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(Im)migration News Recap, Oct. 28-Nov. 3 


President Donald Trump stops to talk to the media before walking across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Oct. 22, 2018.

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: ImmigrationUnit@voanews.com.

Does Trump mean it …

Or is this week's barrage of anti-immigrant rhetoric just aimed at winning next week's election?

In one week, Trump put additional troops at the border to combat a caravan of migrants pushing up through Mexico that he tweeted was an "invasion of our country;" he vowed to end the constitutionally protected practice of granting citizenship to babies born in the U.S.; and he promised to crack down on asylum seekers.

If there is an executive order restricting asylum, as Trump promised, it would likely to go directly to court, and the prospects for a change in birthright citizenship are even dimmer.

But for sure, there will an election next week, and immigration is a top issue.

Counter flow

This mid-term (not usually very inspiring) election may have motivated an unusual number of immigrant candidates to run, including Cambodian-American Elizabeth Heng.

More immigrants are also eligible to cast ballots, and they could affect the outcome of the election in states like Nevada IF they vote.

Stationed troops

The Department of Homeland Security said Thursday, an additional 5,200 troops would be in place on the U.S./Mexico border by November 2, even though the migrant caravan, which has been dwindling in numbers, is weeks away. The addition brings the total number of troops at the border to 7,200, about the same number that is posted to Iraq and Syria combined and more than twice the number of migrants expected to make it to the border. On October 24, Mexico estimated that there were 3,630 people in the caravan.

But DHS says that 270 of the migrants "have criminal histories" and the caravan "presents a unique safety threat to our nation."

Border residents wonder at the need.

Helping refugees, ‘because we are Jewish’

The shooting and killing of 11 people in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, synagogue at the end of last week was in part motivated by hatred for a Jewish refugee resettlement organization. The alleged shooter Robert Bowers wrote on social media that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society brings in "invaders that kill our people." HIAS Senior Vice President said Monday, "We used to help refugees because they were Jewish. Now, we help refugees because we are Jewish."

African asylum seekers in Israel could use some help. They have work visas but no status.

And refugees on the Micronesian island of Nauru can no longer settle in Cambodia after a controversial agreement with the Australian government expired.

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