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After the Trump administration shifted $2 billion in military spending to border wall construction, the Biden administration is redirecting it back. When he stepped into office, Biden quickly paused wall construction pending a review of the project. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, this move will restore funds for on-base schools, hangars, housing and facilities, including over $10 million for missile expansion and $79 million for elementary school for U.S. military children in Germany. “Building a massive wall that spans the entire southern border and costs American taxpayers billions of dollars is not a serious policy solution or responsible use of Federal funds,” said OMB in its fact sheet. CNN
In other federal immigration news…
Biden Terminates Office Investigating Crimes by Immigrants
On Friday, the Biden administration dismissed a government office created to assist victims of crimes committed by immigrants. Former President Donald Trump created the Victim of Immigration Crime Engagement Office in January 2017. The Victims Engagement and Services Line will replace the office, and will provide services such as a system to report abuse in immigration detention centers and a notification system for lawyers and others interested in immigration cases. In the last three months of 2018, the Trump-era program received 781 calls, and 256 of those who called were provided with services. CBS News
Immigration Judges Say They’re Overworked and Under Pressure
Immigration judges told NBC News that the system has reached its breaking point. Throughout the U.S., there are 500 immigration judges that decide asylum cases, determining who remains in the U.S. or gets deported. The judges are concerned there aren’t enough of them, saying they need more support and feel political pressure from their bosses to follow the direction of the Justice Department. “We are in the legal fight for our life to ensure that our decisional independence is valued and maintained,” said Judge Amienca Khan. The Biden administration is looking to hire 100 new immigration judges. NBC News