Immigration Report: May 6, 2022

Border wall mural, photo by Jonathan McIntosh, used under Creative Commons license

Nothing is going to convince immigration opponents who continue to howl about “open borders,” which are no part of anyone’s policy. In contrast, the Biden administration continues to methodically plan to more efficiently process immigration at the border. 

[Border Report] “Biden administration officials say they’re shoring up law-enforcement, setting money aside for partner nonprofits and speeding up the processing of migrants in anticipation of the May 23 rollback of the Title 42 public health order.

“They’re also equipping buses with technology to process newly encountered migrants as they’re heading to or from U.S. Border Patrol stations and finding ways to keep processing centers from becoming overcrowded with a projected influx of up to 18,000 new migrants once Title 42 is lifted.”

As the end of Title 42 bars to immigration approaches, some border organizations worry that they will not have enough resources to help increasing numbers of migrants and asylum seekers. Others feel more confident that plans are being put in place. 

[Border Report] “’We know there will be more reception/hospitality sites coming online. We know the Office of Emergency Management is doing its own contingency planning through the city and the county,’ said Marisa Limon Garza, deputy director of El Paso’s Hope Border Institute. ‘We are looking at all resources we may have, working closely with the federal government, our local Border Patrol chief and Office of Field Operations leader, so we are doing this in a concerted effort.’

“HBI is part of the Frontera Welcome Coalition and works closely with Annunciation House, which provides short-term housing for migrants released by Border Patrol who typically take a bus or an airplane to join relatives in the interior of the United States.

“’There is still information we do not have access to from the federal government about how exactly things will look in practice on May 23, but we are in close communication and sharing our ideal scenarios with them and thinking about what it will take to make this process as smooth and orderly as possible,’ Limon said.”

And in other news

Connecticut is acting to protect ALL children under 12 who live in the state.

[Journal Inquirer] “Included in the state budget that was adopted by the House and Senate Tuesday was an expansion of the Medicaid program, known as HUSKY in Connecticut. Last year, lawmakers opened the program to children 8 and younger — regardless of immigration status — who come from households earning up to 201% of the federal poverty level (for a family of four, that’s $55,778). Kids from households earning between 201% and 325% of the federal poverty level also qualify but are subject to an asset test.

“This year, legislators expanded the pool to children 12 and younger and are allowing any child in that age group who signs up for coverage to keep the insurance through age 19. Children older than 12 on Jan. 1 would not be eligible.”

The new sponsorship program for Ukrainian refugees looks long and complicated. Individual sponsorship is now the only way for Ukrainian refugees to enter the United States. Prospective sponsors must identify individual Ukrainians. If they are sponsoring a family, they must submit a separate application for each family member. They must document their own income and ability to support the refugee(s) as well as the refugee’s health, income, and financial status. 

[NBC] “’I immediately texted my sister when I heard the news,’ Rogers said. ‘She was very happy.’

“But when the website launched on April 25, they both realized how much work lay ahead and worried they wouldn’t be able to provide all the documentation that the government required. Not only did Rogers have to prove her own income, she had to show her sister’s family was healthy and on good financial footing as well. 

“For 10 days they called friends on the ground in their hometown of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, playing a long game of telephone to get what they needed: Vaccination records from doctors’ offices that have since shuttered, a deed on the house they fled when Russia invaded, evidence of how much income the family could earn in the United States. …

“Nonprofits and religious organizations, which were assured by Biden that they too would be able to sponsor Ukrainians, have found that only individuals are able to sponsor the refugees.” 

With hundreds of thousands of Russians leaving their country in recent months, U.S. embassies around the world must cope with their applications for visas. Some are also showing up at the southern border, seeking asylum. Journalists, political activists, opponents of the Russian war on Ukraine, and LGBTQ people are especially at risk in today’s Russia. 

[Politico] “’For people in danger, for people who risk [their lives] for freedom, [the U.S. should be] really friendly, I think,’ said Anatoly, the pseudonym for a Russian dissident political analyst who fled to Argentina with his wife and infant son and is seeking to reach America. The ‘U.S. needs a program for Russians who were repressed for their political position, especially in the case of this war.’

“But the issue is politically sensitive, and — with the exception of one notable proposal aimed at Russian scientists — the Biden administration has yet to take any major steps to ease Russians’ path to the United States.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants to deny public education to undocumented children. He’s calling for a reversal of the 1982 Supreme Court decision that said states must educate all children. He also wants to change the Constitutional provision that says the federal government, not the states, is charged with regulation of immigration. 

[New York Times] “Mr. Abbott’s comments opened a new front in his campaign to use his powers as governor to harden Texas against unauthorized migration. And they demonstrated just how expansively some conservatives are thinking when it comes to the kinds of changes to American life that the court’s emboldened conservative majority may be willing to allow.

“The latest proposal for closing public schools to undocumented children significantly widens the range of precedents up for debate. After a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade leaked this week, focus had been primarily on other rights that could be legally linked to the 1973 decision, such as access to contraception and same-sex marriage.”

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, www.tcdailyplanet.net, 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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