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:[email protected]
The Guatemala connection
VOA EXCLUSIVE: The U.S. is trying to broker a deal with the Central American country that would block asylum seekers transiting through from later petitioning for asylum in Mexico or the U.S. It’s another U.S. attempt to curb the arrivals of unauthorized border crossers in the Southwest. Even if the U.S. can secure an agreement, Guatemela — which bridges El Salvador and Honduras to North America and is a source for many northbound migrants itself — also has a spotty human rights record, triggering questions about the legality and feasibility of such a deal. U.S. President Donald Trump was vague on details of a supposed migration deal with Mexico this past week, too. He says the mystery is on purpose.
Stay or go?
Uganda hosts Africa’s largest refugee population — 1.25 million people, with two-thirds having fled conflict in South Sudan. A peace deal last year raised hopes for some South Sudanese that they could soon return home, but the fragile peace has discouraged many from leaving Uganda’s refugee camps, despite struggles for adequate aid. Watch Halima Athumani’s report from Adjumani, Uganda.
Fallout from the shake-up
Leadership at U.S. immigration and border agencies turned over in recent months, after a slew of resignations and removals from office. Now, Trump has put conservative politician and lawyer Ken Cuccinelli at the head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Ocean crossings, border crossings
U.S. border agents detained hundreds of migrants from several African countries who crossed from Mexico without authorization in recent weeks. The groups, largely made up of families with young children, hail primarily from Angola, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
From the feds
— Two federal agencies asked for $4.5 billion in “emergency funding” this past week to handle the increase in border crossers in the southwestern U.S.
— Border agents found the body of a young girl — believed to be from India — in a remote wildness area of Arizona this week, on a day when temperatures topped 42 degrees Celsius (108 degrees Fahrenheit). She had been traveling with three adult women and two other children when the group split, two of the older travelers told agents.