On August 31, 2021, President Joe Biden announced the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history. By the end of August, the United States completed one of the biggest airlifts to date, evacuating more than 120,000 people out of Afghanistan, including US citizens and permanent residents. As of September 14, 2021, approximately 64,000 Afghan evacuees have arrived in the United States.
Since the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program’s inception in 2007, approximately 75,700 Afghans – 21,500 principal applicants and their 54,200 family members – have been granted SIVs as of June 2021. About 18,000 principal SIV applications are pending, but there are only 13,000 unclaimed SIVs available for principal applicants.
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 caused the deaths of 2,996 people, injured more than 6,000, and left countless others mourning the loss of loved ones. New security measures since the attacks have altered the US immigration and refugee systems. These changes include more intensive screening and vetting of those seeking admission, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), heightened enforcement at the US-Mexico border, and expanded grounds of inadmissibility.
In the United States, 9.6 million children are living in poverty. Federal and state tax credits are among the most effective policy tools for fighting child poverty. However, one in six US citizen children who are living in poverty are not eligible to receive these tax credits because they have at least one undocumented parent.
Fr. Pat Murphy, c.s. reflects on a violent incident by police against migrants and the necessity of an active presence of the local Church to defend the rights of the immigrants.
Linda,* a Venezuelan former teacher in her thirties, is one of the more than 200,000 Venezuelans in Chile with irregular status. She lives in fear of deportation and of being separated from her 8-month-old daughter, a Chilean citizen by birth. In April 2021, Chilean President Sebastán Piñera signed a new migration law that expedites deportations and makes it more difficult for migrants to adjust their status.
About 8 percent of New York City’s 8.4 million residents do not have health insurance. However, the percentages of New Yorkers without insurance vary by legal status. In New York City, 47 percent of undocumented people do not have health insurance, compared to 12.6 percent of legal noncitizens, 6.1 percent of naturalized citizens, and 4.8 percent of native-born citizens. For immigrants, advancing to more secure and permanent legal statuses is highly correlated with having health insurance.
Jorge A. Bustamante was the Eugene Conley Professor of Sociology at the University Notre Dame and Research-Professor Emeritus at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Tijuana, Mexico. Dr. Bustamante founded COLEF in 1982 and served as president from its creation until January 1998. At COLEF, Dr. Bustamante was the chief designer of the Mexican Border Surveys on international migration (EMIF), from which the first scientific estimates on undocumented migration to the Mexican northern border were produced. In numerous professional roles, Dr. Bustamante led international efforts to document migration and protect migrants.