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For months, Carolina made sure she knew when her court hearing to seek asylum was. And on that day in 2020, she woke up early and took a bus to Laredo, Texas with her daughter. But a gunman stopped the bus, kidnapping everyone and demanding thousands of dollars. When Carolina was released, she had missed her court hearing. Of the 68,000 asylum cases processed under former President Donald Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols, 28,000 were closed because the asylum seekers didn’t appear in court. Lawyers and advocates say many migrants missed their court dates because they were kidnapped, detained by Mexican officials or couldn’t find a safe way to cross the border at night. The Washington Post
In other national immigration news…
Tenants Fear Displacement by Amazon Workers
Longtime residents at the Southern Towers apartment complex outside Washington, D.C., are afraid they’ll be forced out when the federal eviction moratorium ends, and that workers at Amazon’s second headquarters near Crystal City will take their place. Los Angeles-based CIM Group bought Southern Towers last year, and it has since initiated 162 eviction cases. The tenants at Southern Towers mainly consist of African immigrants. Amaha Kassa, director of African Communities Together, believes the company is trying to kick out current residents to make the building more upscale for residents with higher incomes, which CIM denied. NBC Washington
Yuma Opens Temporary Migrant Facility
A new tent-like temporary facility for migrants opened last week in Yuma, Arizona, to house asylum seekers. Yuma Sector Border Patrol spokesperson Vincent Dulesky said that with social distancing in place, the facility can hold around 250 people, allowing extra space for families and unaccompanied children. For the first four months of operations, the facility will cost $25 million to stay open. If the facility is needed for an additional four months, it would cost an additional $4.6 million per month under its contract. The Associated Press
Migrants in Border Cities Wait for Refuge
The Templo Embajadores De Jesús church, across the border from San Diego, is home to one of many shelters where hundreds of migrant families expelled from the U.S. are staying. Some time last week, close to 1,000 migrants, mainly mothers and children from Honduras and Guatemala, were flown to the church by U.S. immigration officials. The migrants said they were held in South Texas for days and were asked for identification documents and fingerprints. Some also said the agents told them they were going to a shelter in San Diego for the chance to seek asylum. They realized it was a lie when they saw Mexican flags as they were being transported. Boston Globe
Nevada Sheriffs Blame Criminal Activity Increase on Border Policies
Nine Nevada sheriffs signed a letter blaming President Joe Biden’s border policies for an increase in criminal activity in the counties. Earlier this month, 274 sheriffs wrote that their resources are being “overwhelmed” by criminal activity they tied to an increase in immigration. The letter points to gangs, guns, drugs and human trafficking as the dangers. The letter did not include specific evidence of criminal activity that involved undocumented immigrants. Instead, it focused on blaming Biden on the influx of migrants over the last few months. Immigrant advocates criticized the letter for making immigrants appear to be violent criminals. The Nevada Independent
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