This news week was a somber one for the United States. This week, we were reminded that the struggle for safety and peace must also be a struggle for justice and equity. As a team, we are committed to advocacy for marginalized communities. We hope this news summary helps distill the immigration news you need to know this week. Read on to learn more about data on migration patterns, Vice President Harris’s new appointment to lead diplomatic efforts at the southern border, and President Biden’s first press conference.
1. Washington Post Declares there is No ‘Surge’ at the U.S. Southern Border — Tuesday, March 23rd
On Tuesday, the Washington Post released an analysis of data on the current numbers of migrants at the U.S. Southern Border. Contrary to the current reports in the media of a “surge” or “crisis,” the Post found “the current increase in apprehensions fits a predictable pattern of seasonal changes in undocumented immigration combined with a backlog of demand because of 2020’s coronavirus border closure.” The article used monthly data reports from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the number of migrants apprehended at the southern border. This provides critical context for current immigration headlines. Words matter and accuracy in reporting matters because they shape the public discourse, so it is essential to be mindful of word choice.
Focusing on month-to-month differences in apprehensions is misleading; given seasonal patterns, each month should be considered in relation to the same month in previous years. Knowing those patterns, policymakers may be better able to plan, prepare and to manage the border.
— Tom K. Wong, Gabriel De Roche, and Jesus Rojas Venzor
2. Interview, “Asylum Expert: Respecting Human Rights Also Controls The Border” — Wednesday, March 24th
On Wednesday, Forbes released an impactful interview with Dree Collopy, a partner at Benach Collopy LLP. Collopy discusses the driving forces for migration, the current ban from the CDC at the borders, and the importance of allowing families to apply for asylum at ports of entry. The entire article does a wonderful job of breaking down current events in immigration and explaining the necessity to assess border policies through a human rights lens. The entire interview is well worth reading.
“Rather than bowing to political pressure and giving credence to inaccurate media reporting about “surges” and “crises” at the border, the Biden administration needs to immediately put its plans into action to treat our fellow human beings humanely, address the root causes of migration, and create a safe and orderly process at the border.”
— Dree Collopy
3. Vice President Harris to Lead Diplomatic Efforts at the U.S. Southern Border — Wednesday, March 24th
On Wednesday, President Biden assigned Vice President Harris to lead diplomatic efforts at the U.S. southern border. She will focus on addressing the arrival of migrants as well as developing larger strategic partnerships with Central American governments. This is Harris’s first key portfolio issue assignment. During her presidential campaign, she expressed interest in expanding the use of deferred action immigration programs and utilizing executive orders to remove the threat of deportation. We hope Vice President Harris will channel her efforts into policies that treat arriving migrants with dignity and make the U.S. a more welcoming nation for those seeking a better life.
“I asked her, the VP, today, because she’s the most qualified person to do it, to lead our efforts with Mexico and the Northern Triangle…”
— President Biden
4. President Biden Holds First Press Conference, Discusses Immigration — Thursday, March 25th
On Thursday afternoon, President Biden held his first press conference since taking office in January. With the passage of the COVID-19 relief bill, the recent mass shootings, and the current situation at the border, Biden had a lot to cover. He began his statements on immigration by stressing his commitment to transparency. He stated that journalists should have access to migrant processing facilities on the U.S. Southern border soon, but he was not able to provide a concrete date. He addressed concerns about the wellbeing of detained children, many of whom are detained alone, at the southern U.S.-Mexico border and stated that it is an unacceptable situation. He plans to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help these children find temporary shelter in the United States. He concluded his remarks on immigration with more information on the number of migrants at the border, partially attributing the current increase in migrant encounters to annual seasonal migratory patterns. He is working to rebuild infrastructure at the border to be able to properly process migrants and ensure that migrant children are safe. We believe that preserving the health, safety, and dignity of all migrants must remain a top priority for the Biden Administration.
Thank you for taking the time to read this week’s ‘News Review’ from McEntee Law! Want daily immigration news updates? Follow us on Twitter.