Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald Staff

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IXTEPEC, MEXICO   |   At a shelter in this small municipality in Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca, psychologist Miguel Gil Reyes gathers a group of new arrivals to share information on services available for them here and at various points across the nation.

The number of international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities jumped last year — in a big way. It's up 10 percent, to roughly 975,000, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education and backed by the State Department.

In 2014-15, China was still the largest source of students with 31 percent of the total. India was in second place with nearly 14 percent. And Indian students were a big reason for the overall jump.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Immigrant workers are the focus of a new education initiative involving the country’s largest retailer. A project called New American Workforce launched Friday in Miami and will offer English-language instruction focusing on work-specific language skills.

The need is there: Roughly 1.5 million retail workers across the country have limited English-language proficiency.

Miami Dade College will design the curriculum that will be piloted in Miami, Houston and New York. 

Sen. Marco Rubio clarified his view on the 11 million immigrants, who are in the United States illegally. The day after a presidential debate, which exposed a continuing divide in the Republican Party on immigration, Rubio told NPR on Wednesday that he favors a path to citizenship for some, though the prospect would be very distant.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Cuban culture has dominated Miami for decades. Cuban-Americans are the area’s largest Latino group and have loads of political representation.


But the number -- and influence -- of immigrants from other Latin American countries is growing. And there’s a tense debate over the immigration privileges Cubans enjoy -- because no other immigrant group gets them.


The more than 4-year-old civil war in Syria has triggered what the United Nations is calling the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time.

About four million Syrians have been forced to flee their homeland as refugees. And in the last four years, about 1,500 have been relocated to the United States.

According to the State Department, the six states that have housed the most Syrian refugees so far are Texas, California, Michigan, Illinois, Arizona and Florida.

The Obama administration deported fewer immigrants over the past 12 months than at any time since 2006, according to internal figures obtained by The Associated Press as Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton called Obama's deportation policies too harsh.

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald Staff

Despair wrought by corruption scandals also drives migration to the U.S.

TEGUCIGALPA    |    Hondurans don’t get riled easily. And they’re not known for takin’ it to the streets.

But this has been a year of loud and angry torchlight protest marches in Honduras — and for good reason. The impoverished Central American country is wrestling with perhaps the worst government corruption scandal in its history.

Or as Honduran protesters like Eldan Cruz put it: “Corruption on such a criminal level it’s basically sociopathic behavior.”

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald Staff

El Edén in Honduras is no paradise for those on trek to the U.S.

SAN PEDRO SULA    |    It seems the entire world is wrestling with immigration emergencies today. And lest you think the western hemisphere’s crisis is over, consider the look on Oscar Ortega’s face.

He just got a WhatsApp message that made his eyes pop.

Patrick Farrell / Miami Herald Staff

Reform and beefed-up police presence is making Hondurans feel safer.

SAN PEDRO SULA    |    On June 26, 2014, 13-year-old Andrea Argeñal had just dropped her young cousins off at school in the Rivera Hernández section of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second-largest city. Relatives say it’s the sort of favor she frequently did for her family.

Thugs suddenly abducted Andrea, angry that she refused to join their mara, or drug gang. They took her to a house they’d invaded — one of many criminal lairs in Honduras known as casas locas, or madhouses.