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VOA immigration weekly recap, June 23- 29

Migrants prepare to depart the US Customs and Border Protection - Marathon Border Patrol Station in Marathon, Fla., on June 26, 2024.
Migrants prepare to depart the US Customs and Border Protection - Marathon Border Patrol Station in Marathon, Fla., on June 26, 2024.

Editor's note: Here is a look at immigration-related news around the U.S. this week. Questions? Tips? Comments? Email the VOA immigration team:

Biden's asylum halt falls hardest on Mexicans, other nationalities Mexico will take

The asylum halt, which took effect June 5 and has led to a 40% decline in arrests for illegal crossings, applies to all nationalities. But it falls hardest on those most susceptible to deportation — specifically, Mexicans and others Mexico agrees to take (Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans). Lack of money for charter flights, sour diplomatic ties and other operational challenges make it more difficult to deport people to many countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Reported by The Associated Press.

Biden, Trump blame each other over immigration issues

U.S. President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump sparred Thursday night over immigration at the first of their presidential debates.

Trump criticized Biden over the number of migrants who have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, including those who have committed crimes. Biden focused on the 40% drop in illegal migrant crossings since he issued an executive order aimed at reducing such crossings. VOA’s immigration reporter Aline Barros has more.

US offers deportation relief to additional 309,000 Haitians in country already

The Biden administration will expand deportation relief and work permits to an estimated 309,000 Haitians who are in the country already, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Friday. Reported by Reuters.

Reports of visa checks, deportations worry Chinese STEM students in US

Geopolitical tensions and growing competition in tech between the United States and China appear to be spilling over into academia despite commitments from the world’s two biggest economies to boost people-to-people exchanges. By Stella Hsu.

Homeland Security: Border arrests fell more than 40% since Biden's halt to asylum processing

Arrests for illegal border crossings have dropped more than 40% during the three weeks that asylum processing has been suspended, the Homeland Security Department said Wednesday. The announcement came just one day before President Joe Biden was to debate former President and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in what is expected to be a crucial moment in the election campaign. Reported by The Associated Press.

Immigrant families rejoice over move toward citizenship, but some are left out

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants had reason to rejoice when U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a highly expansive plan to extend legal status to spouses of U.S. citizens, but, inevitably, some were left out. The Associated Press reports.

Trump departs from anti-immigrant rhetoric with green card proposal

Former U.S. President Donald Trump said in an interview posted Thursday that he wants to give automatic green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges, a sharp departure from the anti-immigrant rhetoric he typically uses on the campaign trail. Reported by The Associated Press.

Immigration around the world

Thousands of refugees in Indonesia spend years awaiting resettlement

Morwan Mohammad walks down an old hotel corridor on Batam Island in northwestern Indonesia before entering a 6-square-meter room that has been home to him and his growing family for eight years. Mohammad, who fled war in Sudan, is one of hundreds of refugees living in community housing on the island while waiting for resettlement in a third country. The Associated Press reports.

Ecuador ends visa-free entry for Chinese nationals

Ecuador says it will suspend visa-free entry into the country for Chinese citizens, starting July 1, citing a worrying increase in irregular migration. Over the past few years, Ecuador has been the starting point for many of the thousands of Chinese citizens who have decided to take the long and treacherous journey through South America, Central America and Mexico to reach the southern U.S. border. Produced by Tracy Liu.

Indonesia detains 103 foreigners in a raid in Bali involving suspected cybercrime

Indonesian immigration authorities have detained 103 foreign nationals after a raid at a villa on the resort island of Bali, officials said Thursday. Those arrested, including Taiwanese, Chinese and Malaysians, were accused of misusing their visas and residence permits, along with possible cybercrimes. Immigration authorities said they conducted the raid Wednesday at a villa in Kukuh village in the Tabanan district and detained 91 men and 12 women. Computers and cellphones were also seized, they said. The Associated Press reports.

Human rights group calls on Iraq to halt deportations of Syrian refugees

Iraqi authorities in Baghdad and the administration in the semiautonomous northern Iraqi Kurdish region have been arbitrarily detaining and deporting Syrian refugees to their country, a leading international rights group said Thursday. The Associated Press reports.

News Brief

— Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas announced the "extension and redesignation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status for 18 months, from Aug. 4, 2024, to Feb. 3, 2026, due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti. The corresponding Federal Register Notice provides information about registering for TPS as a new or current beneficiary under Haiti’s extension and redesignation."