Liz Jones


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, The World, Only A Game, Marketplace, The Takeaway and BBC News Service.  

Ways to Connect

Nepalese communities across the U.S. are mourning the loss in their home country from last weekend's earthquake. Officials in Nepal now estimate the number of people killed in the disaster stands at more than 4,000.

In the Seattle area, prayer bells ring out at a Hindu temple. Hundreds of heads bow. A boy in a turquoise sweater peeks through his folded hands. A husband and wife comfort each other, their eyes red from crying.

The Tukwila School District boasts one of the most diverse student bodies in the state. But the NAACP of Seattle-King County says the district isn't doing enough to hire teachers of color.

The civil rights organization said it planned to confront the district’s board members Tuesday night about what it called “racist hiring practices.”

District Superintendent Nancy Coogan said the NAACP’s accusations are unfair.

Akshar Koirala, 7, of Renton, prays with the Nepali community in Bothell following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bells rang out at a temple in Bothell on Sunday, where more than a hundred came to pray, light candles and share updates about the massive earthquake in Nepal.

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 Nepalese people live in the Seattle area, and many are turning to each other for support. Officials have confirmed that more than 5,000 people died in the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.

A symbolic funeral for Earth Day.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The idea for Earth Day was first announced at a conference in Seattle 45 years ago.

It’s still going strong, with Earth Day events sometimes spanning all of April. KUOW Reporter Liz Jones stopped by two different events in Seattle on Tuesday and has this audio postcard. She started at a symbolic funeral downtown, then head over to a spiritual summit at Seattle University.

Omar Abdulalim and Shuad Farole send money every month to Farole's aunt in Somalia. She uses the money to pay for food, housing and school fees for 12 children.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It just got tougher for Somali-American immigrants in Seattle send money to family back home. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

Cheu Chang, right, at the Indochinese Farm Project in Woodinville in the mid-80s.
Courtesy of WSU Extension/Sharon Coleman

If you’ve bought one of those big flower bouquets at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, there’s a good chance a Hmong farmer sold it to you.

Orphans at the Ghenh Rang Orphanage in South Vietnam before Operation Babylift. Julie Davis, who lives in Minneapolis, belies that's her looking at the camera.
Courtesy of Julie Davis

Julie Davis, who was airlifted to Seattle from Saigon in 1975, shares her story. This week marks the 40th anniversary of Operation Babylift, the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam. 

I was just a year old when a Boeing 747 airlifted me and hundreds of other babies from Saigon. We headed to Seattle, Houston, Minneapolis.

Thirty years later, I returned to Vietnam to find the orphanage where I had been dropped off just after my birth.

Omar Abdulalim and Shuad Farole send money every month to Farole's aunt in Somalia. She uses the money to pay for food, housing and school fees for 12 children.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle's Somali-American community and elected officials came together Tuesday night to discuss a worsening problem: There is no longer a reliable way for people here to send money to families in Somalia.

Since February, all banks in the U.S. have stopped offering these remittance services to Somalia.

The Seattle area is home to the third largest Somali community in the country, so the abrupt change is acutely felt here.

Asha Gobana says a man pointed a gun at her and made anti-Muslim threats.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones / KUOW

A Muslim advocacy group in Seattle wants the FBI to investigate a possible hate crime against a woman in SeaTac. The group says it’s concerned about a recent spate of similar incidents, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

Liz Jones / KUOW

The Washington State Supreme court will hear arguments Tuesday on a case dealing with wages for farm workers. It examines how employers handle the paid rest breaks required by state law, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas. About 70 children from the border have been placed with foster families in Washington state.
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Sara, 20, is a Mexican student in Des Moines, Washington, a half hour south of Seattle. She wears her hair in two braids, tucked under her black knit hat. White ear buds hang from her collar. She’s friendly, but far from talkative.

We meet in a small meeting room at Highline Community College, where she is taking a GED-prep class. She looks out the window as she recalls her first days in the U.S., at an immigration holding shelter in California. 

A federal judge in Seattle heard arguments Friday in a potentially far-reaching immigration case. At issue is whether children who face deportation alone are entitled to an attorney, at the government’s expense. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.


There’s a rising trend of children coming alone to the U.S., unlawfully crossing the southern border. Most are from Mexico and Central America. They’re often called  ‘unaccompanied minors’.

The Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP)

On Friday, hundreds of Latino students will visit with lawmakers in Olympia. One of their top issues relates a state-funded college scholarship. As KUOW’s Liz Jones reports, they want undocumented students to be eligible for this money, too.

RP's husband works in the Seattle area on an H-1B  visa. They lived together in Seattle for a year and a half before RP returned to work in India, due to visa restrictions.
KUOW Photo/Harsha Vadlamani

Washington is one of the top states that brings in high-skilled foreign workers, filling thousands of jobs every year.

This week, those workers got some long-awaited news from the federal government: A blanket rule that barred their spouses from working will soon be lifted.

Buses used to trasport detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. The center is operated by the GEO Group, a private contractor.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A few dozen demonstrators waved signs outside an immigration lockup in Tacoma this morning. They were there to support a detainee who led a large hunger strike inside the detention center last year.