Dreamers’ Sense of Belonging Fell 15% in 2021, Finds Boundless Report
The report, which analyzed public data to get a picture of who DACA recipients are, as well as the challenges and opportunities they face, found that 45% of DACA recipients reported decreased feelings of integration and inclusion following approval, a significant drop from 60% in 2020. Reasons for the drop include ongoing lawsuits around the legality of the program and polarized political discourse surrounding immigration in general.
For more insights and findings, see the full report here.
House Democrats Push for Immigration Provisions in Massive China Bill
As a sweeping bill aimed at bolstering competitiveness with China moves through Congress, House Democrats are calling for immigration provisions that would exempt immigrants with doctoral degrees in STEM fields from annual green card limits.
Democratic lawmakers argue that these provisions could attract more international students to the U.S. and ease the burden on foreign-born graduates with advanced degrees from American colleges, who are often forced to wait for more than a decade for a green card to become available.
“We’re a beacon in the world for the best and the brightest, creative innovative people and collaborative people,” Democratic Rep. Deborah Ross told RollCall. “And so, if we are no longer a desired destination for them, they will go somewhere else.”
The Senate recently passed a watered-down version of the China competition bill that excludes these provisions. Now, House and Senate lawmakers will begin formal talks to finalize what will be included in the final bill.
Republican Charles Glassley said he will vote against including the provisions in the legislation, calling them “partisan” and “completely unrelated to countering China.”
More than 380,000 students from China were enrolled in U.S. colleges in 2020, making China the top country of origin among international students. However, international student enrollment has steadily dropped since 2016, and fewer Chinese students came to the U.S. in 2021 compared to 2020.
“If we want to be economically competitive as a whole with China, that’s really the easiest route,” Phillip Connor, a senior demographer at immigrant advocacy group FWD.us, told Rollcall. “Maybe not necessarily politically, but at least demographically — to increase immigration.”
Competing Federal Court Rulings Maintain Title 42 but Offer Some Hope
A Louisiana federal judge last Friday extended a temporary block of the Biden administration’s plan to lift a Trump-era border policy that prevents migrants from seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Title 42 is a public health order rather than an immigration policy, and so the Biden administration has argued the order is no longer necessary as the country moves to end virtually all other pandemic restrictions. The order prevents all entry of people at the southern border, even preventing people with valid claims for asylum for requesting protection.
The case was brought by Arizona and joined by a multitude of states that do not border Mexico, who argued that the Biden administration didn’t follow proper procedures regarding public notice when it moved to end the Title 42 program.
Meanwhile, a different order issued by a federal judge in Washington, D.C. gives migrant families a way to enter the U.S. to seek asylum, despite Title 42. The order resulted in new guidance to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), instructing officers to refer to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for asylum screening any families who “manifest” fear of being sent back to their home country. A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed on Monday the change in guidance to the San Diego Tribune.
The dueling orders are the result of multiple lawsuits surrounding the Title 42 order and the Biden administration’s attempts to end it.
New Immigration Court Coming to Indianapolis to Ease Backlog
An immigration court is finally coming to Indianapolis, Indiana to tackle the roughly 40,000 backlogged cases in the state and provide some much-needed relief to residents, who previously had to travel to Chicago, Illinois to attend court hearings.
Immigration attorneys believe having access to a court in Indiana will make it easier for immigrants to show up for court hearings or file documents, giving them a stronger chance at winning their cases.
The immigration court system, which is housed under the Department of Justice, is currently suffering under a record 1.7 million case backlog. The new court is scheduled to begin operation in 2023.
DHS Says It Will Not Conduct Immigration Arrests in Uvalde
After the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) declared Uvalde a “protected area” due to its status as a site for emergency response and relief. The announcement states that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will not target families in Uvalde for deportation “to the fullest extent possible.” The goal is to enable impacted families to seek assistance freely, regardless of immigration status and without fear of deportation.
The presence of immigration officials on the scene caused controversy following the shooting at Robb Elementary School, with some advocates worried that undocumented parents could be subject to arrest by ICE upon arrival at the school.