“Immigration arrests and detentions along the Mexico border rose slightly in April to 178,622, the highest one-month total in two decades, but a decline in the number of teens and children arriving without parents eased pressure on the Biden administration,” the Washington Post reports.
Vox: “Some parts of the US are already beginning to experience some of the downsides of population slowdown or decline: Shrinking tax bases in rural areas have made it harder for government budgets to support essential services, such as infrastructure and public schools.”
“There are ways that policymakers can turn the situation around — the Biden administration has advocated for family-friendly policies that could make it easier for Americans to have more children. But that will not be enough to overcome a widening gap in the number of working-age adults that are able to support an aging population of baby boomers.”
“That leaves immigration, which has historically insulated the US from population decline and represents a kind of tap that the US can turn on and off.”
“The number of deportations carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement last month fell to the lowest monthly level on record, a drop that comes as illegal border crossings remain at a 20-year high,” the Washington Post reports.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) “is quietly considering trying to use a fast-track budget maneuver to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants should bipartisan talks on providing a pathway to citizenship fall apart,” the New York Times reports.
“The strategy is part of a backup plan Mr. Schumer has lined up in the event that talks among 15 senators in both parties fail to yield a compromise. As the negotiations drag on with little agreement in sight, proponents are growing increasingly worried that Democrats may squander a rare opportunity to legalize broad swaths of the undocumented population while their party controls both chambers of Congress and the White House.”
“The Biden administration will raise the refugee ceiling to 62,500 people this fiscal year, the White House confirmed, after receiving swift criticism last month when President Joe Biden kept the lower Trump-era cap in place,” CNN reports.
A new Pew Research survey finds 68% of U.S. adults say that the federal government is doing a very (33%) or somewhat (35%) bad job of dealing with the increased number of people seeking asylum at the country’s southern border, while just 29% say it is doing a very or somewhat good job.
The most startling finding is that 51% of Republicans now say undocumented immigrants shouldn’t be allowed to stay in country legally, a 26-point overall shift in just four years.
A new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll finds that immigration and border security topped the legislative priorities list for 36% of voters, COVID-19, the energy system/grid, and the economy/jobs, together were the top priorities of 32%.
In February, COVID-19 was the top concern, with immigration and border security in second place.
“Four migrant families separated at the US-Mexico border under the Trump administration will be reunited this week, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday, marking the first reunifications under President Joe Biden,” CNN reports.
“President Biden is cancelling projects to build a wall along the southern border using diverted defense funds and will use some funding to repair environmental damage from the wall’s construction,” The Hill reports.
“President Joe Biden blamed the Trump administration for ongoing problems at the U.S.-Mexico border, citing its failure to cooperate and share critical information during the presidential transition period,” NBC News reports.
Biden said his administration inherited “one god-awful mess at the border” from former President Donald Trump.
He said it’s the result of “the failure to have a real transition — cooperation from the last administration, like every other administration has done.”
Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) “sounded a rare note of criticism after Biden’s Wednesday night address to Congress, asking the president for more federal resources at the border and calling the influx of migrants coming into his state a ‘crisis’ — language that Biden’s White House is resisting,” Politico reports.
“In his characteristically low-key way, Kelly didn’t back down Thursday from his knock on Biden for omitting a detailed plan for the border and his vow to ‘continue holding this administration accountable.'”
New York Times: “As the United States vaccinates larger numbers of people and several states begin to reopen after seeing lower infection rates, the failure of U.S. authorities to test adult migrants for the coronavirus in jam-packed border processing centers is creating a potential for new transmissions, public health officials and shelter operators warn, even among migrants who may have arrived healthy at America’s door.”
“More than 170,000 migrants crossed the border in March — many coming from countries still grappling with high infection rates — but the Border Patrol is conducting no testing for the coronavirus during the several days that the newly arrived migrants are in U.S. custody except in cases where migrants show obvious symptoms.”
“President Biden will recommit himself to overhauling the immigration system Wednesday during his first address to Congress, while signaling openness to Congress passing smaller parts of his agenda that have bipartisan support, including guaranteeing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children,” the Washington Post reports.
The New York Post deleted a story that suggested copies of a book by Vice President Kamala Harris were given to migrant children who have crossed the border in “welcome kits,” CNN reports.
A busy section of Donald Trump’s southern border wall — which cost $27 million a mile to build — is being foiled by inexpensive ladders, the Texas Monthly reports.
“When Donald Trump took his final trip as president to the southwest border in January, the publicly stated purpose was to tout his record. Privately, however, his Republican allies had hatched a plan that they thought could get them back into the seats of power,” Politico reports.
“The conversations around the trip were some of the earliest indications that Republicans anticipated the spike in migrants crossing the border — due to seasonal patterns and regional crises — and planned to use it as a political cudgel to try to retake Congress in the midterm elections. The topic turned out to be much more of a vulnerability for Biden than even they expected.”
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) declared a state of emergency at the southwest border in Arizona and said the state would deploy 250 National Guard troops to help local law enforcement, the Arizona Republic reports.
Politico: “Biden left the impression that it would not just be a portion of his upcoming address to a joint session of Congress, but that he’d support moving immigration measures through budget rules allowing a simple majority vote in the Senate.”