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Lawyers trying to reunite migrant families separated at the border by the Trump administration believe 666 children’s parents are missing, which is higher than what was told to a federal judge last month. According to the leading head attorney of the case Steven Herzog, the number grew because the new group includes those “for whom the government did not provide any phone number.” Herzog wrote an email to the Justice Department attorneys representing the Trump administration asking for any available contact information to help reach these parents. Biden prepares to establish a government task force to reunite these families. NBC News
In other national immigration news…
Decreasing Immigration Rates Could Shrink Workforces Nationwide
Over 60 percent of students at Starr Elementary in Grand Island, Nebraska, are non-white, and are among families that speak 55 languages in the city. The students are the children of roughly 51,000 foreign-born workers from different parts of the world who arrived in this city between the 1900s and 2000s to work in meatpacking plants. Many of them heard there were plenty of jobs and affordable living in Nebraska. But the number of immigrants coming into the U.S. has sunken to its lowest since the 1970s due to President Trump’s strict immigration policies, according to William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. The New York Times
Cuban Americans Support Trump Despite Treatment of Asylum Seekers
Hundreds of Cuban asylum seekers were put into and remain in U.S. immigration jails under the Trump administration. But Trump still won over Cuban Americans in Florida, the swing state he narrowly won last week. While a majority of Latino Voters from Florida supported Biden, 55 percent of Cuban Americans favored Trump, a Latino Decisions poll shows. Some critics feel Trump catered to Cuban American voters in Florida while ignoring Cuban asylum seekers held in detention centers. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, professor at George Mason University, mentioned that Cuban American voters focused on Trump’s viewpoint against communist and socialist regimes over his administration’s treatment of migrants leaving socialist dictatorships. AZCentral
California Judge Upholds Private Prison Ban
A federal judge on Thursday ruled California’s ban on private prisons and federal immigration jails is constitutional. A California law passed last year barred private companies from opening new prisons or renewing existing contracts. President-elect Joe Biden also plans to end the federal government’s use of private prisons and detention centers, making it challenging for the companies to survive. ICE and GEO Group, a private company that manages three immigration centers in the state, had argued California’s law unlawfully interfered with the federal prison and immigration detention system, but the federal judge ruled against them. These companies are already facing investigations on how they handled the coronavirus outbreaks within the immigration detention centers. Desert Sun
U.S. Using COVID as an Alleged Excuse to Deny Children Asylum Seekers
Advocates blame the Trump administration for using the pandemic as a reason to reject young asylum seekers. According to the Guatemalan Migration Institute, the U.S. deported more than 1,400 unaccompanied migrant children to Guatemala since stricter migration controls were issued in March. In all of 2019, 385 unaccompanied children were deported to Guatemala. But in October alone, 407 minors were deported under public health laws that allow for the immediate removal of migrants. Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a lawyer and policy counsel with the American Immigration Council, said the Trump administration is using the excuse of the virus as a way to “override normal immigration law.” The Guardian
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