Some 40,000 migrants are being held in detention facilities in the United States, but before the 1980s, the idea of immigrant detentions had all but died out.

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President Trump has proposed a fence that would stretch 2,000 miles and cost as much as $25 billion by some estimates. The economic analysis of the earlier sections of fencing raises significant questions about what Americans would be getting for their money.

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They call it “La Lista” — The List. And the thousands of migrants who have arrived in northern Mexico in recent weeks with plans to apply for asylum in the United States have quickly learned its importance to their future.

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Houston had a shortage of construction workers long before Hurricane Harvey inundated the city, damaging some 300,000 homes and apartments. After the storm, the need turned dire.

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Illegal immigration is the result of complex economic, legal and political factors that many Americans don’t understand.

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Houston Matters interviews Rational Middle: Immigration creators Gregory Kallenberg and Loren Steffy.

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