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A Honduran Family’s Lengthy Journey to the U.S.

Plus: The U.S.’s first Somali immigrant mayor, and the San Diego border reopens for tourists, but not asylum seekers

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Carolina Carranza Silva and her family began their long journey from southern Honduras to the U.S. back in July 2019. Along the way, they were kidnapped twice, ran out of money and lived in a snake-infested encampment on the Rio Grande. Once Silva, her husband and two-year old daughter made it to the border, they tried to claim asylum. But they were one of the first families to forced to wait across the border under “Remain in Mexico,” first enacted under President Trump. The family was homeless for over three months and remained in Matamoros, the largest refugee camp along the southern border. The Border Report followed their journey these last two years. Border Report 

In other national immigration news…

U.S.’s First Somali Immigrant Mayor Leads Maine City

Deqa Dhalac became the first Somali immigrant to become the mayor of a U.S. city when she was chosen this week to lead South Portland, Maine. Dhalac fled Somalia in the early 1990s when war broke out and eventually settled in Maine in 2008 when she found a social work job. Voters originally elected Dhalac to the South Portland City Council in 2018, and the seven-member board choose her to serve as the next mayor. Dhalac said she’s been actively volunteering and building relationships with her community throughout the years. The Associated Press 

Mayorkas Celebrates Reopening of San Diego Border for Tourists, Not Asylum Seekers

The Biden administration brought back “Remain in Mexico” this week, once again forcing asylum seekers to wait for their hearings across the border in Mexico. Still, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas decided to celebrate the reopening of the San Diego border to tourists — not including asylum seekers. The Biden administration originally terminated the Remain in Mexico program, but a federal Texas judge forced them to restore it. When asked about the Trump-era program, he said that the Biden administration is working to reimplement it due to the court order. San Diego Union-Tribune 

Texas Family Given Back Land Taken for Border Wall

According to a Tuesday court filing, the Biden administration will return a Texas family’s land after it was seized for border wall construction. The Cavazo family had been fighting to keep their 6.5 acres of property since 2018. In April, a federal judge ruled the federal government could take their property for “immediate possession.” The Cavazos were surprised by the action since they assumed their case would be dropped when President Biden stepped into office. Since the Biden administration doesn’t plan on constructing a border wall, the family will get their land back. CNN

100 Immigrant Workers Faced ‘Modern-Day Slavery’ in Georgia

Last month, two dozen people in Georgia were indicted on changes of smuggling Mexican and Central American migrants to the U.S. The group forced the migrants to live in camps and work on farms, which authorities referred to as “modern-day slavery.” The federal government spent years investigating a “transnational criminal organization” that allegedly committed human trafficking, visa fraud, forced labor, mail fraud, money laundering and other crimes that earned the collaborators over $200 million. The collaborators are accused of taking advantage of and defrauding visa programs for guest farmworkers, also known as H-2A, to bring immigrant workers to the U.S. NBC News

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