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Judge Micaela Alvarez of the Texas Southern District Court ruled the federal government can take “immediate possession” of a Texas family’s land along the southern border. The Trump administration began trying to claim the Cavazos family’s land years ago, leading them to fight to keep their land that’s been passed down for generations. “We’re hardworking Hispanic landowners. To my family, you can offer whatever, it’s more important for them to save their land,” said Baudilla “Lily” Cavazos Rodriquez. The government is typically allowed to take private land for public use. Cavazos Rodriguez thought the case would be dropped when Biden took office and terminated wall construction. CNN
In other national immigration news…
DACA Recipient Forced to Leave Her Baby and Remain in Mexico
Karumi Duran can only see her eight month old baby girl through a Zoom call. Duran has lived in Texas with her family since she was six years old and is married to a U.S. citizen. But she’s been stuck in Mexico City for three weeks. Duran, who is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient, went for an interview for her legal residency status at the American Consulate in Juarez, Mexico. The officer at the U.S. Consulate decided that she wasn’t eligible since she crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without documentation when she was 6 years old and was given a 10-year ban from re-entering the U.S. ABC7
$2.1 Million to Cover Costs of Asylum Seekers in Pima County
County officials in southern Arizona said the federal government will give 2.1 million to cover the costs of migrants seeking asylum. Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry said the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded a grant for the county, which includes Tucson. The funding will cover costs such as food, shelter, transportation and medical care for migrants. The announcement came after Tucson officials contracted hotels to temporarily house migrants. Huckleberry said the county spent over $30,000 on transportation, as well as payments for separate vehicles for six migrants that tested positive for COVID-19. The Associated Press
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Phone Message Might Be Scaring People Who Need it
Advocates say a new federal program providing funeral expenses to families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 may not reach individuals who need it the most due to fear of sharing information with the federal government. Immigrants disproportionately contracted and died of COVID-19, but often fear government interaction because they worry it could lead to deportation. When applicants call a phone line to apply for the $9,000 aid, a prerecorded message says the information they provide may be shared with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. KQED
Asylum Seekers Explain Why They Came to the U.S.
Even though the Biden administration is urging migrants not to come to the U.S., some say they aren’t hearing his message, or that he hasn’t been persuasive enough. Those arriving at the border are leaving their hometowns, mainly in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, because of dangerous conditions they feel they need to flee. According to U.S. Border Patrol data, migrants from those three countries accounted for about 70 percent of people who were arrested at the U.S. border in 2019. Vox spoke to asylum seekers from Guatemala, Cameroon and Cuba about why they left their home countries, and they said it was a survival instinct to run from danger. Vox