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One Year In: The Biden Administration’s Treatment of Vulnerable Migrants

January 18, 2022

With January 20, 2022 marking one full year in office for the Biden administration, this paper examines how it has done on three distinct pathways to protection for vulnerable migrants: Asylum at the border, refugee resettlement from overseas, and the evacuation and resettlement of Afghan allies before, during and after the U.S.'s withdrawal from Afghanistan. While the Biden administration has made significant progress in all three areas, it has often been unable to adhere to its initial, vocal commitments to protect the most vulnerable and has struggled to deliver on other elements of an ambitious immigration agenda. President Biden still has the opportunity to build on the progress he has made in his first year and put the country on track to creating better, more humane processes for those fleeing violence and persecution. To do so, his administration must prioritize its commitments to vulnerable migrants, fostering a political consensus around these issues and avoiding abrupt policy reversals.

Fact Sheet: Border Patrol Processing Coordinators

December 15, 2021

In April of 2021, the first group of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) processing coordinators were deployed along the Southwest border. The new role — the first brand new position at CBP since 2003 — is designed for civilian workers who are able to assist CBP enforcement personnel in caring for and processing arriving migrants. As of September, the agency has trained and graduated five coordinator classes, and 160 coordinators are currently at work in CBP facilities along the border.With additional congressional funding and support, CBP plans to grow the processing coordinator corps to 1,200 over the next three years and to increasingly rely on the new workers to handle administrative tasks, freeing up Border Patrol agents to secure the border.

Border Funding in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation

November 30, 2021

On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed the Infrastructure and Jobs Act, or H.R. 3684, a $1.2 trillion bill that was the result of extended bipartisan negotiations in the House and Senate and represents the largest infrastructure legislation that has been enacted since 2015.Much of the focus on this bipartisan infrastructure bill has rightfully highlighted its significant investments into American roads and bridges, the electrical grid, the water supply, and access to broadband internet. However, in addition to these elements, the legislation also includes billions of dollars for border infrastructure that has not drawn as much attention, including provisions designed to modernize ports of entry and better resource local communities who are assisting in processing arriving migrants.These investments could play a major role in creating a more orderly, humane, and secure border.

Room to Grow: Setting Immigration Levels in a Changing America

February 3, 2021

This paper provides a recommendation for setting evidence-backed immigration levels that combat the worst effects of demographic decline and protect the nation's social and economic health. A modern immigration system is necessary to respond to modern challenges, and increasing immigration levels will help us both provide for our elderly population and give us confidence in the country we are leaving to our children and grandchildren.