border security

A U.S. Border Patrol supervisor is being held in Texas on a $2.5 million bond following his arrest over the weekend on charges of killing four women, after a fifth would-be victim escaped and alerted authorities.

The Associated Press was the first to report the arrest of Juan David Ortiz, 35, who is detained in Laredo, Texas, after he was found hiding in his truck in a hotel parking lot early Saturday morning.

For weeks, the Trump administration has faced scorching criticism for separating migrant families at the border, and detaining immigrant children in inhumane conditions.

On Tuesday, the administration pushed back.

Matthew Albence, a top official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, even compared family detention centers to "summer camps."

"We have officers in these facilities," he said. "I think the best way to describe them is to be more like a summer camp.

A federal judge in San Diego has barred the separation of migrant children and ordered that those currently detained under the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy be reunited with families within 30 days.

Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET

Despite pressure from President Trump for the U.S. to arrest and prosecute anyone caught crossing the border illegally, U.S. Customs and Border Protection says its agents will temporarily suspend the practice of detaining adults who arrive with children — something that had been a tenet of Trump's "zero tolerance" policy.

The Pentagon is being asked by the Department of Health and Human Services to provide temporary beds for up to 20,000 undocumented children. That bed space would be needed beginning in July and running through the end of the year.

Officials tell NPR that four bases are expected to provide space, including the Army's Fort Bliss base in El Paso, Texas. It's uncertain if there would be enough barracks space, so officials say that tents likely would have to be put up.

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday ending his administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents who were detained as they attempted to enter the U.S. illegally.

Seated in the Oval Office on Wednesday, flanked by his vice president and secretary of homeland security, President Trump walked back an administration practice that has separated more than 2,300 children from their parents along the border.

Rachel Osborn knows kids who slept in the immigrant detention centers in Texas that have dominated recent headlines.

"We have kids who will say that was the worst part of their journey," Osborn says. "They were traveling for weeks and the hardest part was being in this freezing cold room where, you know, they were fed a cold sandwich and had a thin blanket to shiver under."

And they had no parent or caregiver to comfort them and make them feel safe.

Updated 6:15 p.m. ET

There was a private lobbying force behind President Trump's change of heart on his controversial policy that resulted in thousands of family separations at the southern U.S. border: first lady Melania Trump.

A White House official confirmed to NPR's Sarah McCammon that Mrs. Trump pressed her husband to act to keep undocumented immigrant families together.

Pope Francis has added his voice to the growing chorus of those decrying the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy on illegal border crossings that has resulted in the separation of parents and children traveling together.

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