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.
Surviving war with a wheelchair
In a U.N. first, a Syrian refugee this week shared with the Security Council what life in conflict is like for those living with disabilities. "I quickly realized that I was the main obstacle standing in the way of my family's safety," Nujeen Mustafa told the diplomats. "Every day, I feared that I could be the reason my family was one or two seconds too late. My brother called us 'the walking dead.' "
Smugglers of the Caribbean
Yadvinder Singh Bhamba knew he could go to prison for helping run a human smuggling operation. He had already done time once, before sneaking himself back into the U.S. When he was caught again, he told police that even without him, the business — a worldwide, multilevel, country-hopping scheme — "will never stop."
Questioning the citizenship question
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether the Trump administration followed the correct procedure to include a question on next year's census about citizenship. The proposed addition to the decennial survey rankled civil rights and immigrant advocates, and triggered a lawsuit, amid a backdrop of repeated decisions by the president that affect the country's foreign-born communities.
Visa overstays under White House scrutiny
This week, the Trump administration proposed punishing countries whose nationals overstay their U.S. visas. It's a move that could most directly affect a vulnerable group: African asylum seekers.
From the Feds:
· A Texas couple will serve seven years in prison for forcing a young Guinean woman to be their maid and nanny for 16 years, starting when she was a child. Mohamed Touré, 58, and Denise Cros-Touré, 58, will also have to pay the victim more than $288,000 in restitution. The couple — natives of Guinea and permanent U.S. residents — face deportation after serving their time.
· Federal prosecutors indicted Erika Paola Intriago, 44, of Tampa, Fla., this week on charges of posing as an immigration attorney. Investigators allege Intriago targeted native Spanish speakers in Florida and Illinois, created fake federal agency documents, and threatened clients with deportation if they complained.
· Massachusetts Judge Shelley M. Richmond Joseph and court officer Wesley MacGregor were charged this week with blocking the courthouse detention by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement of a Dominican man living in the U.S. unlawfully.
The practice of immigration arrests in public buildings is controversial, especially when it pits local and state jurisdictions against federal ones. In a Facebook post, the Massachusetts attorney general called the indictment "a radical and politically motivated attack on our state and the independence of our courts."