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VOA Immigration weekly recap, June 9-15

FILE - Asylum-seeking migrants line up in a makeshift, mountainous campsite to be processed after crossing the border with Mexico, Feb. 2, 2024, near Jacumba Hot Springs, California.
FILE - Asylum-seeking migrants line up in a makeshift, mountainous campsite to be processed after crossing the border with Mexico, Feb. 2, 2024, near Jacumba Hot Springs, California.

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:

President Joe Biden's administration is prepared to defend in court the sweeping asylum policy put into place at the U.S.-Mexico border last week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. Biden signed an executive order on June 4 that generally bars migrants who illegally cross the southern border from claiming asylum and allows authorities to quickly deport or send migrants back to Mexico if the daily number of crossings exceeds 2,500. The asylum ban has exceptions for unaccompanied minors, people who face serious medical or safety threats, and victims of trafficking. Reported by Reuters.

Biden, Trump trade accusations over border
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At rallies in the Western United States, Republican presidential candidate, former president Donald Trump focused on immigration and threatened to sanction countries, including China, if they do not stop people from leaving for the United States. VOA Correspondent Scott Stearns reports.

The number of foreign-born people in the United States rose more than 15% from 2010 to 2022, to just more than 46 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s more foreign-born people — those who were not U.S. citizens at birth — than ever before, despite slow population growth. Produced by Dora Mekouar.

A surge in immigration in the past three years has boosted the size of the U.S. workforce and has been a key driver of the healthy pace of job growth. (Economists have said it isn't clear whether the government's jobs report is picking up all those gains, particularly among unauthorized immigrants.) Reported by The Associated Press.

Immigration around the world

Another body was spotted off the coast of Libya on Saturday, a day after a Doctors Without Borders rescue ship recovered the bodies of 11 migrants in the same area of the Mediterranean Sea and said it had saved more than 160 people from boats.Reuters reports.

Japanese laws making it easier for the country to deport failed asylum-seekers took effect Monday, with campaigners warning that the new system will put lives at risk. The world's fourth-largest economy has long been criticized for the low number of asylum applications it accepts. Last year refugee status was granted to a record 303 people, mostly from Afghanistan. Story by Agence France-Presse.

The United Nations refugee agency says forced displacement around the globe surged to historic heights last year, driven by conflict, persecution, human rights violations, climate crises and other disturbing events. In its 2024 Global Trends Report, UNHCR says 117.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide by the end of 2023. About 68 million were uprooted from their homes by conflict and remain displaced within their own countries. Another 31 million were refugees, while tens of millions more were asylum-seekers, returnees or stateless people. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.

The Taliban government in Afghanistan has said that the eviction of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees from Pakistan and Iran continues unabated, with around 2,000 individuals arriving in the country daily. “The two neighboring countries have forcibly deported over 400,000 refugees since the start of 2024, with Pakistan responsible for 75% of the deportations,” said Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, the spokesperson for the Taliban’s commission assisting and resettling returnees to their native Afghan districts.

News Brief

— An investigation by Homeland Security Investigations New England and the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General found the owner of a pizzeria chain in Massachusetts “forced or attempted to force five men and one woman to work for him through violent physical abuse, threats of abuse and repeated threats to report victims to immigration authorities to have them deported.”