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This week, we read about a new alternative to immigrant detention, a rise in the Black immigrant population, and an update to the USCIS mission statement.

U.S. to try house arrest for immigrants as alternative to detention 

The Biden administration is placing hundreds of migrants on house arrest in the next few weeks. This solution is a cheaper alternative to immigration detention.   

The migrants in the program will need to be home from 8 pm to 8 am, with exceptions for job duties for those with work authorization.   

President Biden pledged to have less harsh approaches to immigration than President Trump. Yet, he still hasn’t eliminated immigration detention. The new home curfew program is expected to bring criticism from both the left and right sides of the political spectrum.  

The plan is also a response to record high numbers of arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border.  

“We just don’t have the capacity. We’re not going to detain our way out of the border crisis,” said an official from DHS. 

Additionally, The Biden administration plans on asking Congress for money to invest in alternatives to immigration detention. 

 

1 in 10 Black people in the U.S. are immigrants, new data finds 

A new study found that one in 10 Black people living in the United States are immigrants. This rate is expected to rise.  

The new study found that the Black immigrant population will outnumber the U.S. born Black population.  

The growth in the Black immigrant population can be attributed to an increase of immigrants from Africa. 

Despite the growth, the Black immigrant population continues to face racism, criminalization, and deportation.  

Abraham Paulos and his organization Black Alliance for Just Immigration have been helping the Black immigrant population with these challenges by providing resources. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration also works with Black immigrants that are incarcerated. 

“We fight for two things: racial justice and migrant rights,” Paulos said. “We fight for Black people.” 

Paulos also brought up the racist situation that transpired in Del Rio, Texas last year when images of Haitians being mistreated at the border went viral. Paulos (said) this was representative of what Black immigrants deal with consistently. 

Though these challenges are very real for the Black migrant population, coming to the U.S. also offers a chance to accelerate careers or receive advanced degrees.   

Paulos also said that another challenge for Black immigrants is being seen for both of their identities.  

“I just think that racism is so embedded in this society that if you’re Black, it’s like, you know, all people see is Black,” Paulos said. 

To donate to Black Alliance for Just Immigration, head here. 

U.S. immigration agency replaces Trump-era mission statement that removed “nation of immigrants” label 

USCIS replaced language in their mission creed. What was once a controversial Trump-era mission statement now calls the U.S. “a nation of welcome and possibility.” 

USCIS Director Ur Jaddou said the new statement better reflects the Biden administration’s commitment to a more fair immigration system. 

This change is part of a larger effort by the Biden administration to reverse many of Trump’s harsh immigration policies. 

The Trump-era version of the creed was less welcoming towards immigrants, and more focused on “protecting Americans.” 

A U.S. asylum officer, Michael Knowles, celebrated the new statement. 

“The way we treat those seeking our protection determines who we are: the American dream is either renewed or betrayed, one case at a time. When we treat each individual with dignity and respect, we keep faith with the promise,” said Michael Knowles. 

USCIS has helped to reverse many of the Trump-era immigration policies. Though, it continues to have a massive backlog, which prevents applicants from being heard in a timely manner. Additionally, the government agency still has not implemented several Biden immigration reform proposals. 

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