John Burnett

Updated at 7:28 p.m. ET

Casa Padre is a former Walmart Super Center converted into living, recreation and dining quarters for 1,469 immigrant boys, ages 10 to 17. Located in Brownsville, Texas, across from a pizza joint and a McDonald's, it is the largest government-contracted youth shelter in the country. On Wednesday, reporters were allowed a rare glimpse inside.

The sprawling shelter was opened in March 2017 by the Texas nonprofit Southwest Key.

Three young Guatemalan women went on trial this week at the red-rock federal courthouse in Alpine, Texas. It's about 70 miles from the spot in the border town of Presidio where they waded across the Rio Grande three weeks ago, with their eight- and nine-year-old sons in tow.

One of the women, Emilia Figueroa, testified during the trial that she believed if she brought her boy with her, the two of them would be released to live in the United States until their immigration court date.

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The shooting death of an undocumented woman at the hands of a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Rio Bravo, Texas, near Laredo, Wednesday is ratcheting up tensions along the U.S.-Mexico border.

According to a statement released by Customs and Border Protection, a lone agent was responding "to a report of illegal activity by Centeno Lane ... where he discovered a group of illegal aliens" just after noon.

The statement adds:

White House chief of staff John Kelly struck a nerve when he told NPR that many undocumented immigrants who come to the U.S. don't assimilate well because they are rural, lack education and don't speak English.

Within hours of the interview last week, the Internet and cable news lit up. Conservatives who applaud President Trump's immigration clampdown gave Kelly kudos; immigrant advocates branded it a racist rant.

The Trump administration regularly asserts that undocumented immigrants are predatory and threaten public safety. Immigrant advocates say that talk demonizes an entire class of people.

Now, four academic studies show that illegal immigration does not increase the prevalence of violent crime or drug and alcohol problems. In the slew of research, motivated by Trump's rhetoric, social scientists set out to answer this question: Are undocumented immigrants more likely to break the law?

The number of immigrants illegally crossing the southern border plummeted when Donald Trump took office. But the number is again on the rise. In response, the president plans to deploy up to 4,000 National Guard troops.

In West Texas, immigrant shelters are overflowing with recent arrivals and some migrants are trying more dangerous routes to evade capture.

The intake room at Annunciation House, an immigrant shelter in downtown El Paso, is packed these days. Parents and squirming children sit with their travel bags. They are the aggravations of Donald Trump.

The mysterious death of a Border Patrol agent in West Texas last November led to two opposing theories. President Trump and many Border Patrol agents were convinced that smugglers or illegal border-crossers attacked the agent and his partner with rocks. The local sheriff says from the beginning he knew it was an accident — but nobody wanted to listen.

Culberson County, Texas, is a vast badland of thornbrush, mountain, big sky, and tractor-trailers hurtling down a lonely stretch of Interstate 10. The law in Culberson County is Sheriff Oscar Carrillo.

Over the past three weeks, Austin watched in horror as a methodical madman detonated one shrapnel bomb after another in this seeming laid-back oasis. An unemployed 23-year-old loner killed two people and injured four others, before blowing himself up early the morning of March 21 as police closed in.

As an army of federal investigators packed up and left town, the city's quirky civic slogan, "Keep Austin Weird," took a blow.

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More than 500 investigators and bomb techs have streamed into Austin, Texas, to look for clues and to catch what they're now calling a "serial bomber."

Five explosions have killed two people and injured several more, one gravely.

Activists across the country say they are being targeted by federal immigration authorities for speaking out at protests and accusing the government of heavy-handed tactics.

The Trump administration has warned that anyone in the country illegally could be arrested and deported under tough new enforcement rules. And federal officials deny allegations of retaliation.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say they have documented two dozen cases of immigrant activists and volunteers who say they have been arrested or face fines for their work.

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The Department of Homeland Security has undertaken its most extreme measure yet to discourage asylum seekers from coming to the U.S. — family separation.

Anytime someone is booked into a county jail for a crime in the U.S., his or her fingerprints are automatically sent to federal authorities. If the suspect happens to be an undocumented immigrant, what happens next could depend on where the jail is located.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement often asks jails to hold undocumented people, so federal agents can pick them up and put them into deportation proceedings.

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Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

The FBI says it has found no foul play in the mysterious death of a border agent beside a remote West Texas highway last November in an incident that many assumed to be a homicide, and which prompted calls for greater border security.

An autopsy released Tuesday night concluded Border Patrol Agent Rogelio Martinez died of "blunt force trauma" to his head caused by an "undetermined manner of death."

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The Trump administration has been aggressively deporting foreign nationals home around the globe, from Somalia to Slovakia. Though Mexicans, Central Americans and Haitians make up 9 out of 10 people removed from the United States, year-end figures analyzed by NPR show that deportations to the rest of the world have jumped 24 percent.

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Hurricane Harvey caused catastrophic damage in Houston, but the historic deluge also brought calamity to the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay. The aftermath of the storm threatens two vital industries — one mammoth and ironclad, the other small and slimy: shipping and oysters.

Fire Boat One cruises down the Houston Ship Channel — one of the hardest working waterways in America.

One of the casualties of Hurricane Harvey has been parts of Houston's thriving arts and culture community. Four days of torrential rainfall nearly drowned the city's opera, ballet, and theater companies, along with a revered mural. But they're drying out and starting over.

On Aug. 28, as engorged Buffalo Bayou crept into Houston's Theater District, Perryn Leech and Dean Gladden pulled on slickers and rubber boots and headed downtown for a look.

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