Mexican federal police officers stand on the bank of the Rio Bravo near a bridge connecting Eagle Pass, Texas, with Piedras…
FILE - Mexican federal police officers stand on the bank of the Rio Bravo near a bridge connecting Eagle Pass, Texas, with Piedras Negras, in Piedras Negras, Mexico, Feb. 10, 2019.

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.

Busted at the border

He drove them to the U.S.-Mexico line, and gave them disguises to thwart police if they got caught. Now Moayad Aldairi is headed to prison for his role in a human smuggling operation at the southwest U.S. border.

U.S. border patrol cars are seen through the fence of the bridge connecting Eagle Pass, Texas, with Piedras Negras, Mexico,…
Jordanian Man Sentenced for Role in US-Mexico Smuggling Ring
At least six Yemeni men crossed into Texas with the help of Moayad Aldairi, according to the US Justice Department

He's part of an increasing number of smugglers being charged for aiding border-crossers. In October, border agents in Arizona stopped two large trucks that were transporting dozens of migrants.

Trucks are seen after crossing the borderline from Mexico into the U.S. at the World Trade Bridge, in Laredo
US Border Agents Discover Child Among 30 Migrants in Tractor-Trailer
Among the 29 individuals from Mexico and one from Ecuador was an unaccompanied child, CBP officials said

As The Washington Post reported this week, more U.S. citizens — like the drivers arrested in Arizona — are becoming smugglers. 

MPP expands

Another U.S. border city will serve as a point of return for asylum-seekers detained after crossing from Mexico. Eagle Pass, Texas, is the sixth location where U.S. officials are implementing the controversial Migrant Protection Protocols.

Migrants, most of them asylum seekers sent back to Mexico from the U.S. under the "Remain in Mexico" program officially named…
US Adds Sixth City to Controversial 'Remain in Mexico' Program
More than 55,000 people were forced back across the border to await their immigration hearings

... and TPS extends

Nationals of six countries living and working in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status will be able to remain in legal status until early 2021, the U.S. government announced this past week. The Trump administration's attempt to end TPS for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan was met with several lawsuits in the last year, and the cases remain open, buying TPS holders more time. The president of El Salvador tweeted out his country's role in securing the new timeline early in the week. On Friday, U.S. officials said it would apply to all six countries involved in the litigation. 

The President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele speaks at a conference on the 2019 Forecast on Latin America and the Caribbean on…
Washington Extends TPS End-Date for Salvadorans
Roughly 200,000 nationals of El Salvador will have an additional year to live and work legally under Temporary Protected Status

Death after crossing

In mid-October, a 33-year-old Mexican woman suffering from severe dehydration fainted near Tubac, Arizona, about 40 kilometers north of the border city of Nogales. On Oct. 26, the woman in U.S. Customs and Border Protection custody died in an area hospital — one of more than 600 migrants who have died in the Americas this year.

FILE - In this March 2, 2019 file photo a Customs and Border Control agent patrols on the US side of a razor-wire-covered…
Hospitalized Woman Dies in US Border Patrol Custody
The 33-year-old Mexican woman was 'in need of medical care' when she was found by an Arizona sheriff's deputy, and spent nearly two weeks in the hospital

'We will not return to Syria'

As Turkey pushes for repatriation, many Syrian refugees are resisting. Out of fear, ongoing violence, or simply to have a more stable life in Turkey, they do not want to go back.

Isam Abdi opened the Mandy Restaurant and its success has allowed him and his family to build a new life in Istanbul after escaping the Syrian civil war. (Dorian Jones/VOA
Many Syrian Refugees in Turkey Want to Stay, Despite Erdogan Plan to Force Their Return
Erdogan pledged to return millions of Syrian refugees to their homes, but analysts warn of diplomatic and refugee opposition

It's not clear who would even be able to return safely; aid groups and the U.N. report that residents of northern Syria are fleeing to Iraq, as Turkey's military pressed across the border.

TOPSHOT - Syrians who have been recently turned refugees by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria are pictured…
Thousands of Syrian Kurds Flee to Iraq to Escape Turkish Incursion
More than 12,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Iraq in less than two weeks to escape Turkey's military onslaught in Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria

From the Feds:

- U.S. Customs and Border Protection released data for Fiscal Year 2019

- Erika Paola Intriago of Florida pleaded guilty to a cross-country immigration scam in which she pretended to be a lawyer.

- A third man was arrested and indicted on smuggling charges related to an operation that allegedly extended from Bangladesh to Mexico. Saifullah Al-Mamun, aka Saiful Al-Mamun, was arrested in Brazil; two others were held earlier this year in the U.S., and several more men face charges in Brazil.