The Joe Biden administration is expected to propose legislation that could forge a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, including undocumented residents in New Mexico. President Biden released a fact sheet on his first day of office detailing an immigration bill that the nonprofit organization New Mexico Dream Team calls “one of the boldest and most progressive immigration bills in our history.”
Felipe Rodriguez, co-director of New Mexico Dream Team, told NM Political Report that there are around 7,000 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients in the state and that is “just a fraction of the immigrant population” in New Mexico. Biden’s proposal would provide an eight-year pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants who currently reside in the U.S. It would also expedite a 3-year pathway to citizenship to undocumented youth, farm workers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders who migrated from specifically designated countries involved in armed conflict or other extraordinary conditions. Another important feature of Biden’s proposed legislation is what it doesn’t include, Rodriguez said. “It’s very common for immigration bills to contain money for enforcement and border militarization,” Rodriguez said.
Since March, the Trump administration has pushed thousands of migrant children back to their home countries without legal screenings or protection, citing the risk that they could be carrying COVID-19 into the United States.
But by the time the children are boarded on planes home, they’ve already been tested for the virus — and proven not to have it.
Without relief aid from the federal and state government, immigrant families could suffer homelessness and hunger. Amber Wallin, NM Voices for Children’s deputy director, said that without any aid during the public health emergency and economic crisis, the crisis will worsen for immigrant families, leading to homelessness and hunger. That could also mean there will be children who live in immigrant or mixed-status homes who won’t be prepared to learn due to hunger in the coming school year. Some immigrant-owned businesses will be unable to restart, leading to more job losses, she said. “We had huge challenges already.
Immigrants, including those who lack U.S. citizenship documentation, can get tested for COVID-19 and seek medical care at a public hospital free of charge. A visit to the hospital will not result in a charge against an undocumented immigrant, according to Michelle Melendez, director of Albuquerque’s Office of Equity and Inclusion. She also said social security numbers will not be gathered. That message was one part of Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s Facebook live press conference Monday to address equity, one of Keller’s signature concerns as mayor. When Keller took office in 2017, he created the Office of Equity and Inclusion to address systemic racism in the city and selected Melendez to lead it.
The Trump administration announced Thursday it transferred 560 acres of land administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior to the U.S. Army to pave the way for the construction of a border wall between the United States and Mexico—including some land in New Mexico. The land in New Mexico includes a 170 acre parcel that includes parts of Luna and Hidalgo counties for “replacement of existing vehicle barrier with pedestrian barrier.” An additional 43 acres in Hidalgo County is slated for “construction of new primary and secondary pedestrian barriers.”
The announcement by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt said the transfer would allow the construction of about 70 miles of border barriers.
The move comes after the Trump administration diverted $3.6 billion in funding for military projects to fund the controversial border wall. “Absent this action, national security and natural resource values will be lost,” Bernhardt said. “The impacts of this crisis are vast and must be aggressively addressed with extraordinary measures.”
Of the $3.6 billion in diverted military funds, $125 million comes from projects slated for New Mexico, at Holloman Air Force Base and White Sands Missile Range. Thursday’s move drew immediate condemnation from members of New Mexico’s federal delegation.
This story was originally published by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, a nonprofit news organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Learn more at revealnews.org and subscribe to the Reveal podcast, produced with PRX, at revealnews.org/podcast. A high-ranking immigration court official has issued a requirement to judges in New York City that deportation cases involving families “MUST BE COMPLETED WITHIN 365 DAYS,” according to documents obtained by Reveal. The order may violate due process, as well as long-standing rules that protect families from deportation before their cases have been adjudicated fully.
The discovery of Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Daniel Daugherty’s email to judges illustrates the inner workings of one of the nation’s busiest immigration courts, days after the Department of Justice filed a petition to disband the immigration judges union.
The department and union have been battling over judges’ independence. Immigration court cases involving parents and children – such as those separated at the border or in the recent Mississippi workplace raids – can take several years to adjudicate.
“Trump administration’s latest asylum rule allowed to stand in Texas, New Mexico” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Asylum-seeking migrants who cross into Texas or New Mexico can be barred from receiving asylum protection if they passed through another country before arriving at the U.S. border, a federal court ruled Friday. The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a partial victory for the Trump administration, which announced a policy last month that would disqualify most asylum seekers from receiving protection in the United States if they crossed through another country and didn’t first apply for asylum there. A federal district judge in San Francisco initially halted the measure, aimed at blocking asylum claims from Central Americans, but Friday’s decision by the 9th Circuit let the policy stand in Texas and New Mexico while halting it in Arizona and California, which are in the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction. The ruling could change the fate for thousands of people waiting to apply for asylum in Mexican border cities like Ciudad Juárez, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros.
A growing number of expectant mothers are among the migrants pouring in daily from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador — even Haiti — to more than 30 already overflowing shelters in Tijuana, Mexico. “More women are arriving pregnant or with babies,” said pastor Gustavo Banda of the Embajadores de Jesús (Ambassadors of Jesus) church, which operates a shelter in Cañón del Alacrán (Scorpion’s Canyon) on the outskirts of Tijuana. “We have a lot of Haitian women and some Central American.”
Some women also get pregnant while they wait. These pregnant women are stuck here because the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program requires some U.S.-bound asylum applicants to register at ports of entry and then return to Mexican border cities to wait as their claims are processed. It’s a period of great anxiety, if only because many want their children born in the United States.
ByJulián Aguilar and Jay Root, The Texas Tribune |
“”All we want is for them to listen to us”: In Mexico, Trump’s latest asylum policy stirs anger, fear and confusion” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. CIUDAD JUAREZ, MEXICO — Last Wednesday in this border city, Carmen, a Cuban woman who’s been stuck here since May, fought to contain her rage and desperation. “I feel like an idiot,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen now. Do you know what’s going to happen?”
About the same time — and more than 900 miles away in the Mexican city of Matamoros — Jorge Luis Gutierrez, also from Cuba, was reeling from what he said was a trap laid for asylum seekers by the Mexican and American governments.
“Immigrant children returned to West Texas facility despite reports of squalid conditions” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection
EL PASO — More than 100 undocumented immigrant children have been returned to a U.S. Border Patrol facility in West Texas despite reports of deplorable conditions in the small holding facility. A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson confirmed that more than 100 children had been returned to the facility in Clint, a small town just east of El Paso. The news was first reported by The New York Times. The facility has been under intense scrutiny after reports surfaced last week alleging children were held without adequate water, food and proper sanitation.