VOA Immigration Weekly Recap, June 6-19 November

Editor’s note: Here’s a look at this week’s US immigration news. Questions? tips? Comments? Email the VOA Immigration Team: [email protected]

The backlog of nonimmigrant visas is shrinking, a State Department official says

The Biden administration has reduced wait times for interviews on nonimmigrant visas worldwide, an official said Thursday. But the progress is disputed by an immigration policy analyst who is following the issue closely. VOA’s immigration correspondent Aline Barros reports from Washington.

Richter postpones the end of asylum restrictions to the end of December

A federal judge on Wednesday granted the Biden administration a five-week delay to end sweeping asylum restrictions, writing in capital letters that he was doing so “WITH GREAT RESERVE,” reports The Associated Press.

International students returning to the US since the pandemic subsided

International students are returning to the United States after a significant drop during the pandemic, according to the Open Doors 2022 Report on International Educational Exchange (IEE). VOA’s immigration correspondent Aline Barros reports from Washington.

Cuba agrees to accept US deportation flights if border crossings increase

Cuba has agreed for the first time since the pandemic to accept US deportation flights carrying Cubans detained at the US-Mexico border, three US officials told Reuters, giving US authorities a new but limited tool to deter a record number of Cuban cross-border workers, Reuters reports.

Report: Chief of the US border agency is expelled

The head of US Customs and Border Protection is being pressured from his job as head of the country’s largest law enforcement agency as agents encounter a record number of migrants entering the US from Mexico, according to two people familiar with the matter, The Associated reports Press.

The US extends protected status for 6 nationalities until mid-2024

The United States has notified El Salvador that the temporary protective status of its citizens and that of five other countries will be extended until June 30, 2024, Salvadoran Ambassador to the United States Milena Mayorga said Thursday. The other countries are Haiti, Nicaragua, Sudan, Honduras and Nepal, according to a document filed Thursday by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. The measure means their Temporarily Protected Status (TPS) will not expire on December 31, 2022 as previously planned, Reuters reports.

Afghan Americans Vote Over Afghan Refugee Issues

Some Afghan-Americans living in Northern Virginia said they were determined to vote in the midterm elections and that US foreign policy toward Afghanistan and immigration were most important to them. Matiullah Abid Noor and Shahnaz Nafees have the story. Roshan Noorzai contributed to this report.

Meta layoffs deepen job losses in Silicon Valley

Widespread layoffs in the U.S. tech industry have left thousands of Silicon Valley workers out of work, a trend heavily reinforced Wednesday by Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, which announced it was shedding 13% of its workforce, which equates to more than 11,000 jobs.

immigration worldwide

Being black in Tunisia

Zied Rouine grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Tunis and didn’t think much about the color of his skin. Not when kids insulted him at school or when his soccer teammates nicknamed him Pele, after Brazil’s black soccer legend. His athletic ability and fierce protection of his light-skinned brother from pursuers were tickets to acceptance. It wasn’t until years later, when he attended an international forum on discrimination, that Rouine realized something was wrong. Lisa Bryant reports from Paris for VOA.

England and France join forces to stem the flow of migrants crossing the English Channel

Britain and France have joined forces to stem the tide of migrants crossing the English Channel into England. Under the new deal, Britain is to pay France $75 million to increase security, which would prevent migrants and asylum-seekers from navigating small ships from France across the dangerous waterway, reports VOA News.

After a dispute with Italy, France takes on a migrant ship

France has resolved a days-long dispute with Italy’s right-wing government by agreeing to take on a ship carrying more than 200 migrants rescued in the Mediterranean. The Ocean Viking is due to dock in the southern French port of Toulon on Friday – but relations with Rome remain bitter. For the 234 migrants on board the Ocean Viking, France’s approval of their admission marked the end of a long odyssey. Lisa Bryant reports from Paris for VOA.

German relief organization: 89 migrants are allowed to get off in Italy

A German humanitarian group said its ship docked in southern Italy early Tuesday and disembarked 89 people rescued at sea, ending a migrant rescue saga while others continue under Italy’s new far-right government. Mission Lifeline posted videos on social media of the 25-metre Rise Above freighter docking in Reggio Calabria, saying the “odyssey of 89 passengers and nine crew on board appears to be over”. A subsequent post said all 89 would be allowed to disembark, reports The Associated Press.

short messages

– The US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced in November that it will accept certain affirmative asylum applications online. USCIS will continue to accept the most recent paper version of this form in the mail.

– The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released updated figures showing a record number of migrant encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border. “The total number of unique encounters at the southwest border in October 2022 was 185,527, a 1.5% increase from the previous month, driven by an increased number of asylum seekers fleeing authoritarian regimes in Cuba and Nicaragua,” reads the latest publication by CBP.