VOA Immigration Weekly Recap, Feb. 18-March 2

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.

Biden, Trump Make Dueling Visits to US-Mexico Border

U.S. President Joe Biden and former U.S. President Donald Trump visited the U.S.-Mexico border on Thursday. While Biden urged Congress to reconsider a bipartisan immigration bill that fell apart in the Senate, Trump focused on crimes committed by migrants. Immigration is expected to be a key issue in the November presidential election, as tens of thousands of migrants have crossed into the United States without authorization each week. VOA’s Ken Bredemeier and immigration reporter Aline Barros have more.

US Announces Fee Increases for Immigration, Naturalization Petitions

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is increasing certain immigration and naturalization fees for the first time since 2016. The change will be in effect April 1. The increases affect employment-based petitions, family-based immigration applications and U.S. naturalization cases. Per U.S. immigration law, USCIS is required to revise its fee structure every two years. VOA’s immigration reporter Aline Barros has more.

US, Mexico, Guatemala Boost Cooperation to Control Migrant Arrivals at Southern Border

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosted a meeting Wednesday in Washington with top Mexican and Guatemalan officials to discuss managing irregular migration, displacement and expanding lawful immigration pathways in the Western Hemisphere. VOA’s immigration reporter Aline Barros has more.

Asylum-Seekers Find Shelter at Washington State Church

Although the number of migrants crossing daily into the United States has fallen since December, local communities are still scrambling to provide them with resources. In the Pacific Northwest, Riverton Park United Methodist Church in Tukwila, Washington, has become a shelter for hundreds of asylum-seekers from Africa and Latin America. Produced by Natasha Mozgovaya.

For Some Chinese Migrants, Few Options in Xi’s China

With only a backpack, a portable tent and a small shoulder bag, Cong, a 47-year-old Chinese migrant, was one of more than a dozen migrants to step out of a narrow wooden boat on the stony shore of the Chucunaque River in Lajas Blancas, Panama. The stop was one of dozens he had made over the past month, and it was where he met with VOA’s Mandarin Service on his journey toward the United States — a journey that began in China’s southwestern province of Sichuan. Cong declined to provide his full name, citing security concerns. Produced by Adrianna Zhang.

Judge Blocks Texas Law That Gives Police Power to Arrest Migrants Who Illegally Enter US

A federal judge on Thursday blocked a new Texas law that gives police broad powers to arrest migrants suspected of illegally entering the U.S., dealing a victory to the Biden administration in its feud with Republican Governor Greg Abbott over immigration enforcement. The Associated Press reports.

Killing of Georgia Nursing Student at Center of US Immigration Debate

Laken Riley was a 22-year-old nursing student out on her morning run at the University of Georgia when, authorities say, a stranger dragged her into a secluded area and killed her, sending shockwaves through campus as police searched for a suspect. The arrest of a Venezuelan man who entered the U.S. illegally and was allowed to stay to pursue his immigration case put the tragedy at the center of the 2024 presidential campaign. The Associated Press reports.

Immigration around the world

Australia Sends Asylum-Seekers Who Arrived by Boat to Pacific Processing Center

A group of asylum-seekers has been flown from Australia to Nauru after they were discovered in a remote part of Western Australia. Their arrival on the Australian mainland reignited the political debate about immigration policy and border protection. The Canberra government has been criticized by the conservative opposition of losing control of Australia’s maritime borders. Produced by Phil Mercer.

News brief

— Senior official performing the duties of the Deputy Secretary Kristie Canegallo and Indian Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla met in New Delhi to co-chair the U.S.-India Homeland Security Dialogue. During the meeting, officials reaffirmed the commitment of the United States and India to strengthen access to lawful immigration pathways while enforcing immigration law to include returns of individuals who do not have a legal basis to remain in the United States.

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