This week, we read about why Congress should be held accountable for immigration reform, a surge in Black immigrants in the U.S., and a growing number of Russian immigrants entering the country.

 

Congress, not Biden, should be held accountable for immigration reform 

 As the first year of Biden’s presidency came to a close, both conservatives and liberals expressed disappointment at the administration’s current immigration agenda.  

This opinion piece from Kevin R. Johnson argues that the criticisms are not entirely fair. President Biden came into office after four years of restrictive immigration policies. Johnson argues that these aren’t easy to reverse in a single year. President Biden has reversed several of Trump’s harsher immigration policies, including the Muslim ban. 

However, instead of focusing energy on President Biden’s efforts, Johnson argues what is most needed is action from Congress. 

“That said, if one is truly interested in immigration change, the appropriate measuring stick is not what Biden did in year one but what Congress has failed to do for decades — pass meaningful immigration reform. Democrats and Republicans repeatedly claim that the current immigration system is “broken” but have done absolutely nothing to fix it.,” Kevin R. Johnson, opinion contributor from The Hill

Johnson’s bottom line is that Congress is capable of more than the President when it comes to accomplishing immigration reform. He hopes for reform that will lead to a system that is ‘fair to immigrants and allows for effective enforcement.’  

Finally, he argues that the term ‘alien’ needs to be removed from all U.S. immigration laws. 

 

Black immigrant population surges in U.S. 

In the last 40 years, the Black immigrant population has increased by 475%. 

The latest report from the Pew Research Center shows the diversity of the nation’s Black population, which is often overlooked. In 2019, the number of Black immigrants living in the U.S. reached 4.6 million. While Africa accounts for the fastest growth of Black immigrants in the U.S., the Caribbean is the largest origin region. Jamaica and Haiti are the top countries of origin for Black immigrants. 

Additionally, the 2020 census listed more options for race/ethnicity, allowing multiracial people to embrace more than one of their identities. This led to more U.S. Latinos identifying as multiracial and Black.  

 

The US southern border saw a growing number of migrants from Russia, Ukraine, and other distant countries last month 

Last month, more Russian and Ukrainian immigrants arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border. Over 2,000 Russian immigrants and 300 Ukrainian immigrants arrived in December, compared to less than 60 Russian immigrants in the previous year.  

There has also been an uptick in immigrant arrivals from India, Haiti, Cuba, and Central American countries as well.  

The high number of Russian immigrants comes after the country appears to be preparing to invade Ukraine. 

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