VOA’s Immigration Weekly Recap, April 28- May 4

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VOA's Immigration Weekly Recap, April 28- May 4

Advocates seek work permits for long-term undocumented immigrants in US

A growing number of immigration advocates are urging President Joe Biden to grant work permits to long-term undocumented immigrants living in the United States. They say it would provide individuals with legal employment opportunities and alleviate labor shortages. While the president has the power to grant this through an executive order, the White House has not confirmed any plans to do so. Aline Barros, VOA’s immigration reporter, has more.

Biden administration: 100,000 new migrants expected to enroll in ‘Obamacare’ next year

Roughly 100,000 immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children are expected to enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance next year under a directive the Biden administration released Friday, The Associated Press reports.

Republican-led states far from US-Mexico border rush to tighten immigration laws

Republican-led states in the U.S. are rushing to give broader immigration enforcement powers to local police and impose criminal penalties for those living in the country illegally, as the issue of migrants crossing the U.S. border remains central to the 2024 elections. Reported by The Associated Press.

Three Immigrants, Three Journeys

The Migration Policy Institute says the South and Central Asians’ immigration pathways to the U.S. are just as diverse as the reasons for their migration. While Afghans rely on special immigrant visas and refugee programs, many Central Asians try their luck at the green card lottery. Indians typically use work visas as a pathway to become permanent residents and citizens. For Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, it is more common to obtain a green card sponsored by relatives. Reported by VOA’s Masood Farivar.

Straight Talk Africa

In this edition of Straight Talk Africa, Vincent Makori discusses the challenges of migration and refugees on the continent. He is joined by Aline Barros, VOA’s immigration reporter, Mamadou Dian Balde, UNHCR regional director for East, Horn and Great Lakes regions of Africa, and Abdullahi Halakhe, senior advocate for East & Southern Africa at Refugees International.

Immigration around the world

EU pledges $1 billion for Lebanon, urges curbs against irregular migration

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday announced $1 billion in aid to Lebanon to help tackle illegal migration, as rights groups warned against forced returns to Syria. The European Union has deals with Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritania and others aimed at helping stem flows of irregular migrants. The Associated Press reports.

Dozens arrested after London protest blocking removal of asylum-seekers

British police arrested 45 people on Thursday after a violent protest in London against the transfer of asylum-seekers from a hotel to a barge off southern England. Dozens of protesters outside a hotel in southeast London attempted to stop a bus carrying the asylum-seekers from leaving, reportedly deflating its tires and obstructing the vehicle by surrounding it, London’s Metropolitan Police said. Reuters reports.

Massive Powerball win draws attention to a little-known immigrant culture in US

Cheng “Charlie” Saephan wore a broad smile and a bright blue sash emblazoned with the words “Iu-Mien USA” as he hoisted an oversized check for $1.3 billion above his head. The 46-year-old immigrant’s luck in winning an enormous Powerball jackpot in Oregon earlier this month — a lump sum payment of $422 million after taxes, which he and his wife will split with a friend — has changed his life. It also raised awareness about Iu Mien people, a southeast Asian ethnic group with origins in China, many of whose members fled from Laos to Thailand and then settled in the U.S. following the Vietnam War. Reported by The Associated Press.

EU restricts visas for Ethiopians, citing lack of government deportation cooperation

The European Union is tightening visa rules for people from Ethiopia in response to what it says is a lack of cooperation from the Ethiopian government with the repatriation of those who have entered Europe illegally. As a result of the changes, the EU said the visa processing time for Ethiopian nationals will triple, from 15 to 45 days, and that waiving requirements for certain paperwork will no longer be allowed. VOA News reports.

News Brief

— The Biden administration announced Tuesday the kick-off of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. “From Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders whose ancestors have called their lands home for hundreds of years to Asian immigrants who have newly arrived and those whose families have been here for generations — AA and NHPI heritage has long been a part of the history of our great country and a defining force in the soul of our Nation.”

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