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How Ukrainian Refugees At The Southern Border Are Shedding Light On The Inequities Of US Immigration Policy

Published April 7, 2022 at 9:58 AM PDT
Ukrainians who are seeking asylum  board a bus at dawn on their way to the El Chaparral port of entry before entering the United States, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on April 7, 2022 in Tijuana, Mexico. Authorities have opened the El Chaparral port of entry solely for the processing of Ukrainian asylum-seekers. U.S. authorities are allowing Ukrainian refugees to enter the U.S. at the Southern border in Tijuana with permission to remain in the country on humanitarian parole for one year. Over 2,000 Ukrainians have arrived to the U.S.-Mexico border city over approximately the last 10 days.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
Getty Images South America
Ukrainians who are seeking asylum board a bus at dawn on their way to the El Chaparral port of entry before entering the United States, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on April 7, 2022 in Tijuana, Mexico.

After Decades Of Stability, California School Enrollment Takes A Precipitous Drop

Cities School Enrollment 4.7.22

For the past two decades, California enrollment numbers for K-12 have hovered between 6.1 and 6.2 million students. Big swings have taken place within the state, as families move to more rural areas, but overall enrollment has been relatively stable. Then the pandemic hit and enrollment numbers experienced a precipitous decline. During the 2020-2021 school year, K-12 enrollment dropped by almost 3%; that’s nearly 160,000 students. Kindergarten enrollment saw the steepest fall-off. The decline in enrollment is most evident here in Los Angeles, with the L.A. Unified School District losing more than 27,000 students last year, close to 6% of its population. New data from the company Burbio, which tracks COVID-related education trends, found the enrollment decline echoed in big cities across the country. Now, school districts are facing potential budget cuts and layoffs as California recalibrates funds to match their dwindling attendance figures. What does this enrollment decline mean for big city public schools, students, and families? And where are these students going instead?

Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by data journalist at EdSource, Daniel Willis and associate professor of education at USC, Morgan Polikoff to talk about the trends.

How Ukrainian Refugees At The Southern Border Are Shedding Light On The Inequities Of US Immigration Policy

Border Asylum Seekers 4.7.22

Since the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine, thousands of Ukrainian citizens have been displaced from their homes and left with no choice but to flee their country for their safety. While some have crossed the border into neighboring countries like Poland and Romania, others are trying to get into the U.S. via its southern border. However, because of the border policy Title 42, which is set to expire next month, they cannot apply for asylum status in the U.S. Instead, they’re able to enter via a mechanism called humanitarian parole. In a story published last week, Courthouse News Service reported that last Thursday alone, 600 Ukrainian refugees arrived at the border to line up with thousands of others from Ukraine and other countries seeking entry into the U.S.

While no one is questioning the admission of Ukrainians into the U.S. at a time when their country is under attack from a global superpower, the current situation at the southern border has raised some questions, especially among those immigrants and asylum-seekers from countries like Mexico, Venezuela, Haiti, and Cameroon, about why they’ve had to wait weeks, months or sometimes years to be allowed to enter the country.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk with American Immigration Lawyers Association President Allen Orr and World Relief Southern California Senior Immigration Specialist José A. Serrano about what the situation at the U.S. southern border shows us about how American immigration policy handles immigrants and asylum seekers from various countries, whether and how immigration policy should make a distinction between those fleeing their countries because of threat to life due to an invasion and those who are fleeing for other reasons like natural disaster, gang violence or government instability, and what we might take away from the situation in the hopes of amending our country’s immigration policy to provide equal opportunities for asylum-seekers from all countries.

How Local Water Districts Are Managing California’s Worsening Drought

Water Agency Check In 4.7.22

Following the three driest months in California’s history, Governor Gavin Newsom last week ordered water suppliers to find ways to conserve their local supply. For suppliers like Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, which imports all of its water, the solution was to reduce outdoor water budgets for customers by 25%.

We wanted to know how other local water districts are managing the current drought, and what it could mean for our water use. Today on AirTalk, we’re joined by general managers Dave Pedersen of the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District, Paul Shoenberger of the Mesa Water District, and Craig Miller of the Western Municipal Water District.

COVID-19 AMA: How To Tell If It’s COVID Or Allergies, FDA Debates Updated Vaccines, And More

Covid Update 4.7.22

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Sam Torbati, co-chair of the department of emergency medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Topics today include:

The Triple Play Breaks Down MLB’s Delayed Opening Day

Triple Play 4.7.22

157 days after the Atlanta Braves won the 2021 World Series, baseball is back. Opening Day is a week later than originally scheduled, delayed by the owners’ lockout of players while the two sides negotiated a new collective bargaining agreement. That deal brought changes to the game, including the adoption of the designated hitter by the National League and an expansion of the postseason field. Another recently announced change? The use of microphones by umpires to explain their rulings after replay reviews. Fourteen teams start their season tonight, including the Angels who play the Astros at home; the Dodgers open their season Friday afternoon in Colorado against the Rockies.

Today on AirTalk, we preview the new season with Nick Roman, host of KPCC’s “All Things Considered,” and sportswriter Molly Knight, author of “The Long Game” baseball newsletter.

With files from the Associated Press

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