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(Im)migration Recap, Sept. 29-Oct. 4

Mexicans camping near the Cordova-Americas international border crossing bridge while waiting to apply for asylum to the U.S., gather their belongings as they are moved to a shelter due a storm forecast, in Ciudad Juarez, Sept. 30, 2019.

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:

U.S. hits refugee cap; another decrease looms

The U.S. hit its self-imposed refugee arrivals cap of 30,000 on Monday, the close of the 2019 fiscal year. VOA Immigration Unit reporter Victoria Macchi reports that more than half of those refugees came from Africa. By individual country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo accounted for 13,000, followed by Myanmar (4,932), Ukraine (4,451), Eritrea (1,757), and Afghanistan (1,198). Fewer than 600 were from Syria.

In the current fiscal year 2020, the Trump administration seeks to cut refugee arrivals yet again, this time to 18,000 — the lowest ceiling in U.S. history.

'Inhumane' overcrowding on Greek islands

The United Nations refugee agency reports worsening humanitarian conditions on the Greek Islands of Lesvos, Samos, and Kos, which host some 30,000 asylum-seekers who arrived by sea, many of them from Afghanistan and Syria. The U.N. agency has warned that the asylum-seekers should be moved to the mainland, calling for "urgent steps" from Greek authorities to alleviate "inadequate and insecure conditions." VOA's Lisa Schlein reports.

From the Feds

— A Saudi citizen and former Oklahoma resident was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison for concealing his attendance at an al-Qaida training camp in 2000, along with visa fraud.

— U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, awarded 105 kilometers worth of border wall contracts in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. The total contract value: $812,604,005.00. President Trump hopes to extend border barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border by more than 600 kilometers before the end of his first term in 2020, as VOA's Michael Bowman recently reported.

— CBP issued five Withhold Release Orders on products from five countries — China, Malaysia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, and Brazil — that they determined were produced using prison or forced labor. The products include garments, disposable rubber gloves, gold, rough diamonds, and bone black.