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Biden administration settles lawsuit with migrant families separated under Trump, offering many concessions

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The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reached a settlement Monday with a group of immigrants who say they were unjustly separated from their families at the border in 2018 under former President Trump’s administration.

The settlement, which is expected to be approved by U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw, who outlawed the separations in 2018, gives many concessions to the immigrants. The 46-page settlement agreement would provide separated families a special process to request U.S. asylum and significantly narrow the reasons for government-sanctioned family separations, preventing officials from using the legal argument the Trump administration cited to justify its separation policy.

It also will prohibit ICE from deporting members of the class action lawsuit for a minimum of three years, gives immigrants government-sponsored housing and medical insurance, gives them legal assistance to become U.S. citizens and fast-tracks their asylum and citizenship applications.

CBS News reports: “Families covered under the agreement would have access to government-funded housing benefits, legal counsel and medical and mental health services.” Additionally, “While the Biden administration initially considered offering families reparations, the proposal was scrapped after strong Republican opposition. The administration has since argued in federal courts that these families do not qualify for compensation.”

 

 

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Canadian-U.S. border illegal crossings up 240% over previous year

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The vulnerability of the northern border of the United States is being weaponized in the war on illegal migration. 2023 saw a 240% increase of individuals apprehended from just one year prior. Not only is the border with Canada significantly longer than its border with Mexico, but its ports of entry are often understaffed while the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is forced to prioritize the southern surge.

According to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2023 authorities halted over 12,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings at the Canadian border. The number is a 240% increase from the preceding year when 3,579 individuals were apprehended.

ADN America reports that approximately 70% of the illegal crossings took place along a 295-mile stretch along the northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire border called the Swanton Sector.

Chief patrol agent for the sector, Robert Garcia, posted on social media that the 3,100 individuals apprehended were from 55 different countries. 

Garcia wrote “the record-breaking surge of illegal entries from Canada continues in Swanton Sector” and he specifically mentioned that the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi citizens was prompted by a citizen’s report in Champlain, New York.

Surprisingly, ADN reports:

A significant number of those engaging in illegal crossings are Mexicans who exploit the opportunity to fly to Canada without a visa, also avoiding the presence of cartels in their home countries.

Experts suggest that migrants can purchase a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto. This route is perceived as offering a lower likelihood of being turned away compared to those crossing the southern border.

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