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.
U.S. President Joe Biden said the United States and Mexico are working "side by side" to tackle migration, organized crime and the opioid epidemic. During a meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in San Francisco, Biden said Friday, "Mexico and the United States stand together" in addressing the issues. VOA News reports.
Nineteen-year-old Dewa — not her real name — had an admission letter to an undergraduate college program in the United States and a scholarship covering all her expenses. But the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, rejected her student visa application, saying they believed she was intending to immigrate. VOA’s Akmal Dawi reports.
Immigration around the world
Nearly 400 U.S.-bound migrants, most of them women, have endured sexual violence this year as they crossed a notorious jungle stretch between Panama and Colombia, according to Doctors Without Borders, or MSF. The situation facing migrants in the Darien Gap is "increasingly cruel and dehumanizing," the international medical aid organization said in its report released Friday, adding that the rate of sex attacks had worsened in recent months. Reported by Agence France-Presse.
A boat carrying Rohingya refugees that was forced back to sea earlier this week was sighted Saturday several miles off the coast of Indonesia's westernmost region, according to a local commander. The group of around 250 people from the persecuted Myanmar minority arrived off Aceh province on Thursday, but residents told them not to land. The boat traveled to another location in Aceh where a second group of residents turned them back to sea late Thursday. Reported by Agence France-Presse.
The United Nations and partner agencies renewed a call Tuesday for countries to immediately suspend mass deportations of Afghan nationals, citing the onset of a harsh winter and the “worsening” humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The call comes amid reports that Iran and Pakistan have collectively forced out more than 500,000 Afghans over the past two months, with the number of deportees growing by the day. Ayaz Gul reports for VOA from Islamabad, Pakistan.
A surge in the number of migrants making the treacherous journey from West Africa to the Spanish Canary Islands is straining local authorities, with human rights groups warning that many child migrants are being wrongly classed as adults by Spanish police, putting them at increased risk. So far this year, more than 32,000 migrants have arrived on the Canary Islands from West Africa, the highest number since 2006. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Latvia and Lithuania have enacted laws empowering border guards to remove migrants and refugees crossing from Belarus and denying them asylum. From Vilnius, Lithuania, reporter Henry Wilkins hears stories of those who have experienced the so-called pushback laws or lost their lives after being forced back to Belarus.
More Than 500 Rohingya Refugees Land in Indonesia
Three boats filled with more than 500 Rohingya refugees landed in Indonesia's westernmost province on Sunday, a U.N. agency said, in one of the biggest arrivals since Myanmar launched a military crackdown on the minority group in 2017. The mostly Muslim Rohingya are heavily persecuted in Myanmar, and thousands risk their lives each year on long and expensive sea journeys, often in flimsy boats, to try to reach Malaysia or Indonesia.
Finland's PM Hints at Further Border Action Amid Russia Protests
Finland’s prime minister said Monday the country may need to take further action on its border with Russia after closing four border crossings to stem a recent increase in asylum-seekers. Finland, which joined NATO this year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, has accused Moscow of letting migrants from the Middle East and Africa without valid travel documents through to the Finnish border. The government closed the border crossings in southeastern Finland last week, but new migrant arrivals were reported at border checkpoints farther north. The Associated Press reports.
— The Department of Homeland Security, through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues to remove families and individuals who have no basis to remain in the U.S.