WASHINGTON - 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.
Court stops new asylum rule
Judge Jon Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued an injunction halting the administration’s new asylum rule, saying it fails to ensure that asylum-seekers rejected by the United States and sent to a third country, most often Mexico, would be safe there and have access to a fair asylum process. The rule was expected to categorically bar asylum for migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border without applying for and being denied asylum in any country they pass through on their way to the United States. Government officials vowed to appeal the decision.
Trump: Guatemala signing asylum deal
President Donald Trump on Friday announced Guatemala is signing an agreement to restrict asylum applications to the U.S. from Central America. The so-called “safe third country” agreement would require migrants, including Salvadorans and Hondurans, who cross into Guatemala on their way to the U.S. to apply for protections in Guatemala instead of at the U.S. border.
State imposes visa restrictions to certain Cuban officials
U.S. State Department has imposed “visa restrictions on certain Cuban officials and other individuals responsible for ... coercive labor practices,” which include “working long hours, housing in unsafe areas, and compelling Cuban medical professionals to advance the regime’s political agenda.”
International students in the US talk isolation and anxiety
Read the story of Yiping Zhong. The student said that during her first year she had panic attacks every time she walked into class. A Syracuse University 2017 study shows that fear of a new environment, cultural adjustment and homesickness were found to be among the main challenges faced by Chinese international students.
American held in immigration detention
An 18-year-old American citizen was detained at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint by agents who suspected he was in the U.S. illegally, even though he was carrying a Texas state ID.
Zero refugee cap
The Trump administration is considering more dramatic cuts to the U.S. refugee program, with one official suggesting the White House not allow any refugees into the country in the coming fiscal year. Since the so-called “refugee ceiling” is an upper limit, and not a quota, the government is not required to meet the annual admissions number.
From the Feds:
USCIS to review US naturalization test
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is revising the current naturalization test to “ensure that “it continues to serve as an accurate measure of a naturalization applicant’s civics knowledge.” According to reports, this is the first planned revision of the test since 2008, and a signed Revision of the Naturalization Civics Test memorandum was released in May. The goal is to launch the revised test in December 2020 or early 2021.
Acting ICE director talks agency budget needs
Matthew T. Albence, acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, testified Thursday afternoon before the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Homeland Security, and highlighted the humanitarian crisis at the Southwest border and the necessary resources and funding needed for the agency fulfill its mission. Read his testimony here and watch the complete hearing here.