New immigration policy reunites families but problems remain (includes video story)

On Jan. 6, the Biden administration announced a new immigration policy in hopes of improving the crisis at the southern border, where there has been anuptick in illegal crossings. The new regulation permits nationals of Venezuela, Cuba, Haiti and Nicaragua to apply for sponsorship.

Evilen Santiesteban applied to sponsor her brother on the same day Biden announced this program and got approval a week later. The two reunited at the Houston airport on Tuesday, but she wishes her father could’ve benefitted from the program.

“The family petitions were stopped in 2017,” she said. “We applied for my dad. For three years we didn’t get a response on that. Eventually, he got sick in Cuba. He got pretty bad cancer that spread very fast and unfortunately, he passed away a year ago.” 

The State Department announced on Thursday a new sponsorship program called Welcome Corps that will allow Americans to sponsor at least 5,000 refugees from other countries.

While some such as Evilen and her brother have been able to take advantage of this program, several states, including Florida, have sued the Biden administration to stop it.

Claudia Morales is a junior FIU student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Digital Communications/Broadcasting. She obtained an associates degree in Mass Communications/Journalism from Miami Dade College. She served as a photographer for The Reporter, the student newspaper at Miami Dade College. She also studied abroad in France and Italy, where she acquired knowledge about globalized media.