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Latin Americans Getting Impatient With Immigration Reform

Even after Biden's first week in office, some migrants have grown impatient as he fails to overturn more Trump immigration policies.

Deanna Garcia

Jan 29, 2021

An art installation in Washington Square Park depicts outgoing President Trump. Max Siegelbaum for Documented

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Migrants are hoping President Joe Biden will change immigration policies and provide them a better path to come into the U.S. Biden has already issued a wave of executive orders on immigration and will sign more on Friday, including orders to extend legal immigration, restore the asylum system and enhance the refugee processing system. Officials are afraid that these policy changes could cause a large group of migrants to arrive at the southern border. But even after just a week in office, some migrants have grown impatient as Biden fails to close detention camps over the southern border and overturn more of former President Donald Trump’s migration policies. The New York Times 

In other national immigration news…

Top Immigration Court Official Replaced

James McHenry, who had the top position at the Executive Office for Immigration Review during the Trump administration, will resign from his role at the Justice Department branch this weekend. The Biden administration has been replacing officials who played a role in former President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions. Since 2017, McHenry has restricted immigration judges’ ability to allow asylum, including stripping their ability to close cases and suspend deportation proceedings for certain immigrants. These decisions have led the immigration court backlog to top 1.3 million cases as of last month. Jean King, who serves as the chief administrative law judge, will replace McHenry. CBS News 

Young Boy Reunited With Older Brother After Release From Government Custody

U.S. immigration authorities have reunited Vladimir Fardin, a nine-year-old Haitian boy, with his family after separating him from his older brother Christian Laporte. U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained the brothers when they landed at San Francisco International Airport. CBP officers took away their visas because Laporte was missing paperwork and Fardin violated his tourist visa for previously attending school in the U.S. Advocates and attorneys tried to get Fardin reunited with his family, yet faced difficulty when the Office of Refugee Resettlement said he had to remain in a foster home to complete a 14-day quarantine. BuzzFeed News 

Cuba Blocked Deportation Flights, Leaving Some Cubans Stuck In Detention

Edisnoy Casals-Socarras and seven others filed a writ of habeas corpus in federal court to push ICE to release them from Stewart Detention Center in Georgia, which is run by the private prison company CoreCivic. The men claimed their detention violates a Supreme Court decision that blocked ICE from detaining individuals it is unable to deport for over six months and who do not pose a threat to public safety. According to Danielle Bennett, an ICE spokesperson, there are 1,091 Cubans held in detention, 680 of whom have deportation orders. ICE detained 1,805 Cubans in late September, which means hundreds of Cubans were released over the last few months. Cuba has only accepted one deportation flight since February. MotherJones 

Grandfather Deported On Inauguration Day

Felipe Ortega was on his way to work when immigration agents stopped his car in Midland, Texas. They informed him he had an outstanding deportation order from 15 years ago. He was then handcuffed, chained at the waist and feet, and put in a van that was going to Mexico during Biden’s inauguration. By 6:30 p.m. that same day, Ortega was sent across the international bridge at El Paso and returned to Mexico for the first time in 30 years. This all happened about 24 hours before Biden signed an executive order that could have protected Ortega. But even with Biden’s initial immigration changes, there is no guarantee of Ortega’s return. Reuters



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