Southern Border | KUNC

Southern Border

There's no dispute on whether Jesus Mesa Jr. killed 15-year-old Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca.

He did. And there's a video of it.

In 2010 Mesa, an on-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent who was at the border in El Paso, Texas, shot Hernández at least twice — once in the face. At the time, the boy, a Mexican national, was on the southern side of the border in Ciudad Juarez.

Stacy Nick / KUNC

For Fort Collins-based photographer Elliot Ross, the camera has always been a way of finding comfort, ever since coming to Colorado from Taiwan.

"When I moved here, I was 4 and incredibly shy," Ross said. "It was a big transition moving from Taipei to a very rural situation. And my grandma gave me a camera. She thought maybe that might help ease some of that anxiety. And it certainly did. It became a fixture of my daily life."

Over the past 41 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been buying up land on the lower Texas-Mexico border to protect one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America from developers and farmers.

But the Rio Grande Valley of Texas is a hotspot for illegal immigration and drug smuggling, as well as biodiversity. That's why the Trump administration is planning to build 110 miles of border wall through the valley (which is actually a river delta).

The Trump Administration is continuing to deploy park rangers at the U.S.-Mexico border to help with enforcement. And while national parks and other public lands in the West are feeling the effects, it’s unclear just how much.

Federal prosecutors have decided to bring border activist Scott Warren to trial for a second time. His case puts a spotlight on the murky legal boundaries of humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

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.

Arrests of people for harboring, sheltering, leaving food and water or otherwise protecting migrants have been on the rise since 2017, when then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors to prioritize cases covered under the harboring statute.

Dr. Eugene Marciniak recently examined about a dozen patients at a Catholic retreat center in Las Cruces, N.M. He set up shop at a corner table in the cafeteria and called families over one by one: a mother with belly pain, a child with a low-grade fever, a teen girl with a cracked and possibly infected tooth. They had just been released from government custody and were staying at the center for a night or two before joining relatives in other parts of the United States.

Updated at 3:08 p.m ET

Frustrated by the large number of Central Americans who have been entering the country from Mexico, President Trump doubled down on his threat to close the Southern U.S. border.

"I'm ready to close it," Trump said Tuesday. "If we don't make a deal with Congress, the border is going to be closed, 100 percent."

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered the majority of National Guard troops deployed at her state's Southern border to withdraw, condemning what she called a "charade of border fear-mongering" by President Trump, who has warned of an immigration emergency in the region.

"I reject the federal contention that there exists an overwhelming national security crisis at the Southern border," Lujan Grisham said, adding that the area has "some of the safest communities in the country."

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