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U.S. authorities revealed Thursday that close to 19,000 migrant children travelled across the southern border in March. This is the largest number of arrivals recorded in one month. The Biden administration has exempted unaccompanied children from Title 42, which the Trump administration put in place to expel people seeking asylum due to the pandemic. The Border Patrol encountered approximately 18,663 children last month, compared to the highs of 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014. The rapid increase in unaccompanied children and families at the border and facilities has caused the administration to scramble for more space and staff to house and care for the children. The Associated Press
In other federal immigration news…
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Biden Sued for Trump-Era Policy
A group of immigration advocates is suing the Biden administration for the Trump-era policy that suspended visa issuance to 35 countries because of the pandemic. Former President Donald Trump claimed the ban would protect American jobs as unemployment soared, though it was mostly unskilled jobs that don’t require skilled visas that were lost. Biden added on to the policy by signing a similar order to include South Africa on the list. A lawsuit challenging the order was filed by close to 200 plaintiffs, including people trying to come to U.S. for work or family, immigration lawyers and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Lawyers contend Biden has a right to suspend entry into the country, but shouldn’t require the State Department to stop issuing visas. The Hill
Immigration Courts Preparing for Asylum Claims
U.S. immigration courts are already backed up with more than 1.3 million cases and are not ready for a flood of asylum claims coming from migrants crossing the border, current and former immigration judges say. “The response to this usually is: ‘Hire more judges.’ And I think the response should be ‘Let’s be smarter about who we put into court and how we prioritize the cases and how we handle cases,” said Jeffrey Chase, a former immigration judge and senior legal adviser for the Board of Immigration Appeals. According to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, there were 1,299,239 active immigration cases pending, up from 542,411 at the beginning of 2017. There are only 529 immigration judges in 67 courts nationwide as of March 31. VOA New
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