Migration News: May 12, 2021
Today in Immigration
Border arrests rose slightly in April, but fewer minors crossing without parents eases pressure on Biden administration
Nick Miroff, The Washington Post
Immigration arrests and detentions along the U.S.-Mexico border rose slightly in April to 178,622, the highest one-month total in two decades, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data published Tuesday, but a decline in the number of teens and children arriving without parents eased pressure on the Biden administration. April was the first month since President Biden took office that the total number of illegal border crossings did not register a major month-over-month increase, rising just 3 percent. CBP officials have projected higher numbers of teens and children as well as migrant families in the coming months, but both groups declined modestly in April, and the only demographic group arriving in greater numbers was single adult migrants, CBP data show.
How updating an old Herbert Hoover law would offer new hope to undocumented immigrants
CST Editorial Board, Chicago Sun-Times
An untapped provision of U.S. immigration law could allow some 75 % of the undocumented immigrants now living in Illinois to establish lawful status while they seek citizenship, based solely on their long-standing — and law-abiding — presence in our country. The law is nothing new. It was enacted back in 1929 and has been updated since. It needs only to be updated again, which we urge Congress to do, to bring greater order and humaneness to our nation’s immigration policies. The Registry Act of 1929 allowed immigrants to apply for a green card, giving them lawful permanent residency, if they could provide evidence they had arrived in the U.S. before 1921 and were of “good moral character.” This put them on the road to citizenship, a status of “lawful” entry being a requirement for naturalization.
Unaccompanied Child Migrant Arrivals Decreased in April
Matt Stieb, New York Magazine
Each month this year, undocumented migrants have arrived at the southern border by the tens of thousands, numbers that the Biden administration refuses to call a crisis. And while the winter and early spring months normally see the highest frequency of border crossings — a seasonal pattern that may have been amplified by the pandemic — the 178,622 arrests and detentions on the U.S.-Mexico border marked the highest single-month total in two decades, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data released on Tuesday. The CBP numbers weren’t all bad for the Biden administration, as the increase in undocumented arrivals causes the White House to catch flak on its left and right flanks on what Nancy Pelosi has called a “humanitarian crisis” at the border. Though April was the highest month, the 178,622 detention figure represented just a 3 percent increase over March, suggesting the seasonal rise may be abating, or that increased enforcement on Mexico’s southern border may be working to stop Central American migrants closer to home. More importantly for a White House that has struggled to shelter the increased numbers of unaccompanied child migrants, the number of minors arriving without parents decreased by 9 percent.
Asylum cases transferred out of MPP and allowed into U.S. doubled in the past month, new data shows
Sandra Sanchez, KGBT-TV
The Biden administration last month doubled the number of asylum-seekers who were legally allowed to enter the United States and whose asylum cases were transferred out of the now-defunct remain-in-Mexico policy, according to new data released Tuesday. As of the end of April, a total of 8,347 migrants who previously had been forced to remain in Mexico under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols program, were allowed to cross the Southwest border from Mexico since the end of January, a new report by the nonprofit Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) of Syracuse University found. This is up significantly from the 3,911 asylum-seekers who had been transferred from MPP from the time President Joe Biden took office through the end of February. And it shows a trend by the Biden administration, which has done away with the controversial Trump-era policy and is now working to integrate these asylum-seekers into U.S. immigration courts.
Why George W. Bush is calling for a ‘religious awakening’ on immigration reform
Kelsey Dallas, Deseret News
Former president George W. Bush believes the immigration system is broken. More importantly, he thinks America’s leaders, including pastors, have given up on trying to fix it. “There’s been a lack of leadership on this issue because it’s become too politicized. Once an issue becomes politically hot, it’s very difficult to paint a positive picture that rises above the noise,” he said during a recent webinar titled “Immigrants and the American Future.” Bush is trying to jump-start a more productive debate by quite literally painting a more positive picture of immigration. In his new book, “Out of Many, One,” he pairs portraits of immigrants with brief essays on their incredible lives, as my colleague, Hunter Schwarz, recently reported.
Voters will have opportunity repeal in-state tuition ban for undocumented students
Laura Gómez, Arizona Mirror
Moments after a bipartisan vote at the House of Representatives passed a measure to ask state voters to repeal a 2006 ban on in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students in Arizona, Reyna Montoya and Jose Patiño were in disbelief. Patiño and Montoya were both high school students when 71% of Arizona voters in 2006 told youth like them and families like theirs could not access state public programs like in-state tuition and financial aid, child care assistance and adult literacy classes. For Patiño, who was attending Carl Hayden High School at the time, the message was that he wasn’t worth educating.