Title 42 ends and the number of border crossings drop
After the Title 42 national health emergency policy ended at 11:59 pm on May 11, the expected rise in numbers of migrant crossings at the border did not happen. In fact, DHS Secretary Alexander Mayorkas reported that border patrol agents have seen a 50% decrease in the number of migrants crossing since the policy’s end.
The number of migrants in border patrol custody has risen, however, and holding facilities have surpassed capacity. Officials have warned that these numbers will continue to rise due to an order issued by a federal judge in Florida hours before Title 42 was lifted. The order blocks a Biden administration policy that allowed agents to quickly release qualifying migrants in order to reduce overcrowding in detention facilities. The administration has requested an emergency stay, warning that the order could lead to dangerous conditions in the facilities.
An unaccompanied minor died in U.S. custody in Florida
A 17-year-old boy from Honduras who arrived in the U.S. without a guardian died in a shelter for unaccompanied children in Safety Harbor, FL last week. This is the second death of a migrant child in 2 months with the death of a 4-year-old child from Honduras while in government custody in March that had not been previously reported. The death of the teen is under investigation.
Experts push for immigration reform to allow more international STEM workers to come to the U.S.
More than 60 experts sent a letter to Congress warning them that the U.S. is falling behind China when it comes to numbers of people employed in the science and engineering fields. They state that this is largely due to lack of access to international workers as a result of current restrictions on STEM immigration which have caused backlogs and long waiting times for individuals to obtain visas to work in the U.S. "Preserving our ability to attract international STEM talent transcends political partisanship," they wrote. In addition, the experts cited that the lack of STEM talent is a national security concern because 82% of companies in defense industries report that it is hard to find qualified STEM workers.