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As of Wednesday morning, the U.S. government was housing almost 20,000 Afghan refugees at military installations in five states. According to internal federal data, 40,000 more evacuees are waiting for processing at bases overseas. There are eight military sites in Virginia, Wisconsin, New Mexico, New Jersey and Indiana temporarily housing Afghan refugees. The sites can house about 32,000 evacuees, though officials were directed to expand the capacity to 50,000 spots by Sept. 15. All Afghans being relocated to the U.S. are being flown into Philadelphia and Dulles Airport in Virginia and transferred to temporary housing sites, and then undergoing COVID-19 testing, medical checks and immigration processing. CBS News
In other national immigration news…
Afghan Evacuees Still in Limbo in Third Country “Transit Hubs”
Ahmad got an urgent call from his nephew, Zia, telling him to immediately get on an evacuation flight. The Taliban went to Ahmad’s house to look for Zia, who worked with the U.S. military in Afghanistan, and Ahmed. When Ahmad went to the airport with his wife and six children, he was separated from them in the large crowds. He showed officials a picture of Zia’s green card and was able to get on a plane to the U.S.-allied gulf Arab state of Qatar, alone. Thousands of individuals like Ahmed, including those with no documentation or open U.S. visa applications and families with mixed immigration statuses, are waiting in “transit hubs” in third countries to come to the U.S. Reuters
Alabama Ends Leases with CoreCivic for New Private Prisons
CoreCivic announced this week that Alabama ended two 30-year leases for major correctional facilities. The announcement follows a campaign by a coalition of groups that called on global financial institutions to refuse to purchase a $630 million taxable municipal bond from the Alabama Department of Corrections that would’ve helped pay for the CoreCivic project. “As organizations committed to creating an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for our communities, we will continue to organize to ensure corporations like CoreCivic are stopped in their tracks from perpetuating mass incarceration,” said LaTonya Tate of Communities Not Prisons. Deanna Garcia for Documented.
Texas Gets $54M in Private Donations for Border Wall
Back in June, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) unveiled a fundraising website where people could donate to help pay for a barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border. Donations closed in August, with the project raising $54 million. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a professor at the Scharr School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, said the investment to build a border wall reflected some Americans’ beliefs that immigrants are a threat to the U.S. and that the government is not addressing the issue. “Building a wall is not going to protect the nation from drug trafficking, from the entrance of drugs from south of the continent and it doesn’t stop immigrants arriving to the south of the United States,” she said. The Texas Tribune
Street Art Project in Tucson Calls for Path to U.S. Citizenship
A nationwide art project, Inside Out 11M, calling for immigration reform is catching eyes in Arizona. A mobile photobooth outside of Pima County Public Library is printing portraits of people passing by who want to show solidarity with 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. The project planned to print 186 pictures by Wednesday, which was the last day before the tour moves. This action was created to urge Congress to execute legislation providing a pathway to U.S. citizenship for undocumented U.S. residents. Tucson is the fifth city on the project’s 16-city tour that will end in Washington D.C. on Sept. 14. AZ Central