KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Franco Ordoñez

Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.

Ordoñez has received several state and national awards for his work, including the Casey Medal, the Gerald Loeb Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Excellence in Journalism. He is a two-time reporting fellow with the International Center for Journalists, and is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Georgia.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf says Trump officials warned the incoming Biden administration that dismantling the Trump administration's immigration policies would cause problems at the southern border.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Biden is sending some of his top officials to Mexico and Guatemala this week to discuss the growing numbers of U.S.-bound migrants from Central America, one of the biggest challenges facing the new administration.

Roberta Jacobson, a former ambassador to Mexico during the Obama administration who now serves on Biden's National Security Council, and Juan Gonzalez, the NSC's senior director for the region, will travel to Mexico, a senior administration official told reporters.

Hundreds of migrant children and teens traveling without their parents have been held in jail-like detention centers at the border for 10 days, and longer, a DHS document obtained by NPR shows.

Under law, minors are only allowed to spend 72 hours in the detention centers, which are run by Customs and Border Protection.

But as of Thursday, more than 500 of the young migrants have spent more than 240 hours in the border facilities, according to the DHS documents.

Spokespersons for CBP and DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment late on Thursday.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Seeing the growing number of minors held in jail-like facilities near the U.S.-Mexico border, John Sanders can't help thinking of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez.

The 16-year-old boy from Guatemala died in the care of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the last record-breaking detention of unaccompanied minors during the Trump administration, when Sanders led the agency. The former acting CBP commissioner spoke exclusively to NPR about that experience and his concerns about the current crisis.

Updated March 16, 2021 at 4:35 PM ET

The U.S. government had 4,276 unaccompanied migrant children in custody as of Sunday, according to a Department of Homeland Security document obtained by NPR. The children are spending an average of 117 hours in detention facilities, far longer than the 72 hours allowed by law.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The Biden administration rescinded a 2018 agreement between the Department of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services that encouraged child welfare officers to share sensitive personal information about potential sponsors for unaccompanied children with immigration enforcement agents.

A record number of migrant children and teenagers are being held in warehouse-like detention facilities run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection near the southern border, and new documents obtained by NPR show that the number of children arriving without their parents is growing exponentially faster than the Biden administration is able to transfer the children to family members and vetted sponsors.

Updated March 10, 2021 at 5:45 PM ET

The Biden administration is making a new push to address the causes of migration from Central America as it faces a surge at the southern border.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Updated at 4:25 p.m. ET

The Biden administration said Monday that it will allow many Venezuelans who are already in the country illegally to remain because of the humanitarian and economic crisis in the socialist South American nation that is an adversary of the U.S.

Carrying out a promise President Biden made on the campaign trail, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas granted Temporary Protected Status to an estimated 320,000 Venezuelans.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The Biden administration is aiming to process and release migrant families arriving at the border seeking asylum more quickly — within 72 hours — by converting some detention facilities, according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

The objective is to turn them into processing centers where criminal background checks and full health screenings can be completed, before migrant parents and children are released with orders to appear in court.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Hundreds of migrant children still separated from their parents by the Trump administration may be allowed to reunite with their families in the United States — and some families may have the opportunity to stay, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced on Monday.

The White House is continuing to defend itself against criticism from the left and right for reopening Trump-era shelters used to house unaccompanied teenagers crossing the border from Mexico.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration was forced to make the "tough choice" of reopening the facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, due to the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border, which she explained meant taking responsibility for their care.

President Biden is expected to sign an order on Wednesday to kick off sweeping reviews of products that have run short in recent months, including semiconductors and pharmaceutical ingredients.

Shortages of medical supplies and ingredients for pharmaceuticals came into stark focus during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when hospital workers resorted to reusing masks and gloves to try to keep themselves safe from COVID-19.

More recently, automakers were forced to shut down plants because of a shortage of computer chips, putting workers on furlough.

Pages