Immigration in the Northwest | KUOW News and Information

Immigration in the Northwest

Daniel Ramirez Medina, left, and his brother Tony Ramirez Medina outside of U.S. District Court in Seattle on May 1st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A federal judge in Seattle has upheld, for now, Daniel Ramirez Medina’s DACA status.

Washington Department of Licensing
Washington Department of Licensing

Immigrant rights leaders in Washington state say it's time for Pat Kohler to resign as director of the state's Department of Licensing.

The DOL came under scrutiny in January for handing over people's personal and citizenship information to federal immigration authorities. That violated an executive order from Washington’s governor.

Lea esta historia en español.

The day was going to be perfect.

Alex figured he would wake up at 6:30 a.m., help get his little brothers up and off to school and catch the bus by 7. After school, the 14-year-old would do something he had been looking forward to for weeks — play in his first football game.

Jaidaa Bazara, left, with her younger siblings Alaa and Mohamed Bazara.
Courtesy of International Rescue Committee/Nick Hall

In the wake of the Trump Administration’s travel ban, the resettlement of Syrian refugees to the U.S. slowed considerably. In Washington state, the number dwindled to just 29 people in 2017, compared to nearly 200 the year before.

COURTESY U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT

Morning traffic streamed past a busy intersection in South Seattle, past a family-style pizza shop and a brightly-painted Mexican restaurant that still wouldn't open for several hours. A few residents came and went from the low-rise apartments lining the blocks in this largely Latino neighborhood.


My grandma’s first kiss happened in a Chilean prison

Dec 13, 2017
KUOW Photo / Diego Villarroel

September 11, 1973, was the day everything changed for my grandmother, Beatriz Alvarez. She was attending university in Santiago, Chile, on her way to becoming a history teacher.


Courtesy U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Sanctuary policies in Seattle and King County have put some money on the line, and drawn questions from the feds. Local officials defended their position this week against what they call a threat to withhold federal law enforcement aid.

FILE: Therese Macisaac of Seattle joins a protest against the travel ban outside the U.S. District Court of Appeals in Seattle in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The Trump administration told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the president has broad authority to prevent people from any country from traveling to the U.S.

Gustavo Lavariega, a volunteer with Deportees United, talks with an official from Mexico's labor department as he waits for deportees to arrive on a flight from Texas.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

In a far corner of the Mexico City Airport, past all the shops inside the international arrivals terminal, you’ll find the N door.

This is a special exit for passengers who arrive on deportation flights from the U.S.

Rebecca Fatty becomes emotional while holding her 4-month-old daughter Sunkarah as she speaks to the press after her husband Bangally Fatty was denied bond on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Court hearings at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma are typically a quiet affair. But this week, a busload of students and faculty from the University of Washington showed up to call for the release of a fellow student who’s facing deportation.

A picture of Rebecca and Bangally Fatty on their wedding day is shown in a photo album on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated 11/27/2017, 1:55 p.m.

Bangally Fatty, a University of Washington student who faces deportation, could be allowed to return to his Seattle home this week. A judge is set to decide on Wednesday, Nov. 29, if Fatty will remain in custody or be released on bond.

Original story, 11/16/2017

Cooking curry is my mom's feminist act

Nov 15, 2017
Neelima Musaliar (L) learned to cook as a prerequisite for an arranged marriage. Now she's teaching her daughter Aliyah (R) to cook to show her that she doesn't need to stir the pot for anyone other than herself.
KUOW Photo / Aliyah Musaliar

I’m the worst cook.

Actually, I'm worse than the worst. I’m the kid who burnt cereal because I thought microwaving Cocoa Puffs would result in a more melty-chocolate flavor.


Gretchen Lemon writes a letter of support on Monday, October 30, 2017, in Burien.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A few days after a controversial flier circulated in Burien, a neighborhood group is fighting back with a mass mailing of their own.

The flier that started uproar came from a group called Respect Washington and listed names and addresses of people who are allegedly undocumented and accused of crimes.

A detainee in solitary at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Immigration detention is a booming business in the U.S., mostly run by private, for-profit contractors. A new bill in Congress aims to phase out these private facilities, including the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Dulce Palma, right, and classmates join a walkout to support undocumented students.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Students at several high schools in Seattle staged a walkout Thursday in support of their undocumented classmates.

This comes in response to the Trump administration’s phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and a looming October 5 deadline for current DACA recipients to renew their temporary waivers one last time.

Dozens of murals hang on the walls at the Northwest Detention Center. They're painted by detainees, and the designs must be approved by staff. Painting is also considered a voluntary job, and the artists are paid $1 per day for their work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing the company that runs the immigration detention center in Tacoma.

The lawsuit claims that GEO Group, Inc., the second-largest private prison operator in the nation, has been violating the state's minimum wage law for over a decade.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A new lawsuit aims to safeguard Burien’s sanctuary policies for immigrants and keep the issue off the November ballot.

Courtesy of Leo Carmona

Bill Radke talks with Ray Corona about President Trump's decision to end the DACA program. Corona is a DACA recipient and executive director of the non-profit Somos Seattle.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state, surrounded by DACA recipients, denounce the Trump Administration's plan to end the federal protection program for young immigrants.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

One day after announcing his plans to scrap a federal program protecting young immigrants from deportation, President Trump faces a lawsuit.

Emmanuel Carrillo, center, with UNITE HERE, the Hospitality Worker's Labor Union, chants during a community rally in support of DACA recipients on Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11:33 a.m.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday that his office is filing a multi-state lawsuit to defend the DACA program. Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. have joined in the complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York. Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks have also filed declarations in support. 

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) meets with DACA recipients in Seattle on September 4, 2017
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Nearly 18,000 young immigrants in Washington state are protected from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But that protection may come to an end in six months.

President Trump announced today that DACA will be phased out. The Obama-era program is for certain immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

“I’m losing sleep,” said Graciela Nuñez Pargas. “A lot of us are not sleeping.”

Nuñez is one of roughly 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” on edge around the country this week.

A detainee sits in the intake area at the Tacoma Detention Center in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Unlike criminal cases, immigrants don’t have access to free legal representation.

Seattle wants to change that by giving money to six community groups that help vulnerable immigrants. 


Graduates of the International Rescue Committee summer school program, including Ikran Osman, 5, center, sit in the cafeteria before a graduation ceremony on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at Showalter Middle School in Tukwila.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last year more than 1,700 refugees entering Washington state were school aged children. But many of them were not ready for the classroom.

For nearly a decade, a resettlement program has been running summer school in Tukwila for refugee kids to help them get ready to learn.

Farmworkers march in protest of working conditions at Sarbanand Farms on Wednesday, August 8, 2017, after a fellow worker, Honesto Silva Ibarra, 28, died on Sunday. Click or tap on this image for more photos.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

SUMAS, WASHINGTON — They walked along a dusty, country road, fields of ripe blueberries stretching for miles. 


KUOW Photo / Amina Ibrahim

The process of immigrating to the U.S. is complicated and getting harder all the time. Abdulai Yakubu immigrated from Ghana to go to Cornell University and ended up in Seattle. 

He has made it most of the way through the immigration process. Now he’s now wading through the questions of the U.S. Application for Naturalization.  Click or tap on the photos above to see his answers. 

The Burien City Council. (Back row) Councilmember Debi Wagner, Councilmember Austin Bell, Councilmember Stephen Armstrong, Councilmember Bob Edgar. (Front row) Mayor Lucy Krakowiak, Deputy Mayor Nancy Tosta, Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz.
Official photograph

Bill Radke talks with Craig Keller and Pedro Olguin about a Burien city ordinance meant to protect immigrants. The ordinance makes it illegal for city employees to ask residents about their immigration status.

On Monday, the Burien City Council voted to put Ordinance 651 up to a public vote this November.

A family waits to speak with an immigration attorney at a free legal clinic hosted by the City of Seattle
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Kim Malcolm talks with Wired Magazine senior writer Issie Lapowsky about a new Senate proposal that would overhaul the legal immigration system in the U.S.

It would cut in half the number of immigrants admitted to the U.S. and scrap the current system, which favors family reunification.

Instead, it would introduce what the president calls a "merit-based" system. Immigrants with English proficiency, education and high-paying job offers would be given preference to acquire a green card.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

State and local governments in Washington receive millions in federal police grants. This week, the Justice Department said some of these future grants are contingent on immigration enforcement. It’s the administration’s latest swing at so-called sanctuary cities.

A detainee sits in the intake area at the Tacoma Detention Center in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When the Department of Justice ordered a group of Seattle lawyers to stop helping in some immigration cases, the lawyers fought back.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Richard Jones sided with the lawyers again in a nationwide ruling.

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