Migrants sent to wait out in Mexico asylum hearings in U.S. immigration court were living in precarious safety and hygienic conditions before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Now, they risk more than the mere stomach flu or a skin infection with a killer that thrives inside closed quarters where many people are in close proximity, breathe the same air and share often filthy portable toilets, advocates say. Read Julian Resendiz’s full report.
The reopening of the Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Downtown San Diego was highly anticipated by thousands of people who have been waiting to continue processing their cases. The office had been closed for more than two months because of the COVID-19 crisis. Read Salvador Rivera’s full report.
Nearly 200 ranchers in rural Zapata County on the South Texas border with Mexico have been told by the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission that their families’ decades-old land grazing rights along the Rio Grande are being terminated, and they must move their cattle by month’s end during this coronavirus pandemic when many slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants are closed. Zapata County Judge Joe Rathmell was among 117 ranchers who were sent letters late last month from IBWC telling his family they must relocate 100-head of cattle from about 1,000 acres of grass-rich riverfront land that his family has used for 100 years. This is the second time that Rathmell and many of these ranchers have been told they will be forced off these lands that the federal government first condemned in the early 1950s under the Eisenhower Administration in order to build Falcon Lake and the International Falcon Reservoir. And this comes at a time when many meat-packing industries and slaughterhouses are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and there is a market glut with meat and ranchers say they have nowhere to put their herd. Read Sandra Sanchez’s full report.