Biden administration considers raising the number of refugee admissions in 2024
President Biden is considering raising the refugee admissions ceiling for fiscal year 2024, even though the administration will not reach its ceiling of 125,000 admissions for 2023. A recent increase in admissions has spurred optimism that a higher number could be reached in the coming year. Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service noted that “[t]his coming fiscal year feels like a transition from an aspirational target to a realistic expectation.”
The Texas National Guard ordered asylum-seekers back into Mexico
On Tuesday, members of the Texas National Guard ordered migrants who had crossed onto U.S. territory to return to the Mexican side of the border, in what appears to be in violation of the Refugee Act of 1980. “These are people who may face a danger to their lives on the other side of the border. Forcing them back, especially if they have set foot on U.S. soil goes against the Refugee Act of 1980,” said Adam Isacson, director of defense oversight for the Washington Office on Latin America.
Mexican company stops sending freight trains to the U.S. border
The largest transport firm in Mexico, Ferromex, has announced that for the first time they will halt shipments by train to the U.S. border due to recent injuries and deaths resulting from migrants hitching rides on the trains in an attempt to reach the border. A spokesperson for the company said that the number of migrants attempting to board the trains has been unprecedented.
DHS official notes that Congress must focus on immigration reform in budget talks
During an Immigration and Policy Conference held this week in Washington D.C., Blas Nuñez-Neto, assistant secretary for Border and Immigration Policy at DHS stressed that Congress must make immigration reform a top priority while crafting the spending bill needed to stop a government shutdown at the end of the month. “We’re doing our best to try to address some of these infirmities in the system,” he said. “But we’re never going to solve it without meaningful work in Congress.”