The Biden administration plans to launch a new private sponsorship program for Afghan evacuees
The Biden administration is reportedly planning the launch of a new “Sponsor Circle Program” that would allow private sponsorship of Afghan evacuees. Families, churches, or other groups would take on the supporting role usually reserved for by resettlement agencies. They would provide financial support and assistance in connecting evacuees to necessities such as housing, government services, and enrolling children in school.
As of last week, approximately 55,000 Afghan evacuees remained at eight military bases across the United States, where they have been receiving medical screenings and completing their paperwork. The Pentagon reported to Congress that almost half of these are children. The Pentagon also provided a breakdown of the evacuees, detailing that of the 124,000 evacuated, 85% were Afghans while 15% were U.S. citizens or visa holders. About 6,000 have been resettled in communities across the U.S. so far with almost 4,000 resettled within the last week, according to a CBS News report on October 21.
The number of CBP border encounters dropped in September, but the total for the fiscal year reached a high of 1.7 million
There were 1.7 million migrant encounters at the southwest border for fiscal year 2021. While this is a record high, the rate of recidivism - or multiple crossings by the same person - were also unusually high in 2021. This recidivism rate causes the number of encounters to greatly outpace the actual number of individuals. For example, 26% of those encountered in September had at least one prior encounter in the last year, and there were 142,710 unique encounters compared to 192,001 total encounters. The Migration Policy Institute calculated the number of unique encounters to be closer to 1.1 million. Over a million were expelled under Title 42. There was also a 9% drop in the number of encounters since August - the first monthly drop in encounters in over a year. Fifty-three percent of those encountered in September were expelled under Title 42.
Also noteworthy is that 36% of those encountered in September were from countries other than Mexico or the Northern Triangle. The chart below from WOLA shows a large drop in the number of migrants from Central American countries such as Honduras and Guatemala, while arrivals from Haiti and Venezuela saw significant increases.
Source for Chart: Adam Isacson of WOLA, Accessed via Twitter on 10/24/2021.
Human Rights First reported over 7,600 attacks on migrants expelled under Title 42 since President Biden took office
On Thursday Human Rights First issued an updated report on kidnappings and other violent attacks against migrants who have been expelled to Mexico under Title 42. The report found that since President Biden took office in January, 7,647 attacks have been reported. They go on to cite public health officials who have called for an end to the policy, and point to the dangerous and inhumane living conditions for those left to wait in encampments along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The report also criticizes the mass expulsions of Haitians that began in September, when almost 8,000 Haitians were expelled during an operation in which the government reportedly paid contractor GEO Group over $15 million.
Also last week over 300 doctors and healthcare workers in Boston called on CDC Director Walensky to end Title 42 expulsions. They wrote, “we harbor grave concerns over the CDC and DHHS’s continued endorsement of the Title 42 order barring asylum seekers at our borders--a policy that lacks basis in scientific evidence, harms the CDC's credibility, and in fact risks facilitating the pandemic’s spread.”