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(Im)migration News Recap, June 17-23 


Detainees are seen at a facility where tent shelters are being used to house separated family members at the Port of Entry in Fabens, Texas, June 21, 2018.

Editor's note: We wanted a way to keep you updated with the top immigration, migration, and refugee stories every week — the ones that will most affect you, our international readers, viewers and listeners. 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 reporting from across VOA. Questions? Tips? Comments? Email the VOA immigration team: ImmigrationUnit@voanews.com

The Border Policy that Was, then Wasn't, then Was

The breaking news was fast and furious this week, as public outcry peaked over a Trump administration decision to criminally prosecute all undocumented border-crossers. Federal officials separated thousands of children some barely old enough to walk who entered the country illegally with a parent in the last two months, while the adults were taken into custody to face criminal and civil charges.

U.S. President Donald Trump displays an executive order on immigration policy after signing it in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, June 20, 2018.
U.S. President Donald Trump displays an executive order on immigration policy after signing it in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, June 20, 2018.

What now? Well, as has often been the case with a new Trump executive order on immigration (remember Travel Bans 1-3?) the rollout is unclear, and there are legal hurdles that take the decision out of the president's hands. Trump asked for the military's help potentially in housing families. Immigrant supporters want to be optimistic about the end of family separations, but that's a feeling that's been hard to come by, Immigration Unit reporter Ramon Taylor found out in Texas this week.

Carlos is seeking asylum on the basis of gang violence in his native Honduras (Photo: A. Barros / VOA)
Carlos is seeking asylum on the basis of gang violence in his native Honduras (Photo: A. Barros / VOA)

The Asylum Conundrum

The top Homeland Security official alleges that the asylum process in the U.S. is rife with fraud. But in many cases VOA found on the Texas-Mexico border, migrants fleeing Central American violence don't even know they can apply for it. Immigration reporter Aline Barros spoke with one man who was uninformed about his legal options after he was caught crossing the border.

Immigration Bill Faces Uncertain Fate on Capitol Hill
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Capitol Hill Struggles, Again

Amid a tumultuous week on the southwestern U.S. border, lawmakers considered two more immigration bills but made no progress.

The Federal Detention Center where Blanca Orantes-Lopez is held 3,000 miles away from her child is seen behind a fence as a jet flies overhead, June 19, 2018, in SeaTac, Wash.
The Federal Detention Center where Blanca Orantes-Lopez is held 3,000 miles away from her child is seen behind a fence as a jet flies overhead, June 19, 2018, in SeaTac, Wash.

Midterm Election Muck-up?

Trump likes to talk about immigrants. A lot. But it's almost always in negative terms, and his policies follow suit. Republican candidates could feel the effect as a country that is increasingly ethnically and racially diverse comes to terms with a president who wants to reduce immigration. "It is a public relations disaster area for the Trump administration, and just about everybody but Donald Trump and his very strongly anti-immigration aides seem to realize that," Larry Sabato told VOA.

Faisel, 13, points at his house on the other side of the barbed-wire fence surrounding the camp, May 29, 2018, in Hassan Sham, Iraqi Kurdistan. (H. Murdock/VOA)
Faisel, 13, points at his house on the other side of the barbed-wire fence surrounding the camp, May 29, 2018, in Hassan Sham, Iraqi Kurdistan. (H. Murdock/VOA)

Stranger in an Un-strange Land

Thirteen-year-old Faisel can see his home, past the barbed wire, from the Iraqi camp for displaced people where he now lives. He just can't cross back home again.

FILE- In this Feb. 3, 2017 file photo, migrants and refugees wait to be helped by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, as they crowd aboard a rubber boat sailing out of control in the Mediterranean Sea about 21 miles north of Sabratha, Libya.
FILE- In this Feb. 3, 2017 file photo, migrants and refugees wait to be helped by members of the Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms, as they crowd aboard a rubber boat sailing out of control in the Mediterranean Sea about 21 miles north of Sabratha, Libya.

The Refugee Report

This week, on World Refugee Day, we launched an interactive map dedicated to VOA's ongoing coverage of refugees across the globe. We're calling it the Refugee Report, and we hope it will be a good way for our readers to monitor the constant flow of reports from the field about the displaced. Click through the map to see the full stories, or filter by region.

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