In typical years, the cold winter stems migration along the U.S.-Mexico border. Safe to say, 2019 isn’t a typical year. Last month was one of the busiest for border crossings in recent years, Nick Miroff reports for The Washington Post. The Department of Homeland Security also expects the influx to continue in March and April – months that typically see large numbers of crossings as seasonal labor demands rise in the U.S. In highlighting the article, Politico’s Employment and Immigration edition of Morning Shift (paywall) points out, “[t]he ‘unauthorized migration’ metric used in the Washington Post story combines those who are arrested between ports of entry and those who present themselves at a border crossing and are deemed ‘inadmissible.’ … In what sense are people who seek lawful admission to the U.S. and are told no ‘unauthorized?’”
Yes, how the numbers are counted is important. But regardless, this is a humanitarian crisis that requires serious solutions that address crime and poverty in Central America, not a symbolic wall.
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MEET MAIREZ – According to the United Nations, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela has hit 3.4 million, with the majority of them hosted in countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. As the White House weighs whether or not to grant Venezuelans Temporary Protected Status, José Andrés and World Central Kitchen (WCK) have sprung to action. WCK supplied Mairez, a Venezuelan refugee and owner of a shelter in Cúcuta, Colombia, with a new stove, gas, and kitchen equipment so she can serve hot meals to Venezuelans on the long walk from Cúcuta to the larger city of Bucaramanga. WCK’s work extends globally and supports communities in Brazil, Cambodia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, Zambia, and the United States.
1976 – We could soon be witnessing the first time since the passage of the National Emergencies Act of 1976 that Congress votes to overturn an emergency declaration, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Emily Cochrane write in The New York Times. “Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, conceded on Monday that he could not stave off final passage of a resolution overturning President Trump’s national emergency declaration, setting up a rebuke to Mr. Trump amid signs that the president’s grip even on his own party in Congress may be slipping.”
DENIED – “The number of immigrants seeking permanent residence in the U.S. who were found ‘ineligible’ increased by 39% between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018, according to an analysis of new State Department data by the National Foundation for American Policy,” Axios reports. Examples of this trend include more declined student visas, a fourfold increase in ineligibility under the new public charge rule, and 60 percent of H-1B applications being returned in the first quarter of this fiscal year with requests for additional evidence. “The Trump administration is not just taking steps to cut back on immigration at the border, it is also making it harder for workers, family members and international students to legally come to the U.S.”
ACTIVIST DETAINED – The star of The Infiltrators, a documentary exposing the wrongdoings at a for-profit detention center in Florida, has been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Claudio Rojas was one of two activists who purposely got arrested in 2012 in order to document the conditions inside the detention center; he later won his release in part because of a high-profile hunger strike. “Rojas’s detention is the latest high-profile arrest that has raised allegations that ICE purposely targets outspoken immigrants, a tactic critics say is meant to strike fear into the undocumented community. ICE has repeatedly said that its arrests are not politically motivated,” per Tim Elfrink and Isaac Stanley-Becker at The Washington Post.
FALSE – A new report from the CATO Institute finds that “[undocumented] immigrants are 49 percent less likely to be incarcerated than native-born Americans.” and “[l]egal immigrants are 75 percent less likely to be incarcerated than natives.” The report explains that the foundational premise for President Trump’s expansion of immigration enforcement is “largely based on the perception that illegal immigrants are a significant and disproportionate source of crime” – which is categorically false.
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