Refugee resettlement numbers doubled in March
The number of refugees resettled in the US in March was 6,122, up from 3,069 in February. The total number of admissions halfway through FY2023 is now up to 18,429 of the 125,000 admissions cap. The top nationalities resettled in March include the DRC, Burma, Syria, and Afghanistan. Resettlement numbers from Latin American and Caribbean countries were at 493 for the month, from 395 in February. The US must increase the number of refugees resettled from that region in order to honor the commitment to resettle 20,000 in FY2023 and FY2024.
House Republicans release border focused immigration bill
On Monday, the House released immigration legislation that would virtually eliminate asylum for anyone other than Mexicans or those financially able to take a direct flight into the U.S. It would also expand migrant family detention, restrict the use of humanitarian parole, and require electronic verification for employers who hire individuals without documentation. The bill is scheduled to be marked up this week and faces hurdles in getting passed in the House. It is also unlikely to be passed in the Senate.
Biden administration announces regulation to expand health care coverage for Dreamers
President Biden plans to allow almost 600,000 immigrants who are enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to obtain coverage under Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. DACA recipients do not currently have permanent legal status in the U.S. and therefore do not qualify for most federal benefits. The proposed rule would change the “lawful presence” definition in order to allow Dreamers to be eligible for the programs.
Border crossing numbers rise in March
U.S. Border Patrol agents reported over 162,000 apprehensions of migrants between ports of entry in March, up 25% from February. This increase follows a traditional pattern of higher border crossing numbers in the spring, but the numbers remain lower than those recorded in March 2021 and March 2022. The numbers of unlawful crossings continue to be at historically high levels and the Department of Homeland Security is preparing for as many as 13,000 migrants to cross the border per day once Title 42 ends when the national health emergency expires on May 11.