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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will now allow refugees to be considered spouses even when their marriages are not recognized by their countries of origin or asylum. The Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations office “will instead return to the prior interpretation of the place-of-celebration rule,” the memorandum notes, “recognizing that, in certain circumstances, a spousal relationship may exist for the purpose of obtaining derivative refugee and/or asylee status if there is evidence of an informal marriage.” This could help refugee families who currently face discriminatory refugee registration policies, as some LGBTI and interfaith couples are ineligible to marry in their home countries. It is also beneficial for families who are denied access to government civil registration.
House Democrats Ask CDC to Explain Health Rule Used to Expel Migrants
In the latest pushback from members of President Biden’s own party concerning Title 42, a group of 33 House Democrats wrote a letter requesting a detailed explanation about the expulsion policy from Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The policy was first enacted under former President Trump and lets the U.S. rapidly expel migrants during the pandemic. “The continued use of this policy has been directly responsible for sending thousands of immigrants back to situations where they faced assault, rape, and even murder,” the lawmakers wrote. Immigration and human rights advocates have continued to voice concerns about the denial of asylum rights to people.