The DOJ is also moving to get rid of bond hearings for detained asylum-seekers. And the administration wants to amend a decades-old settlement called the Flores agreement in order to hold migrant families in detention for longer than a few weeks.
None of these changes have stopped migrant families from crossing the southern border in record numbers to escape from poverty and violence in Central America.
Remain in Mexico
Immigration authorities have sent about 5,000 thousand migrants back to Mexico to wait for months until a U.S. immigration court decides their asylum cases.
A federal court initially blocked the administration from sending asylum-seekers back to crime-ridden Mexican border towns where many are staying in shelters.
But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's injunction, allowing the "Remain in Mexico" policy to continue while the case plays out. Now the case goes back to the same judge in San Francisco, who said the policy lacked sufficient protections for asylum-seekers.
The administration's "zero tolerance" policy was intended to deter asylum-seekers by separating migrant parents and children at the border — until Trump ended the policy under pressure last June.
A federal judge has ordered the administration to reunite nearly 3,000 children with their parents. The same judge has since ordered the administration to identify what could be thousands of additional families that were separated before the "zero tolerance" policy took effect.
After signing a spending bill to end the government shutdown in February, Trump declared a national emergency in order to secure billions of additional dollars for his signature immigration policy: the border wall.
That emergency declaration is now being challenged in court by critics who say there is no emergency, and that the president is flouting the will of Congress in order to deliver on a key campaign promise.
Lawmakers have authorized more than $1.3 billion for 55 miles of steel fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Trump administration wants to spend an additional $6 billion from military construction and counter-drug accounts to add to that total.
The Trump administration's efforts to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, are stalled in court. That means nearly 700,000 young immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children are still protected from deportation and allowed to work legally — for now.
Democrats and moderate Republicans are likely to insist on some relief for DACA recipients as part of any comprehensive immigration overhaul, while immigration hardliners are wary of granting "amnesty" or a path to citizenship.
The administration has moved to wind down Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, for more than 400,000 immigrants from countries wracked by civil conflict or natural disasters.The immigrants are protected from deportation and allowed to work in the U.S.
A number of legal challenges have been filed. For instance, the Department of Homeland Security has been blocked from ending TPS for immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan by a judge in California.
Shortly before the 2018 midterm elections, Trump threatened to end birthright citizenship, which is widely understood by legal scholarsto be guaranteed by the 14th Amendment. He has not followed through on that threat.
More than 30 countries have birthright citizenship, including Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina.
Homeland Security is working on rules that would make it harder for immigrants to get green cards, or bring other family members to the U.S., if they use a wide range of public benefits, such as food stamps and subsidized health insurance.
The final rule is still under development. But critics say the proposal is already scaring immigrants away from using benefits. Immigrant advocates and state and local governments are expected to challenge the rule in court once it's finalized.
Arrests and deportations of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. spiked during the first two years of the Trump administration — for immigrants with and without criminal records. But the numbers remain well below the highest figures of President Obama's first term.
And the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement says arrests and deportations declined in early 2019 because the agency is devoting more resources to the southern border.
Still, immigrant advocates say aggressive enforcement by ICE continues to create a climate of fear among unauthorized migrants.
Thousands of families that include undocumented members could be forced out of public housing by a rule proposed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. These families include estimated 55,000 children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents.
The rule is intended to prevent undocumented immigrants or mixed-status families from living in public housing. It's still in the public comment stage, and critics are pressuring HUD Secretary Ben Carson to reconsider.
The Trump administration has slashed the number of refugees the U.S. will accept. The official cap is set at 30,000 for the year, the lowest figure since the current refugee resettlement program began in 1980.
But the administration is on pace to admit far less than the current cap. Halfway through the fiscal year, the U.S. had admitted fewer than 13,000 refugees.
Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.