U.S launches program allowing private sponsorships of refugees from around the world
On Thursday, the State Department announced a new program that will allow groups of citizens and permanent residents to financially sponsor refugees for resettlement. The groups would also be responsible for creating a support plan and would need to pass the required background checks. The program is called Welcome Corps and signals what could be a significant change in U.S. policy surrounding refugee resettlement. For decades the federal government has provided funds to nine nonprofit organizations who are responsible for the resettlement of refugees. The State Department’s goal is to have 10,000 private sponsors settle 5,000 refugees in the first year of the program.
CBP One app gives migrants given asylum interviews hundreds of miles away
Migrants in Matamoros and Reynosa, Mexico report that they are being given asylum interviews at U.S. ports of entry that are hundreds of miles from their location. Some are being given appointments at the port in Tijuana which is over 1,500 miles from their location. Alma Ruth, director and founder of Practice Mercy Foundation says that many migrants are requesting help with transportation to these distant locations. “Why do we need to send them to El Paso, to Tijuana, to Eagle Pass? It’s impossible to travel like that inside Mexico without a death sentence. Even Mexicans don’t do that. And I know that because I’m from Mexico,” Ruth said. Ruth is planning to connect with other nonprofit organizations to help migrants obtain the transportation they need to attend their appointments.
Immigrants are key to addressing lack of workers in the U.S.
According to Labor Secretary Martin Walsh the lack of workers in the U.S. is the biggest threat to the country's economy. "The threat to the American economy long-term is not inflation, it's [about] immigration," he said. "It's not having enough workers." According to a recent poll, the large majority of Americans want bipartisan immigration reform in order to address labor shortages and improve processes at the border. Dan Gordon, Vice President of Strategic Communications at the National Immigration Forum, noted that “Americans recognize that immigration reforms this year can help address some of our most pressing challenges.”