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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is supplying up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs throughout the U.S. The grants will be given to organizations that help lawful permanent residents receive U.S. citizenship and bolster their civic integration through knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. USCIS will award 33 public and nonprofit organizations with $250,000 each for two years to provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application services to permanent residents. The Refugee and Asylee Integration Services Program will award six public or nonprofit organizations with experience in helping refugees up to $300,000 each for two years. Border Report
In other national immigration news…
Activists Seek to Prevent the Deaths of Border Crossers
The 70 miles north of the southern border are dangerous due to kidnappings and hot weather, but many migrants are willing to take the risk. Border crossings have recently been at their highest levels since April 2000, and in Brooks County in the Rio Grande Valley, local officials have encountered 40 migrants’ bodies this year. That’s higher than the total of 34 bodies found in all of 2020. Amid this rise in crossings, human rights activists are stepping in to make immigrants’ journeys a bit easier, filling up water drums throughout the Rio Grande valley’s ranchlands. The Associated Press
600 Migrant Children Housed in Military Base for Over 40 Days
Close to 600 migrant children have spent 40 days or more at the Fort Bliss U.S. Army base in Texas, according to government data obtained by CBS News. At least 50 of those children have spent more than 45 days at the temporary shelter. As of May 14, government data shows close to 1,700 unaccompanied children have been at Fort Bliss for at least a month. Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) toured Fort Bliss on Friday and said the facility was housing approximately 4,500 minors in conditions that were slightly better than they were in April. The military base and other emergency shelters aren’t licensed to care for minors. CBS News
Texas Border Farmers Concerned for Migrants
El Paso County farmers say they feel they’re on the front lines of the migrant influx at the southern border. One farmer said his crops often get lost in the trenches that migrants make when they step on the wet ground. Others say they’ve had to call Border Patrol when they find sick migrants on their property. These farmers expressed their concerns with some congressmembers who came to the community with Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), who represents over 400 miles of the border. Gonzales is a co-sponsor of a bipartisan bill calling for more immigration judges and Border Patrol agents. Border Report
Will California’s New Attorney General Hold Immigration Jails Accountable?
During his time as a Democratic assemblymember in California, Rob Bonta fought to close privately owned and operated prisons and immigration jails in the state. He has said that private prison companies are “profiteering on the backs of people” by putting profits over the health of inmates and detained immigrants. Bonta is now California’s new attorney general, and was asked how he plans to ensure oversight of immigration facilities. Bonta said his role is not “enforce the law,” but that he could use some legislation to “help ensure accountability, oversight and appropriate attention to health, safety and welfare of Californians in these detention centers.” The Fresno Bee