Refugee admissions to resume after pause
Refugee admissions are set to resume after a pause implemented in the latter part of 2021. The administration temporarily paused most refugee resettlement from overseas as agencies focused their efforts on resettling Afghan evacuees. CNN reported last week that a State Department spokesperson confirmed “no restrictions on refugee travel” beginning January 11.
Meanwhile, December 31st ended the first quarter of 2022’s fiscal year with only 3,268 refugees admitted to the United States so far - only 2.6% of the annual goal with 75% of the fiscal year remaining.
The majority of Afghan evacuees have left the military bases to settle in the US
Of the approximately 76,000 Afghan evacuees brought to the United States since last August, 76% have been moved on from the temporary camps at military bases and are finding homes across the United States. 17,000 are still living in 5 military sites in Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Virginia and Wisconsin. Communities across the country have offered support in finding housing, employment, and providing a warm welcome to these new neighbors. Our partners at the National Immigration Forum share a daily roundup of some of these stories in their daily email, Noorani’s Notes. Subscribe here to hear more of these stories.
The humanitarian situation remains concerning for those who remained in Afghanistan, as food prices have soared and malnutrition has become a rising problem. The US announced $308 million in aid for Afghans as the crisis grows and 22% of Afghans face “near famine” conditions. This aid will reportedly flow through humanitarian organizations rather than the new government under Taliban rule.
Reports show a disturbing trend of deadly Border Patrol chases
A recent report in the New York Times highlights a concerning increase in the number of high speed chases from the Border Patrol that have resulted in crashes and deaths. While an average of 3.5 deaths occurred per year from these crashes from 2010 to 2019, there were 14 such deaths in 2020 and then 21 deaths in 2021.
A joint investigation from ProPublica and Los Angeles Times, reviewing data from 2015 to 2018, found that Border Patrol vehicle chases ended in a crash on an average of every 9 days, and there were 250 injuries and 22 deaths in the years investigated. Of over 500 vehicle pursuits analyzed from the southern border in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, 1 out of 3 ended in a crash.
An attorney for the ACLU in Texas filed a complaint in July 2020, stating that, “The high number of injuries and deaths resulting from Border Patrol’s actions suggest either that the policy fails to protect the safety and lives of pursuit subjects or that agents are consistently acting outside the bounds of agency policy.”