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Thousands of migrant families have swelled at the southwestern border in recent weeks, holding high expectations for President Biden and excited about changes in a Mexican policy that makes it harder for the U.S. to expel migrants. After Biden reversed Trump’s shutdown of the border, more than 1,000 people detained after crossing were released. But they’re now filing into Mexican border towns, and end up sleeping in the streets, under bridges and in dry ditches. Donalda Kerwin, executive director of the Center for Migration Studies, praised Biden for his promise to address the roots of Central American migration, but added that “this will be a very long-term process, and, in the meantime, people have been forced to flee.” The New York Times
In other national immigration news…
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U.S. Citizen Newborns Sent to Mexico
Eleven migrant women have been dropped off in Mexico border towns without birth certificates for their day-old U.S. citizen newborns since March 2020, The Guardian reports. According to conversations with lawyers who work with asylum seekers at the border and a review of hospital records and legal documents, numerous U.S. citizen newborns were removed to Mexico after a Trump-era border rule fast-tracked expulsions. Advocates believe the real number of cases could be higher because the majority of these expulsions have happened without lawyers and away from the public eye. The Guardian
Lawmakers and Advocates Demand Sanctuary State Bill in Massachusetts
Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts announced they plan on renewing their push to make the state a sanctuary state. Advocates said the action is needed to make sure all Massachusetts residents can receive medical care, emergency aid and court and police protection without the fear of deportation. The Safe Communities Act would terminate state and local law enforcement involvement in deportation, as well as end agreements that authorize sheriffs and correctional officers to take on the duties of federal immigration agents. Law enforcement and court personnel would also be banned from asking individuals about their current immigration status. The Associated Press
Immigrant Families Avoid Applying to Health and Food Assistance
Some families are avoiding applying for benefits they qualify for as they fear the Trump administration’s public charge rule will bar an immigrant family member from receiving a green card or U.S. citizenship if they use public benefits. The Urban Institute discovered that 1 in 7 adults in immigrant families — 13.6 percent — were not enrolled in programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and housing subsidies last year even if they were eligible. The Trump administration rule could deem immigrants who rely on public assistance “public charges,” hurting their chances of obtaining citizenship or legal status. NBC News
Somali American Planning to Move Back to East Africa for a Relaxed Life
Osman Hassan came to the U.S. as a child 30 years ago to flee the civil war in Somalia. But now, Hassan wants to move back to East Africa because he believes the will have a more comfortable life there. Last month, he lost his IT job at the Mosco Group, a retail solutions firm in Minnetonka, Minnesota. He has since decided to not apply for another job. Hassan cashed out his 401(k) retirement savings, put his house on sale and counted his investments in BlackBerry and other companies, deciding he had enough to live somewhere warmer and more “culturally vibrant.” Sahan Journal
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