Sun, 12 Jul 2020

(Im)migration Recap, June 16-21

Voice of America
24 Jun 2019, 11:52 GMT+10

WASHINGTON - Editor's note: We want you to know what's happening, why and how it could impact your life, family or business, so we created a weekly digest of the top original immigration, migration and refugee reporting from across VOA. Questions? Tips? Comments? Email the VOA immigration team:

Safety in Guatemala?

U.S. action over the growing number of unauthorized border crossings is shifting away from the border with Mexico, and much, much farther south. Last week, VOA immigration reporter Ramon Taylor broke news about a possible "safe third country" deal brokered by Guatemala.

President Donald Trump acknowledged this week there's an agreement in the works that would require asylum seekers heading toward Mexico or the U.S. to seek asylum in Guatemala.

At the same time, the Trump administration is cutting humanitarian aid to the Northern Triangle countries over migration policy issues.

US falling short on LatAm, Middle East refugee admissions

The United States is resettling fewer refugees, and the cuts to the permanent resettlement program are hitting migrants from some areas harder than others. Under the Trump administration, the U.S. is on track to resettle only about one-fifth of the refugees from Latin America and the Middle East that it could admit if it were functioning at 100%.

Trump's threatened mass deportation

Want to understand what happened - and could still happen - after Trump tweeted about a wide-ranging immigration and deportation operation on the horizon? Ramon Taylor breaks down the questions surrounding the president's tweet that has immigrant communities around the country on edge.

Limits of the law

Sylvester Owino got back on his feet after serving time in prison, but his court battles weren't over. Now the Kenya-born Californian is fighting deportation and testing the limits of the law for immigrants who make mistakes, fix their lives and want to show that they can thrive after a criminal conviction.

From the feds:

- The U.S. government said it will expand DNA testing at the border among unauthorized border crossers

- As the U.S. government faces increased scrutiny over its treatment of immigrants and border crossers, an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security - which is in charge of admitting, detaining and removing immigrants - said it does "not have sufficient policies and procedures to address employee misconduct."

- A Florida man was sentenced to seven years in prison for orchestrating a marriage fraud scam between Indian men and local women in the beach town of Panama City.

- The Trump administration argued in court that government is not required to give soap or toothbrushes to children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border, even though a 1985 lawsuit settlement requires detainees to be held in "safe and sanitary" facilities.

- In the ongoing friction over where immigration agents can arrest people, a federal judge in Boston temporarily blocked courthouse arrests. Immigration attorney Matthew Cameron said the ruling is "broader than a similar injunction out of New York in April."

VOA Immigration reporter Aline Barros contributed to this report.

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