Editor's note: We want you to know what's happening, 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.
Asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico
On Friday, the Trump administration implemented one of its most consequential asylum decisions to date. The "Migration Protection Protocols" requires some asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases are processed in U.S. courts, a major shift from past policy, disproportionately affecting Central American women and children. Mexico's Foreign Ministry spokesman said this week, however, that it did not have the resources to accept asylum-seekers who fear prosecution in Mexico.
We have a deal … for now
President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders have agreed to a deal that would fund the federal government for three weeks, ending the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Notably missing from the agreement: funding for the wall. For five weeks, the president did not budge from his demand of $5.7 billion in border wall funding. Nor did Democrats budge from their counteroffers, which included funding for border security, but zero for the wall.
The president did not concede defeat, warning that if Congress does not reach a deal by Feb. 15, one that includes "a powerful wall or steel barrier," he would be ready to "use the powers afforded" to him to address the issue. The president has not ruled out the possibility of declaring a national emergency.
DACA recipients buy time
For more than 700,000 immigrant beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as children, or whose legal status expired — the Supreme Court's decision not to take up its constitutionality this term means recipients may continue to renew their two-year permits for the foreseeable future, with a decision unlikely to be handed before 2020, an election year.
On Friday, a federal appeals court in New York began hearing oral arguments to determine whether the Trump administration's 2017 decision to end DACA violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, one of several appeals nationwide. A ruling is not immediately expected.
Dispelling misperceptions in Europe
A new report by the World Health Organization says migrants seeking refuge across Europe are generally in good health, and run a very low risk of transmitting communicable diseases. The WHO regional director for Europe notes that displacement itself, however, puts migrants at risk of infectious diseases that are well-established in Europe. The report notes higher rates of depression and anxiety among refugees and migrants than host populations, along with vulnerability to sexual exploitation among unaccompanied minors.
Nigerians seek refuge
Thousands of Nigerian refugees from the northeastern Borno state are fleeing to Chad, following December clashes between local government forces and the radical militant group, Boko Haram. According to the U.N. refugee agency, roughly 6,000 Nigerian refugees have made the trek so far, most of them women and children.