Biden raises refugee cap to 62,500 after blowback
Priscilla Alvarez and Maegan Vazquez, CNN
The Biden administration will raise the refugee ceiling to 62,500 people this fiscal year, the White House confirmed, after receiving swift criticism last month when President Joe Biden kept the lower Trump-era cap in place. "I am revising the United States' annual refugee admissions cap to 62,500 for this fiscal year," Biden said in a lengthy statement Monday. "This erases the historically low number set by the previous administration of 15,000, which did not reflect America's values as a nation that welcomes and supports refugees." Biden said he plans to set a goal of 125,000 refugee admissions for fiscal year 2022 as well, in line with a commitment he made in his first foreign policy address at the State Department.
After blowback, Biden again sets refugee cap at 62.5K this fiscal year
Ben Gittleson and Conor Finnegan, ABC News
President Joe Biden has signed a memo to raise the maximum number of refugees allowed into the United States this fiscal year to 62,500. His administration had first said in February it wanted the cap at that number, but in mid April, Biden backtracked and decided to leave a Trump-era cap of 15,000 in place. Last month, when the president said he was going to leave the historically low cap in place, he faced fierce criticism from Democratic allies on Capitol Hill and refugee resettlement agencies across the country. The blowback led the White House to promise to raise the cap within the coming weeks, and Monday Biden said it was back to square one: 62,500 in the current fiscal year, which runs until the end of September.
After Trump-era cutbacks and a pandemic, immigrant advocacy groups prepare to meet a rising need
Marissa J. Lang, The Washington Post
Even before the pandemic hit immigrant relief organizations — forcing them to cut hours, freeze volunteer programs, move online and scrap for funding as donations dried up — groups that serve newly arrived immigrants were struggling to keep some programs afloat. Four years of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, depressed refugee admission rates and anxiety among immigrant communities meant fewer people were coming forward to claim unaccompanied minors. It also meant fewer refugees and asylum seekers were being admitted into the United States, and fewer foster families and volunteers were needed. The infrastructure that keeps such groups afloat were eroding. Then came the coronavirus pandemic, the shutdowns, the online-only everything. For many organizations, it felt like a sucker punch, a blow that hit while they already were down.
Biden Administration Begins Migrant Family Reunifications
Nia Prater, New York Magazine
The Biden administration said Sunday that it will begin to reunite families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border during Donald Trump’s tenure. Last month, Axios noted that while President Biden had created a family-reunification task force during his first two weeks in office, his administration had yet to bring any families back together. Now the New York Times reports that four previously deported parents from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras will be permitted to reenter the United States this week in order to be reunited with their children. They will be in the country on humanitarian parole as other options are explored.
Schumer Readies Plan B to Push Immigration Changes Unilaterally
Luke Broadwater, The New York Times
Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York and the majority leader, is quietly considering trying to use a fast-track budget maneuver to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants should bipartisan talks on providing a pathway to citizenship fall apart. Mr. Schumer has privately told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in recent weeks that he is “actively exploring” whether it would be possible to attach a broad revision of immigration laws to President Biden’s infrastructure plan and pass it through a process known as budget reconciliation, according to two people briefed on his comments.
Asylum seeker explains process of entering U.S. from 'Remain in Mexico' program
Holly Bock, KFOX El Paso
In February, President Biden announced the United States would begin allowing asylum seekers in the Remain in Mexico program into the country. The Remain in Mexico program put in place by former President Donald Trump forced more than 65,000 asylum seekers across the border to wait for their U.S. court hearings. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officers along the southwest border have processed nearly 9,000 asylum seekers into the U.S. who were in Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP. KFOX14 kept in touch with one woman for months as she waited in Juarez for nearly two years in MPP. She is in the U.S.
Alejandra Juarez returning to Central Florida 3 years after traumatic deportation to Mexico
Lisa Maria Garza, Orlando Sentinel
After three years of being separated from her Davenport family, Alejandra Juarez is coming home. Juarez is the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran whose traumatic deportation scene at Orlando International Airport in 2018 made headlines worldwide. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security granted her a temporary reprieve known as humanitarian parole. She’s been living in the Yucatán Peninsula and will return to Central Florida within the next several days. “This is the moment I’ve been waiting for,” Juarez told the Orlando Sentinel in an exclusive interview. “Once inside, I’m going to keep fighting and hopefully there’s a way I can find a permanent solution, but this is great!”
Undocumented immigrants now eligible for driver's licenses in NJ
At least 400,000 people will become eligible for a license under the new program. Immigrants are now eligible to get driver's licenses in New Jersey. The Motor Vehicle Commission changed the application process to accommodate people without a Social Security number. The state is warning that it may be hard to get an appointment because of high demand. At least 400,000 people are becoming eligible for a license under this new program.
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