(Im)migration Weekly Recap, June 2-7

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]

Fleeing families 

The numbing numbers of families entering the U.S. without authorization through Mexico continued its months-long sharp uptick in May. U.S. border agents detained 132,887 adults and children last month — roughly 64% were traveling in a family group, and most were from Central America. The U.S. government opened tent shelters this week to house families being apprehended along the border while they are being processed.

Meanwhile, officials in Washington and Mexico City are attempting to negotiate migration protocols after Trump threatened the country’s southern neighbor with escalating tariffs set to start next week. 

African migrants on Mexico border

While the news of increasing family arrivals has dominated headlines in recent months, another jump in border crossings quietly surfaced in the last week: Border agents detained about 500 people from Central and Southern Africa in the last week — mostly Cameroonian, Angolan, and Congolese. While there are some unauthorized border crossers every year from African states, the sharp uptick is prompting charities along the border to scramble their resources, unaccustomed to the language needs in the detained groups. 

Death in detention — and out

A hospitalized trans woman died days after her release from U.S. immigration custody. In the days following, two more people in U.S. border custody died.

The journey to get to — and through — the U.S. border can be perilous, and every year hundreds of people die in the attempt, but is the U.S. government doing enough to care for those in detention? Even an internal assessment by government inspectors released this week questions whether enough is being done. 

From the Feds:

— A Florida man is facing federal charges over alleged threats against his Iraqi-American refugee neighbor — who is also a widow and mother of four. 

— The head of a Mexican religious group was arrested at a U.S. airport this week. Naasón Joaquín García, who heads La Luz Del Mundo, a Christian fundamentalist group, is accused along with several co-defendants of dozens of counts of human trafficking, production of child pornography, and forcible rape of a minor. 


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