immigration

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Five Oregon counties now say they will no longer hold people in jail in response to requests from the federal immigration agency. That’s after a federal district court judge found those detentions violate the constitution.

Seattle Globalist

More than a hundred detainees at an immigration lockup in Tacoma are entering their fifth day without food. The hunger strike began Friday, with about 750 people refusing to eat. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has stepped up medical observations of the protesters.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website

Immigration officials say a lockdown has been lifted at a Tacoma detention center where hundreds of detainees are involved in a hunger strike.

As of Monday morning, 154 detainees were refusing food.

Bluedisk / Wikimedia Commons

A bipartisan plan in the Washington legislature to give undocumented students access to college aid is coming under fire. A Republican state senator from eastern Washington has introduced a measure to amend the so-called “Real Hope” Act. This change would give priority to lawful residents when it comes to limited financial aid dollars.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has approved an unusual way for prospective immigrants to earn a U.S. green card and permanent residency.

Northwest farmers hired significantly more foreign guest workers this season under a special immigration program.

12 Immigrant Rights Advocates Arrested In Spokane

Nov 14, 2013
Justin Valas/Flickr

Spokane police arrested twelve immigrant’s rights advocates Wednesday outside of Representative Cathy McMorris Rodger’s office. Their acts of civil disobedience were aimed at third ranking GOP member McMorris Rodgers and House Speaker John Boehner.

Oregon voters will decide next year whether people in this country illegally can qualify for a state driver license.

Matt Martin

Immigration activists in the Northwest are pushing for Congress to get beyond the government shutdown fight and return to the issue of undocumented workers. Immigrant rights groups rallied in Yakima, Washington Saturday as part of a national protest.

Classes begin next week at state universities around Oregon. This year Oregon becomes one of 15 states with a tuition equity program. That means some young undocumented immigrants will be paying in-state tuition rates rather than out-of-state rates that are three to four times higher.

A court in Washington State has ruled that local law enforcement officers cannot prolong traffic stops and other detentions to ask people about their immigration status. 

Tom Banse

Legislators in Washington State are showing enthusiasm for a federal immigration program that gives green cards to wealthy foreign investors. But state officials discovered during a workshop on Friday that the options for expanding foreign investment in this way are largely outside their control.

Tom Banse

What do these things have in common: an Idaho gold mine, a proposed wind farm in central Washington, a new hotel in Portland and the replacement floating bridge across Lake Washington?... They're all investment vehicles for well-to-do families seeking U.S. green cards. Under U-S immigration law, wealthy foreigners can get a green card by investing at least half a million dollars to create at least 10 jobs here. In the Northwest, an increasingly diverse range of projects are competing for such foreign investment.

US Census Bureau

New figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show the Northwest has fewer people who speak a foreign language at home than the country as a whole. But the highest concentrations of foreign speaking households in the region are not where you might expect.

WSDOT

For a while, it looked like a major highway project across Lake Washington near Seattle could end up as a "bridge to nowhere" for nearly 100 immigrant investors. But now, after a long wait, the federal government has given the green light to process the green card applications of these wealthy businesspeople in exchange for their help financing the new SR-520 floating bridge.

Supporters of the immigration overhaul that passed the U.S. Senate are drumming up support for the legislation in the Northwest. On Saturday, one of the Democrats taking the lead on the issue in Congress spoke to a crowded church in Yakima, Washington.

Sen. Patty Murray official photo

Senator Patty Murray laid out her priorities for immigration reform Wednesday on the floor of the U.S Senate. Her comments come as the Senate begins debate on a landmark immigration bill.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website

If you end up in an immigration detention center here in Washington state, you could face a long stay. And ironically, if you’re a legal resident the lockup will likely be even longer. Newly released federal statistics show Washington ranks toward the bottom of the list for quick turnover in detention.

Washington Dreamers Pin Hopes on Special Session

May 13, 2013

As lawmakers reconvene in Olympia Monday, the headliner is the state budget. But immigrant advocates are pressing to get the Dream Act added to the lineup, too. Liz Jones has more.

Immigrants rights groups and labor unions held May Day rallies across the northwest Wednesday. It was a joyous occasion at the Oregon capitol, where thousands of people were on hand to celebrate a pair of legislative victories.

At first blush, this rally seemed a lot like the May Day rallies of past years. People chanting: "Si se puede, si se puede"

But instead of "yes we can" perhaps the marchers should have said "yes we did."

People in the country illegally could get a driver license under a bill approved Tuesday by the Oregon House. The vote sends the measure to Governor John Kitzhaber. He plans to sign it during a May Day rally in Salem Wednesday.

Under current Oregon law, you can't get a driver license if you can't prove you're in the country legally. This bill creates licenses that would be good for four years -- not eight years like normal ones.

You also couldn't use one as ID to board a plane or buy a gun.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon, like most states, doesn’t allow you to get a driver license if you’re in the country illegally. That may change. As Congress debates immigration reform, Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would grant four-year driving privileges to people who otherwise wouldn't qualify for a license. The measure is up for a committee vote Thursday.

Causa Supporters Hold Rally In Eugene

Apr 10, 2013
Desmond O'Boyle

To show support for immigration reform, about 25 people attended a rally in front of the federal building in Eugene Wednesday.

Washington Dream Act Unlikely to Clear Senate

Apr 2, 2013

Supporters of the so-called Washington Dream Act plan to make one more uphill push in Olympia Tuesday. The measure would extend state financial aid to eligible college students who are in the US illegally. Hopes for the bill dwindled this weekend as a key state senator spoke out against the measure. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

If you’re booked into a King County jail, you’ll stay an extra month, on average, if immigration officials want to review your file. That’s even if you haven’t been charged with a crime. This is one of the findings in a new report today from the University of Washington.

Virginia Alvino / Northwest News Network

After ten years of effort, immigrant rights advocates are celebrating the final vote to give in-state tuition rates to some undocumented students. The Oregon Senate approved the bill Thursday and Gov. John Kitzhaber says he plans to sign it.

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.

Culture Shift: Permission to Stay

Mar 19, 2013

This week, we're taking a closer look at how immigration policies shape our Northwest region, culture and people. Momentum continues to build in Congress toward an immigration reform bill this year. The centerpiece will likely focus on the millions of immigrants in the US illegally…and whether to give them a path to citizenship. It’s a proposal that echoes back to the 1980s.


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.

Sequestration has apparently led to a “get out of jail free” card for some detainees at an immigration lockup in Tacoma. With budget cuts looming, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that it’s shifting some detainees around the country to supervised release. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

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