After decades of failed attempts to pass comprehensive immigration legislation, congressional Democrats and President Joe Biden are signaling openness to a piece-by-piece approach. They unveiled a broad bill Thursday that would provide an eight-year pathway to citizenship for 11 million people living in the country without legal status. There are other provisions, too, but the Democrats are not talking all-or-nothing.
In the first Mexican shelter reached by migrants after trekking through the Guatemalan jungle, some 150 migrants are sleeping in its dormitories and another 150 lie on thin mattresses spread across the floor of its chapel. Only six weeks into the year, the shelter known as "The 72" has hosted nearly 1,500 migrants, compared to 3,000 all of last year. It has halved its dormitory space due to the pandemic. That wasn't a problem last year because few migrants arrived, but this year it's been overwhelmed.
President Joe Biden on Wednesday lifted a freeze on green cards issued by his predecessor during the pandemic that lawyers said was blocking most legal immigration to the United States. Former President Donald Trump last spring halted the issuance of green cards until the end of 2020 in the name of protecting the coronavirus-wracked job market — a reason that Trump gave to achieve many of the cuts to legal immigration that had eluded him before the pandemic.
With its long-term facilities for immigrant children nearly full, the Biden administration is working to expedite the release of children to their relatives in the U.S. U.S. Health and Human Services on Wednesday authorized operators of long-term facilities to pay for some of the children's flights and transportation to the homes of their sponsors. Under the agency's current guidelines, sponsors can be charged for those flights and required to pay before the government will release children, even if the sponsors have been vetted by the government.
In the first five days since the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden began to process the thousands of asylum seekers waiting in Mexico, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees registered 12,000 people. That's nearly half the 25,000 active cases the U.S. government has cited. Migrants who have waited in Mexico and elsewhere to get hearings on their U.S. asylum requests are dealing now with a mix of hope and frustration, along with overloaded websites and telephone lines that never stop ringing.
More than three dozen French police officers descended on a small private school in Paris, blocked the 92 students inside their classrooms, took photos everywhere even inside the refrigerator, and grilled the school director.
“It was like they were moving in on a drug deal,” Hanane Loukili, the director and co-founder of the MHS middle and high school said, recalling the Nov. 17 scene.
Loukili didn’t know it then, but a team from the Cell to Fight Radical Islam and Community Withdrawal, or CLIR, had arrived for an inspection. The dragnet sweeps schools, shops, clubs or mosques to rout out “radicalization." Within a week, a shaken Loukili informed students their school was shutting down.
Brazilian state governors are pursuing their own vaccine supply plans, with some expressing concern that President Jair Bolsonaro's government won't deliver the shots required to avoid interrupting immunization efforts. Governors are under pressure from mayors, some of whose vaccine stocks have already been depleted, including three cities in the metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro. Northeastern Bahia state's capital Salvador suspended vaccination on Thursday because supplies are dwindling. Brazil's two biggest cities, Rio and Sao Paulo, are expected to be without shots in a matter of days.
Something seemed wrong to the guard inspecting sealed bags of toxic ash in the port of Melilla, one of Spain’s two small territories in North Africa. So he pulled a knife, cut the bag open and found a motionless leg, confirming his suspicion that a person was inside. He lifted and dropped the leg a few times, with no reaction. A few moments passed. Suddenly the leg pulled back, and a young man emerged from the ashes — frightened and disoriented, but alive.