Advocates Say Biden Administration Is Violating Pact On Detaining Migrant Children
Franco Ordoñez, NPR
Immigration advocates credit the Biden administration with acting quickly to move tens of thousands of migrant children out of jail-like detention facilities on the U.S. southern border and into safer emergency shelters. But the advocates are now growing increasingly concerned about the conditions in the mass shelters, such as a military base in El Paso, Texas. "We saw a lot of very traumatized children," said Leecia Welch, an attorney at the nonprofit National Center for Youth Law, referring to conditions in the tent shelters at Fort Bliss. "The girls told us that a lot of the girls in the tent were crying a lot and they needed to talk to someone because they were having thoughts of self-harm."
UN refugee agency calls on US to end asylum restrictions
The Associated Press
The U.N. refugee agency made an unusual plea Thursday for the Biden administration to lift pandemic-related restrictions on people seeking asylum in the United States. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi asked for an end to so-called Title 42 authority, named for a section of an obscure 1944 U.S. public health law that former President Donald Trump used in March 2020 to effectively end asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border. President Joe Biden has kept the policy in place, though he has exempted children who are traveling alone. Under the practice, people from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador are quickly expelled from the U.S. to Mexico without a chance to seek humanitarian protection.
US ends use of 2 immigration jails accused of mistreatment
Ben Fox and Kate Brumback, Associated Press
A detention facility in Georgia where women claim they were subjected to unwanted medical procedures and a Massachusetts jail that has drawn complaints of inhumane conditions will no longer be used to detain immigrants, the Biden administration said Thursday. The Department of Homeland Security said it would terminate contracts with the local government agency that runs the detention center in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and with the private operator of the Irwin County Detention Center in Georgia. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a part of DHS, has already significantly reduced the detainee population at both facilities. Any detainees the U.S. believes should remain in custody will be transferred elsewhere, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in announcing the move, which had been sought by immigrant advocates.
The US has a ‘thirst’ for immigrant workers. Why do so many struggle to get legal status?
Paul Solman and Lee Koromvokis, PBS NewsHour
President Joe Biden has said that changing immigration law remains an important piece of his agenda. But the path to new legislation is complex and hardly clear. One of the biggest flashpoints in this debate are questions about undocumented workers and their role in the economy. Paul Solman dives into those questions for his latest report for "Making Sense."
Central America is key to ‘root cause’ of immigration surge, South Texas lawmakers tells VP Harris
Sandra Sanchez, Border Report
During a “meaningful” hour-long discussion with Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday, U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez said he told the border czar that a substantial amount of carefully monitored funds are needed for Central America to curtail immigration north. Gonzalez, a South Texas Democrat, explained during an online news briefing on Wednesday that the White House is requesting $4 billion from Congress to get at the real “root causes” that are forcing migrants to come north, most from Central America’s Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. “We were able to discuss the issues in those three Central American countries and making investments — well thought of, profound investments — that will have long term impacts in those countries to slow migration down to disincentivize people from making this very dangerous trek thru Mexico,” Gonzalez said. “To help them find ways to be able to help them deal with issues in their home country.”
DHS easing asylum restrictions
John Boden, The Hill
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is easing some restrictions on who can apply for asylum in the U.S. and has reportedly begun allowing thousands of Central American migrants to enter the U.S. under the new policy in recent days. The Associated Press reported that the Biden administration has begun admitting migrants who wish to pursue asylum claims under a program aimed at helping the most vulnerable and at-risk people be admitted at the U.S.-Mexico border. Roughly 2,000 have already entered the U.S. under this new effort, an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) official told the AP. A DHS official told the AP that the agency was “working to streamline a system for identifying and lawfully processing particularly vulnerable individuals who warrant exceptions for humanitarian reasons under the Title 42 order.”