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

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.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Braced for more troubling news, immigrants around the country nervously await version two of President Trump’s travel ban. The revised executive order is expected next week.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

At the moment, border patrol agents can quickly deport someone within 100 miles of the southern border, and within 14 days of their arrival in the U.S. 


Courtesy Ramirez's lawyers

UPDATE: 2/17/17, 3:30 p.m. PT

A federal judge in Seattle declined to immediately release Daniel Ramirez Medina, as his attorneys requested Friday in U.S. District Court. Instead, Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue directed that Ramirez get a bond hearing in immigration court within a week.

Bill Radke talks with KUOW immigration reporter Liz Jones about the arrest and detention of Daniel Ramirez Medina, who's been held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma since Friday. Ramirez has temporary legal status through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. His attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit seeking his immediate release.

Northwest Detention Center, Tacoma, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

An immigrant in Seattle with temporary legal status through the DACA or “dreamer” program is currently being held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. It’s believed to be the first immigration arrest of its kind under the Trump administration.

Ahmad Al Halabi and daughter, Jaidaa, reunite at Sea-Tac Airport.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

“This is the best day of my life,” said Syrian refugee Jaidaa Al Halabi, just minutes after she stepped off a plane at Sea-Tac Airport.

 

Her younger brother, Mohamed, waited anxiously at the arrival gate then sprinted past the security line as he first glimsped Jaidaa come around the corner.

 

A younger sister, Alaa, leaned her head back and let out a shout as the tears overcame her.

 

 

Courtesy of Rabaa family

They were ready. They had even packed gifts for relatives who would greet them in Seattle.

Then a snowstorm delayed the flight.

And the very next day, President Trump signed his temporary immigration ban.


Attorney General Bob Ferguson, left, greets Allen Novak, newly-arrived from Iran, his wife Jayne and their daughter Nikta, Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, at Sea-Tac Airport. Allen Novak joined his family, of Silverdale, Wash., on a conditional resident visa.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Liz Jones talks with Washington's Attorney General Bob Ferguson about the state's lawsuit against President Donald Trump. On Friday, a federal judge in Seattle ordered a temporary halt to the President's immigration ban.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Cordelia Revells anxiously peers down the arrival gate a Sea-Tac Airport.

“We’re looking for a family of six,” Revells says. “You’ll know it’s them because refugees typically carry a white and blue bag from the IOM.” (That’s the International Organization for Migration, which helps coordinate refugee travel from overseas.)


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