Liz Jones | KUOW News and Information

Liz Jones

Reporter

Year started with KUOW: 2006

Liz reports on immigration and emerging communities for KUOW. Her work covers issues within our region’s growing immigrant and refugee populations, as well as stories connected to minority groups with a longer history in the area.

She comes to KUOW after several years at an online news startup, which was later bought by Oxygen Media in New York.  Her last position there was health editor for the network’s website.

Liz has also lived in Spain and Peru and speaks Spanish. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a degree in communications.

Liz’s work for KUOW has taken her to Mexico and India. Both those reporting trips produced award-winning documentaries. In 2009, Liz received a regional Murrow award for a documentary about indigenous Mexicans who migrate to the Seattle area. In 2014, she won a national Gracie award and RTNDA’s Kaleidoscope Award for a series that focused on immigration-related links between India and the Puget Sound region.

Her work has also been heard on national shows including NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now, PRI's The World, Latino USA, Marketplace, The Takeaway and BBC News Service.  

Ways to Connect

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

The policy changes came fast as President Donald Trump took office.

In Seattle, a city where roughly one in five people are immigrants, protests erupted. First, when Trump ordered a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants.

Jacinta Morales learned she was pregnant after she was processed into ICE detention. She said she was happy to be pregnant.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

She wears a yellow uniform, loose, with a sweatshirt underneath. Her long hair, braided in tight cornrows near her temples. Her handshake, timid.

We talk in a small meeting room at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, with her attorney and an interpreter.


courtesy Agenda Migrante

As some Dreamers feel less welcome in the U.S., Mexico is making a play to attract them back. A small delegation from Mexico recently visited Seattle to meet with local officials, advocates and undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.


An immigrant detainee knits at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

President Trump’s vow to crack down on illegal immigration has focused renewed attention on the detention centers built to hold immigrants awaiting deportation.


Irfan Fazl, center, a dual citizen of the UK and Kenya, reunites with friends at Sea-Tac Airport after his flight from London. He's Muslim and his friends worried the travel ban might cause problems.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Part of President Donald Trump’s travel ban is now reinstated at U.S. borders. It places new visa restrictions six Muslim countries and refugees — except for people with a close connection to the U.S. KUOW was at Sea-Tac airport Thursday night as the ban started and the first international flight came through.

 

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A portion of President Trump’s travel ban on six majority Muslim nations is set to be reinstated on Thursday. Much has changed since the initial ban rolled out in late January, leading to a weekend of chaos and protest at Sea-Tac Airport. This time around is likely to be more subdued.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke talks with KUOW immigration reporter Liz Jones about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments this fall on President Trump's revised travel ban. The high court also allowed portions of the travel ban to take effect beginning on Thursday.

Scott Goddard, left, assists Selso Olivan and Alexi Martinez, right, in the Advocates for Immigrants in Detention Northwest R.V., the "Welcome Center," outside of the Northwest Detention Center on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Tacoma, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It’s late afternoon when two men emerge from the Northwest Detention Center.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Immigrant advocates say more than 25 women joined a hunger strike this weekend at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. This follows reports of similar protests at the immigration lockup in April.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

This relationship started off with reservations.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Auburn police officer Aaron Williams furrows his brow as he reroutes his patrol car to a 911 call.

“Yeah, you can send me,” Williams responds to the radio dispatch.


ICE community relations officer Melissa Nitsch (left) talks with community members
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A young mom with a stroller took a seat in front as about 50 people filled the pews at a church in Bellevue on a Thursday morning.

Many are immigrant advocates, and they came to talk with Melissa Nitsch, a community relations officer with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A federal judge in Seattle has granted a nationwide order that allows immigration lawyers to keep assisting people in deportation, as usual. This comes after the Justice Department ordered a Seattle nonprofit to stop some of its legal help in these cases.

KUOW/Liz Jones

In Seattle today, a panel of federal judges heard arguments on President Trump's second travel ban.

Following a lawsuit from the state of Hawaii, the ban was blocked in March by a lower court. At issue is whether that ruling should stand.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When people face deportation at a court in Seattle or Tacoma, and they don’t have an attorney, the immigration judge will often drop a name: The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project.

The group’s legal staff provides free help filling out forms and translating documents – even if an attorney can’t take on the full case.


Immigrant rights march heads into downtown Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Supporters of immigrants and workers rights rallied through Seattle on Monday as part of the annual May Day demonstration.

Most of the rallies were peaceful, but as of Monday night Seattle Police said they arrested 5 people.

Listen to a wrap-up from the days rallies and protests:


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle area immigration attorney Luis Cortes knew this was a case he had to take. 

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Liz Jones talks with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson about the role of local governments in federal immigration enforcement. The Attorney General's office produced a document that lays out best practices and policies for police departments, schools, hospitals, and other public agencies.

Read the full document online here.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

When it comes to undocumented immigrants, what's your role as a city, school or hospital? Or cop?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vehicle in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Washington state’s highest-ranking judge is still waiting for federal immigration officials to write her back.

Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst requested that courthouses be off limits for immigration arrests. But that option will likely stay on the table for now.

Department Homeland Security

Federal immigration agents arrested 84 people in a Northwest sweep this past weekend. Most were in Washington state, and most had criminal convictions.


Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announces a lawsuit against the Trump administration on March 29, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle will not be bullied into helping with federal immigration enforcement, Mayor Murray said on Wednesday. The city is taking the Trump administration to court over what it calls “an unconstitutional order.”


KUOW Photo/Deborah Wang

A federal showdown with sanctuary cities continues to heat up. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued new warnings to jurisdictions seen as “uncooperative” on immigration enforcement, while officials in Washington state vow they won’t back down.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

About a dozen counties in Washington state are singled out in a new report from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.  It’s the first of an ongoing weekly report that spotlights local jails considered “uncooperative” on federal immigration enforcement.

Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin speak at a press conference outside the federal courthouse, Wednesday, March 15, 2107, in Honolulu.
AP Photo/Marco Garcia

A federal judge in Hawaii stopped President Trump’s newest executive order on Wednesday afternoon, just hours before it was supposed to take effect. The order would have temporarily halted the refugee program and frozen the visas to nationals from six Muslim majority countries.

The judge, Derrick K. Watson, halted the order nationwide. 

Meantime, a federal hearing in Seattle on Wednesday could also potentially block President Trump’s revised travel ban from taking effect this week.

A federal court in Maryland also heard arguments for putting the new executive order on hold.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

On election night in Seattle, James and Felice decided to get married.

Not because she was pregnant, Felice teased. They were in love — and Felice's legal status in the U.S. was tenuous.

Listen to their story:


Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson smiles during a news conference about President Trump's new executive order Monday, March 6, 2017, in Seattle. The new ban, which takes effect March 16, halts travel for 90 days for residents of Iran, Libya,
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The state will continue to press its legal case against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today.

Lois Silver

UPDATE: 3/08/17, 3:50 p.m. PT 

Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 'dreamer' recently arrested near Seattle despite his DACA status, will remain in immigration detention.

A federal judge said he’ll make a decision early next week about whether to release Ramirez from a Tacoma lockup, where he has been held since Feb. 10. Ramirez is asking the court to find that his arrest violated his constitutional rights.

Rizwan Samad, president New Wave Travel, outside his Seattle office.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Here’s some advice you wouldn’t typically expect from the owner of a travel agency.

“If you don’t have to travel, please don’t travel — because it’s just going to be nightmare,” said Rizwan Samad, owner of New Wave Travel in Seattle’s University District.

President Donald Trump put a fresh spin on his temporary travel ban this week, but Muslims in the Seattle area, including Samad, still see a host of problems.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke talks with KUOW immigration reporter Liz Jones about the potential impact of President Trump's new executive order on immigration. It temporarily bars citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries from being issued new visas to enter the United States. The revised order eliminates Iraq from the list of banned countries, and it no longer requires an indefinite ban on Syrians.

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