Awareness - May 23, 2022 - We Welcome

Awareness - May 23, 2022

The Senate passed bill authorizing additional aid to Ukraine

On Thursday the Senate passed the bill authorizing $40 million in additional aid for Ukraine, which already passed the House earlier this month. The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support with only 11 senators opposed, and once signed will provide military and humanitarian support to Ukraine and will provide assistance to Ukrainians seeking refuge in the United States. 

Meanwhile, Ukrainians have begun to arrive this month under the new Uniting for Ukraine program as applications are being approved. As of Thursday over 15,000 Ukrainians had received approval to travel to the United States. The program allows those with a U.S.-based sponsor to enter the country under humanitarian parole, which provides legal authorization to live and work in the United States but does not provide full refugee benefits or a permanent pathway to residency or citizenship. 

Over 12,000 unaccompanied children recrossed the border alone in 2021 after being expelled under Title 42

CBS News reported Friday that internal CBP data shows 12,212 migrant children entered U.S. custody as unaccompanied children in 2021 after being expelled under Title 42. Many were initially expelled as part of a family unit, proving what advocates have long suspected to be true: Title 42 has created a perverse incentive for families to “self-separate” in order to give their children a better chance to seek asylum at the southern US border.

Thousands of migrants have been waiting in Mexico for the end of Title 42 to allow them to make an asylum claim at the border, something that has been out of reach for most asylum seekers since the policy was put in place in March 2020. While exceptions have been made for unaccompanied children since early 2021, approximately half of individuals  encountered at the border are still being expelled. The CDC’s plan to end the use of Title 42 on May 23rd has been blocked due to a lawsuit from over 20 states. A preliminary injunction issued on Friday by Judge Summerhays will prevent the Biden administration from discontinuing the policy as planned. 

CBP data from April shows a 6% increase in overall entries, but a 2% decrease in the number of unique individuals encountered

Border numbers released from CBP showed that the increase in the number of entries was largely driven by Ukrainians. Of the 234,088 total encounters reported in April 20,994 were Ukrainians, who were given an exception to Title 42 and allowed to enter at ports of entry. Recidivism rates continued to inflate the overall numbers, as the number of unique individuals encountered was 157,555 – a 2% decrease from the individuals encountered in March. The number of unaccompanied children encountered by CBP decreased by 14% from March.

Most arrivals in April were from Mexico, Cuba, and Ukraine. CBP data shows that 113,735 Cubans have been encountered this fiscal year, which is equal to about 1% of Cuba’s total population. 

Chart from WOLA, Accessed on Twitter on 5/20/2022.