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

Raphael Sanchez is seen in U.S. District Court in Seattle in this artist's sketch.
Sketch by Peter Millett

People who’ve worked with Raphael Sanchez say they’re shocked to see the complex fraud he carried out for more than four years, for his own personal gain.

Sketch by Peter Millett

Update 2/15/18, 12:30 p.m.

Raphael Sanchez pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of a wire fraud and aggravated identity theft scheme involving the stolen identities of numerous people. The plea recommends a four-year sentence and restitution paid to victims. A judge will decide sentencing in May.

NW Detention Center Resistance

Several detainees at the immigration jail in Tacoma say they are on hunger strike to push for better conditions. And they claim some guards are taking aggressive steps to stop them.

Musa Sesay completes paperwork while waiting to meet with an immigration expert at McCaw Hall in Seattle on January 23, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Immigrants and refugees can get some free legal services this Saturday at the Seattle Center. For the second year, the city is hosting what it calls a “mega workshop” that aims to help more than a thousand people with citizenship applications and other immigration issues.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

State investigators say a farm near Bellingham is not to blame for the death a worker last summer. But the owners face steep fines for other violations.

Workers at Sarbanand Farms picking blueberries on August 8, 2017, in Sumas, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Supervisors at a sprawling blueberry farm in northern Washington state threatened and intimidated workers and ordered them to report for 12-hour shifts "unless they were on their death bed," according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.

Screenshot TV-W

Immigrants without legal status are not eligible for government healthcare plans, like Medicaid.

More than a dozen Washington lawmakers want to create a program to cover some of these immigrants' reproductive healthcare needs, including abortion, birth control and family planning.

LIZ JONES / KUOW PUBLIC RADIO

Over the years, Seattle area activist Maru Mora-Villalpando has staged many protests to speak out for undocumented families and for immigrants held in the Tacoma detention center.

Jaidaa Bazara, left, with her younger siblings Alaa and Mohamed Bazara.
Courtesy of International Rescue Committee/Nick Hall

In the wake of the Trump Administration’s travel ban, the resettlement of Syrian refugees to the U.S. slowed considerably. In Washington state, the number dwindled to just 29 people in 2017, compared to nearly 200 the year before.

Arsalan Bukhari is the former executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Seattle
KUOW PHOTO/GIL AEGERTER

One of the big stories of 2017 was the Trump administration's travel ban targeting some Muslim countries. Arsalan Bukhari of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR says the travel ban also had an impact on Americans.


COURTESY U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT

Morning traffic streamed past a busy intersection in South Seattle, past a family-style pizza shop and a brightly-painted Mexican restaurant that still wouldn't open for several hours. A few residents came and went from the low-rise apartments lining the blocks in this largely Latino neighborhood.


Jim Hamre (left) and Zack Willhoite are shown in a photo taken at Yellowstone National Park in 2005.
Courtesy All Aboard Washington

Two friends who shared a lifelong love of trains, Zack Willhoite and Jim Hamre, had looked forward to the inaugural run of Amtrak 501 from Seattle to Portland.

Friends who knew them said it was a given they would’ve been on this initial trip, likely in a front car as the train followed a brand-new route south of Tacoma.


Courtesy U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Sanctuary policies in Seattle and King County have put some money on the line, and drawn questions from the feds. Local officials defended their position this week against what they call a threat to withhold federal law enforcement aid.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The Trump administration told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the president has broad authority to prevent people from any country from traveling to the U.S.

Gustavo Lavariega, a volunteer with Deportees United, talks with an official from Mexico's labor department as he waits for deportees to arrive on a flight from Texas.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

In a far corner of the Mexico City Airport, past all the shops inside the international arrivals terminal, you’ll find the N door.

This is a special exit for passengers who arrive on deportation flights from the U.S.

Rebecca Fatty becomes emotional while holding her 4-month-old daughter Sunkarah as she speaks to the press after her husband Bangally Fatty was denied bond on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Court hearings at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma are typically a quiet affair. But this week, a busload of students and faculty from the University of Washington showed up to call for the release of a fellow student who’s facing deportation.

A picture of Rebecca and Bangally Fatty on their wedding day is shown in a photo album on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated 11/27/2017, 1:55 p.m.

Bangally Fatty, a University of Washington student who faces deportation, could be allowed to return to his Seattle home this week. A judge is set to decide on Wednesday, Nov. 29, if Fatty will remain in custody or be released on bond.

Original story, 11/16/2017

An empty classroom in Parrington Hall where Bangally Fatty was enrolled and taking a class is shown on the University of Washington campus on Thursday, November 16, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The University of Washington is facing a test of what it means to be a so-called sanctuary campus. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has detained a UW student. He’s the first student detainee that the university knows about.

KUOW race and equity reporter Liz Jones reported the story; The Record host Bill Radke sat down with Liz to learn more.

KUOW file photo/Liz Jones

After former U.S. Army Captain Allen Vaught was ambushed and hit with an IED in Iraq, a translator he’d hired traveled nearly 60 miles to make sure he was okay. The two men formed a close bond.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Just south of Seattle, the immigration debate took center stage in a closely watched election.

In Burien, four out of seven City Council seats were up for election. And three were still a tossup after initial vote results Tuesday night.

OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH

Election night could mark an historic milestone for the City of Burien, just south of Seattle.

Two candidates have a shot at becoming the first Latino elected to the City Council — or the first two.

From left, James Marx, Carrie Howell, Robin Mueller and Haley Ballast write letters of support after a flier from the group Respect Washington circulated Burien, on Monday, October 30, 2017, in Burien.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to KUOW's immigration reporter Liz Jones about a letter that was mailed to some residents in Burien that listed the names and addresses of people who were accused of committing crimes and believed to be undocumented residents. 

Gretchen Lemon writes a letter of support on Monday, October 30, 2017, in Burien.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A few days after a controversial flier circulated in Burien, a neighborhood group is fighting back with a mass mailing of their own.

The flier that started uproar came from a group called Respect Washington and listed names and addresses of people who are allegedly undocumented and accused of crimes.

Muslims and non-muslims pray together in Seattle as travel ban 3.0 is put on hold.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Immigrants and advocates gathered in Seattle to pray Wednesday, the day a new travel ban was set to kick in. Just hours before, court rulings in two states put the Trump administration’s policy on hold.

But with the controversy sure to continue, the crowd joined in a prayer for the days ahead. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The cease and desist order came as a shock. It was from the U.S. Justice Department, ordering a group of Seattle lawyers to stop helping in some deportation cases.

A detainee in solitary at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Immigration detention is a booming business in the U.S., mostly run by private, for-profit contractors. A new bill in Congress aims to phase out these private facilities, including the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Dulce Palma, right, and classmates join a walkout to support undocumented students.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Students at several high schools in Seattle staged a walkout Thursday in support of their undocumented classmates.

This comes in response to the Trump administration’s phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and a looming October 5 deadline for current DACA recipients to renew their temporary waivers one last time.

Friends and family in Mexico City write a thank you to people in Seattle who contributed to the earthquake victims.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

SAN GREGORIO ATLAPULCO, MEXICO - A week after Mexico City’s devastating earthquake, donations continue to pour in. One came this week from Seattle and was delivered by hand to a hard hit town. KUOW's Liz Jones just happened to be nearby.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A new lawsuit aims to safeguard Burien’s sanctuary policies for immigrants and keep the issue off the November ballot.

Emmanuel Carrillo, center, with UNITE HERE, the Hospitality Worker's Labor Union, chants during a community rally in support of DACA recipients on Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11:33 a.m.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday that his office is filing a multi-state lawsuit to defend the DACA program. Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. have joined in the complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York. Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks have also filed declarations in support. 

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