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Immigrants Could Help Fill 3 Million U.S. Job Openings, Experts Say

Plus: Immigration attorneys refuse to participate in “Remain in Mexico," and Haitians were the top asylum seekers in Mexico this year

Deanna Garcia

Nov 07, 2021

Chinatown volunteer Yin Chang checks on bags of food her and other volunteers have put together for Asian elderly folks.

Yin Chang checks on bags of food her and other volunteers have put together for Asian elderly folks. Photo: Lam Thuy Vo

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Immigrant experts say that returning to pre-pandemic immigration levels could help fill up the U.S.’s 3 million job openings and help put the country back on the right path. According to a 2019 report from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, over 1 million people obtained U.S. permanent residency that year. But during the pandemic, that number dropped to 707,000. The U.S. labor force participation rate only recovered about half of what was lost during the pandemic. Even though restoring immigrants won’t fully address the labor shortage, experts say it would definitely make a dent. AXIOS 

In other national immigration news…

Immigration Attorneys Refuse to Participate in “Remain in Mexico”

Immigration attorneys are refusing to be added to the list of pro bono legal aid providers for the relaunch of the Migrant Protection Protocols, or “Remain in Mexico.” Attorneys said the program isn’t only dangerous, but takes away the process rights of immigrants and asylum seekers. “What we’re not going to do is be complicit with the government in trying to make MPP somehow more palatable, because there’s no way MPP can be made more humane,” said Sue Kenney-Pfalzer, director of the border and asylum network at HIAS, the Jewish nonprofit that aids refugees. Immigration advocates have said the administration hasn’t done enough to resist a court order to restart the program and criticized the list of attorneys being used during the program. BuzzFeed News 

Haitians Become Top Asylum Seekers in Mexico This Year

Haiti became the top country of origin for migrants seeking asylum in Mexico this year. The country surpassed Honduras, which previously had the highest migration rates. The number of refugee requests from Haiti in 2021 jumped to almost 38,000 amid political turmoil following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse in July and a major earthquake in mid-August. Delays in asylum processing at the border has led to numerous protests and thousands of Haitians to leave Tapachula and head north. Border Report 

Philadelphia Resettlement Agencies Wait for More Afghan Evacuees

As more Afghan evacuees move out of U.S. military bases and into Philadelphia homes, resettlement agencies expect they’ll see more evacuees in the next few weeks. Nationalities Service Center, a Philadelphia resettlement agency, has resettled 86 individuals with an additional 23 expected to be resettled by Friday. HIAS Pennsylvania meanwhile resettled around 35 individuals. So far, 1,500 Afghan evacuees have resettled in Philadelphia, while 26,432 have come to the U.S. through its airport. The rise in resettlement cases has led agencies to quickly hire staff to ensure each individual gets assistance. The Philadelphia Inquirer 

Report: Number of Immigrants in ICE’s Alternative to Detention Program Increased

Austin Kocher, an immigration researcher at TRAC, discovered that the number of immigrants enrolled in Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Alternative to Detention program is continuing to grow. The ATD program, also known as Intensive Supervision Appearance Program, currently has 136,026 individuals in the U.S. being monitored under Telephonic Reporting, SmartLink and GPS technologies. Even though ATD provides an alternative to detention, it has been criticized as a form of invasive immigrant surveillance. According to Kocher, the uptick in ATD technology under the Biden administration could reduce the number of migrants in detention but leaves questions surrounding immigrant rights. Deanna Garcia for Documented.



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