Immigration

The big picture

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

He wants to reverse course on Trump's immigration crackdown, but nothing about it will be simple.

Nov 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy
The plunge in highly skilled work visas

The restrictions and bottlenecks may outlast the pandemic.

Sep 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy
Immigrants on the front lines in the coronavirus fight

They're America's doctors, cab drivers and farm workers.

Apr 3, 2020 - Health
Deep Dive: A widening world without a home

If all the refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people were a country, they'd be the 21st most populous nation in the world.

Dec 15, 2018 - Politics & Policy

All Immigration stories

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

Scoop: Biden briefing calls for 20,000 child migrant beds

Photo: Anna MoneymakerPool/Getty Images

A briefing scheduled for President Biden this afternoon outlines the need for 20,000 beds to shelter an expected crush of child migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The rapid influx of unaccompanied children is becoming the administration's first new crisis. A presentation created by the Domestic Policy Council spells out the dimensions with nearly 40 slides full of charts and details.

First "Bloody Sunday" anniversary without John Lewis

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., who died in 2020, stands on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in between television interviews on Feb. 14, 2015. PHOTO: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Civil rights advocates are preparing to mark the first anniversary of Selma's "Bloody Sunday" without the late Rep. John Lewis, and as the first anniversary of George Floyd's death approaches. 

Why it matters: A three-day virtual event seeks to acknowledge aging civil rights activists who pushed the nation to expand voting rights in 1965. It also comes as a new generation of advocates fights against voter suppression proposals and pushes police reforms.

Biden administration seeks to allow separated migrant families to reunite in U.S.

Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced Monday that the Biden administration will explore "lawful pathways" to allow migrant families separated under the Trump administration to reunite in the U.S.

Why it matters: Biden has pledged to reunite the hundreds of families still separated as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy, and signed an executive order last month creating a family separation task force chaired by Mayorkas.

Border Democrat warns Biden about immigrant fallout

Henry Cuellar (right). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

A Democratic lawmaker representing a border district warned the Biden administration against easing up too much on unauthorized immigrants, citing their impact on his constituents, local hospitals and their potential to spread the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Axios he supports President Biden. But the moderate said he sees the downsides of efforts to placate pro-immigrant groups, an effort that threatens to blow up on the administration.

Scoop: Border officials project 13,000 child migrants in May

The "El Chaparral" border crossing at Tijuana. Photo: Stringer/Picture Alliance via Getty Images

A Customs and Border Protection staffer told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

Why it matters: That projection would exceed the height of the 2019 crisis, which led to the infamous "kids-in-cages" disaster. It also underscores a rapidly escalating crisis for the Biden administration.

Exclusive: Hundreds of kids held in Border Patrol stations

Migrants cross the Rio Bravo to get to El Paso, Texas. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP via Getty Images

More than 700 children who crossed from Mexico into the United States without their parents were in Border Patrol custody as of Sunday, according to an internal Customs and Border Protection document obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The current backup is yet another sign of a brewing crisis for President Biden — and a worsening dilemma for these vulnerable children. Biden is finding it's easier to talk about preventing warehousing kids at the southern border than solving the problem.

Democrats to unveil sweeping Biden-backed immigration bill

Joe Biden. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) will introduce Biden's immigration bill Thursday, which includes an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) will introduce the bill in the Senate next week.

Why it matters: The bill is unlikely to win needed Republican support, but represents the aggressive immigration priorities of President Biden. It will also kick off the immigration debate on Capitol Hill, which could lead to less sweeping immigration reforms.

House Republicans push Biden to adopt Trump Confucius Institute rule

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and other top House Republicans sent a letter to President Biden Wednesday urging him to take up a Trump-era proposal that would increase scrutiny of China's state-funded Confucius Institutes in the U.S., according to a draft first obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Critics of the Chinese culture and language program say it's a "soft power" tool used to spread Beijing's influence on college campuses. Republicans have accused Biden and his Cabinet nominees of being "soft" on China and are pushing for him to take a harder line.

Scoop: Biden to use "more inclusive" immigration terms

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration is urging officials to use more inclusive terms for immigrants, including replacing the word "alien" with "noncitizen," Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The Trump administration referred to unauthorized immigrants as "illegal aliens" and described border crossings as an "invasion." The new terms point to President Biden's more welcoming immigration stance overall.

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