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: ImmigrationUnit@voanews.com.
Remember the wall?
The noise surrounding the U.S. government shutdown is increasing as workers face a fifth week without pay. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested President Donald Trump forego the annual State of the Union address to Congress because of security concerns and Trump canceled her trip to Afghanistan. Remember what it is all about? Funding for a wall on the border between U.S. and Mexico. By week's end, Trump tried to bring attention back to the wall by tweeting about the advance of another migrant caravan.
Another big Caravan heading our way. Very hard to stop without a Wall!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
"Only a wall will work," Trump had tweeted earlier in the week.
But it is hard to see that the $5.7 billion he wants for the wall is anything but an arbitrary figure.
Where are the children?
The Department of Health and Human Services inspector general reported that thousands more children may have been separated from their parents by U.S. immigration officials than previously reported and that the practice was implemented sooner than was publicly announced.
Not welcome here
The human rights group Amnesty International is slamming European states that bar migrant ships from docking at their ports. Calling the practice "shameful," Amnesty's Matteo De Bellis says Europe is "outsourc(ing)" border security to Libya by relying on the Libyan coast guard to not only intercept migrant ships at sea, but to direct them back to Libya. "But it is forbidden by international law to disembark people in a place where they are going to be exposed to torture," De Bellis said. In Britain, the arrival of boat migrants has sparked debate.
A new bipartisan bill in the U.S. House of Representatives would offer Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelans fleeing the country's economic crisis. If the bill passes both houses of Congress and is signed by Trump, Venezuelans could temporarily live legally in the U.S. and work.
A federal court has blocked the Trump administration from adding a citizenship question to its 2020 Census questionnaire. Plaintiffs argued that the question would discourage non-citizens from responding and skew the results in ways that would advance Republican priorities. The ruling may stand. On Friday, the Supreme Court took the census issue off its February docket indicating the high court will not take up the case.