fbpx Ahead of a Potential Russian Invasion, Immigration Attorneys Scramble to Get Ukrainians to the U.S. - Documented

Ahead of a Potential Russian Invasion, Immigration Attorneys Scramble to Get Ukrainians to the U.S.

Plus: A Florida bill targeting the “smuggling” of “unauthorized aliens” gets tweaked, but advocates’ concerns persist

Fisayo Okare

Feb 23, 2022

U. S. Department of State Headquarters by Mark Van Scyoc

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

With tensions building in Eastern Europe, Americans with loved ones in Ukraine are hurriedly trying to get them into the U.S. Immigration attorneys are seeing an increase in requests for legal help ahead of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine, following the U.S. embassy’s suspension of counsel in the country. As a result, many people can’t access their immigration files and may have to begin from scratch. Still, attorneys are advising those scrambling to move their loved ones out of the country to do so quickly. CBS New York

In other national immigration news…

Florida Bill Targeting “Smuggling” of “Unauthorized Aliens” Gets Tweaked, but Advocates’ Concerns Persist

Florida Senate bill SB 1808 would bar state and local governments from signing contracts with companies operating planes or buses that “willfully” provide a service “transporting an unauthorized alien” into Florida. Immigration advocates moved to fight the bill and argued the term “unauthorized aliens” is vague. So a Senate committee redefined it as “a person who is unlawfully present in the United States according to the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.” But the changes are still not enough for critics of the bill. Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel for ACLU of Florida, worries the bill could “exacerbate racial profiling.” Florida Phoenix

New Center to Process Afghan Evacuees in Virginia Sparks Controversy

As the U.S. government aims to repurpose a conference center in Northern Virginia to receive additional Afghan evacuees, a local sheriff is raising concerns. The Loudon County sheriff flagged a “lack of communication, lack of planning, and language barriers” surrounding the center’s opening, as well as its “unfenced proximity to a residential neighborhood and two public schools.” In a statement, the sheriff said the Department of Homeland Security said the government planned to transport around 2,000 Afghan evacuees a month, mostly from Qatar, to the National Conference Center beginning this month. The center is due to open as the government shuts the last of eight sites on military bases that housed tens of thousands of Afghan refugees since August. Reuters

Questions Remain Unanswered Regarding Family that Froze to Death Along U.S.-Canada Border

It has been one month since an autopsy report revealed a family of four, ages 11 to 39 years old, died of extreme weather conditions while crossing the Canada border into the U.S. But questions still remain about the case. How were they smuggled to the United States? What will happen to surviving immigrants who made it across the border? How and why did the family set out on foot in a frigid -35 degrees (F) weather? Seven Indian nationals arrested in connection to the case have been released from custody and ordered to return to Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a later date. The tragedy drew attention to the practice of human smuggling, in which hundreds of Indian migrants are brought to the U.S. at their own expense. AsAmNews

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.




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