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When Texas’s massive winter storm cut power and water across the state last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees said they were not given enough to drink, their toilets remained full of human excrement, and they went days without showering. Adrian, a Honduran man who is seeking asylum in the U.S., said there has not been running water at the South Texas Family Residential Center in Dilley, Texas, since Monday. He and the men in his dormitory were allegedly provided with a 500-milliliter water bottle and two to three juices to drink a day. They were also given cold food for three days. ICE officials said a few of their facilities have experienced power outages and lack of water service, but all facilities contain a backup power generator. BuzzFeed News
In other national immigration news…
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Detained Family Continues to Face Anti-Muslim Harassment
Muhammad was harassed for being Muslim in his home country, Tajikistan, leading him to flee to Russia. But after experiencing the same harassment there, in 2020, Muhammad and his family arrived in Mexico in hopes of gaining entry in the U.S. to seek asylum. When they got to the border, Muhammad was separated from his family and detained by ICE. President Joe Biden issued an executive order earlier this month to accept more refugees fleeing violence, humanitarian crises and persecution — people like Muhammed. Still, Muslim detainees have complained of and sued the U.S. over alleged religious mistreatment. HuffPost
Border Officials Release Migrants Into Yuma
Border officials have started releasing migrants into Arizona’s Yuma County as border immigration jails remain over capacity. Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls said U.S. Border Patrol released a group of 20 people into San Luis on Monday and several more groups were released the following days, worrying local leaders. Nicholls said Yuma does not have the resources to house, feed and provide other resources for the newly released migrants. In a written statement, Customs and Border Protections said that some of its holding facilities have been at capacity since April due to an increase in border apprehensions and social distancing guidelines. The Associated Press
‘Remain in Mexico’ Asylum Seekers Enter San Ysidro
On Friday, border officials started processing the first of about 26,000 people who have pending cases in U.S. immigration courts and were waiting in Tijuana, Mexico, under the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols. The group of 25 asylum seekers quietly entered the San Ysidro Port of Entry, unnoticed by journalists and hundreds of other asylum seekers in the plaza of the port of entry. These individuals were selected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with the help of local groups that work with migrants in Tijuana. El Paso and Brownsville, Texas, are expected to begin a similar process by this week. San Diego Union-Tribune
International College Students Suing U.S. Government
International college students barred from the country are suing the U.S. government. The Department of Homeland Security allowed international students to attend online classes in the U.S. But in July, Trump officials changed that guidance in what seemed to be an attempt to get colleges to reopen, barring international students from the U.S. if their classes were remote. Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology led a lawsuit in July that forced DHS to change this, but only some international students were able to return. In October, 16 international student athletes that should be participating in sports filed another lawsuit against DHS and ICE. USA TODAY
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