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Trekking to and crossing the southern border has always been a difficult task, especially for pregnant women. The Trump administration has only made that process harder with border walls and increased enforcement — and especially made it difficult for people to claim asylum once they do make it to the U.S. Before Trump implemented the Migrant Protection Protocols, pregnant women could petition for asylum and give birth in the U.S. while they awaited court dates. But they are now often sent back to Mexico to wait for court in crowded shelters and dirty tent camps, while others are detained for months in U.S. detention facilities. The American Civil Liberties Union interviewed 18 migrant women who were held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and were sent to Mexico, where they feared giving birth safely and maintaining healthy babies. The New York Times
In other national immigration news…
1,000 Migrant Children Captured in 6 Days as Border Crossings Rise
Approximately 1,000 unaccompanied migrant children were apprehended along the border in the span of six days, according to government statistics. Customs and Border Patrol processed 997 unattended children between Nov. 18 and Nov. 23, and took 9,900 unaccompanied children into custody since Sept. 8, CBP head Mark Morgan said in a court declaration. CBP predicts border crossing by unaccompanied minors will increase by 50 percent within the next 120 days. Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. ordered officials to stop rapidly expelling children under special public health rules amid the pandemic. CBS News
Two Citizens Settle Lawsuit with Border Patrol Agent
Two U.S. citizens, Ana Suda and Martha “Mimi” Hernandez, settled a lawsuit with CBP over their detention in 2019. While at a convenience store in Havre, Montana, a Border Patrol agent, Paul O’Neill, demanded Suda and Hernandez show identification and then detained them for speaking Spanish. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the agent in favor of the two women, who felt their constitutional rights were violated. A CBP spokesman said in a statement that CBP officers and agents are trained to carry out U.S. laws fairly and to not discriminate. AZ Central
Black Asylum Seekers Claim Trump Administration is Forcing Deportation
As President Trump’s time in office winds down, Black and African asylum seekers claim the Trump administration ramping up deportations with threats and assault, attempting to force migrants back to their home countries. More than 16,000 asylum seekers from Africa and the Caribbean are in detention, mainly in for-profit prisons, throughout the U.S. And throughout Trump’s term, about 20,000 Haitians and Africans traveled by foot from South America in order to seek asylum, according to Mexico’s migration statistics. Over 100 asylum seekers have reported ICE threatening force to put them on deportation flights, especially to Haiti and West Africa, lawyers from the nonprofit Freedom for Immigrants hotline said. Los Angeles Times
Trump Rushing to Expand Border Wall
President-elect Joe Biden plans to end the construction of the border wall, but the Trump administration is still rushing to complete as much of it as possible during the president’s final weeks in office. Trump ordered 450 miles of new wall to be built before the end of this year, and as of Nov. 13, 402 miles of the wall have been built. Opposition and lawsuits from residents, businesses and indigenous groups along the border have stymied the wall’s construction. The administration has filed more than 117 lawsuits to try to force them into allowing construction, up from 27 lawsuits filed in 2019. The New York Times
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