Homeland Security chief defends US handling of border surge
Ben Fox, Associated Press/ABC News
Faced with a rising number of migrants at the southwest border and criticism from all sides, the Biden administration's head of Homeland Security insisted Tuesday that the situation is under control as he defended a policy of allowing teens and children crossing by themselves to remain in the country. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas conceded that a surge in the number of children, mostly from Central America, is a challenge for the Border Patrol and other agencies amid the coronavirus pandemic. But he rejected a Trump-era policy of sending them immediately back to Mexico or other countries.
House Tackles Biden’s Immigration Plans Amid Migrant Influx
Nicholas Fandos and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, The New York Times
Democrats are preparing to push legislation through the House this week that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, posing the first tests to President Biden’s immigration agenda just as an influx of migrants is creating a new challenge at the border. Facing internal divisions and mounting Republican pressure, Democrats plan to take a notably narrow approach for now. Instead of bringing up Mr. Biden’s immigration overhaul, which would legalize most of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States, the House will start with two measures covering groups regarded as the most sympathetic: people brought to the country as children, known as Dreamers; others granted Temporary Protected Status for humanitarian reasons; and farm workers.
Number of unaccompanied migrant kids in US custody up 25% since last week, administration facing unprecedented crisis
Matt Gutman and Quinn Owen, ABC News
The number of unaccompanied teens and children in U.S. custody along the U.S.-Mexico border has reached record numbers, forcing children to stay longer in perilously overcrowded border facilities, many of which are similar to jail, multiple sources who reviewed the most recent government data told ABC News. There are now 4,276 children in custody, up from about 3,400 earlier in the week. It is a 25% increase, which sources tell ABC News is troubling and could lead to the kind of environment last seen during the 2018-2019 surge, in which six migrant children died in U.S. custody.
Immigrant teens to be housed at Dallas convention center
Nomaan Merchant and Jake Bleiberg, WOKV/AP
The U.S. government plans to house up to 3,000 immigrant teenagers at a convention center in downtown Dallas as it struggles to find space for a surge of migrant children at the border who have strained the immigration system just two months into the Biden administration. American authorities encountered people crossing the border without legal status more than 100,000 times in February — a level higher than all but four months of Donald Trump’s presidency. The spike in traffic poses a challenge to President Joe Biden at a fraught moment with Congress, which is about to take up immigration legislation, and has required the help of the American Red Cross.
Local Faith Groups, Nonprofits Prepare to Assist Thousands of Teenage Asylum Seekers
Jack Highberger, NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Federal and local officials continue to work to prepare the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center for thousands of migrant teens as sharply higher numbers of border crossings have severely strained the current capacity to hold youths. City officials met Monday with local nonprofits and faith groups who have experience helping asylum seekers. “The process of identifying where they need to get to and how to get them there safely is what will be happening while they are there at the convention center,” said Pastor Rachel Baughman, a member of “Faith Forward Dallas.”
What to know about the House immigration bills being voted on this week
Tucker Higgins, CNBC
Democrats in the House of Representatives are expected to move forward this week with their first effort at immigration reform during the current Congress, taking a stab at addressing a problem that has vexed lawmakers for years. The House will consider two bills, each of which addresses a portion of the sweeping immigration reform proposed in the White House-backed legislation introduced in February. That package seems doomed in the Senate, where it would require 10 votes from Republicans. GOP lawmakers have panned the bill as “blanket amnesty.”
Undocumented immigrants pay billions in taxes each year — and have been for 25 years
Danae King, The Columbus Dispatch
Every year, Arturo pays thousands of dollars in taxes from the revenue produced by his central Ohio-based painting company. But he will never receive Social Security benefits. Or Medicare. Or Medicaid. That's because Arturo, whose last name is not being used for his safety, is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico — one of about 6 million who pay taxes annually, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Further ReadingHuman Rights First: NGO Letter Urging DHS to Reject Use of Expedited Removal
Insurance News Net
UNICEF Inside Look: Welcoming Asylum Seekers In San Diego
The faces of the immigration surge at the US-Mexico border
Immigrant Advocate: Unaccompanied Minors Are Not a “Border Crisis” But a Humanitarian Crisis