Yep, another good day of numbers on migrant children for the Biden administration. Yesterday hit a record low for unaccompanied children encountered at the border and the overall number of children in government custody dropped by 1,421 since one week ago. The trend line is good!
This the third so-called "Immigration Adjudication Center," with the other two in Falls Church, VA and Fort Worth, TX.
Judges in these centers will order thousands of people deported without every having to look someone directly in the face. It's all done through video.
The EOIR Director under Trump, James McHenry, seemingly wanted an immigration court system that operates like Social Security (judges all appearing via video), rather than a traditional courtroom with everyone in one place.
Today's announcement is likely a result of that push.
"Asylum Cooperative Agreements" are a form of "Safe Third Country" agreement, a concept in US law where someone can be denied the right to ask for asylum if they can be sent to a country where they won't face persecution and which provides "a full and fair" chance to seek asylum.
The "safe third country" concept was created by Congress in 1996, and until 2019 only one such agreement existed.
The US-Canada STC Agreement took years to negotiate, is very limited, provides numerous exceptions, and imposes obligations on both sides. canada.ca/en/immigration…
Public ICE data posted online shows that there were 3,316 ICE deportations from March 28 through April 24, so I'm having a hard time squaring that with this line in @NickMiroff's piece. There are clearly two conflicting data sources right now.
Anyway, to be clear, I'm only quibbling with the exact numbers provided in the story from the ICE sources, not the overall thrust of the story, which is indeed supported by the data! This is me griping about ICE data, a personal pet peeve. Messy government data is frustrating!
This attempted "fact-check" from the Heritage Foundation's new post-Trump DHS "senior fellows" (Wolf, Morgan, Ries) is not only disingenuous, it also gets a number of facts wrong. So I'm going to fact-check the fact-check. Come with me on a thread.
Meanwhile, while all this trolling goes on by Rep. Boebert and the right wing, the Biden administration has quietly been extremely effective over the last month at getting kids out of Border Patrol custody.
The number of kids in Border Patrol custody has dropped 82% in a month.
As I've talked about before, we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to kids at the border, because a new bottleneck could still form if kids aren't sponsored out of Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters fast enough.
But here, too, clear progress is being made.
The Biden administration's efforts to get kids out of custody have been helped by decreasing numbers of unaccompanied kids coming to the border, down 10-15% from March highs.
If you want to know what's happening at the border, check out our fact sheet.
It goes without saying that perception is not policy, which is why criticism of Biden's approach at the border from the right that's focused on specific policy changes—e.g. ending Remain in Mexico/MPP—is so often unsupported by evidence. And of course, Fox News drives perception!
It should also go without saying that an entire right-wing media apparatus shouting for months that Joe Biden has opened the borders is going to cause more people to come to the United States than Joe Biden himself saying "We'll make things better later but don't come right now."
That said, this from an unnamed Obama official is just ridiculous and shows why they failed so badly at the border. It's yet another round of the same "We can't fix our humanitarian protection system because people might use it" crap that is indistinguishable from Trump.
People like @kausmickey like to say "Biden created this crisis through his policies" but when you ask them to point to any specific policy changes and make a case for why that change made more people come, they end up just falling back on the idea that it's just about rhetoric.
Other policy changes that Biden made also did not change the 2020 status quo. For example, PACR, HARP, and the asylum cooperative agreements had already been suspended since March 2020 due to COVID, and Title 42 was already suspended for unaccompanied kids when Biden took office.
Ooh, charts! Okay, well, here's the Tucson Sector's apprehensions since 2016. Note how unlike in Yuma, the spike in apprehensions started in spring last year when Title 42 went into place. Somehow I doubt Governor Ducey is going to mention that?
Now, that last chart may look like a pretty big change over the last few years. But let's look at it in a bit more of a historical context.
Here's Tucson Sector Border Patrol Apprehensions, October 1999 to March 2021.
Puts things in context, eh?
Now, what about Yuma Sector? Well, things are a bit different there. Yuma's been really quiet much longer than Tucson Sector, but in the Trump administration it became a place for people to go to seek asylum. We're seeing that again today.
The right wing often suggests that "fraudulent family units" imply child trafficking. But this CBP press release shows what it normally is.
1) An aunt and her niece. 2) A family friend in whose care a mother placed her child.
Once discovered, the adults and kids were separated.
The first example is a perfect case for how an inflexible approach produces bad outcomes. The aunt and her niece were incentivized to lie about being mother and daughter to avoid separation—which didn't work. And now the niece will go to an ORR shelter at taxpayer expense.
The solution to these kinds of separations, between grandparents and grandchildren or aunts and nieces, is to embed ORR caseworkers within the Border Patrol and have the aunt processed as a sponsor right on the spot so they can be released together.
The DNA tests were a 2019 “innovation” only used on people CBP already suspected of lying about parentage, and produced a low rate of confirmed suspicions (below 20%). And in very few cases was there no relationship; often it was an uncle saying he was a dad, that kind of thing.
I only repost this to note that Stephen Miller had only ever been quoted before by an anonymous source as saying refugee admissions should be zero. This is the first (to my knowledge, I may be wrong) public statement saying what we all knew; he wants no refugees at all, none.
And Miller's comments also puts Biden's action today in perspective; when you've pleased Stephen Miller, you've f**ked up.
There remains a lot to like about what the Biden administration is doing on immigration, and I remain in the camp that his administration is overall working to improve the system and fix the damage done by Trump, just slower than I'd like. But today's decision was a mistake.
It takes a lot of chutzpah to file a lawsuit in the 9th Circuit arguing that the Biden administration is required by law to resume a program that the 9th Circuit has already ruled is illegal. Let's see how that goes for them.
Also, hahaha good luck on a NEPA challenge on these issues. Brnovich really going for a slap-down here.
I'd be remiss not to note that "immigrants cause environmental harm" is literally the argument that led eugenicist John Tanton to start his network of anti-immigrant groups.
The extent to which @GeneralBrnovich's lawsuit adopts the rhetoric of hate groups like NumbersUSA cannot be understated. "Population control" is at their eugenicist heart, including calls for immigration restrictions on environmental grounds.
The argument that Biden's *policies* have led to more people coming to the border is laughable and those like @ByronYork who make it expose primarily how little they're tracking the actual details of border policy and just regurgitating talking points.
On the other hand, the argument that Biden's *rhetoric,* both pre- and post-election, have caused more people to come is harder to debunk. It may well have. But Biden can't go back in time and unsay things. And the pro-immigrant rhetoric is basically Reaganesque, for god's sake!
It is beyond patronizing to say that it's "cruel" to let people in because being in limbo for five years due to a broken immigration system is somehow worse that being completely blocked and left to the wolves.
"Well, on the one hand, you might starve to death/be killed in your home country. On the other hand, being stuck in limbo for five years is genuinely awful. So let's just turn you away to save you the limbo."
Never forget that Andrew Sullivan, champion of immigration restrictions, committed immigration fraud to get a visa (lied about being gay, which was at the time a ground of inadmissibility) and used his connections to get out of a marijuana charge that threatened his green card.
Single adults continue to be the biggest driver of headlines about "border numbers."
Apprehensions of single adults are going back to the 1990s-2000s, driven by many people crossing repeatedly thanks to Title 42. And like back in the day, almost all get sent back to Mexico.
When it comes to family units, we have seen a distinct increase in families beginning in January. This seems driven both by Mexico's refusal to accept many families that Trump/Biden wanted to expel, as well as a sense that now is the time. It's looking a lot like 2019.