chief James Tomsheck.

In Washington, Scott Horsley and Ailsa Chang reported on Obama’s request for funding to address the border crisis. House Republicans countered Obama’s proposal with their own ideas, and Mara Liasson told us that some funding will probably get approved, just not $3.7 billion. Meanwhile, a complete overhaul of the immigration system becomes a pipe dream, especially after Eric Cantor’s primary defeat.

And in other news…A Republican proposal to grant residency in exchange for military service, and a discouraging Supreme Court verdict for some 20-year-old immigrants with pending visa applications. Representative Pete Gallego from Texas gave us a first-hand look at the border crisis in his district, and relics of St. Toribio Romo, the patron saint of immigrants, paid a visit to southern California churches.

Images: Getty Images, Kainaz Amaria/NPR, Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

A special thanks to Solvejg Wastvedt at NPR West for putting this together!

– Alexander