Acacia Coronado

Acacia Coronado is an editorial fellow at the Texas Observer. She holds a degree in journalism and a certificate in human rights and social justice from the University of Texas at Austin. Previously, she interned at The Wall Street Journal, The Texas Tribune, The Austin Chronicle, and Texas Standard at KUT. Her main fields of interest are immigration, women’s rights, and criminal justice.
ice, houston, immigration
Human Rights

At Least Seven Texas Detention Center Employees Who Tested Positive for COVID-19 Were Not Officially Reported by ICE

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it is not obligated to report contractors’ employees who have tested positive. Meanwhile, the agency confirmed its first positive case in Texas detention centers and continued facility transfers.

In late March, an employee at the Houston Contract Detention Facility became the first detention center staff case reported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Texas. However, ICE officials confirmed to the Observer they are not reporting cases … Read More

A migrant encampment by international bridge in Matamoros.
Human Rights

Thousands of Migrants in Matamoros Set to be Moved to a New Encampment, Advocates Say

According to camp volunteers, Mexican immigration officials plan to move migrants to an abandoned Matamoros soccer field as early as today.

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned Holy Week—a time when Matamoros’ streets and churches are typically packed to the brim—into a private affair. But on Friday, as parishioners were asked to stay home and pilgrimages across the city were cancelled, officials … Read More

Immigrants seeking asylum walk at the ICE South Texas Family Residential Center, Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, in Dilley, Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hosted a media tour of the center that houses families who are pending disposition of their immigration cases.(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Human Rights

Migrants and Advocates Call to Close Detention Centers as COVID-19 Spreads

A new lawsuit argues that an outbreak in detention could overwhelm local health care systems.

As COVID-19 cases begin to permeate the immigration system nationwide, detainees in Texas are calling for better conditions and release. Their pleas became more urgent after at least one employee at a Houston lockup had a confirmed case of coronavirus.  … Read More

In this Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, photo, a migrant walks through a refugee camp in Matamoros, Mexico. The camp is an outgrowth of the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program, in which more than 55,000 migrants seeking entry into the U.S. have been ordered to pursue their cases outside its borders. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

In Migrants Camps Along the Texas-Mexico Border, Close Quarters and Closing Borders Raise Concerns

Advocates and lawyers warn new measures implemented along the southern border in response to COVID-19 are putting vulnerable migrants at higher risk.

COVID-19 is lurking along the Texas-Mexico border. As suspicious illnesses begin to appear in migrant camps, close proximity, unhygienic conditions, and travel remain inexorable parts of daily life there.  Mexican border cities Matamoros and Juárez both have at least one … Read More

A woman carries a property bag issued by Customs and Border Protection while holding the hand of a girl wearing a mask as they arrive at a mandatory immigration court hearing on Monday, March 16, 2020, in El Paso, Texas. The migrants, who must wait in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, wore masks following the first reported cases of COVID-19 in El Paso. The migrants are not suspected to be carrying the virus. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
Human Rights

How Is COVID-19 Impacting the Immigration System?

As immigration courts and detention centers fear the spread of coronavirus, migrants in the camps along the U.S. border say they are more afraid of staying in Mexico than COVID-19.

Ten immigration courts across the country have closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday night, and all hearings for immigrants who are not in detention have been postponed. This comes days after lawyers, advocates, and … Read More


U.S. Supreme Court Sides with Trump Administration on ‘Remain in Mexico’

Following weeks of back-and-forth in the courts, SCOTUS has reversed the decision of an appeals court and allowed Remain in Mexico to continue.

The Supreme Court said on Wednesday that Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy, can continue while legal challenges play out in lower courts. The stay reverses a previous decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court … Read More

ICE has expanded its detainee population to an all-time high of 55,000.

Following a Protest, ICE Moves Asylum-Seekers For the Second Time in Two Weeks

ICE moved 47 women to Laredo following a protest for better medical care. Last week, more than 100 detainees were sent to Louisiana, where courts are harsher.

More than 100 asylum-seekers were transferred last week from the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, to Louisiana, where judges deny asylum at much higher rates. Advocates view the move as retaliation for a protest late last month … Read More

Children in a camp in Matamoros.
Human Rights

Confusion Reigns in Matamoros Migrant Camp Over ‘Remain in Mexico’

Amid a chaotic back-and-forth caused by a court ruling, asylum-seekers in Matamoros are still waiting.

On a cloudy day in Brownsville, the pops of color just across the Rio Grande are barely visible among dense greenery. But as I cross the bridge to Matamoros, the fog begins to clear. Along the riverbank, I see a … Read More