Fri, 08 Dec 2023

VOA Immigration Weekly Recap, Sept. 24-30

Voice of America
01 Oct 2023, 00:05 GMT+10

Editor's note: Here is a look at immigration-related news around the U.S. this week. Questions? Tips? Comments? Email the VOA immigration team: ImmigrationUnit@voanews.com.

What Happens to Immigration if US Government Shuts Down?

With congressional leaders gridlocked over the nation's budget and the deadline to pass spending bills fast approaching, the federal government could shut down on October 1. And that could affect some immigration services and visa programs. If the federal government closes, only essential personnel will be working. All other federal workers will not be allowed to work. So how will that affect immigration in the U.S.? VOA's Immigration reporter Aline Barros.

Why Immigrants Are More Optimistic Than US-Born Americans

Despite any hardships they might face, immigrants in America are more optimistic than U.S.-born Americans, according to a new survey of 3,358 immigrant adults. "They said, 'You know, I face challenges here in the U.S., but it's far better than where I came from. And I have this belief that things will be better for my children,'" says Shannon Schumacher, a senior survey analyst at KFF, a nonprofit organization focused on health policy formerly known as the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Whether that's their education, their safety, their economic opportunities - on a number of measures, they think that they're better off and their children are better off." Produced by Dora Mekouar.

After Lull, Asylum-Seekers Adapt to US Immigration Changes

A group of migrants from China surrendered to a Border Patrol agent in remote Southern California as gusts of wind drowned the hum of high-voltage power lines. They joined others from Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia and elsewhere in a desert campsite with shelters made from tree branches. The Associated Press reports.

Second Texas City at 'Breaking Point' as Migrants Flood Border, Mayor Says

The surge of migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico has pushed the city of El Paso, Texas, to 'a breaking point,' with more than 2,000 people per day seeking asylum, exceeding shelter capacity and straining resources, its mayor said Saturday. 'The city of El Paso only has so many resources and we have come to ... a breaking point right now,' Mayor Oscar Leeser said. Reuters reports.

Eagle Pass, Texas, Sees Continuing Influx of Migrants

The Eagle Pass area in Texas continues to experience an influx of migrants - the majority from Venezuela, the largest displacement in the Western Hemisphere and the second-largest globally, trailing only behind the Syrian refugee crisis, per the U.N. refugee agency. U.S. border authorities said they are managing the situation, but the noticeable rise in migrant arrivals in Eagle Pass has strained local resources and overwhelmed already crowded facilities. VOA's Immigration reporter Aline Barros.

VOA Day in Photos: Asylum-Seekers Journey through Mexico to Eagle Pass, Texas

Asylum-seekers waiting on the banks of the Rio Bravo River after crossing during their journey through Mexico to Eagle Pass, Texas, in Piedras Negras, Mexico, Sept. 26, 2023.

Immigration around the world

Illegal Migration to Greece Surges, Sparking Measures to Shield Borders

Thousands of migrants have made their way illegally into Greece from Turkey, using rickety rafts to cross the Aegean Sea, the narrow waterway between the two countries. United Nations data in September shows sea arrivals have already more than doubled the roughly 12,000 migrants who were caught trying to illegally enter Greece last year. Illegal entries along the land border and the massive Evros River, which snakes along the rugged frontiers of the two countries in the northeast, also count record increases of more than 65% in the last two months alone, police said. Produced by Anthee Carassava.

Australian Lawmakers Urge Outside Help for Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict Refugees

Seven Australian lawmakers have toured a refugee camp in Armenia, as thousands of ethnic Armenians flee their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh. Forces from Azerbaijan took control of the contested region last week. The delegation of Australian lawmakers visited Armenia this week and toured a camp for those fleeing the unrest. Produced by Phil Mercer.

Pakistani Vocational School Helps Afghan Women Refugees Build Businesses

In a small workshop in the bustling northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, a dozen Afghan women sit watching a teacher show them how to make clothes on a sewing machine. Reuters reports.

Charity Urges Court to Force Australia to Repatriate Detainees in Syrian Refugee Camp

Australia's decision not to repatriate more than 30 women and children from a detention camp in northeast Syria is facing a legal challenge. The women are the wives and widows of Islamic State fighters and have been held in custody for the past four years. Produced by Phil Mercer.

Medics: Hundreds Dead From Dengue Fever in War-Torn Sudan

Outbreaks of dengue fever and acute watery diarrhea have 'killed hundreds' in war-torn Sudan, medics reported Monday, warning of 'catastrophic spreads' that could overwhelm the country's decimated health system. In a statement, the Sudanese doctors' union warned that the health situation in the southeastern state of Gedaref, on the border with Ethiopia, 'is deteriorating at a horrific rate,' with thousands infected with dengue fever. Produced by Agence France-Presse.

Violence, Human Rights Violations Risk Future Stability of Syria

United Nations investigators say that human rights violations and abuse in Syria are sowing the seeds for further violence and radicalization, despite diplomatic efforts to stabilize the situation in the country, including through its readmission to the League of Arab States. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.

Senior US Officials Travel to Armenia as Karabakh's Armenians Start to Leave

Senior Biden administration officials arrived Monday in Armenia, a day after ethnic Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh began fleeing following Azerbaijan's defeat of the breakaway region's fighters in a conflict dating from the Soviet era. Reuters reports.

Spain Turns to Tractors to Tackle Migrant Unemployment, Farm Labor Shortage

Spain's agricultural sector is threatened by an aging population and a shortage of farm labor. Now a program in Catalonia is training migrants, largely from Africa, to operate tractors to help them gain meaningful employment. Elizabeth Cherneff narrates this report from Alfonso Beato in Barcelona. Videographer and Video Editor: Alfonso Beato.

News brief

- A government shutdown would affect the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's ability to respond to cyberattacks; protect and save lives on land, at sea, and in the air; secure the nation's borders and critical infrastructure; deploy across the country to help Americans recover from disasters, among others.

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