This Week In Immigration – Week of July 5, 2021

This Week In Immigration

Monday July 5, 2021 – The Biden administration is pushing to encourage eligible immigrants to apply for US citizenship, according to a US Citizenship and Immigration Services official. “The idea is to find a whole-of-government way to reach out to people who are able to naturalize,” the Citizenship and Immigration Services official said, adding that there are 9 million people in the US who are lawful permanent residents who may be eligible to apply for citizenship. The effort stems from one of President Joe Biden’s early executive orders that called on federal agencies to develop “welcoming strategies that promote integration, inclusion, and citizenship.” This includes, for example, holding naturalization ceremonies at national parks to raise awareness, partnering with the US Postal Service to display promotional posters at Postal Service facilities about becoming a US citizen, and engaging with the Department of Veterans Affairs and veteran service organizations to find ways to educate service members and veterans on citizenship, according to the strategy, titled “Interagency Strategy for Promoting Naturalization.” USCIS acting Director Tracy Renaud said in a statement that the “USCIS remains committed to empowering immigrants to pursue citizenship along with the rights and opportunities that come with it. There is no greater testament to the strength of America than our willingness to encourage others to join us as U.S. citizens as we work together to build a more perfect union.” Biden will participate in a naturalization ceremony on Friday. It will be among more than 100 such ceremonies scheduled between June 30 and July 7 to welcome more than 9,400 new citizens.

Tuesday July 6, 2021 – The number of migrants being held in the detention centers has nearly doublded in recent months as border apprehensions have risen, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. More than 26,000 people were in detention last week, compared with about 14,000 in April. As their populations swell nearly to prepandemic levels, U.S. immigration detention centers are reporting major surges in coronavirus infections among detainees. Public health officials, noting that few detainees are vaccinated against the virus, warn that the increasingly crowded facilities can be fertile ground for outbreaks. More than 7,500 new coronavirus cases have been reported in the centers over that same period, accounting for more than 40 percent of all cases reported in ICE facilities since the pandemic began, according to a New York Times analysis of ICE data. As of May 2021, according to ICE’s latest available data, only about 20 percent of detainees passing through the centers had received at least one dose of vaccine while in custody.

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