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

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.)


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It ended almost as dramatically as it began.

After working “literally around the clock” all week, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and his team went to court against President Donald Trump Friday – and they won, securing a temporary halt to the President’s immigration ban.

Washington refugees world map
KUOW/Kara McDermott

Nearly 25,000 immigrants and refugees in Washington state could be directly affected by an order signed last week (picture SafeCo Field almost half-full). Let’s break those numbers down. 

courtesy Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

The so-called Muslim travel ban may go beyond just stopping people from certain countries at the airport.

Seattle attorneys working with immigrants and refugees have found in recent days that their clients’ paperwork has been frozen in the system.

Alaa, age 11, takes a selfie with a reporter's camera.
ALAA AL HALABI

Alaa Al Halabi's big sister was supposed to move here on Monday. 

But President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

This Syrian mother does not know when her family will be reunited again. Click through for more photos taken by her 11-year-old daughter, Alaa.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

This week was meant to be a reunion for the Al Halabi family. They’re Syrian refugees who live just south of Seattle. Two grown children, still in Turkey, were set to fly here Monday. One of them is almost seven months pregnant.  But the president’s immigration ban means they’ll remain separated indefinitely.


Police look out over a growing protest at Sea-Tac International Airport, where up to 13 people have been detained one day after President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning people from seven Muslim countries.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When officials at Sea-Tac International Airport got wind of President Donald Trump’s latest order, it came like a slap in the face.

It was just before midnight on Friday when they learned there would be a temporary – but immediate – ban on all refugees and immigrants from several majority-Muslim countries.

KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Syrian families in Washington state are devastated to learn about a new ban on fellow refugees seeking to come here.

KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Every day, newly arrived refugees just show up at Marwa Sadik’s office, at the Iraqi Community Center in Kent. Many are Iraqi, like her. Or from Syria, where she grew up.


Bill Radke speaks with KUOW reporter Liz Jones about the potential fallout from President Trump's upcoming immigration executive order.  The order will likely severely cripple the U.S. refugee program and curb immigration from the Middle East. Jones spoke with immigrant families about their fears and plans for an uncertain future. 

Fidencio Racine (in red) and Salvador Cruz came down from Mount Vernon to attend the immigration rally at Judkins Park on Friday, May 1, 2015.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Update: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says Seattle is willing to risk money to stick to its principles.

Six days in to his presidency, Donald Trump made good on his promise Wednesday to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico.

Immigration growth
KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

“We’re going to build a wall,” President Donald Trump said at his first White House press conference. Given the controversial talking point from his campaign is now a national promise, here are a few things worth knowing:

KUOW photo/Liz Jones

More than 1,200  immigrants and refugees took up Seattle’s offer for free legal help on inauguration day, according to the city's estimate. The city organized the event to help undocumented parents and others seeking citizenship, but some found they arrived too late.


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