Fort Lee closed as more Afghan evacuees are resettled across the country
As more Afghan evacuees have been resettled across the U.S., the last occupants of the camp in Fort Lee, Virginia departed last Wednesday. Over 25,000 Afghans have now been able to move away from military bases and into communities. About 45,000 evacuees still remain at the seven other military sites.
Resettlement agencies have continued to face challenges in finding housing for new arrivals as many regions across the country have a shortage of affordable housing. DHS has set a goal of resettling all of the evacuees currently on these bases by February 2022. The Biden administration also announced that they would be limiting refugee resettlement from overseas as they prioritize the resettlement of Afghans. From now until January 11, the only refugees who will be admitted are those who are deemed to have urgent cases, if their screenings are set to expire soon, if they were already “travel-ready,” or if they are reuniting with family in the United States.
CBP released official encounter numbers for October, showing declines for the 3rd consecutive month
CBP released their October operational statistics, which showed a 14% drop in the number of encounters since September - the third consecutive month to see a drop in border apprehensions.
Repeat crossings continue to remain high as 29% of those encountered had at least one prior encounter with CBP within the last 12 months. 117,260 individuals were counted within the 164,303 encounters. 57% of border encounters resulted in a Title 42 expulsion while only 10% of those apprehended were offered “humanitarian release.”
The number of individuals from each recorded demographic also decreased in October: a 4% decrease in the number of single adults, a 34% decrease among family units, and an 11% decrease in the number of unaccompanied children. The majority of border crossers (66%) continue to be single adults, who are also those most likely to be expelled under Title 42.
Reconciliation bill passes the House with some immigration provisions included
On Friday the House of Representatives passed the budget reconciliation bill, dubbed the Build Back Better Act, which includes immigration provisions. The bill would provide temporary parole for undocumented immigrants who have been in the U.S. since 2011, which would allow them to receive legal work authorization for up to 10 years. The bill would also recapture hundreds of thousands of green cards that expired without being used.
Now that the bill has passed the House, it can move to the Senate where it is expected to face greater challenges. The Senate Parliamentarian already ruled against the inclusion of two former immigration reform proposals, and has not yet been presented with the current provisions for review.