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The number of unaccompanied migrant children in Border Patrol custody continues to rise. As of Wednesday, it was reported that over 3,700 were in facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended close to 800 migrant children on Wednesday, exceeding the current 450 daily average. Just last week, Border Patrol was apprehending around 340 unaccompanied children every day. Many children are staying in Border Patrol custody longer than the limit of three days as officials struggle to find them shelter. More than 100 children have remained in custody for about 10 days. CNN Politics
In other national immigration news…
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Immigration Arrests Decreased More than 60 Percent in February
ICE’s arrests dropped rapidly in the last month, despite a federal judge in Texas blocking the Biden administration’s 100 day pause on deportations. According to ICE data, the amount of immigrants that were taken into custody by ICE officers declined more than 60 percent in February compared to the last three months of the Trump administration. The Biden administration has provided temporary guidelines to ICE officers ordering them to focus enforcement on people who pose national security threats, recent border crossers and those convicted of felonies. The Washington Post
San Diego Mayor Speaks Up on Asylum and Immigration
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria witnessed how asylum seekers from the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program are being processed in San Diego last week. Gloria plans to be a voice of authority on border issues. He was recently appointed to vice chair for border policy in the U.S. Conference of Mayors and even joined other mayors on a call with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Gloria also met with asylum seekers at the border to see what was going on for himself. “We shouldn’t just talk about the border in terms of dollars and cents but also about people and families,” he said. According to the United Nations refugee agency, 327 asylum seekers were processed from Tijuana to San Diego between Feb. 19 to Mar. 5. The San Diego Union-Tribune
No Evidence of Migrants Spreading COVID-19 in Texas
While ending Texas’ COVID-19 restrictions, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tried to blame migrants who were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border for spreading the virus throughout the state, with no evidence to back it up. COVID-19 rates are still higher in Texas than other states and the number of immigrants in federal detention facilities are continuing to grow. Still, Abbott rejected help from the Biden administration to test and quarantine migrants and said that job is up to the federal government. Mayors and advocates at border cities say migrants’ positivity rates remain low. ABC News
North Carolina Senate Approves Bill to Follow ICE Requests
North Carolina’s state Senate approved Republican legislation calling for sheriffs to share detainees’ immigration statuses and help federal agents who want to detain them on Thursday. This bill is similar to a 2019 measure that Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoed. GOP lawmakers were upset with the first-term Democratic sheriffs who refused to work with ICE. They claimed the sheriff’s decisions freed violent criminals. These sheriffs, alongside immigrant advocates, meanwhile argue this bill would discourage immigrants from contacting police about any crimes as they feared deportation. The Associated Press
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