Immigration News from October 21, 2021

#StandOnEveryCorner in St. Paul
#StandOnEveryCorner in St. Paul

Becoming a citizen gets harder all the time. The backlog of citizenship applications has more than doubled since 2015, with more than 900,000 applications pending.

(Arizona Mirror) “For Phoenix resident Eleuterio Galindo, 58, it means the application for citizenship he submitted in June 2020 still hasn’t been processed. 

“Galindo has lived in the country for more than 40 years and works at an aluminium manufacturing company. He has been a permanent resident and eligible to apply for citizenship  for many years, but chose to keep renovating his green card — until last year. 

“’Now it’s time to become a citizen. It’s been many years and it’s necessary,’ Galindo said. But after waiting for over 15 months, he’s questioning whether he made the right decision. During that time, his green card expired, he said.”  

About half of the Afghan evacuees remaining at U.S. military bases are children. About 5,000 Afghans remain at U.S. military bases abroad, waiting to come to the United States. 

(CBS) “In recent weeks, 6,000 Afghan evacuees have left temporary housing sites at U.S. military installations to start new lives in America with the help of nonprofit refugee resettlement agencies, according to Department of Homeland Security data. Another 3,000 U.S. citizens, green card holders and Afghans with close ties in America have left the facilities on their own.

“Nearly 4,000 Afghan evacuees were resettled in U.S. communities during the past week alone.”

DHS announced that it will resume Remain-in-Mexico processing and court hearings in mid-November–but that assumes that the Mexican government will agree, and no agreement has been reached yet. 

(Border Report) “Although the details are not completely worked out yet, Nuñez-Neto says construction contracts totaling $14.1 million have been issued to build ‘soft-sided Immigration Hearing Facilities’ (IHF) in the South Texas border cities of Laredo and Brownsville.

“The court facilities will be located on the same spots where they previously were built in 2019 under then-President Donald Trump, and will be the go-to location for all asylum hearings once MPP is restarted, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Texas, told Border Report.”

In California, immigrant detainees are housed in eight detention centers, seven of which are operated by private, for-profit companies.

(San Francisco Chronicle) “First came the hunger strikes, then the lawsuits and protests, followed by damning government inspection reports, all decrying conditions inside facilities that detain immigrants in California. Now, two dozen members of the state’s congressional delegation are urging the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to terminate its contracts with three of the most scrutinized detention centers in California.” 

Border officials stopped more than 2000 migrants at sea in 2020, a dramatic increase over the previous three years. As enforcement along the land border increases, more people try the risky sea routes, with a huge increase in sea apprehensions near San Diego. 

(Los Angeles Times) “U.S. border agents found a dead migrant on an abandoned panga, or fishing boat, in Carlsbad in April. A month later, a cabin cruiser, overloaded with three dozen migrants, crashed into a reef near Point Loma, killing three people. Then, after a boat capsized near Encinitas in July, two migrants were hospitalized with hypothermia….

“Encounters at sea are still substantially lower than those on land, but experts say the shift to maritime crossings — in response to restrictive border policies and the devastation from COVID-19 across the hemisphere — is amplifying the danger these migrants face as they seek to reach the United States.” 

About Mary Turck

News Day, written by Mary Turck, analyzes, summarizes, links to, and comments on reports from news media around the world, with particular attention to immigration, education, and journalism. Fragments, also written by Mary Turck, has fiction, poetry and some creative non-fiction. Mary Turck edited TC Daily Planet,, from 2007-2014, and edited the award-winning Connection to the Americas and AMERICAS.ORG, in its pre-2008 version. She is also a recovering attorney and the author of many books for young people (and a few for adults), mostly focusing on historical and social issues.
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