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(Im)migration News Recap, Dec. 30 — Jan. 5


The U.S. Capitol Dome is seen behind the Peace Monument statue in Washington, Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, as a partial government shutdown stretches into its second week.

Editor's note: We want you to know what's happening, and 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: ImmigrationUnit@voanews.com

Court adjourned, for some

If U.S. immigration courts weren't backlogged enough, the country's partial government shutdown — two weeks and counting — is further complicating matters. VOA explains whose cases are affected, and what a prolonged shutdown could mean for immigration services.

Members of the freshman class of Congress pose for a photo on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 14, 2018, in Washington.
Members of the freshman class of Congress pose for a photo on Capitol Hill in Washington, Nov. 14, 2018, in Washington.

No end in sight

The era of divided government began Thursday when lawmakers in the now-Democratic-controlled House of Representatives were sworn in.

Republican President Donald Trump shows no signs of easing his demand for U.S.-Mexico border wall funding. This past week, he claimed again that "Mexico is paying for the wall" (it isn't) and that "much of the wall has already been fully renovated or built." An AP fact check explains what's actually happening on the southern border.

Asylum in the crosshairs

2018 was a defining year for the president's immigration policies. From "zero tolerance" to "metering" and a new partnership with Mexico, here are some of the ways in which the rules for requesting asylum have changed (or have been challenged in court).

Plot thickens at Trump golf club

A month after The New York Times reported that President Trump's golf club in New Jersey employed undocumented immigrants, another woman has come forward, alleging she was removed from a list of employees that were to be vetted by the U.S. Secret Service. "Was someone in human resources lying to the Secret Service? This could technically affect the national security of the United States," said Anibal Romero, the undocumented worker's attorney, to VOA.

Victorina Morales, left, and Sandra Diaz are considering a civil lawsuit against the Trump Organization for workplace abuse and discrimination.
Victorina Morales, left, and Sandra Diaz are considering a civil lawsuit against the Trump Organization for workplace abuse and discrimination.

Read and watch the testimonies of the two housekeepers who first came forward.

A man raises his hands during a protest in support of a new EU migration policy, a day before an EU leaders' meeting, in Brussels, Belgium, Dec. 13, 2017.
A man raises his hands during a protest in support of a new EU migration policy, a day before an EU leaders' meeting, in Brussels, Belgium, Dec. 13, 2017.

‘Brain drain' in Europe

European Union member states are reconsidering its freedom of movement rules as a result of youth emigration-fueled depopulation. With aging populations left behind in economically depressed regions, countries with high out-migration must figure out how to fund their health care and pension programs. Among the government's proposed solutions: limited work permits and financial incentives.

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