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The Biden administration plans on revealing a program Monday that would let private groups sponsor Afghan evacuees and assist their resettlement in the U.S., three sources familiar with the plan told CBS News. According to a presentation describing the plan, groups of about five individuals could apply to become “sponsor circles” that would help Afghan refugees secure housing, basic necessities, financial support, legal counsel and medical services for about 90 days. This program would become an alternative to the traditional refugee resettlement process, which is overseen by nine national agencies and their local affiliates. The “Sponsor Circle Program,” a joint initiative between the Department of State and the Community Sponsorship Hub, oversees online applications from potential sponsors and helps connect them with refugees. CBS News
In other federal immigration news…
Small USCIS Staff Tackling Humanitarian Requests
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services allocated just six employees to process roughly 14,000 humanitarian requests for Afghan evacuees seeking relocation last week, drawing condemnation from lawmakers. “That is completely and utterly unacceptable, and I call on USCIS to address the shortcoming immediately,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, (D-R.I.). As of Friday, that number jumped to close to 20,000 requests, which is 10 times more than the number of humanitarian applications submitted around the world in a typical year, said a USCIS official. In response to Langevin’s criticism, the USCIS official said the agency is assigning additional staff for the workload. VOA News
Arizona Mayor Claims Migration Stresses Local Services
Yuma, Arizona, Mayor Douglas Nicholls (R) told a Washington, D.C. forum that the increase of undocumented immigrants is stressing health care and nonprofits that assist migrants in his town. “As these (migrant) numbers continue to increase, it’s going to be beyond their capability,” he said. “From that perspective we have real concern about our health care system holding up, our nonprofit system holding up, and even our economy.” His comments come as apprehensions of immigrants at the southern border are at their highest numbers in decades. Immigration advocates say those numbers can be misleading since they might represent one migrant who was stopped multiple times. They also argued that nonprofits were under stress due to the pandemic before immigration numbers increased in Trump’s last year. AZ Mirror