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Citizenship Eligibility Expanded for Children of Same-Sex Couples

Plus: Asylum case backlog continues to grow, DHS prepares to offer vaccines to migrants at the southern border

Deanna Garcia

Aug 06, 2021

A naturalization ceremony in Philadelphia in June, 2019. A furlough of USCIS employees could bring naturalizations to a halt. Credit: Shutterstock

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On Thursday, the Biden administration announced it will allow children born abroad to parents who used assisted reproductive technology, including same-sex couples, to qualify for U.S. citizenship and green cards. According to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services policy change shared with CBS News, as long as one parent is a U.S. citizen and one parent is genetically related or gave birth to the child, the baby will meet eligibility requirements. USCIS said the changed guidance is designed to help modern families. “We are committed to removing unnecessary barriers promoting policies for all people as they embark on their journey to citizenship and beyond,” said newly appointed USCIS Director Ur Jaddou in a statement. CBS News 

ICE Detention of Asylum Seekers Continues to Grow

Alexander Martinez fled El Salvador from homophobia, government persecution and the MS-13 gang, yet faced further abuse within the U.S. immigration system. Since crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in April, he has been moved between six different facilities in three states. Martinez said he contracted COVID-19, faced racist ridicule and abuse from guards and was harassed by detainees for being gay. He’s one of thousands of individuals who have cleared their initial screening to seek asylum in the U.S. but have a long wait for further action in their cases. According to the most recent data from ICE, the number of detainees has more than doubled since the end of February to close to 27,000 as of July 22. The Associated Press 

DHS Preparing to Offer Vaccines at the Southern Border

The Biden administration is getting ready to provide COVID-19 vaccines to migrants in U.S. custody along the southern border, according to two Department of Homeland Security officials familiar with the plan. For now, a limited number of migrants have received the vaccine while being housed in ICE detention facilities. With the new plans, DHS would vaccinate migrants the moment they arrive at the border while they wait to be processed by Customs and Border Protection. The vaccine would be given to both those facing deportation and those who will be released into the U.S. One official said migrants who are sent back to Mexico under the Title 42 expulsion order won’t receive the vaccine, at least during the initial phase. The Washington Post



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