KDNA, the country's first Spanish-lanuage community radio station, was founded by Ricardo Garcia of Yakima. Garcia worked with Cesar Chavez, and established the Yakima Valley Farm Worker’s Clinic.

Copyright 2013 Northwest Public Radio 

BREWSTER, Wash. - There's one word that politicians almost always use when they talk about the U.S. immigration system. That word is “broken.” But what does that really mean? Residents of the small town of Brewster, Wash., know. For decades, immigrants have come from Mexico, often illegally, to work the surrounding apple and cherry orchards. Bewster, it turns out, is a microcosm of how the immigration debate is playing out.

MABTON, Wash. - Most American families have some kind of immigration lore -- think Ellis Island, the Oregon Trail and slave ships. At dinner tables across the Northwest, some Mexican-American families tell their own vivid tales. They regale each other with stories of relatives swimming to better opportunities across the Rio Grande or crossing the desert at night.

Yes, these crossings are illegal, but they also are part of a family’s history. If the U.S. Congress adopts comprehensive immigration reform this year, these types of border stories could begin to fade.

Photo Credit: HispanicFarmerJustice.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a long history of discriminating against farmers who are women, Hispanic, Native and African American. Numerous lawsuits have cost the government several billion dollars. The latest legal settlement is for women and Hispanic farmers who can prove they were discriminated against in the 1980s and ‘90s. But some of these farmers say the deal to make amends for discrimination is itself discriminatory.

Photo by Anna King / Northwest News Network

This week we are looking at why Latinos have so little clout in Northwest politics, even though they’re the region’s largest minority group. One reason: Latinos are a younger demographic. And younger people -- no matter what their ethnicity -- are much less likely to vote than older people. But one issue that’s energized many young Latinos is the DREAM Act. It would create a path to citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants. Anna King has our story.

Photo Credit: Jessica Robinson

Is the Latino candidate in Washington's first majority-minority district a shoo-in? Not so much.

Photo Credit: Jessica Robinson

This year, Latino voters have an edge for the first time in one of the Northwest’s major Hispanic hubs. Redistricting gave them a majority. You might think the Latino candidate there would now be a shoo-in. Not so.

Photo by Chris Lehman. / Northwest News Network

In Oregon, the number of Latino Episcopalians has increased more than five-fold over the past decade. Church leaders say the influx is, in part, because the denomination's worship services look and sound familiar to Hispanics raised in the Catholic Church. But as Correspondent Chris Lehman reports, Northwest Episcopal Churches are luring Latinos with a focused marketing campaign.

The 10 o'clock high mass at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon probably sounds a lot like it did when the congregation was founded nearly a century ago.

Hispanics Are America’s Fastest Growing Aging Population

May 17, 2012


In 1972, Raul Soto immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico, expecting to work for only a few years before returning to his home country. Forty years later, the 69-year-old former fruit picker – like millions of other migrant workers – is growing old in America.