Joel Rose

Immigrant communities are bracing for nationwide raids by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to begin on Sunday, planning protests and working with legal aid groups to provide advice to those affected.

The raids are expected to target recently arrived migrant families who have already received final orders of removal from an immigration judge.

In a journey that has become increasingly common, a great-aunt, her grandnieces and a grandnephew traveled thousands of miles from Guatemala to the United States this spring, hoping to get asylum.

The older woman had cared for these kids, now all teenagers, for more than a decade while their mother tried to build a life in Los Angeles, sending money back to them. Now, they all wanted to be together again.

But the great-aunt and teens were split up once they got to the Texas-Mexico border, even though the older woman thought she had everything in order.

The Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General is warning about "dangerous overcrowding" in Border Patrol facilities in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas.

In a strongly worded report, the inspector general said the prolonged detention of migrants without proper food, hygiene or laundry facilities — some for more than a month — requires "immediate attention and action."

The Trump administration has named Ken Cuccinelli to serve as acting director of the agency in charge of legal immigration, raising concerns among immigrant rights advocates.

Cuccinelli has never worked at the agency that he's now tasked with leading. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, with more than 19,000 employees and contractors, is charged with adjudicating requests for citizenship, green cards and visas.

Updated June 4

President Trump is threatening to impose tariffs on Mexican goods as early as next week — unless Mexico does more to stop the flow of migrants reaching the U.S. border.

The diplomatic maneuver is the latest in a long line of White House efforts to reshape migration patterns and restrict immigration to the United States. It also may turn out to be the latest policy proposal that falls short of accomplishing what Trump wants.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

The Social Security Administration may be the latest front in the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration.

The agency is reviving the controversial practice of sending "no match" letters to businesses across the country, notifying them when an employee's Social Security number doesn't match up with official records.

That may sound innocuous. But these no-match letters are expected to set off alarm bells. That's what happened when they arrived in the mail back in the mid-2000s.

Irsi Castillo clutches her 3-year-old daughter to her chest to shield her from the wind. They've just crossed the Rio Grande and stepped onto U.S. soil in El Paso, Texas, after traveling from Honduras.

Thousands of migrants like Castillo are crossing the border every day and turning themselves in to the Border Patrol. They're fleeing poverty and violence in Central America.

The U.S. Border Patrol apprehended more than 66,000 migrants at the Southern border in February, the highest total for a single month in almost a decade.

For years, volunteers have left food and water in remote stretches of desert along the U.S.-Mexico border. They say they're trying to save the lives of migrants making the dangerous crossing. But the government argues these volunteers are encouraging illegal immigration.

Now several volunteers face jail time when they're sentenced on Friday.

"What we've seen in the last two years is a real escalation," said Catherine Gaffney, a spokeswoman for the activist group No More Deaths.

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