VOA Immigration Weekly Recap, Aug. 20–26

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Editor’s note: Here is a look at immigration-related news around the U.S. this week. Questions? Tips? Comments? Email the VOA immigration team: ImmigrationUnit@voanews.com.

Sanctuary Cities Welcome Asylum-Seekers, Deal with Budget Shortfalls

In the ongoing political battle between the Biden administration and the Republican governor of Texas over border enforcement, a few sanctuary cities are caught in the middle: They welcome recently arrived asylum-seekers but often lack the money to assist their resettlement. Immigration reporter Aline Barros has the story.

Trial to Begin Over Biden Policy Letting Migrants From 4 Countries Into the US

A key portion of President Joe Biden’s immigration policy that grants parole to thousands of people from Central America and the Caribbean was set to be debated in a Texas federal courtroom beginning Thursday. Under the humanitarian parole program, up to 30,000 people are being allowed each month to enter the United States from Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Reported by The Associated Press.

US Sues SpaceX, Claiming Discrimination Against Refugees, Asylum Recipients

The U.S. Justice Department is suing Elon Musk’s SpaceX, claiming it refused to hire refugees and asylum recipients at the rocket company. In a lawsuit filed Thursday, the Justice Department said SpaceX routinely discriminated against those job applicants between 2018 and 2022, in violation of U.S. immigration laws. Reported by VOA’s Justice Department correspondent Masood Farivar.

VOA Day in Photos

Migrants who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the U.S. climb a fence with barbed wire and concertina wire, Aug. 21, 2023, in Eagle Pass, Texas.

Immigration around the world

Sudan Conflict Fueling Humanitarian Emergency of Epic Proportions

Hunger, disease and displacement threaten to destroy Sudan as war spreads throughout the country, fueling “a humanitarian emergency of epic proportions,” according to Martin Griffiths, U.N. emergency relief coordinator. “The longer this fighting continues, the more devastating its impact is going to be,” Griffiths warned in a statement issued Friday. Lisa Schlein reports for VOA from Geneva.

Analysts: Situation Worsening in Niger as Food Prices Rise, Security Deteriorates

Conditions for people in Niger are getting worse, as security appears to be deteriorating, according to regional experts who spoke with VOA. Prices of staple foods such as rice and cooking oil have increased, while the country has endured more violence in the past three weeks than it had since the beginning of the year. Reported by Mariama Diallo covering national and world affairs for Voice of America.

Town in Chad Helps 200,000 Sudanese Refugees; ‘We Care About Them’

More than 200,000 refugees fleeing Sudan’s civil war have arrived in the town of Adre, Chad, since the middle of June. Before the crisis, the town had a recorded population of 40,000. In this report, Henry Wilkins asks Adre residents and newly arrived refugees what they are doing to help the influx of new residents.

Thousands of Migrants Stranded in Niger Because of Border Closures

After three months of crossing the desert and then watching other migrants die at sea in his failed attempt to reach Europe, Sahr John Yambasu gave up on getting across the Mediterranean and decided to go back home. Reported by The Associated Press.

Malawi Moves to Forcibly Reopen Containers Confiscated from Refugees

The Malawi government says it will forcibly open 125 containers confiscated from refugees and asylum-seekers living outside a refugee camp. Police say the containers were confiscated on suspicion they contain, among other things, firearms and counterfeiting machines. Lameck Masina reports for VOA from Blantyre, Malawi.

VOA60 Africa — More than 3 million people are internally displaced in Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said.

Rights Group: Saudi Guards Killed Ethiopians Seeking to Cross Border

Human Rights Watch alleges that Saudi border guards have killed at least hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum-seekers trying to cross from Yemen into Saudi Arabia between March 2022 and June 2023, in a report released Monday.

Rescue Ship Saves 438 Migrants in Mediterranean: NGO

The rescue ship Ocean Viking has saved 438 migrants in distress in the Mediterranean over the last two days, the organization that runs it, SOS Mediterranee, said Friday. The rescues took place in international waters off the coasts of Libya and Tunisia, the France-based NGO said. Reported by Agence France-Presse.

Greece Cracks Down on Attacks on Migrants as Wildfires Rage

Greece’s Supreme Court has ordered an urgent investigation into racist attacks that followed the outbreak of ferocious wildfires in the country’s northeast. The court order came after search teams found the bodies of 18 migrants who had been burned beyond recognition in a wooded area that had gone up in flames in Alexandroupolis, bordering Turkey. Produced by Anthee Carassava.

News brief

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced “more than $77 million in grants to support border and interior communities receiving migrants through the Shelter and Services Program (SSP). The funding will be available to 53 grant recipients for temporary shelter and other eligible costs associated with migrants awaiting the outcome of their immigration proceedings.”

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