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.
Trump's latest border announcement
In a surprise announcement, the Trump administration has renewed a push to overhaul America's immigration system. Trump tweeted late Thursday the U.S. would begin imposing a rising tariff on Mexican imports until the "illegal migrants" stop trying to travel through the country to reach America. He is placing a 5% tariff on all Mexican imports, effective June 10, and the percentage will gradually increase — up to 25% — "until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied."
Mexico's president responds to tariff threats
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador responded to U.S. tariff threats with caution, urging "dialogue" over "coercive measures" in the latest conflict over the two countries' migration policies.
Some see immigrants as rural America's saving grace
The entire United States faces a massive shortage of health care professionals over the next decade, including up to 120,000 physicians by 2030. One-third of currently active doctors in the country will reach retirement age during that span. VOA immigration reporter Ramon Taylor went to Pennsylvania to learn more about how immigrants are helping amid a health care shortage in small rural towns.
What's an ‘immigration czar'?
The Trump administration is creating a new position aimed at overhauling America's immigration system.The person most likely to hold the job: former Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli, a conservative lawmaker known for hawkish immigration views. Political observers interviewed by VOA said Cuccinelli's views largely align with President Donald Trump's immigration outlook.
Student visa fees increase
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is moving forward with increases in student visa fees.The I-901 SEVIS Fee for F and M international students will increase from $200 to $350. DHS will maintain the $35 I-901 SEVIS Fee for J exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work travel program participant categories, but is expected to increase the full I-901 SEVIS Fee for other J exchange visitors from $180 to $220. The SEVP school certification petition fee for initial certification will increase from $1,700 to $3,000.
More Asylum-Seekers Sue Trump Administration
A group of detained asylum seekers sued the U.S. government Thursday claiming immigration officials in five Southern states are systematically denying them parole. It is the second lawsuit of its kind filed against the Trump administration. Twelve plaintiffs are seeking class-action status on behalf of hundreds of asylum seekers being held in detention centers in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.
New DHS OIG report
A new report from U.S. Department of Homeland Security's inspector general found "dangerous overcrowding" and unsanitary conditions at an El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol processing facility after a surprise visit. "According to PDT Border Patrol processing facility staff, the facility's maximum capacity is 125 detainees. However, on May 7 and 8, 2019, #BorderPatrol's custody logs indicated there were approximately 750 and 900 detainees on site, respectively."
Hulu show about an Arab American Muslim millennial
The Hulu show Ramy shows generational differences between the more traditional Arab Muslims who immigrated to America and those who were born and grew up here.
From the feds
— The DOJ has settled an immigration related discrimination case. The U.S. Department of Justice concluded the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department in California improperly delayed rehiring a former deputy sheriff who was a lawful permanent resident (LPR) because he was not a U.S. citizen. Immigration law prohibits employers from discriminating in the hiring process based on citizenship status against certain categories of individuals, including recent LPRs, unless necessary to comply with a specific legal requirement.
— A California attorney pleaded guilty to federal fraud and money laundering charges for engaging in a scheme that collected more than $50 million from foreign investors seeking green cards through the EB-5 visa program.
— A foreign national wanted in Guatemala, who also is a human rights violator, is facing federal charges. Francisco Cuxum Alvarado is wanted for his role in the 1980s massacre of indigenous Guatemalans.