A Honduran woman and her 18-month-old daughter share lunch hours after being dropped off in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, under the Migrant Protection Protocols, Aug. 8, 2019.
A Honduran woman and her 18-month-old daughter share lunch hours after being dropped off in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, under the Migrant Protection Protocols, Aug. 8, 2019. (V. Macchi/VOA)

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.

Migrants and asylum-seekers, in their own words

In dozens of interviews on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border last month, VOA met single adults, parents traveling with young children, grandparents with grandchildren, and pregnant women whose due dates are before their court hearings. Most came by bus and foot from their home countries in Central America. A growing number are coming from outside the Western Hemisphere. Read and watch profiles of six people who discuss how and why the trekked to the U.S., and what they hope for as they face immigration court hearings in the coming months.

More than 350 migrants boarded eight buses to Tapachula, Chiapas on August 6. Some felt their choice was either to leave or face possible kidnapping or extortion on Nuevo Laredo’s streets. (R. Taylor/VOA)
US-Bound Migrants, Asylum-Seekers Wait Out Policy Changes
Despite the odds against them, migrants and asylum-seekers from the Americas, Africa and beyond await their fates along America’s southern border


New twist for those forced to remain in Mexico
Asylum-seekers who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months may be automatically rejected in U.S. immigration court, according to a U.S. Supreme Court decision this week. This would largely affect thousands of people, largely Central Americans. Under the Migrant Protection Protocols, many asylum-seekers and migrants were forced to wait for their U.S. immigration hearings in Mexico.

Jose, 31, from Guatemala, holds his 3-month -old daughter during a church service at the Agape World Mission shelter, where many Central American and Mexican migrants stay while trying to reach the U.S. or to request asylum, in Tijuana, Mexico,…
Major Impact Expected from Supreme Court Asylum Decision
Policy effectively denies asylum to most migrants at the southern US border, in wake of a Supreme Court ruling

MPP hearings began in Laredo, Texas, this week, though media and other observers were barred from attending what would normally be public court proceedings. Read more of VOA's U.S.-Mexico border coverage, including interviews with migrants.

US Customs and Border Patrol officials wait to hand asylum-seekers over to Mexican officials as they are returned  under the so-called Remain in Mexico program, on the international bridge between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, July 10, 2019.
How US Government's 'Remain in Mexico' Plan Unfurled Into Confusion
US policy forces asylum-seekers back across the border - sometimes to dangerous cities - to await their cases being reviewed


From the Feds
Border agents discovered a shack at a Texas cemetery that was being used as a stash house for 10 Chinese nationals who entered the U.S. without authorization. The number of people from outside Central America who cross from Mexico is increasing, as VOA reported last month.

In May 10, 2019 photo, migrants from several African countries rest on mattresses outside a barn used as a shelter in Peñitas, Darien Province, Panama. African and Asian migrants tend to arrive by boat or air to Brazil, where they cross through the Amazon to Peru and turn north through Ecuador to Colombia, paying smugglers to shepherd them through the Darien Gap. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
At US-Mexico Border, Africans Join Diversifying Migrant Community
While the overwhelming majority of these families continue to be from Mexico and the Northern Triangle, a small but growing proportion are from countries outside the Americas, nearly twice as much as two years ago
U.S. Border Patrol agents await a detainee transfer under a train bridge in Laredo, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2019. (V. Macchi/VOA)

The number of people detained after crossing the southwest U.S. border declined for a third consecutive month, after a spike in arrivals in May. U.S. officials documented 50,693 apprehensions in August

Roberto Rodriguez-Espinoza, a Mexican national in U.S. immigration custody, died at a hospital in Illinois this week. His is the eighth death in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody this fiscal year. 

David Allen Boileau,58, of Florida pleaded guilty this week to carrying out months of threats against an Iraqi American refugee family. He faces up to one year in prison.