immigration

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.

Photo by Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND - The Northwest has long been a draw for people moving here from other parts of the United States. That continues to be a key driver of the region’s economy. Despite high unemployment rates, Oregon and Washington still lure folks from the Midwest and elsewhere. And they bring in new money and job skills. In a collaboration with public radio's Changing Gears, Chris Lehman introduces us to some rust belt transplants to the Northwest.

Immigration Program Activated in Wash. Jails

Apr 3, 2012
Photo courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A controversial federal immigration program is now in effect across all of Washington State, as of today . The statewide rollout came earlier than some anticipated.

Most days, Nowela Virginie and her two young daughters are here, in her small apartment just off a busy thoroughfare on the outskirts of Boise.

Virginie is 23, and she arrived in Boise three years ago. She was born in Rwanda, but spent 16 years of her life in a refugee camp in Tanzania. She remembers the shock of finding herself in a new city, a place that looked nothing like anywhere she’d ever been. "When I coming USA, nobody can explain to me how USA is to look like, nobody can explain to me," she says.

Immigration Laws In Wash. Draws Hundreds To Olympia

Jan 27, 2012
Azusa Uchikura / Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Immigrant rights advocates are making their voice heard in Olympia. Hundreds gathered to sway legislators on state immigration laws. Azusa Uchikura reports on Thursday’s rally in Olympia.

Pramila Jayapal: “The immigrant voice in Washington state is proud and loud."

Those are immigrant rights advocates rallying on the steps of the Washington state house. They want to convince lawmakers in Olympia to keep E-verify optional for Washington employers.

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