UNHCR announced that the world has reached the “staggering milestone” of over 100 million forcibly displaced people
The number of forcibly displaced people has reached 100 million for the first time in history. This includes more than 6.5 million refugees who have now fled Ukraine since February.
Even as the global number of displaced people continues to rise, our refugee resettlement program in the United States has been decimated in recent years. To respond to rapidly evolving crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine in the last year, our government has leaned on humanitarian parole to admit those seeking refuge more quickly than is possible through the formal Refugee Admissions Program. This has allowed for a rapid response to get people to safety, but has led to gaps in service and support. Afghan evacuees who began arriving last fall continue to struggle to find adequate housing, and American sponsors for Ukrainians through the new parole program also struggle to adequately meet their needs. While communities and individuals have been quick to offer assistance to new arrivals, they are grappling with the extensive paperwork and the many details of resettlement that have historically been handled by experienced agencies.
New rule to expedite asylum processing goes into effect on May 31
After a failed attempt by Senate Republicans to block the implementation of the new Credible Fear and Asylum Processing rule, the rule will go into effect on May 31st. The program created under the rule seeks to expedite the asylum process by allowing USCIS officials to consider certain cases instead of placing them into the backlogged immigration court system.
This new program will begin at two detention facilities in Texas and is intended to grant asylum more quickly to those who qualify, while also facilitating speedier removals for those who do not. The program will only be applied to those who are not expelled under Title 42 and will not be applied to unaccompanied minors, who are not allowed to be placed in expedited removal.
Meanwhile, internal government documents reviewed by Axios estimate that there are as many as 50,000 migrants waiting along the U.S.-Mexico border for the chance to make an asylum claim. Since a federal judge has blocked the administration’s intention to lift Title 42 this month, the policy is still being used to expel many asylum seekers. While many have clamored for the continued use of Title 42 to “manage” the border, administration officials told CNN News that the continuation of this policy is unlikely to slow down current border crossings. It is common for border crossings to increase in the spring, and push factors such as economic and government instability have only intensified during the global pandemic.
Most undocumented high school graduates this year will not be eligible for DACA
As we approach the 10 year anniversary of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, FWD.us reports that only about 25% of the approximately 100,000 undocumented high school students graduating this spring will qualify for DACA benefits. A court ruling last summer blocked DHS from approving new applications, and many of those now in high school were too young to have already applied before the program was suspended or they entered the U.S. after the required residency date of June 15, 2007.
Without DACA or a legislative solution for Dreamers, many of these graduates will face an uphill battle to legally enter the workforce. Some are not allowed to obtain a drivers’ license in their states. Many will also struggle to gain access to higher education considering that many states prohibit in-state tuition for undocumented students even if they are long-term state residents. To learn more about Dreamers and ways to advocate for solutions, check out the Dreamer Advocacy Resources from the National Immigration Forum or take action on our website.