Awareness - November 8, 2021 - We Welcome

Awareness - November 8, 2021

A new CBP memo officially ended the practice of “metering” at ports of entry

On November 1st CBP issued a memo to end “metering,” which limited the number of asylum seekers allowed to present their claims at ports of entry. Metering was deemed illegal by District Judge Cynthia Bashant in early September, and the new memo formalizes the end of the practice. The memo states that officers are no longer allowed to tell asylum seekers that they must come back at another time or travel to another port of entry to be processed, but should instead allow them to wait if they choose to do so. It also offers guidance on better processing practices at the ports of entry. 

While this order ends the official metering practice, it’s unsure what the practical implications will be as CBP officers are still able to turn back asylum seekers without following the usual asylum process using Title 42.

Over 50,000 Afghan evacuees remain on military bases as resettlement rates remain slow

A 10/31 report from the LA Times detailed how the slow pace of resettlement of Afghan evacuees can be attributed to staff shortages, logistics issues, and medical issues such as a measles outbreak. As of the article's publication, over 53,000 evacuees remained at eight military bases across the United States despite clearing their medical and customs screenings. 

Most evacuees are matched with resettlement agencies prior to leaving the camps, but many resettlement agencies do not have the capacity to receive so many new arrivals at one time. In some cases, waits are lengthened because resettlement agencies in areas with an established Afghan community are in high demand and are already at full capacity. Due to these long wait times, about 3,000 people have left the camps without waiting for the aid of a resettlement agency. While they are free to do so, this can cause them to lose the benefits they would have received through the support of an agency. 

As of November 4th, Camilo Montoya-Galvez of CBS News reported updated numbers with 14,000 Afghans having left military sites and about 51,000 still living on the bases.

Refugee admissions plummeted in the first month of the new fiscal year

Only 401 refugees were resettled in October, the first month of the new fiscal year -- an 89% decrease in admissions since September. It’s unclear why there was such a sharp decrease despite the President’s resettlement cap for the year being set at 125,000. In order to meet this year’s cap, the monthly average admissions should be 10,417 per month. 

326 SIVs were admitted for the month, a slight increase over the 296 admitted in September.