Crash at the border wall kills 13 migrants
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In a traffic accident near the American-Mexican border wall, 13 people were killed on Tuesday. A group of 44 migrants allegedly smuggled were traveling in two SUVs from Mexico to California’s Imperial Valley, according to border officials. One of the vehicles went up in flames shortly after the crossing. Border officials said they quickly spotted 19 migrants “hiding in the nearby bush” who had entered the US illegally, presumably in SUVs. The second vehicle continued west, but crashed into a semi-trailer 30 miles later as it crossed the intersection. The New York Times
In other national immigration news …
Biden can reopen a migrant home for children on allegations of sexual abuse
Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Homestead temporary shelter for migrant children in South Florida in 2019 after allegations of sexual abuse and prison-like conditions were received at the facility. Harris, along with other Democratic presidential candidates, criticized the website and the Trump administration for their tough immigration policies. Homestead was closed a few months later. But amid the deluge of unaccompanied migrant children arriving on the U.S.-Mexico border, the Biden government is considering reopening the facility. The site is reportedly being renamed the Biscayne Influx Care Facility. Lawyers are angry about the possible reopening as they continue to work to end child detention. Mother jones
Governor Abbott blames migrants for spreading COVID-19 in Texas
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) is preventing the Biden government from providing COVID-19 tests to migrants who have been released from custody, according to a senior Homeland Security officer. And immediately after the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, Abbott accused migrants who arrived in Texas of exposing residents to the virus with no evidence. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has given the governor’s office permission to use the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s assistance to contain the spread of the virus. However, the grant funds must be approved by the state before they can be distributed to the border communities. CNN politics
Maine Approves Immigration Detention Information Lawsuit
The ACLU of Maine, the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, and the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic of the University of Maine School of Law believe ICE is using the Cumberland County Jail as a short-term prison for immigrants and are complaining for more information. The groups were suing information about the new ICE facility in Scarborough, Maine and detainees in the area under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. They’re looking for records like those approving the transfer of ICE prisoners to and from the Cumberland County Jail and the arrangements for the Scarborough facility. The Associated Press
How Minnesota’s Latino Small Businesses Stay Strong
COVID-19 destroyed thousands of businesses in the past year. Javier Garcia’s Agua Gorda farm in Minnesota was one of them to lose money as demand for products for restaurants and schools declined. To recover from this, Garcia hopes to diversify his growing operation by partnering with 10 other farms in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area to sell free range chickens. John Pacheco, president of the Minnesota Latino Chamber of Commerce, said many Latino companies are unable to obtain a loan from the paycheck protection program. In some cases, Latino business owners did not even know the loans were available, but also feared ramifications for immigration. Sahan Journal
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