Awareness - June 14 2021 - We Welcome Refugees

Awareness - June 14 2021

CBP announced their May border encounter numbers, showing numbers flattening after prior months’ increases

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued their Southwest Land and Border Encounters data for May, showing a marginal increase in overall encounters and dropping numbers of families and unaccompanied children. 

The largest demographic continues to be single adults with 121,082 encounters, 86% of which were expelled under the Title 42 policy. Thirty-eight percent of encounters were with those who had at least one other border crossing attempt in the last 12 months - compared to an average of 15% from 2014-2019.

The number of family unit members and “accompanied minors” dropped by about 11% to 44,794. The number of families arriving from Northern Triangle countries dropped even more dramatically with 31% fewer encounters than in April. Meanwhile the number of families coming from countries other than Mexico and the Northern Triangle increased from 14,862 encounters in April to 18,792 in May (an increase of 21%). The number of families being expelled has gone down, and in May 80% of family unit members were exempted from the Title 42 expulsions. The number of unaccompanied children apprehended dropped by 18%.

SCOTUS ruled that TPS holders who entered the country without authorization are not eligible for green cards

The ruling on Monday was unanimous, and found that those who entered the U.S. without authorization and were later given Temporary Protected Status do not have the right to apply for permanent residency. The opinion written by Justice Elena Kagan explained that under current law, eligibility for LPR status requires “an admission into the country,” which is defined as “lawful entry...after inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.” Although TPS holders currently have a temporary lawful presence in the U.S., they do not qualify to permanently adjust their status. 

The House of Representatives has passed a bill, The American Dream and Promise Act, which would create a legal path to citizenship for TPS holders. It’s uncertain whether the bill will get the support it needs to pass in the Senate.

A bipartisan bill seeking to protect Afghan allies was introduced in the Senate

The Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2021 was introduced to increase the number of visas for the SIV program to 20,000 and revise some eligibility requirements for the program. The bill would also offer status to family members of applicants who were killed before their application process was completed. 

While a bill like this could be helpful in processing more visas, it does not address the urgent need to protect those at risk for their service to the United States. A mass evacuation of Afghan allies would require executive action, and legislators, veterans, and other organizations have written to President Biden in recent weeks, urging him to act immediately to evacuate these allies. You can reach out to President Biden as well using this action tool.