Category Archives: Nationality + Migration

Rio Grande Project | Undocumented Migrants

I Have a Name / Yo Tengo Nombre

In 2012, Texas surpassed Arizona to become the deadliest state for border-crossings, with 271 migrants having died attempting to circumvent border patrol checkpoints in search of a new life. Many die without the type of documentation that allows for easy identification, leaving, in the best of circumstances, forensic experts to attempt to suss out identities or, in the worst, migrants left unidentified and with their remains mishandled and forgotten. The Texas Observer has launched a project working with photographers and forensic professionals to build a database of the unidentified through photographed objects and physiological notes to try and reconcile these remainders with the human lives to which they once belonged.


I Have a Name / Yo Tengo Nombre


Introducing ‘I Have a Name/Yo Tengo Nombre’” (The Texas Observer | December 2016)
Beyond the border” (The Texas Observer + The Guardian | August 2014)

(Image Credit: via I Have a Name/Yo Tengo Nombre)


All-Texas Feature | Undocumented Migrants & Asylum-Seekers

The Growing Humanitarian Disaster of the Detention-Industrial Complex

Accounting for nearly a third of federally detained migrants and nearly half of detained asylum-seekers, the nearly two-dozen immigration detention centers that dot the Texas landscape have come under increasing scrutiny for human rights infringements, including indefinite detention, malnourishment, medical negligence, and legal counsel inaccessibility. Through the eyes of a detainee, The Texas Observer traces the human realities of an ever-expanding detention regime focused on mass incarceration over the humanitarian treatment of asylum-seekers. The first installment of its series on federal detention centers colors this sketch with data on the ballooning detention industrial complex, from the growth of for-profit incarceration to the exploding public budgets for detention administration.

‘Even the Birds and Animals Are Free’” (The Texas Observer | December 2016)
America Under Detention” (A Texas Observer series)

Detention Facility Locator (U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement)

(Image Credit: Jen Reel/The Texas Observer)

Rio Grande News | Undocumented Youth

El Paso ISD passes resolution supporting undocumented students
  • EPISD trustees voted to affirm the district’s commitment to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children (DREAMers).
  • The resolution stopped short of declaring EPISD a “sanctuary district,” which would involve a refusal to cooperate with federal attempts to use school districts in immigration law enforcement activities.
  • The resolution comes on the tails of the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office indicating they would decline to serve as immigration law enforcers should President-elect Trump move forward with his immigration plans.

Resolution on DREAMers and immigration law enforcement (El Paso Independent School District)
EPISD declares support for undocumented students” (The El Paso Times)
EPPD, Sheriff’s Office would not enforce immigration law if Trump proposal approved” (KVIA)

All-Texas News | Immigrants

Proposed anti-immigrant bill for 2017 targets sanctuary cities

Source: Fox Business YouTube

  • SB 4 proposes to target sanctuary cities: cities that refuse to comply with detainer requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that ask local authorities to keep previously booked individuals in jail when suspected of being undocumented.
  • Austin became one of the first Texas cities to declare resistance to these detentions in mid-November, with Travis County Sheriff-elect Sally Hernandez having announced a break in policy with her predecessors.
  • Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced the bill—later filed by Senator Charles Perry for the upcoming session—as a part of his 10-point list of legislative priorities for 2017, which also includes proposed anti-trans and anti-choice bills.

Lt. Governor Patrick Announces Top Ten Legislative Priorities (Office of the Lieutenant Governor, November 2016)
New Sanctuary Cities in Texas Vow to Resist Donald Trump’s Deportations” (The Intercept, November 2016)
Will San Antonio Be a ‘Sanctuary City’?” (The San Antonio Current)