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19 Of The Most Important Immigration Stories Of 2018

Immigration continued to be a tumultuous issue under the Trump administration in a year that saw systemic family separations, deaths at the hands of Border Patrol agents, and changes to the nation's asylum system.

Posted on December 28, 2018, at 1:37 p.m. ET

Trump Administration Ends Temporary Immigration Status For 200,000 Salvadorans

The US announced that nearly 200,000 Salvadorans who've had temporary permission to live in the United States would lose their status.
Yuri Cortez / AFP / Getty Images

The US announced that nearly 200,000 Salvadorans who've had temporary permission to live in the United States would lose their status.

An Infant Asylum-Seeker Separated From His Family By ICE Was Reunited With His Mom

The separation of 1-year-old Mateo (left, in yellow, with his father at the border in 2017) by immigration authorities and the ordeal his parents endured was a sign of things to come for hundreds of families in 2018.
Afp Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

The separation of 1-year-old Mateo (left, in yellow, with his father at the border in 2017) by immigration authorities and the ordeal his parents endured was a sign of things to come for hundreds of families in 2018.


A Huge Caravan Of Central Americans Is Headed For The US, And No One In Mexico Dares To Stop Them

While smaller caravans have been organized as far back as 2008, the size of the March caravan attracted the ire of President Trump, which tried unsuccessfully to stop the caravan from reaching the US border by pressuring the Mexican government to disband it.
Luc Forsyth for BuzzFeed News

While smaller caravans have been organized as far back as 2008, the size of the March caravan attracted the ire of President Trump, which tried unsuccessfully to stop the caravan from reaching the US border by pressuring the Mexican government to disband it.


The US Army Promised Immigrants A Fast Track For Citizenship. That Fast Track Is Gone.

The federal agency in charge of processing citizenship shuttered all of its offices at US Army basic training locations, putting up another roadblock for immigrant recruits who were promised a fast track to citizenship in return for their service.
Mario Tama / Getty Images

The federal agency in charge of processing citizenship shuttered all of its offices at US Army basic training locations, putting up another roadblock for immigrant recruits who were promised a fast track to citizenship in return for their service.

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They Wanted Everyone To Hear About The Migrants Coming To The US. Then Everyone Did.

Never before had the organizers of a group of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States faced such opposition from a president. It was a lesson in the consequences, in the age of Trump, of getting the attention you thought you wanted and the double-edged sword of media coverage.
Luc Forsyth for BuzzFeed News

Never before had the organizers of a group of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States faced such opposition from a president. It was a lesson in the consequences, in the age of Trump, of getting the attention you thought you wanted and the double-edged sword of media coverage.


In A Major Change In US Policy, Sessions Rules That Domestic Violence Is Not Grounds For Asylum

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it virtually impossible for immigrants to win asylum if they were victims of domestic abuse or gang violence.
Luc Forsyth

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it virtually impossible for immigrants to win asylum if they were victims of domestic abuse or gang violence.


Immigrant Kids Separated From Their Parents Are Being Moved All Over The US, And The Trump Administration Won’t Say Where

State and local officials were kept in the dark about where children were being sent, even when it was in their own backyard.
John Moore / Getty Images

State and local officials were kept in the dark about where children were being sent, even when it was in their own backyard.



Trump Says Gangs Are Bringing Kids Over The Border, But These Kids Found Their Own Way

Although many immigrants pay coyotes to take them north, thousands make the trek on their own, though you wouldn’t know it from the way President Donald Trump talks.
Caitlin O'hara for BuzzFeed News

Although many immigrants pay coyotes to take them north, thousands make the trek on their own, though you wouldn’t know it from the way President Donald Trump talks.


Trump Created An Office To Highlight Immigrant Crime. A Year Later, The Results Are Underwhelming.

The widespread "victimization by criminal aliens,” one of Trump’s favorite talking points, never materialized.
Susan Walsh / AP

The widespread "victimization by criminal aliens,” one of Trump’s favorite talking points, never materialized.

Pregnant Women Say They Miscarried In Immigration Detention And Didn't Get The Care They Needed

Pregnant women in immigration detention under the Trump administration said they had been denied medical care, shackled around the stomach, and abused.
BuzzFeed News

Pregnant women in immigration detention under the Trump administration said they had been denied medical care, shackled around the stomach, and abused.

Trump’s Immigration Policy Is Driving Families Into The Dangerous Desert, Activists Say

Hundreds of bodies are found in the Sonoran Desert every year. Activists said that number will rise following the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.
Caitlin O'hara

Hundreds of bodies are found in the Sonoran Desert every year. Activists said that number will rise following the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown.

The Rise Of The ICE Official Who Said Detention Was "More Like Summer Camp"

Matthew Albence's rise to the number two position in ICE was a move that could indicate a hard line on immigration from the agency.
Allison Shelley / Reuters

Matthew Albence's rise to the number two position in ICE was a move that could indicate a hard line on immigration from the agency.

Why Did The Border Patrol Shoot Claudia Gómez?

The Border Patrol shooting of Claudia Patricia Gómez González, a young Guatemalan immigrant, remained a mystery months after she was killed. A phone video provides the only clue about what happened.
Veronica G. Cardenas for BuzzFeed News

The Border Patrol shooting of Claudia Patricia Gómez González, a young Guatemalan immigrant, remained a mystery months after she was killed. A phone video provides the only clue about what happened.

How A Massive ICE Raid Changed Life In One Small American Town

O'Neill, Nebraska, had become a refuge for scores of Central Americans fleeing poverty and unrest. An ICE raid changed all that.
Kristina Barker / BuzzFeed News

O'Neill, Nebraska, had become a refuge for scores of Central Americans fleeing poverty and unrest. An ICE raid changed all that.

With Sessions' Departure, Immigration Opponents Have Lost A Key Ally

A look at how Jeff Sessions shaped immigration policy like few others in the Trump administration.
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

A look at how Jeff Sessions shaped immigration policy like few others in the Trump administration.

This Is What The World Looks Like For Kids Traveling In The Caravan

BuzzFeed News gave six kids cameras to show what the world looks like to them.
Aguilera family for BuzzFeed News

BuzzFeed News gave six kids cameras to show what the world looks like to them.

The US Has Fired Tear Gas And Closed The Largest Border Crossing With Mexico After Migrants Marched To The Border

US authorities temporarily shut one of the world's busiest border crossings, after hundreds of migrants from Central America evaded a phalanx of Mexican police, crossed a small river, and marched down a side street in front of a pedestrian crossing.
Kim Kyung-hoon / Reuters

US authorities temporarily shut one of the world's busiest border crossings, after hundreds of migrants from Central America evaded a phalanx of Mexican police, crossed a small river, and marched down a side street in front of a pedestrian crossing.

Facing A Monthslong Wait To Apply For Asylum, These Members Of The Caravan Went Searching For Another Way In

Unwilling to wait weeks in Mexico to press their asylum claims, a group of 30 caravan members, with a BuzzFeed News reporter in tow, searched for a way to skirt the border barriers.
Meghan Dhaliwal

Unwilling to wait weeks in Mexico to press their asylum claims, a group of 30 caravan members, with a BuzzFeed News reporter in tow, searched for a way to skirt the border barriers.

The Trump Administration Is Quietly Denying Federal Housing Loans To DACA Recipients

The Department of Housing and Urban Development hasn’t announced a formal policy denying FHA loans for DACA recipients, but lenders tell BuzzFeed News that’s the guidance they’re getting from officials.
Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The Department of Housing and Urban Development hasn’t announced a formal policy denying FHA loans for DACA recipients, but lenders tell BuzzFeed News that’s the guidance they’re getting from officials.



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