Border sheriffs see more ‘load car’ drivers, teens paid to smuggle migrants

WASHINGTON - It's a "scary" trend that border county officials say is getting scarier: Mexican cartels paying teenagers from throughout the country to smuggle illegal migrants across the state as "load car" drivers.

Border shelters stave off ‘homelessness on steroids,’ but funding worries remain

TUCSON - Shelters like Casas Alitas in Tucson prevent what one official said could be "homelessness on steroids," by caring for hundreds of asylum seekers who arrive daily with little more than the clothes on their backs. But funding for such programs almost ran out this year.

Texas Tech Health El Paso program helps high school students go to medical school in state, aims to relieve statewide doctor shortage

EL PASO, Texas – As Texas faces a doctor shortage, a new program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso gives prospective medical students resources to encourage them to pursue their education and practice in state.

Makena Piñon, right, and Luke Briggs, freshmen at the University of Texas at El Paso, in a medical simulation lab at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. (Photo by Jack Orleans/Cronkite News)

Salton Sea immigrant community experiences high rates of asthma from inhaling dust from the drying sea bed

NORTH SHORE, California – Childhood asthma rates are disproportionately high for immigrant families who live and work near the Salton Sea in Southern California. Scientists say the alarming rate of respiratory problems comes from inhaling dust of decayed fish that ingested toxic materials flowing into the sea from nearby agricultural sites.

The Salton Sea in Southern California used to be a popular tourist destination, but the environment has been decimated through agricultural runoff and natural disasters as the water recedes. Photo taken on April 6. (Photo by Jack Orleans/Cronkite News)

Tribal leaders seeking solutions to cartel crime, say they mostly got talk

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers wanted to talk about the problems of criminal cartels on Indigenous lands, but tribal leaders came to the House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing seeking solutions. Instead, they said, they left afraid it was just another "check-a-box-off" exercise.

Senators told of ‘alarming’ level of drone incursions at southern border

WASHINGTON - Cartels are sending as many as 1,000 unmanned drones across the border every month, sometimes smuggling drugs but more often probing the border for vulnerabilities, a Pentagon official told a Senate committee this month.

$1.2 trillion budget bill, racing against shutdown, funds more border security

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers on Friday advanced a $1.2 trillion package of budget bills that includes funding for 42,000 new beds in migrant detention facilities and for the hiring of an additional 22,000 Border Patrol agents.

As more families seek asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border, groups step in to help as they wait

NOGALES, Sonora, Mexico – Due to a lack of resources at the Arizona-Mexico border, more families are stuck in limbo as they seek asylum.

A family of migrants, including, from left, Ruth Barrera, 32; Arlene Carmona, 7; Luis David Araujo, 7; and Marta Araujo, 2, eats fruit and does laundry on Feb.12, 2024, outside their temporary home in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, as they await their asylum court date in the U.S. (Photo by Kayla Jackson/Cronkite News)

Arizona GOP legislators pass immigration bills on border crossing and E-Verify

PHOENIX – Arizona lawmakers have advanced a package of immigration legislation that critics are calling “SB 1070 2.0” and gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would make illegal entry a state crime.

Arizona state Sen. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, reacts to Sen. Priya Sundareshan, D-Tucson, as she explains her vote on SB 1231 at the Arizona Capitol on Feb. 21, 2024. (Photo by Sam Ballesteros/Cronkite News)

Business owners challenge bill requiring E-Verify checks for jobs, benefits

PHOENIX - House Speaker Ben Toma says his latest immigration bill could save Arizona billions in welfare benefits annually, but small business owners rallied Monday to say it will cost the state instead, by driving out businesses and workers.

Senate votes to put the ‘illegal’ in illegal migration, make it a state crime

PHOENIX - The Senate voted Wednesday to make it a state crime to illegally enter Arizona by crossing the border between ports of entry - a proposal that Democratic opponents called both racially motivated and unconstitutional.

House panel advances GOP plan to check citizenship of welfare recipients

PHOENIX - A House committee, on a party-line vote, gave preliminary approval Monday to a ballot measure that would require cities, towns and agencies to check the citizenship status of anyone applying for public welfare benefits or a license of any kind.