Weekly Immigration News: On the National Budget

There continue to be changes to the United States’ immigration system, especially as President Joe Biden further undoes various Trump-era policies.

  • According to a DHS (Department of Homeland Security) spokesperson, the Biden administration will begin to grant US entry to a maximum of 250 “particularly vulnerable” migrants per day. This new announcement is an exception to the current border policy blocking most immigrants from entering the country, and would only apply to those immigrants who have very young children, are ill, and/or have been attacked or threatened during their wait in Mexico. These 250 immigrants will be an addition to the several unaccompanied children and families already allowed to enter the United States. Despite this seeming win for immigration advocates, many advocacy groups, like ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) are still calling for the elimination of Title 42 and the complete restoration of full asylum processing.
  • Last Friday, President Joe Biden repealed a Trump proclamation that barred immigrants who could be considered “financial burdens” on the US health care system from entering the United States. In a statement, Biden highlighted the reasons for this move, saying “[his] Administration is committed to expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare.”
  • On a similar note, the HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) has recently redirected approximately 2 billion dollars towards caring for unaccompanied minors found at the US-Mexico border. These funds include 850 million dollars previously allocated to rebuild the United States’ Strategic National Stockpile (emergency medical funds), 436 million dollars for other health initiatives, and 850 million dollars meant to aid in COVID-19 testing expansion. Many worry that this will lead to further criticism of Biden’s presidential moves.
  • On Monday, the USCIS announced that it would award grants to both nonprofit and public organizations dedicated to offering naturalization courses to give green card holders better preparation for the citizenship test. The test includes verbal and written portions that test English proficiency and civics knowledge respectively.
  • This Thursday, the Biden administration announced that a Georgia detention facility and a Massachusetts jail would not continue to be used to house immigrants after complaints of unwanted medical procedures and inhumane conditions drew much criticism. The DHS has also stated that it will end contracts with the local government agency that runs the Massachusetts jail and with the private operator of the Georgia facility, with Alejandro Mayorkas, DHS Secretary, adding that the “[DHS] will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention or substandard conditions of detention.”

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