The Biden administration asked Congress for $6.5 billion in funding to aid Afghan refugees
According to a report from CNN, the government expects to settle 65,000 Afghans by the end of September and 30,000 more are expected to arrive over the next year. The Biden administration has included a request for $6.5 billion in additional funding from Congress for Afghan refugees in their budget resolution. The resolution also extends the same benefits to parolees that are given to refugees, and provides a path to permanent resident status for Afghans paroled into the United States if they meet immigration eligibility requirements, pass background checks, and after they have lived in the U.S. for one year.
Last week the Biden administration also called for expeditious processing of unaccompanied children from Afghanistan to reunite them with their parents or guardians. Those who do not have family members who were also brought to the U.S. will be transferred to HHS facilities or foster care. As of September 8th, more than 100 unaccompanied Afghan children were in U.S. custody, some of whom were separated from their families during the evacuation and some who truly had traveled alone. Over 300 unaccompanied children from the evacuation are also located in air bases in Germany and Qatar.
A third whistleblower complaint was published regarding abuses at the EIS in Fort Bliss
The latest complaint filed by an anonymous federal worker at the Fort Bliss emergency intake site also details abuses observed at the EISs in Houston, Texas and Erie, Pennsylvania. Many of the allegations in the complaint mirror those from earlier whistleblower reports on July 7th and July 28th, but new allegations include children with burnt skin and blisters from being given “skin-lightening lotion” rather than moisturizing lotion, threats of deportation from staff, and children burned due to only scalding hot water available for bathing.
You can still send emails expressing your concern over conditions at these shelters to HHS Secretary Becerra using our action tool.
The details of the House Judiciary reconciliation bill were released
The initial version of the House Judiciary reconciliation bill was released on Friday. We have not yet seen the Senate bill and the Senate parliamentarian has also still not yet ruled on whether or not the immigration provisions should be allowed in the reconciliation process. Therefore the details are far from final, but some of the immigration provisions in the current bill include:
- Applicants will be required to submit an application along with administrative fees plus a supplemental $1,500 fee, and to pass background and medical checks.
- Dreamers would qualify if they 1.) arrived in the U.S. before age 18 and lived continuously here since. They also would need to have been continuously in the US since January 1, 2021, AND 2.) have served in the armed forces, graduated from college or vocational school, have 3 years of earned income, or are enrolled in a college or vocational school and are part of an internship or similar training program.
- Essential workers would qualify if they 1.) have been continuously present in the US since 1/1/2021, AND 2.) can demonstrate a “consistent record of earned income” in an occupation designated as “essential critical infrastructure” work during the pandemic.
- TPS holders would qualify if they 1.) have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least 3 years, AND 2.) were eligible for TPS as of January 1, 2017, AND 3.) have not engaged in conduct that would make them ineligible for TPS.
- DED holders would qualify if they 1.) have been continuously present in the U.S. for at least 3 years, AND 2.) were eligible for DED as of January 20, 2021, AND 3.) have not engaged in conduct that would make them ineligible for DED.
- The bill would also allow for recapture of diversity visas that were unused from 2017 to 2021 and employment visas that were unused from 1992 until 2021.
Besides meeting these requirements, there are also various reasons for ineligibility including criminal convictions. These provisions would take effect either 6 months from enactment of the bill or on May 1, 2022, whichever comes sooner.