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U.S. Heartland Cities Growing Thanks to Immigrants

Plus: Public health expulsions lead to more rescue missions and deaths, Border Patrol agent charged with human trafficking, and more.

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Cities in the American heartland have seen their populations shrink for years, but immigration is starting to reverse that fate. According to the Heartland Forward Think Tank, Columbus, Ohio, and Des Moines, Iowa, are among the U.S. cities that have recently seen the quickest growing foreign-born population over the past decade. They’ve grown at a faster pace than New York City or Los Angeles. The report also shows that the 20 central states’ foreign-born population grew from 23.5 percent in 2010 to 31.1 percent in 2019. In Des Moines, Columbus and Louisville, Kentucky, the number of foreign-born residents jumped more than 40 percent through 2019. Bloomberg 

In other national immigration news…

Public Health Law Leads to Increased Deaths, Rescue Missions

U.S. Customs and Border Protection detailed in a report that during 2020, some migrants were found lost in the desert and mountains or stuck in the tides of the Rio Grande. Mother Jones and The Marshall Project compiled data showing how even though encounters at the southern border declined in the 2020 fiscal year, the number of rescue operations doubled to its highest rate throughout the last decade. The death rate also almost doubled from 35 to 62 migrants found dead for every 100,000 migrants CBP encountered. The Trump administration’s implementation of Title 42, expelling all asylum seekers due to the pandemic, likely contributed to the rising numbers as migrants tried to find other ways into the U.S.  Mother Jones and The Marshall Project 

Texas Border Patrol Agent Charged with Human Trafficking 

An unnamed Texas Border Patrol Agent from the Laredo Sector who joined the agency in 2008 was charged with human trafficking after over 180 migrants were discovered in three stash houses earlier this month. According to CBP, the agent was arrested May 21 and charged by a grand jury with felony offenses “related to transporting undocumented individuals for private gain.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas put the agent on “indefinite suspension” while it investigates. CBP said the migrants were not wearing personal protective equipment and were allegedly being held against their will. Newsweek 

Colorado Bill Would Provide Immigrants With Free Reproductive Care

Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill to give free contraceptives and reproductive care to undocumented immigrants. The bill would create a reproductive health care program within the state health department to provide contraceptives, management of birth control products or devices and counseling to individuals who don’t qualify for Medicaid because of their immigration status. Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D), who is one of the bill’s sponsors, noted medical studies show access to these contraceptives would reduce infant mortality rates and increase graduation rates among young women. The Associated Press

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