Biden to begin admitting migrants forced by Trump to wait in Mexico

“The Biden administration will soon begin allowing migrants into the U.S. who, because of a Trump-era policy, have been forced to remain in Mexico while their asylum cases are processed.

As part of the new administration’s efforts to overhaul the immigration system, the Department of Homeland Security, starting next Friday, will begin the first phase of a program to gradually let in migrants with active cases under the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.”

“There are about 25,000 migrants with active cases under MPP, but the new program will first focus on those who have been waiting in the program the longest and vulnerable populations”

“Migrants being processed through the program will be tested for Covid-19 before entering the U.S. And once here, they will be enrolled in an “alternative to detention program” to track them and their cases will be routed to the appropriate court tied to where they settle in the country”

“Biden has long vowed to end the program, which has resulted in tens of thousands of asylum seekers being forced to stay in Mexico, often under poor living conditions and facing danger. On Biden’s first day in office, DHS announced that it would not enroll anyone else in the program.”

Britain Is Granting Record Numbers of Passports to Hongkongers. America Should Take a Hint.

“China has criticized Britain for opening its doors in this way, but the U.K. deserves praise for acting quickly and decisively in defense of freedom. Bloomberg’s reporting certainly suggests that demand is surging for this escape route.

It is shameful that America has not stepped up to do something similar.

Hongkongers currently have few options for coming to America. They can seek political asylum in the United States—and an executive order signed by President Donald Trump in July does reserve more spots on the refugee list for people fleeing Hong Kong—but to claim asylum one must be physically present in the United States. That, in turn, requires having another type of visa in order to get on a plane across the Pacific. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has slashed the number of political refugees the country will accept: just 15,000 during the current fiscal year, down from 85,000 in 2016.

Britain issued nearly four times as many BNOs to Hongkongers in October as the number of refugees America will accept from the entire world this year.

What could America do instead? Some members of Congress have proposed a bill to automatically grant asylum to any resident of Hong Kong who arrives in the United States and to exempt those numbers from the official refugee counts set by the White House. A more robust idea, proposed by Matt Yglesias in May, would be to grant a special visa allowing Hongkongers to settle in American counties where the population is shrinking, with permanent residency granted after five years.”

Ethiopia’s unfolding humanitarian crisis, explained by top aid official Jan Egeland

“firsthand accounts of violence have been trickling out from the tens of thousands of refugees who have fled across the border to Sudan — an average of 3,000 per day, according to the United Nations high commissioner for refugees. The humanitarian situation within Tigray is also worrisome: Some 100,000 Eritreans who live in longstanding refugee camps in the region have been cut off from food and other aid for weeks due to the fighting.

This is a refugee and humanitarian crisis unfolding in real time, amid a pandemic and a hunger crisis exacerbated by drought and locusts.”

Demonizing Somalis is at the heart of Trump’s Minnesota strategy. His Duluth rally showed it.

“During a rally in Duluth, Trump accused Democratic nominee Joe Biden of having a plan “to inundate your state with a historic flood of refugees,” prompting his fans to boo. He then turned his ire on one of his frequent targets of abuse: Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee who now represents Minneapolis in Congress.

“And what about Omar? Where she gets caught [ballot] harvesting. What the hell is going on? I hope your US attorney is involved,” Trump continued, referring to a newly released Project Veritas video that alleges (without any evidence) that Omar is involved in election fraud; the video has been dismissed as a “coordinated disinformation campaign” by researchers.

As “lock her up!” chants rang out, Trump added, “I mean, frankly, harvesting’s terrible, but it’s the least of the things that she has done. How the hell — then she tells us how to run our country. Can you believe it? What the hell is wrong with you people? What the hell happened?”

Before his rant was through, Trump suggested that another Congress member of color — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — should also be imprisoned for no reason in particular.

“[Omar’s] been crooked for a long time. This is the least of it. It’s time, and you know what, AOC also. It’s time. It’s time. If you take a look at what they — the corruption. The disgusting corruption,” he said. “Biden will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp.”

Wednesday’s rally marked the second time in less than a month that Trump viciously attacked Omar in particular and the Somali community in general during a speech in Minnesota. On September 26 in Bemidji, Trump alluded to Somalis and asked his fans, sarcastically, “Are you having a good time with your refugees?”

Toward the end of that speech, Trump turned the white supremacy up to 11, telling his almost entirely white audience, “You have good genes, you know that, right? You have good genes. A lot of it is about the genes, isn’t it, don’t you believe? The racehorse theory. You think we’re so different? You have good genes in Minnesota.”

Over a 24-hour period before Trump’s speech in Duluth, his campaign spent more than $10,000 on Facebook ads demonizing refugees. Those ads were ultimately taken down by Facebook for violating the company’s advertising policies.”

The Trump administration has already made huge refugee cuts. It’s reportedly considering more.

“Administration officials are facing an October 1 deadline to confer with members of Congress over what the refugee admissions cap should be for the next fiscal year, as required by law. Last year, however, the administration didn’t hold that meeting until October 5 and it wasn’t until November 1 that it announced the new cap, which was set at 18,000 — the lowest since the refugee program was created in 1980 and down from 110,000 when Trump took office.”

“Joe Biden, the party’s presidential nominee, has pledged to take in up to 125,000 refugees in the year after he takes office and increase admissions “commensurate with our responsibility, our values and the unprecedented global need.””

“Former President George W. Bush briefly cut the number of refugees admitted after the 9/11 attacks, but even then the limit was set at 70,000.

But the bipartisan consensus on maintaining a robust refugee resettlement program began to unravel after the Paris terror attacks in late 2015, said Yael Schacher, senior US advocate for Refugees International, when suicide bombers — reportedly sanctioned by the Islamic State — killed 130 civilians in explosions and mass shootings throughout the city.

There was speculation that one of the attackers was a refugee, one of 5.6 million Syrians who have been displaced since 2011 by the still-ongoing civil war. It was later confirmed that all of the perpetrators were citizens of the European Union. But the rumors were enough to spark a panic about Syrian refugees and start a movement at the state level to cut back US admissions of Syrian refugees and resettlement efforts more broadly.

Governors from 31 states, all Republican but for New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan, said in 2015 that they no longer wanted their state to take in Syrian refugees. In 2016, Mike Pence, then the governor of Indiana, also tried to prevent refugee resettlement agencies in his state from getting reimbursed for the cost of providing social services to Syrian refugees.

But states didn’t have the legal authority to simply refuse refugees; that’s the prerogative of the federal government. Pence ultimately had to back down after a federal court ruled against his decision to withhold the reimbursements.

Trump, then campaigning for president, stirred up more fear, suggesting that Syrian refugees were raising an army to launch an attack on the US and promising that all of them would be “going back” if he won the election. He said that he would tell Syrian children to their faces that they could not come to the US, speculating that they could be a “Trojan horse.”

When Trump eventually took office, he delivered on his promise to slash refugee admissions from Syria, suspending refugee admissions altogether from January to October 2017. From October 2017 to October 2018, the US admitted only 62.”

Venezuelan Migrants Are Returning Home, Forced to Choose Between Ruinous Socialism and Colombia’s Pandemic Authoritarianism

“According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, the projected number of displaced Venezuelans—6.5 million people, or as much as 19 percent of the country’s total population according to another estimate—could soon surpass that of Syria, where civil war has unleashed a humanitarian calamity.

As I wrote when I visited the Colombian border city of Cúcuta, an uninformed observer might think that the hundreds of Venezuelan evacuees sleeping in parks or pedestrian roundabouts were escaping war or natural disaster. They had actually escaped a man-made catastrophe”

Texas just became the first state to shut the door on refugees

“Texas became the first state to refuse to take in refugees..under an executive order from President Donald Trump that allows state and local authorities to block refugees from settling in their areas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote a letter to the State Department Friday saying that while Texas has historically welcomed more refugees than any other state, it will not resettle any additional refugees in the 2020 fiscal year. “