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The Biden administration is reevaluating lifting COVID-19 restrictions that barred over 750,000 migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border since October. According to sources familiar with the deliberations, the White House and the Department of Homeland Security were considering terminating the public health order rapidly expelling migrants on July 31. But as of Tuesday, those plans were in flux and the White House hadn’t sent plans to U.S. Customs and Border Protection detailing how to eliminate the order. Immigrant advocates say the order has put migrants in danger, causing many to stay in dangerous conditions in Mexico. CNN and NBC News
In other federal immigration news…
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U.S. Sending COVID-19 Vaccines to Honduras and El Salvador
A White House official told CNN that the U.S. will start shipping over 3 million COVID-19 vaccines to specific Central American countries. Through the global vaccination program, COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, the U.S. will send 1.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine to Honduras and 1.5 doses of the Moderna vaccine to El Salvador. The U.S. will also send 500,000 Pfizer vaccines to Panama. The shipments are part of an effort by the Biden administration to provide COVID-19 vaccines to other countries and affirm U.S. leadership. According to White House secretary Jen Psaki, over 1 million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines were getting ready to be shipped to Gambia, Senegal, Zambia and Niger. CNN
U.S. Extends Temporary Protected Status for Somalis
On Monday, DHS secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the 18-month extension of Temporary Protected Status for individuals from Somalia living in the U.S. Mayorkas said he would re-designate Somalia as a dangerous for nationals who currently live in the U.S. to return to. This is the first time since 2012 that DHS decided to re-designate the country. Somali nationals who came to the U.S. over the last nine years will be given the chance to gain protective status, employment authorization, drivers licenses and more. Mayorkas came up with his decision after “careful consideration of the ongoing armed conflict in Somalia, along with national disasters and disease outbreaks, have worsened an already sever humanitarian crisis,” according to a statement. Sahan Journal
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