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