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Obstacles persist as Biden attempts to chart a new U.S.-Mexico border strategy

Plus: Visa changes ease the legal immigration system for foreign students, and the U.S. expands Remain in Mexico to the Rio Grande Valley

Fisayo Okare

Jan 25, 2022

A close-up view of the fence along the U.S. border

A close-up view of the fence along the U.S. border (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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

After a year of record arrests and political backlash, Biden administration officials are realizing they aren’t making progress on building a new system on the U.S.-Mexico border, and that the delay has slowed progress on other immigration issues. A senior administration official said the administration plans to create a system that’s quick and transparent, in which people can quickly have their asylum claims heard. “Easier said than done, but that’s the goal,” the official said. Currently, the administration focusing on using technology to make asylum more accessible, as well as a proposed regional compact to reduce migration. CNN

In other federal immigration news…

Visa changes ease legal immigration system for foreign students

The Biden administration is making changes to make it easier for international students and professionals in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math to remain in the U.S. Senior administration officials said the new policies are meant to keep foreign students who studied STEM fields in the U.S. from returning to their home countries, with a goal to boost innovation give the U.S. an advantage over countries with more lenient immigration systems. After graduating, students in STEM disciplines will be allowed to work in the U.S. for three years, as opposed to just one year of work offered to all international students. Wall Street Journal

U.S. expands Remain in Mexico policy to Rio Grande Valley

In compliance with a federal court order, the Department of Homeland Security said Friday that it has expanded the Remain in Mexico policy to Rio Grande Valley, which has historically been the busiest border sector for unlawful crossings. In the latest development, migrants will be processed in Brownsville, Texas, and sent to Matamoros, Tamaulipas — a region of Mexico the U.S. cautions against visiting because of cartel violence and kidnapping risks. Asylum seekers who are returned from the Rio Grande Valley to Matamoros will then be given the choice of staying in Monterrey. CBS News

Fisayo Okare

Fisayo writes Documented’s "Early Arrival" newsletter and "Our City" column. She is an MSc. graduate of Columbia Journalism School, New York, and earned her BSc. degree in Mass Comm. from Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.

@fisvyo

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