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Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) lifted the statewide mask mandate even though most residents have still not received the COVID-19 vaccine. Picos, a Mexican restaurant, decided to have customers continue wearing masks. And since, co-owner Monica Richards said they have received several hate messages through the restaurant’s phone and social media threatening to report Picos’ staff to ICE. “For people to be negative towards us for trying to remain safe, so that this doesn’t continue to happen, just makes zero sense to us,” she said. The Texas Restaurant Association says most Texas restaurants are still requiring staff to continue wearing masks. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
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ICE Releases New Appeals Process for Detained Immigrants
ICE officials designed a new appeals process that will allow immigrants and advocates to challenge arrests, detentions and deportations while the Biden administration refocuses the agency’s enforcement efforts. The new program, which enacts the ICE Case Review Process, is included in Biden’s efforts to prioritize the detention and arrest of undocumented immigrants considered national security threats. Immigrants and advocates were already able to challenge arrests, detentions or deportation at a local level, but the new process will send the challenge to a local reviewer looking to see if the enforcement fits Biden’s criteria. BuzzFeed News
More Than 7,000 Migrant Children in U.S. Shelters in February
U.S. shelters have taken in more than 7,000 migrant children in February as a rush of unaccompanied migrants enter the U.S.-Mexico border. According to government data obtained by CBS News, during the first few days in March, more than 1,500 unaccompanied migrant minors were taken into custody. The Office of Refugee Resettlement has been receiving around 337 children per day. This is the highest number of children the refugee office has ever received. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the refugee agency’s shelters to return bed space to pre-pandemic levels just to accommodate the surge. CBS News
Matamoros Tent Camp Taken Down
The migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico, started when former President Donald Trump enacted the Migrant Protection Protocols requiring migrants to remain in Mexico until their immigration court date in the U.S. But it has since been taken down, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security spokesperson said. Biden recently terminated the Remain in Mexico policy and started granting entry to those who were subject to it. The camp in Matamoros is one of many where migrants were forced to stay. On Saturday, DHS said the Biden administration, along with international organizations, began stopping people from staying at the dangerous camp. CNN Politics
Arizona Accepting Consular ID Cards As Valid Identification
Arizona is now accepting consular identification cards as a form of legal identification. Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a law to reverse a previous state law that, in 2011, banned the usage of consular identification cards as authentic identification. Many people were forced to live in the state without legal authorization to be in the U.S., while many others decided to leave. These new changes only apply to consular identification cards that use biometric features. The cards can be used for a variety of things, such as paying for traffic tickets, arranging utilities and enrolling children in school. The Associated Press
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