The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced additional actions to increase enforcement across the US-Mexican border, accelerate work authorization processing, and redesignate and extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuelans. The decision came after consultation with other agencies due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Venezuela.
“As a result of Congress’s failure to enact the reform, the Administration has been using the limited tools it has available to secure the border and build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system while leading the largest expansion of lawful pathways for immigration in decades,” reads a statement issued by DHS.
In fiscal year 2023, DHS has provided more than $770 million to 69 partner organizations to support communities receiving migrants in both the Southwest Border region and interior cities like Chicago and New York City through the Shelter and Services Program (SSP) and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program – Humanitarian Awards (EFSP-H). Funding you may not have heard about as the focus in news media is seemingly intent on helping stoke bigotry and xenophobia using militarized language like “crisis at the border” conjuring up “invasion” narratives.
“The Department of Justice (DOJ) is vigorously prosecuting those who unlawfully bring in, harbor, or transport migrants, as well as many thousands of felony reentry cases. DOJ and DHS are working closely together to target additional prosecutorial resources towards these serious immigration offenses,” the statement continued.
While most of the United States is in an uproar over the TPS redesignation of asylum-seekers from Venezuela and granting them authorization to work, what most news outlets are ignoring is the totality of the statement issued by DHS. The declaration covers broad categories of issues that seem to be tailored to countering far-right propaganda like that of the founder of the Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa who demonizes migrants instead of targeting bigots like Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Instead, they attack the Black Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams.
However, NYC Mayor Adams isn’t exactly innocent in helping push xenophobic narratives. But, it’s not what Sliwa would have you believe. NYC Mayor Adams is essentially on the same page as the bigots in New York City and on right-wing “news” in pushing descriptions of out-of-control crime in the city (as if it wasn’t an issue before). The difference now is he has immigrants to use as a scapegoat to take attention away from his abhorrent police-state policies.
What people like Sliwa and Mayor Adams won’t tell you is how much the federal government has provided the city. Now, with the latest statement from DHS, it’s clear they want to silence the loud minority of racists and xenophobes who continue to push false narratives like claiming all migrants receive monthly stipends from the federal government – something I have debunked ad nauseam. Yet, false narratives and propaganda persist thanks in part to suggestive “reporting” from people with clear and implicit biases all over the news media landscape.
Proving many of us right about President Biden being okay with what Texas Gov. Abbott is doing, DHS nor the DOJ has taken action against the State of Texas for its unconstitutional immigration policies and instead the administration has ordered the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide “additional military personnel” in addition to the 2,000 state national guardsmen already at the southern border.
DHS implicitly referred to this as a “surge” as if it were a warzone in a foreign country.
“This surge support includes up to 800 new active-duty personnel to assist with logistics and other functions at the border to allow more Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and officers to return to their core mission and responsibilities,” reads the DHS statement. “These individuals complement the 24,000 CBP agents and officers along the Southwest Border we have sustained and over 2,600 additional non-uniformed personnel we have hired to assist in processing and facility operations. Since May 12, we have also extended the support of 500 law enforcement and general support volunteers from other DHS components to supplement CBP border security operations.”
It’s not wholly the news media’s fault when it comes to the use of militaristic language. However, it should be considered journalistic malpractice to use the same language as the government instead of calling it out for being problematic. When discussing misinformation, this is a huge part of it. It frames these issues in people’s minds as worse than they actually are. In other words, they are giving the public ammunition that is inevitably used to justify inhumane practices at the US-Mexico border.
“DHS has expanded its capacity to hold an additional 3,250 people in its facilities, for a CBP holding capacity of nearly 23,000,” the DHS statement reads. “This builds on expansions of several thousand across CBP and ICE facilities put in place before May to process, detain, and remove more noncitizens who do not have a lawful basis to remain in the United States. Since May 12, we have processed 110,000 individuals for expedited removal and completed an average of 4,000 credible fear cases each week, double the previous high.”
In addition, DHS plans to expedite family removals through the Family Expedited Removal Management (FERM) program nationwide. According to the statement, DHS has removed more than 1600 families since May and will continue to scale up significantly. The process places families into expedited removal proceedings to deport them within 30 days.
For all the hype from people who claim to have no problem with “legal” immigration, remember that work authorization and temporary protected status are but two tiny parts of a much broader policy. A policy that is meant to address the anti-immigrant and Latinophobic rhetoric of far-right actors and racist hate groups – communities the administration continues trying to appease but never will.
While some of what the Biden administration has done has been celebrated by human rights advocates, a lot of its policies echo those of the Trump era and have been challenged accordingly. Because Biden or Democrats don’t use the hyperbolic hateful language of former president Donald Trump in conjunction with the implicit biases that are found across all major media channels, most voters don’t tend to notice the more covert – yet still inhumane – pieces of the Biden administration’s actions.
There’s always more to the story than major “news” outlets portray.
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