immigration

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.

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon House has approved a controversial bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to qualify for in-state college tuition rates. Supporters called Friday’s vote historic. But not very many students are expected to actually take advantage of the measure.

SALEM, Ore. – Supporters of a bill to allow some undocumented students to qualify for in-state tuition rates packed several hearing rooms at the Oregon Capitol Wednesday. They refer to the legislation as “tuition equity.” A House committee held a public hearing on the issue.

Among those to testify was Karla Castaneda, a junior at Parkrose High School in Portland.

Jimmy Emerson
Flickr

Momentum is building in Salem for a bill to give children of undocumented immigrants in-state tuition rates at Oregon universities. Gov. John Kitzhaber threw his weight behind the idea Monday.

Northwest Immigrants Take The Oath Of Citizenship

Feb 5, 2013

SPOKANE, Wash. - As Congress prepares for a debate over immigration reform, one group of immigrants in the Northwest quietly completed their paths to citizenship Tuesday. Fourteen people became U.S. citizens at a ceremony in Spokane, Wash.

One of them was Mukti Ryan. She wanted to be able to travel more easily with her American husband and daughter, even though she had to give up her Indian citizenship.

“India doesn't allow dual citizenship, so I can't call myself an Indian citizen anymore," Ryan says. "It's a bittersweet feeling.”

RICHLAND, Wash. – A group of Northwest farmers plans to bring in thousands of legal Mexican guest workers to their fields and orchards this year. Last season many farmers were scrambling to pick their crops because of a worker shortage.

The federal H-2A guest worker program is so cumbersome and expensive, that most farmers haven’t wanted to use it. Employers have to pay for transportation, approved housing and usually more money than the going wage for workers already in the U.S.

SweeTango / Wikimedia Commons

Farmers in Washington State are celebrating this week’s news about progress on federal immigration reform. A bipartisan group of U.S. senators unveiled a proposed framework for legislation on Monday.
It specifically addresses the country’s reliance on undocumented farm worker and the need to legalize this workforce.

Oregon DMV

Oregon transportation officials reversed course Wednesday and announced that children of undocumented immigrants can get state driver licenses. The decision applies to people who qualify for President Obama’s deferred deportation policy.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Northwest agriculture advocates are more optimistic Congress will take up the issue of immigration after a forum this week in Washington, D.C. The effort is getting support from a surprising mix of organizations.

Photo by Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The "world's most comprehensive collection" of opium smoking paraphernalia has a new home; it's at the University of Idaho. A writer and collector, originally from San Diego, donated the exquisite antiques. Correspondent Tom Banse has the intriguing back story of how these so-called "instruments of self-destruction" came to a small Northwest town.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Thirteen Washington prison inmates who opted to be deported, instead of serving out their sentences, have been re-arrested back in the United States. All but one returned from Mexico. The inmates were part of an early deportation program begun last year to reduce prison costs.

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.

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Hundreds gathered in Salem Tuesday evening to remember victims of the recent mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Sikh and non-Sikh speakers at the candlelight vigil emphasized peace and unity. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with some of those who attended the vigil.

Immigrant advocates are kicking-off a series of statewide forums Thursday night about Obama’s new policy for so-called “dreamers”. The measure gives temporary legal protection to some undocumented immigrants who came here as children. Federal officials plan to open up the application process later this month, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

In June, federal officials announced a new policy aimed to halt the deportation of some young immigrants. It’ll allow qualified young people to apply for a renewable, 2-year legal protection… and a work permit.

Softball Knits Northwest Palauan Community

Jul 25, 2012
Photo by Bill Lascher.

This weekend, sports fans worldwide turn their attention to London and the start of the Summer Olympics. But there's another international athletic competition here in the Northwest that will draw hundreds of immigrants from the tiny island nation of Palau. It's a softball tournament that's become a major event in the lives of Pacific Islanders living in our region and beyond. Journalist Bill Lascher has our story.

Legal Immigrants Hit Hard By Cuts

Jul 2, 2012

Hard times just got harder for legal immigrants who receive food stamps from the State. Their benefits were cut in half Sunday. The move is part of many cut-backs to balance the State’s budget. Lesley McClurg reports.

With lingering high unemployment and the endless talk of the down economy – it’s hard to believe that there are some industries putting help-wanted signs out by the dozens. But that’s the case in Northwest orchard country where there appears to be a dwindling supply of migrant workers for cherry picking. Cherry season started this past week, and as correspondent Anna King reports, farmers and shop-keeps alike are anxiously waiting for more workers to arrive.

The White House / Northwest News Network

President Obama's announcement Friday that some young adults who came to this country illegally as children will get a reprieve from deportation has sparked strong reactions here in the Northwest.

Oregon and Washington groups opposed to illegal immigration strongly criticized the President's announcement. They said it was politically motivated. But those in the region who support an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws cheered.

Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday’s debate between candidates for Washington Attorney General touched briefly on the issue of immigration. Specifically, they addressed whether the state should require citizenship checks for driver’s licenses.

It’s a question that’s getting renewed attention, as election season moves into full swing.

To get a driver’s license, most states require proof of citizenship. But not Washington.

The U.S. Forest Service can no longer use Border Patrol agents as interpreters. That’s according to an order from the federal agriculture department that was made public this week.

The issue stems from a case on the Olympic Peninsula near Forks last year. A Latino man and woman were picking salal … that’s shrub used in floral arrangements.

Image courtesy Oregon State University

Rare, once-lost historic records about pioneer Chinese immigrants to the Northwest have found a new life online. The digital archive is hosted by Oregon State University. A Chinese-American civic group hopes the document trove can help families locate ancestors gone missing early in the last century. Correspondent Tom Banse reports.

Photo by CBP / Flickr

A new report says border patrol agents in Washington state routinely profile people of certain races and religions. The report released Tuesday by the University and Washington and immigrant advocates focuses on the U.S.-Canada border. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

Pages