Is the Biden administration secretly happy that a court in Florida has struck down its catch-and-release program at the southern border? Here are the top headlines making immigration news.
1: Biden administration won’t appeal court ruling in Florida immigration case
This is the exact headline from the Miami Herald as federal U.S. District Judge T. Kent Wetherell, who was appointed by Donald Trumpeto, ordered immigration authorities to revamp one key policy that he says runs counter to federal law.
The lawsuit centered, in part, on what state lawyers call the Biden administration’s “non-detention” policy and a policy known as Parole Plus Alternatives to Detention, or Parole+ATD.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody had filed the lawsuit in 2021, alleging that the Biden administration violated immigration laws through catch-and-release policies that led to people being released from detention after crossing the U.S. border with Mexico.
“For the most part, the court finds in favor of Florida because, as detailed below, the evidence establishes that defendants have effectively turned the Southwest border into a meaningless line in the sand and little more than a speedbump for aliens flooding into the country,” wrote Wetherell.
He also added that the Biden immigration policies were “akin to posting a flashing ‘Come In, We’re Open’ sign on the southern border.”
The case is “ simply a disagreement on policy,” U.S. Department of Justice attorney Erin T. Ryan argued during the trial, but the administration will now appeal. This means the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will have to provide migrants full “Notices to Appear” instead of resorting to other alternatives to detention.
2: Texas lawmakers propose making illegal immigration a felony
The madness in Texas continues. The Republican leadership in the Texas House has announced that passing a bill to make illegal immigration a felony is a top priority this spring.
The “Border Protection Unit Act,” introduced by state Republican Rep. Matt Schaefer and supported by key leaders of the majority-Republican Texas House of Representatives, would create a specialized border protection police force and make illegal immigration a state felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan said the House leadership will prioritize passing the Border Protection Unit Act.
3: Border inflows continue to drop
Despite continued portrayal of mayhem at the border by FOX News and Republicans, new data reported by CBS News show that unlawful crossings along the U.S. southern border in February remained at a two-year low, for the second consecutive month.
The U.S. Border Patrol recorded roughly 130,000 apprehensions of migrants who crossed the southern border illegally in February, virtually the same level as in January. Unlawful entries also plummeted by 40% from a near-record in December, according to internal federal data reported by CBS News.
4: U.S. loses 45,000 college grads to Canada
While the U.S. continues to fail on immigration reform, including legalization for Dreamers, a new report says the U.S. lost 45,000 college grads to Canada’s high-skill visa from 2017 to 2021. New data obtained by the Niskanen Center said approximately 45,000 Canadian high-skilled visas went to skilled workers who received their postsecondary education in the U.S., 88 percent of whom were not U.S. citizens. Canada has a self-sponsorship process for skilled migrants, unlike the USA.
5: Flawed U.S. immigration system forces companies to hire elsewhere
Difficulties in bringing immigrants into the U.S. are pushing tech companies to instead hire them to work in other countries. That, in turn, is encouraging those same companies to open branch offices in other countries and recruit there, staffing them with people who might otherwise have come to the U.S. to work, Business Insider has reported. The tech industry, in particular, relies heavily on work-based visas, such as the famed H-1B, to attract the talent it needs to fill positions in specialized, competitive fields like engineering and computer science.
The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow.com – The Black Immigrant Daily News.