One of the most persistent stories about America — that it was made by immigrants fleeing "the old country" — is also one of the most incomplete. And since stories shape our perception of reality, poet Colleen McElroy is intent on telling another aspect of America's story in "Crossing Oceans." The poem appears in her most recent collection "Here I Throw Down My Heart" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012).
In her green minivan, Angelica Villa navigates the farm roads north of Bellingham like a seasoned tour guide. She points out a cannery, a potato plant and miles of berry fields. Villa previously worked at many of these places and she rattles off story after story about harassment on the job.
Nigisti Hailemariam has been in the United States for over 20 years. She has two kids, a stable job, and a red Honda outside her three-bedroom apartment. But life wasn't always this peaceful for Nigisti. RadioActive youth producer Yafiet Bezabih tells the story of his mother's journey.
The Associated Press Stylebook says "illegal immigrant" shouldn’t be used by news organizations. It says "illegal" is an action, not a person. So, what should we say? KUOW is partnering with other public media, including Fronteras, to examine how the language is evolving. The plan is to map our results.