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Border Patrol agents arrest a border-crosser in June near a medical aid camp in the desert near Arivaca. While such cases are typically dispensed with quickly, new numbers show the backlog for other pending immigration cases has reached record levels, and sparked record delays.

Immigration court cases waiting to be heard hit an all-time high of 607,755 in June – 10,031 of them in Arizona – despite the hiring of more judges and a Trump administration directive to expedite cases. Read more»

President Donald Trump threw his support behind a bill sponsored by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, left, and David Perdue of Georgia, that could cut legal immigration in half while setting up a merit-based immigration system.

President Trump threw his support behind a bill that would slash immigration and create a "merit-based" system favoring those who speak English, have higher education and high-paying job offers. It would cut the number of green cards granted in half, and critics called it just another move "to come after immigrants as a whole." Read more»

Democrats are blasting a GOP plan to allocate $1.57 billion to begin construction of a border wall with Mexico, by slipping that language into a critical defense funding bill. But there appears to be little else they can do to stop the funding language. Read more»

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, chided Homeland Security officials for delays in implementing the use of biometric technology, something Congress has been pushing for years, as a way to cut down on people who overstay their visas.

Current data on visa overstayers in the U.S. have “gaping holes” that need to be filled, frustrated lawmakers told Department of Homeland Security officials at a Senate hearing Wednesday. Read more»

Samantha Coronado leads LUCHA Arizona protesters in chants outside Sen. Jeff Flake’s office, one of several rallies where demonstrators called on lawmakers to oppose a Republican-sponsored health care bill in the Senate.

As calls of “Trumpcare kills” and “health care is a human right” echoed through the halls of Capitol office buildings Monday, Lauren Klinkhamer stood quietly in Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake’s office and told staffers, “I don’t want to die.” The Tucson resident fears she would be among the 22 million Americans, and as many as 400,000 Arizonans, who would lose health care under a bill the Senate is considering to replace the Affordable Care Act. Read more»

A look at the current border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in Nogales. President Donald Trump’s promise for a wall running the length of the border is more like to include a mix of elements, likes fences, technology, walls, increased patrols and natural barriers, officials now say.

President Trump’s promised wall along the Mexican border will be more like a “border wall system” of walls, fencing, technology, law enforcement, patrol roads – and 130 miles with nothing but “natural barriers,” a border official said Tuesday. Read more»

Graffiti on a wall near the street corner in Nogales where Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was fatally shot by a U.S. Border Patrol agent, carry the messages 'never forget,' 'no more deaths' and 'justice for Jose Antonio.'

The Supreme Court has ordered a lower court to reconsider its decision to throw out a lawsuit that a Mexican family filed against the Border Patrol agent who fatally shot their son across the border. The Texas case may still have a long way to go in the courts, but the outcome could affect a similar 2012 case in Nogales. Read more»

Supporters of DACA and DAPA protested outside the Supreme Court last spring as the court considered a challenge by 26 states, including Arizona, to the programs. The high court eventually let stand lower court rulings blocking the programs.

Buried in a Homeland Security memo last week twas a single line saying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program “will remain in effect,” raising hope among the 800,000 recipients. But DHS officials said this week that eliminating DACA is still a very real possibility. Read more»

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, who was at the scene of the shooting, said reports of 50 shots being fired 'would be an understatement.'

Arizona's Sen. Jeff Flake was among the Republican lawmakers practicing for a charity baseball game Wednesday when “indiscriminate firing” rang out from a gunman who left five wounded before he was killed in a shootout with police. Read more»

The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement told a House committee Tuesday that while the agency is targeting criminal immigrants as it ramps up enforcement efforts, “no population is off the table” for immigration arrests. Read more»

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, said her bill waiving the currently required lie detector test for police and veterans applying for Border Patrol jobs is 'common sense' as Customs and Border Protection rushes to fill jobs. But critics fear it could lead to lower standards among agents and abuse on the border.

The House overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to waive polygraph tests for veterans applying for Border Patrol jobs, despite concerns that it could open the door to problem hires. Rep. Martha McSally's bill comes as Customs and Border Protection grapples with President Trump’s plan to hire an additional 5,000 agents. Read more» 1

More than 6,000 combat boots with the names and pictures of U.S. servicemen and woman lost in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom on display at Pearl Harbor on Sept. 11, 2013.

Receiving Gold Star families – those who have lost a loved one to military service – could be seen as a shift for Trump, who made headlines last year by attacking a Muslim family whose son was killed serving in Iraq. For some like Maria Martin, a Tucson resident whose son, Sgt. Martin Lugo, died in Afghanistan in 2010, receptions are not enough. Read more»

Kelly Haven, 12, a member of the Navajo Nation who tried for years to get to the nationals, spells in the second round of the 90th Annual Scripps National Spelling Bee Wednesday.

Two Arizona girls competed against 291 other students in the 2017 bee at the Gaylord Convention Center just outside Washington this week. Read more»

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Tucson, said the Department of Homeland Security must focus on the problem of the hundreds of thousands who overstayed their visas in the U.S. last year, but should not neglect border security to do so.

House members called on Homeland Security officials to crack down on the “growing problem” of immigrants who overstay their visas in the U.S. "With this year’s number of border apprehensions at a record low, visa overstays are a much, much bigger problem than they have been historically,” said Rep. Martha McSally. Read more»

Close to 740,000 people who came to the U.S. on a visa in fiscal 2016 stayed past its expiration date, and almost 629,000 of them were still in the country at the end of the fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security reported.

Nearly 629,000 people who came to the U.S. on a visa in fiscal 2016 stayed after it expired and were still here at the end of the year, the Department of Homeland Security reported. The Center for Migration Studies said that people overstaying their visas exceeded those crossing into the U.S. illegally every year since 2007. Read more»