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Border Arrests Slightly Increased in April

Plus: Undocumented make up half of U.S. farmworkers, 20,000 minors waiting to be reunited with families, and more immigration news.

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

Immigration arrests and detentions along the southern border slightly increased in April to 178,622, the highest one-month total in two decades, according to recent Customs and Border Protection data. April is the first month of President Biden’s term that the total number of border crossings didn’t majorly increase, as it only rose three percent from March. CBP officials expected a jump in numbers of unaccompanied children and migrant families crossing, but those groups’ numbers declined in April. Instead, single adult migrants mostly arrived. CBP data also revealed that the number of minors taken into the agency’s custody in April dropped 9 percent. The Washington Post 

In other national immigration news…

Undocumented Farmworkers Struggle to Feed Their Families

Close to half of the 2.5 million farmworkers in the U.S. are undocumented workers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farms have long been considered one of the most dangerous workplaces in the U.S. due to low pay, likelihood of injuries, long hours and other dangers. The John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s research shows how for the undocumented, food security, poor housing, language barriers and discrimination are also a part of these workers’ lives. These undocumented farmworkers pay taxes and have American children, but have few labor rights, limited access to health services and live in fear of deportation. The Guardian

20,000 Migrant Minors Waiting to be Reunited With Families

Meybelin has been living in the San Diego Convention Center for a month. She’s been waiting to be released to her brother in the U.S., and often calls her parents in El Salvador about the wait. Meybelin is one of 20,000 minors in Department of Health and Human Services custody awaiting their next move. According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 80 percent of unaccompanied children who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border has a relative in the U.S. But connecting them with those relatives has taken a lot of time and effort. Meybelin’s attorney said her case has been moved around to different case managers, which caused her release to be pushed back. CNN 

Advocates Pressured U.S. Government to Stop Flying Migrant Families Across Border

Customs and Border Protection confirmed that the U.S. government will stop flying migrant families across southern border states to expel them to Mexico. For the last few months, U.S. officials were placing families who crossed the border in Texas on planes and transporting them to El Paso and San Diego to expel them to Mexico. They were expelled under the Title 42 public health rule enacted under former President Donald Trump, though advocates said the flights negated the alleged purpose of the expulsions: to keep COVID-19 out of the U.S. The flights were used to avoid the Mexican government’s refusal to accept Central American migrants with young children in the busy state of Tamaulipas, which is right next to Rio Grande Valley. CBS News 

Virginia Woman Accused of Pretending to be Immigration Lawyer

Jasmine Moawad was arrested on Wednesday and accused of pretending to be an immigration lawyer working for a service called “Americanos for America Part Incorporated.” The Virginia woman would gather payments from her clients for legal services that she didn’t perform and isn’t licensed to perform, five victims said. According to a statement by Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steev Descano, she targeted the Latino community who “may fear immigration consequences” if they spoke with the police. Moawad was charged with two class four felonies of obtaining money or a signature on false pretense. The statement said she could face 20 years in prison and a fine up to $200,000. WTOP News

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