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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is coordinating with the Defense Department to use property on Fort Bliss and Lackland Air Force Base to hold around 5,000 beds for unaccompanied migrant children. The Defense Department announced Wednesday that it approved HHS’s request to temporarily house migrant children at the two military sites. “From the start, we were working under very constrained conditions,” said Cindy Huang, director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, adding that COVID-19 reduced any facility’s capacity by 40 percent. According to government data, 4,962 children were in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities while 11,551 children were in HHS custody as of Tuesday. CNN Politics
In other national immigration news…
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1,400 Migrant Children To Be Housed in San Diego Convention Center
While the Biden administration continues to search for ways to get children out of CBP custody, HHS officials announced the San Diego Convention Center will hold about 1,400 migrant children. The facility adds to the list of temporary facilities HHS, along with the Federal Emergency Management Services, has announced. According to San Diego officials, the convention center could start holding children as soon as this weekend. The facility will provide children with medical services, laundry, toiletries, meals and a place to sleep. There will also be a COVID-19 screening protocol, following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The San Diego Union-Tribune
Black Immigrants Fight for Their Rights
Guerline Jozef, cofounder of the Haitian Bridge Alliance, has received many calls from Black immigrants in ICE detention. At first she was only getting calls from Haitians waiting for their asylum process. Most immigrant advocacy groups only have Spanish-speaking staff from Latin America, so Jozef, a Haitian immigrant, saw the need to connect Haitians with advocates who could speak and fight for them. According to a report from the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Black immigrants make up less than 5.4 percent of the undocumented population in the U.S., but make up 10.6 percent of deportation proceedings from 2003 to 2015. The Nation
ICE Asking Google for Users’ Information
Google, Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies have been receiving data requests to help law enforcement agencies with criminal and non criminal investigations. The Los Angeles Times reviewed an email sent to a Google user informing them that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wanted the user’s account information. The email advised the user that the company might hand over the personal information to DHS, unless the recipient sends a court-stamped motion in seven days to terminate the request. According to an annual report, Google received close to 40,000 requests for user information from law enforcement agencies between January 2020 and June 2020. Los Angeles Times
Iowa Detention Facility Wants to Adjust ICE Contract
Hardin County Jail in Eldora, Iowa, is moving to terminate its ICE contract. Administrator Nick Whitmore said the decision was made because the detainee population was falling and because new standards raised costs for medical care. No final changes have been made. But in the meantime, the facility plans to stop housing ICE detainees for months or longer and become a short-term facility that holds detainees for 72 hours. Whitmore said the jail receives $70 per day per detainee from ICE. To cover the new costs, it would likely need more than $100. The Associated Press
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