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Internal DHS Email Details Potential Dangers for Asylum Seekers in Mexico

Plus: The Immigrant Archive Project finds a home at the Library of Congress

This summary was featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

A lead official in Mexico’s State Department sent an email asking the U.S. to temporarily stop sending asylum seekers to Nuevo Laredo, a city at the border, due to severe security problems. A lot of attention is paid to immigrants escorted by the Mexican National Guard in this area, which might lead criminal networks angry with the government to target them. Under the U.S.’s “Remain in Mexico” program, migrants who cross the border into the U.S. are returned to Mexico where they are forced to stay for the duration of their asylum cases. Those sent to Nuevo Laredo are offered bus trips to other areas in Mexico with the protection of the Mexican National Guard. The immigrants are later brought back to the U.S., also with National Guard protection, for court hearings. BuzzFeed News

In other national immigration news…

Immigrant Archive Project to be Housed at the Library of Congress

First-person stories from thousands of immigrants who came to the U.S. were collected over the past 14 years for the Immigrant Archive Project, and will now be found in the Library of Congress. The immigrants describe journeys through love, struggle and resilience to make the U.S. home. Tony Hernandez was inspired by his own experience to create the project in 2008. Hernandez and his family emigrated from Cuba in 1967 when he was five. “These stories are, in fact, used to make a difference,” Hernandez told NPR’s Debbie Elliott in an audio interview. “And while we can put them together on a website, it’s not the same thing as having it live in perpetuity at our nation’s leading library.” NPR

Judge Halts Deporting Refugee to Iraq, Saying He Could be Tortured

Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Tara Naselow-Nahas in California has halted the deportation of an Iraqi refugee, saying he could be tortured if returned to Iraq to face allegations he killed a police officer on behalf of the Islamic State group. In November, Naselow-Nahas ruled Omar Abdulsattar Ameen was eligible to be deported because he lied on his immigration papers, even though a federal judge earlier rejected allegations that he had killed the officer. But in a new order, Naselow-Nahas halted Ameen’s removal to Iraq, where his lawyers argued he would be given a sham trial and executed. Ameen’s lawyers praised that part of her decision but said they are disappointed she did not grant him asylum or change his immigration status. APNews

Congress Votes to Advance Visa Bill for High-Skilled Workers

The U.S. Senate passed a bill last week that would create a new category of visa for entrepreneurs, and exempt foreign nationals with doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math fields from the annual green card limit. There was bipartisan support for increasing the number of visas for high-skilled workers, improving the chance the legislation will become law. The Senate, however, decided not to consider House proposals to add or expedite thousands of applications for visas in high-skilled positions. National Law Review

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