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Unsuccessful Migration Trips Upturn Guatemalans’ Lives

Plus: India visa ban could lead to health care shortage, and ICE continues transferring detainees to closing jail.

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Alvina Jerónimo Pérez doesn’t want to face her neighbors after her unsuccessful journey to live in the U.S. To build another room on her concrete block home, Pérez had to borrow money, which she figured she could make back if she made it to the U.S. But instead she fell victim to a smuggler who promised her a job if she crossed the border with her husband and daughter. Jerónimo Pérez paid the smuggler $7,700. But despite her failed attempt to cross the border, Jerónimo Pérez sees no hope for surviving unless she tries again. The Associated Press 

In other national immigration news…

Visa Rules Stop Immigrant Doctors From Filling Health Care Gaps

In April, when COVID-19 rates started exponentially soaring in India, President Joe Biden enacted a travel ban on most of the country in April. J-1 visas, which are given to many foreign doctors, and H1-B visas weren’t excused from the ban, potentially creating a shortage of doctors. Foreign medical workers and advocates say they wouldn’t be in this situation if they had permanent and flexible visas. Thousands of foreign doctors come to the U.S. for medical training, but many aren’t able to stay due to immigration rules. More than a third of the 3,600 U.S. healthcare workers who have died from the virus were immigrants. The Guardian 

ICE Still Transferring Detainees into Closing Detention Center 

Even though Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Irwin County Detention Center is potentially shutting its doors, detainees continue to be transferred into the facility. According to advocates and detainees, 34 people were transferred into Irwin from other immigration jails last week. Benjamin Edetanlen, who was detained for 16 months at Irwin, said the facility has been conducting  “business as usual” since Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced the closure following allegations of medical abuse at the facility. Edetanlen also said guards claim Irwin’s warden told them “the newspapers are lying” about the closure and that the staff has nothing to worry about. The Intercept

Immigration Trying to Reform Minnesota Corrections Department

Safia Khan, an immigrant from Pakistan who lived in the U.S. for 14 years, never imagined she would work for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. When the department commissioner asked her to become the government and external relations director for the department, she instantly saw the influence she would have with the position. The department oversees 7,500 people in prison and more than 20,000 under supervision in the state. Sahan Journal sat down with Khan to discuss how the department operates and how she’s bringing reform to the table. Sahan Journal 

New Books Helping Kids Understand Growing Up as Immigrants

When Areli Morales grew up in the U.S., she noticed there weren’t many children’s books that addressed her personal experience of being undocumented. “Areli Is a Dreamer: A True Story,” illustrated by Luisa Uribe, portrays Morales’ early childhood in Puebla, Mexico, and her journey to the U.S. The book shows young readers what she went through growing up undocumented while also helping those who are going through similar situations. Several other new children’s books also show what it was like for kids from other parts of the world, including Mexico, Puerto Rico and Egypt, to grow up in the U.S. USA TODAY

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