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U.S. and Mexico Reach Deal for “Remain in Mexico”

Plus: Four agencies allocated $7 billion for Afghan resettlement, and 50% more immigrants are in jail since Biden took office

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

U.S. officials told reporters Thursday that the Biden administration has finally come to an agreement with the Mexican government to bring back the Trump-era program “Remain in Mexico.” As mentioned in Monday’s Early Arrival, the program will start Monday at one location and then expand to California’s San Diego and Texas’ Brownsville, Laredo and El Paso crossings. Mexico called for the U.S. to enact numerous humanitarian improvements before the program could begin, including to guarantee that asylum seekers will have access to legal counsel and that their humanitarian claims will be processed within 180 days. Officials mentioned that the Department of Justice assigned 22 immigration judges to oversee the program reboot and ensure the process follows its 180-day deadline. The Washington Post 

In other federal immigration news…

Four Afghan Resettlement Agencies Allocated $7 Billion

House lawmakers came to an agreement on a temporary funding bill for federal agencies through mid-February. The bill will extend funds through Feb. 18 and will split an additional $7 billion between four agencies to assist the relocation of Afghan refugees. In a statement, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said the measure makes “virtually no changes to existing funding or policy” and allows the process to move forward with the original funding deal. The White House in a statement said it’s pushing for “swift passage” of the bill. CBS News 

50% Increase in Immigrant Detainees Since Biden Sat in Office

Back in February, the Biden administration issued an interim memorandum that instructed immigration agents to shift their focus to detaining undocumented immigrants who were suspected of terrorism, those who came the the U.S. after Nov. 1, 2020 and those with an aggravated felony. To immigrant rights advocates, this meant that many undocumented immigrants who lived in the country for years didn’t have to worry about deportation. But advocates say that this hasn’t been the case since Biden took office. According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, 22,129 immigrants are in ICE jails, which is a 56% increase since Biden took office. Of them, 74% of detainees don’t have a criminal record. The Texas Tribune

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