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A new policy by the federal government appears to be encouraging people to try and cross the border multiple times. Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been allowed to rapidly “expel” migrants caught crossing the border, regardless of their asylum claims. In an ironic turn of events, the policy appears to have encouraged more people to attempt to cross the border multiple times. According to the Washington Post, the recidivism rate, the percentage of repeat crossers apprehended, has gone from 7 percent last year to over 30 percent. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
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Man Dies in Virginia Detention Center with Large COVID-19 Outbreak
James Hill, a 72-year-old Canadian man, died in a Farmville, Virginia, immigration jail on Wednesday night. His family in Toronto was preparing for his return and had made renovations to allow him to isolate. Hill had served nearly 14 years in prison for health care fraud and drug distribution, and was set to be deported at the end of July. At least 268 detainees had tested positive for COVID-19 at the Farmville immigration jail, making it the facility with the country’s largest outbreak. Local officials say they are unable to do anything to regulate the jails, as they are out of their jurisdiction. Richmond Times-Dispatch
Mexicans’ Ashes Sent Home After Coronavirus Claims Lives
Boxes carrying the ashes of 105 deceased Mexicans from the state of Puebla recently arrived back in their state, after being shipped from New York City. Nearly a third of people who died in New York City from COVID-19 were Latino. A total of 1,863 Mexicans have died in the U.S. from coronavirus, and 760 of those deaths were in New York. Many family members of those who died are struggling under exorbitant cremation costs and logistics of shipping their loved one’s remains sent back home. The remains of 250 individuals from the states of Puebla, Oaxaca and Veracruz arrived in Mexico on July 13th. NBC
House Fire Considered Potential Hate Crime Against Senegalese Immigrants
A $14,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for a house fire that killed five Senegalese men near Denver. Senegal’s Consul General Elhadji Ndao attended a press conference about the incident on Friday. Local Muslim advocacy groups are calling on the police to investigate the incident as a possible hate crime. Djibril and Adja Diol and their daughter Kadidi were killed along with Hassan Diol and her infant daughter, Hawa Bey. Three others managed to escape by jumping out of the second floor. Local Senegalese leaders pleaded with people to come forward with information. Associated Press
One Year On, Mississippi ICE Raids Still Resonate
There are about 40 chicken processing plants in the state of Mississippi. They are critical cogs in the food supply chain and are mainly staffed by undocumented immigrants. On Aug. 7, 2019, ICE agents raided seven chicken processing plants in Mississippi and arrested 680 workers. The raid was one of the largest in U.S. history and captured national attention. It also ruptured the families of those who were arrested. LatinoUSA visited the families who were caught up in the raid and found they were still grappling with finding work and the psychological repercussions. LatinoUSA
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