Migration News: May 6, 2021
The census shows the US needs to increase immigration — by a lot
Nicole Narea, Vox
The results of the 2020 census are a warning sign that America is on a course for slow population growth. Economists broadly agree that population growth fuels economic growth in wealthy countries. But the recently released census figures show the US population was 331.5 million people, an increase of just 7.4 percent between 2010 and 2020 — the lowest rate since the 1930s. Projections suggest that, unless current trends change, those numbers could continue to diminish dramatically over the next two to three decades, with the population growing by just 78 million by 2060. Some parts of the US are already beginning to experience some of the downsides of population slowdown or decline: Shrinking tax bases in rural areas have made it harder for government budgets to support essential services, such as infrastructure and public schools. As population growth slows, the pressure for cuts will likely grow. Meanwhile, the existing population will continue to age; by 2030, the Census Bureau estimates that one in five US residents will be of retirement age.
DHS to Suspend New Fingerprint Requirement for Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders
Michelle Hackman, The Wall Street Journal
The Department of Homeland Security will suspend a requirement that some spouses of immigrants legally employed in the U.S. submit new fingerprints to renew their visas. The requirement, put in place by the Trump administration in 2019, had resulted in tens of thousands of immigrants losing their work permits amid visa processing delays. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the DHS agency that handles legal immigration, said in a court filing Monday night that it will lift the requirement for two years beginning May 17. The Trump administration, in introducing the rule, had said new fingerprints were necessary to ensure immigrant spouses weren’t misrepresenting themselves.
Biden raises refugee ceiling, and faith-based groups brace for rebuilding work
Emily McFarlan Miller and Jack Jenkins, Religion News Network
Faith-based refugee resettlement groups are celebrating President Joe Biden’s decision to raise the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. for the remainder of the federal fiscal year to 62,500, even as they acknowledge that they need to rebuild their capacity after years of cuts under the previous administration. The announcement from the Biden White House comes after significant pushback from the faith-based groups that form the backbone of the nation’s refugee resettlement program after the president signed a memorandum last month aimed at speeding up refugee admissions that did not touch the historic low set by former President Donald Trump.
Schumer 'exploring' passing immigration unilaterally if talks unravel
Jordain Carney, The Hill
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is exploring if Democrats could bypass the filibuster on immigration reform as part of a backup plan if bipartisan talks unravel. Schumer told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) earlier this year "that he and Senate Democrats are actively exploring what is possible to do on immigration via reconciliation," a person familiar with the meeting confirmed to The Hill. Reconciliation, an arcane budget process, allows tax and spending bills to pass by a simple majority instead of overcoming the 60-vote legislative filibuster. To pass anything under the fast-track process, Democrats need to be able to unite their entire 50-member caucus in the Senate.
‘You can be kicked out any time’: US immigrants’ lives upended by Covid
Alexandra Villarreal, The Guardian
When Swaraj lost his job amid the recession last year, it triggered a ticking time bomb. Suddenly, he had to either find a different employer to sponsor his visa or return to India, throwing away the life he had built during half a decade in the United States. “It’s not right,” said Swaraj, who asked the Guardian to only use his first name to protect his career. “If I lose my work status, I have to leave this country within 60 days. I felt like … that’s not correct.” Swaraj messaged contacts on Linkedin, pored over applications and contacted to references. He tossed excess clothes in the recycling bin and sold his valuables – a television, sofa, bed – in case he had to move across the world during the crisis. Then, he found a new position. But months later, his room in Madison, Wisconsin, was still empty enough to hear echoes, and he continued to sleep on an air mattress, too wary to invest in replacement furniture.
ICE deportations fell in April to lowest monthly level on record, enforcement data shows
Nick Miroff, The Washington Post
The number of deportations carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month fell to the lowest monthly level on record, a drop that comes as illegal border crossings remain at a 20-year high, according to the latest enforcement data, obtained by The Washington Post. ICE deported 2,962 immigrants in April, according to the agency. It is the first time the monthly figure has dipped below 3,000, records show. The April total is a 20 percent decline from March, when ICE deported 3,716. President Biden and his Department of Homeland Security team have issued new rules to rein in ICE officers, who were afforded wide latitude under the Trump administration to make arrests and were encouraged to boost deportations.
Thrilled by Jill Biden’s visit, west-siders plead for immigration reform
The Salt Lake Tribune
Now or Never for Immigration Reform?
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
What have the first 100 days of the Biden administration meant for immigration?
'Will improve my life a lot': Omaha refugee, single mom gifted new car