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Wilton Obregon and his mother Meylin, Nicaragua natives, crossed the border to Texas last month to seek asylum. But despite the Biden administration’s insistence that a public health order allowing rapid expulsions wouldn’t apply to children, the 10-year-old and his mother were dismissed to Mexico. Wilton’s brother Misael says they were kidnapped hours after the expulsion. Misael got a call from the kidnappers demanding $10,000 for his mother and brother. Since Misael was only able to come up with $5,000, they released his brother and kept his mother. Wilton was abandoned across the border by the smugglers, and wandered through farmland in South Texas looking for help. He eventually ran into a Border Patrol agent, who recorded the encounter. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
More Than 300,000 Asylum-Seekers Stuck in Limbo
The number of asylum applicants waiting for a response from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has increased to over 386,000 as of September 2020, according to the Human Rights First. U.S. law requires officials to administer asylum interviews within 45 days of the application and make a decision within 180 days. The report shows many asylum seekers have waited years for an answer. While applicants wait, they typically can’t work, pursue an education or obtain medical care and housing. Deportation remains a constant threat while they wait for a response on their permanent status. The Biden administration has said it will work to restore the asylum system to hurry up the process. HuffPost
Rhode Island Cities Win Immigration Policing Dispute
Providence Mayor Jorge Elozra and Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera won a two-year legal battle against the U.S. Department of Justice regarding their cities’ fight against immigration enforcement. The mayors had alleged the Trump administration’s DOJ was forcing their cities to carry out federal immigration policies. According to the lawsuit, this included requiring recipients of the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to provide immigration enforcement agents access to correctional facilities, as well as notifying them when inmates would be released. A court had ruled in the cities’ favor, and DOJ dropped the former administration’s appeal. The Providence Journal
Tucson Airport Will House Migrants in Tent Facility
A tent-like facility to house unaccompanied migrants will be set up on the east of the Tucson International Airport in the next few weeks, a Border Patrol official told the Tucson City Council. Last month, Border Patrol agents encountered close to 20,000 migrants in the Tucson Sector and about 11,800 in the Yuma Sector. Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin, head of the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, wrote on Friday that the facility is designed to hold 500 people, but “with COVID considerations and with restrictions from litigation, our capacity will likely be approximately 150-200.” Tucson.com
300 Activists March for Immigration Reform in El Paso
On Saturday, over 300 activists marched through Downtown El Paso for the ‘We Are The 11 Million’ campaign. The campaign calls for immigration reform that includes “a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented, the demilitarization of the southern border, and increased transparency and accountability among federal immigration enforcement agencies.” During the event, advocates declared that the U.S. needed to help relieve the causes of migration and recognize contributions of immigrants to communities and the economy. El Paso Times
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