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(Im)migration News Roundup, May 6-12


Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Calif., left, speaks next to Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., and Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, during a news conference with House Republicans who are collecting signatures on a petition to force House votes on immigration legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 9, 2018.

Editor's note: With four people working on (im)migration stories every day, we still struggle to keep up with all of the relevant news. So, 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.

Questions? Comments? Email the VOA immigration team: ImmigrationUnit@voanews.com


DACA Trial and Error
Lawmakers tried again this week to push a bill that would protect some younger undocumented people in the United States. Leading the charge, five moderate Republicans who are trying to force votes on four immigration bills. Whichever bill gets the most votes passes.

• What's next? The magic number here is 218; that's how many votes are needed to agree to move ahead with the "Queen of the Hill"-style vote. How does the House get to that number? Every Democrat and dozens of Republicans would have to sign on. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the effort is pointless, unless the bill that passes is something the president would sign. (Ryan plans to retire from Congress this year.)

• While you're in the DACA zone, check out our video explainer of some of the lawsuits over DACA.

Chanda Choun, left, and his campaign's creative director Minh Pham, a Vietnamese-American, at Chanda Choun’s first meet and greet event at John Lyon VFW Post 3150 in Arlington, Va., Feb. 18, 2018. (Sophat Soeung/VOA Khmer)
Chanda Choun, left, and his campaign's creative director Minh Pham, a Vietnamese-American, at Chanda Choun’s first meet and greet event at John Lyon VFW Post 3150 in Arlington, Va., Feb. 18, 2018. (Sophat Soeung/VOA Khmer)

Virginia's Cambodian-American-refugee-veteran-techie candidate
Chanda Choun wants to live and die in Arlington County. In between, he wants to help run it. "I didn't see anybody with a military background, I didn't see anybody with an immigrant background, and I didn't see anybody with a tech background stepping up," he told VOA, when speaking of his candidacy for a local government position. "That's all it came down to."

FILE - Ravi Ragbir (C), a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, speaks during a press conference held on his behalf as he fights deportation, Jan. 31, 2018, at New York City Hall.
FILE - Ravi Ragbir (C), a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago and executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, speaks during a press conference held on his behalf as he fights deportation, Jan. 31, 2018, at New York City Hall.

Sanctuary success?
Policies in some U.S. cities and states limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, and there is evidence those policies may be slowing the detention-to-deportation pipeline, according to a report released this week. ​

This March 23, 2018, photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census test letter mailed to a resident in Providence, R.I. The nation's only test run of the 2020 Census is in Rhode Island, and it's drawing concerns from community leaders, good-government groups and others about how it's being run.
This March 23, 2018, photo shows an envelope containing a 2018 census test letter mailed to a resident in Providence, R.I. The nation's only test run of the 2020 Census is in Rhode Island, and it's drawing concerns from community leaders, good-government groups and others about how it's being run.

Questioning the census
A plan to include a citizenship question in the 2020 U.S. census is triggering bad memories for some Japanese-American families: the information they provided in the 1940 census was used to round them up, along with their parents, or grandparents, and detain them in camps for years.

Border Patrol Sector Supervisor Jorge Rivera watches as construction workers build a portion of nine-meter-tall replacement fencing in Calexico, California.
Border Patrol Sector Supervisor Jorge Rivera watches as construction workers build a portion of nine-meter-tall replacement fencing in Calexico, California.

Border relations
We've spent a lot of parched hours at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months and, honestly, we're left with more questions than answers.

FILE - A boy hangs up copies of the English-language Phnom Penh Post at a newsstand in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jan. 8, 2008.
FILE - A boy hangs up copies of the English-language Phnom Penh Post at a newsstand in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Jan. 8, 2008.

Press freedom under fire
As a longtime fixture of the Cambodian press disintegrates in plain sight, a veteran journalist gets refugee status and safety in the United States.

Through Cooking, Immigrants Better Understand English, America
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What's English for "pizza"?
An English class for new Americans combines cooking, culture and the universal happy place: meeting over food.

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