Lomi Kriel

Reporter

Photo of Lomi Kriel

Lomi Kriel is a reporter with the ProPublica-Texas Tribune Investigative Initiative. Previously she was a reporter at the Houston Chronicle covering immigration, often focused on the Texas border. Six months before the Trump administration announced its family separation policy, Kriel uncovered how the government was secretly using the prosecution of illegal entry to detain parents until deportation and send children to federal shelters. Her stories resulted in the release of one mother and helped spur a pivotal American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit largely ending the practice. She received the 2019 George Polk Award for national reporting, in part for her continued work on family separations.

Kriel, who was born and raised in South Africa, immigrated to the United States in 1998. She has also worked as a Central American correspondent for Thomson Reuters and a criminal justice reporter for the San Antonio Express-News. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Columbia University and speaks Afrikaans and Spanish.

Texas Says It Cares About Mothers, but Its Medicaid Postpartum Coverage Lags Behind Most Other States

Gov. Greg Abbott claimed Texas provides expectant mothers “necessary resources so that they can choose life for their child,” but it is now one of a dwindling number of states not to offer Medicaid coverage for a full year after residents give birth.

Reality Check: Seven Times Texas Leaders Misled the Public About Operation Lone Star

As they investigated Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s border initiative, reporters repeatedly found situations where Abbott and DPS officials cited accomplishments that lacked crucial context or did not match reality. Here are a few examples.

Examining Nearly Two Decades of Taxpayer-Funded Border Operations

Since 2005, Texas Govs. Rick Perry and Greg Abbott have launched a multitude of widely publicized and costly border initiatives, which usually kicked off during their reelection campaigns or while they were considering bids for higher office.

Help Us Investigate Texas Border Security Initiatives

We’re looking into Texas’ border security initiatives, including what has worked, what hasn’t and how they affect residents. If you have experience on the border, we’d like to hear from you.

Texas’ Governor Brags About His Border Initiative. The Data Doesn’t Back Him Up.

Arrests of U.S. citizens hundreds of miles from the border. Claiming drug busts from across the state. Changing statistics. We dug into the data Texas leaders use to boast about Operation Lone Star, and it raises more questions than answers.

Border Policy Is Getting More and More Convoluted. That’s Creating False Hope for Migrants.

The Biden administration and the Mexican government have made the situation at the border so confusing that even seasoned experts can’t always determine who is allowed in and who isn’t. That may be contributing to the high number of border crossings.

For Some Transgender Asylum Seekers, Fleeing a Dangerous Migrant Camp Meant Being Left Behind

The Biden administration shuttered a migrant tent camp in Mexico that was created under a Trump policy. Immigration advocates praised the move, but the closure adds to growing confusion over which migrants are let in or left out.

ICE deportó a la mujer que acusó a unos guardias de agresión sexual a pesar de que las autoridades federales aún investigaban el incidente

Los inspectores generales del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional y del Departamento de Justicia investigan actualmente alegatos de que varios guardias de ICE agredieron sexualmente a unas detenidas, en espacios fuera de la vista de las cámaras de seguridad.

ICE Deported a Woman Who Accused Guards of Sexual Assault While the Feds Were Still Investigating the Incident

Officials are investigating allegations that ICE guards assaulted detainees in camera blind spots. DHS instructed ICE not to deport a key witness, then suddenly decided to allow it.

ICE Guards “Systematically” Sexually Assault Detainees in an El Paso Detention Center, Lawyers Say

Allegations include guards attacking victims in camera “blind spots” and telling them that “no one would believe” them in ICE detention centers, which imprison about 50,000 immigrants each year at a taxpayer expense of $2.7 billion.

ICE Is Making Sure Migrant Kids Don’t Have COVID-19 — Then Expelling Them to “Prevent the Spread” of COVID-19

The administration has used infection risk to justify expelling thousands of children without legal protections. But it’s only expelling kids who’ve tested negative.

Her Rapist Threatened to Make Her “Disappear.” Instead of Asylum, ICE Put Her in a Hotel and Sent Her Back.

Thousands of migrant children — including babies — have been expelled by the Trump administration since March. Some have been held in hotels without access to lawyers or family. Advocates say many are now “virtually impossible” to find.

House Democrats Demand Trump Administration Stop Rushing Through Deportations of Migrant Children

Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm at the sudden acceleration and requested the government “cease this practice immediately.”

The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus

Their father was missing. Their mother was miles away. Two sisters, ages 8 and 11, were survivors of sexual assault and at risk of deportation. With the nation focused on COVID-19, the U.S. government is rushing the deportations of migrant children.

Texas Still Won’t Say Which Nursing Homes Have COVID-19 Cases. Families Are Demanding Answers.

Citing a state medical privacy law, Texas is refusing to release the names of long-term care facilities where residents have died from COVID-19, even as those case numbers soar and families plead for information.

Along the Border, the Population Is High Risk for Coronavirus, but Testing Is In Short Supply

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promised that all those who need a coronavirus test “will get one,” but near the border tests are scarce, and the death toll is beginning to rise.

Follow ProPublica

Latest Stories from ProPublica