immigration | KUOW News and Information

immigration

Updated May 18

President Trump, speaking on Wednesday to a gathering of officials from California who oppose the state's "sanctuary" law, compared some people who illegally cross the U.S. southern border to "animals."

Daniel Ramirez Medina, left, and his brother Tony Ramirez Medina outside of U.S. District Court in Seattle on May 1st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

It’s been more than a year since immigration officials raided a Seattle-area home and detained Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23-year-old who was a recipient of the federal ‘dreamer’ program.

KUOW PHOTO/ Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks to actor Alan Cumming about home, becoming American, identity and learning to let go.

Daniel Ramirez Medina, left, and his brother Tony Ramirez Medina outside of U.S. District Court in Seattle on May 1st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A federal judge in Seattle has upheld, for now, Daniel Ramirez Medina’s DACA status.

During intense arguments at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the justices, by a narrow margin, seemed to be leaning toward upholding the third and current version of the Trump travel ban.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often the deciding vote in closely contested cases, for example, made repeated comments suggesting that the court does not usually second-guess a president's national security decisions — even in the context of an immigration law that bans discrimination based on nationality.

A federal judge has ruled against the Trump administration's decision to end deportation protections for some young immigrants, saying the White House was "arbitrary and capricious" in moving to end the Obama-era DACA program.

In a blow to President Trump, who has long railed against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia said the Department of Homeland Security had failed to provide an adequate rationale for why the program is unlawful.

Bellingham, Washington, dedicates a new monument this Saturday that speaks to the Pacific Northwest's long and conflicted history with immigration. The "Arch of Healing and Reconciliation" memorializes the past expulsions of immigrant Sikhs, Japanese and Chinese.

Virginia Cole, with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, teaches a legal aid class at the Northwest Detention Center on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Every day at detention centers around the country, lawyers give "know your rights" presentations to immigrants facing deportation. For many, it’s the only legal help they’ll get.

And the feds just pulled the money for the program.

Mary Ann Peters, "impossible monument (flotsam)" detail
Courtesy Mary Ann Peters

Last Saturday’s biological weapons attack in Syria set off yet another wave of involuntary migration. Lebanese-American artist Mary Ann Peters says that this water-based lingo isn’t an accident. 


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

Immigration authorities have detained 506 pregnant women since December, when the Trump administration ended a policy to release most pregnant women while their immigration cases are pending.


The announcement of the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire has launched calls for lawsuits, legislation and now multiple congressional hearings. In a letter written to the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight of the U.S.

Noe Vasquez, right, on a state wildfire crew in the Okanogan Valley. After Vasquez lost his DACA status and his job, a traffic stop led to immigration custody.
Courtesy of Noe Vasquez

The small outpost of Tonasket sits near the northern border of Washington state, surrounded by forests and farmland. It's probably not where you want to be if you're an immigrant at risk of deportation.

Just ask 20-year-old Noe Vasquez.


Javier Maldonado arrived at the jail around 8 a.m., July 20.

Police had charged him with trespassing, a misdemeanor, after they said Maldonado entered his neighbor’s apartment in Hood River, Oregon.

Maldonado was ordered to get fingerprinted at North Oregon Regional Corrections Facilities, the jail in The Dalles. And then he was supposed to be released.

Except the jail didn’t let him go.

Instead, officials at the jail locked him up because U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement sent documents asking jail staff to hold Maldonado in custody.

Immigrant rights activist Maru Mora Villalpando speaks to supporters after an initial court hearing on her deportation case.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Prominent immigrant rights activist Maru Mora Villalpando has asked a Seattle immigration judge to throw out her deportation case.

Villalpando’s lawyers claim the Bellingham resident was unlawfully targeted because of her political activity and protests against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Father Antonio Illas was federal immigration agent for 25 years before becoming a priest.
KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Father Antonio Illas was a federal immigration agent for 25 years before he turned his life to God.

Updated at 5:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

Maru Mora Villalpando, far right, joins a 2014 protest outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Newly released public records suggest a prominent Northwest activist was targeted for deportation partly because she spoke out to the media. Lawyers say the documents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raise concerns about free speech.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent an administrative subpoena to Seattle City Light on  January 31st, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Officials at Seattle City Light have denied a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On January 31, ICE asked the city for customer information about the person(s) living at one address.

Some are calling it a "fishing expedition" targeting immigrants.

Courtesy of Red Hen Press

Several years ago, Seattle poet Tina Schumann was inspired to compile an anthology of memoir, essays and poems by children of immigrants in the United States. 

Josefina Mora, left, speaks about her mother's deportation case at news conference in January, 2018 outside the Seattle Immigration Court. Her mother, Maru Mora-Villalpando, buries her head on her shoulder as both women fight back tears.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Immigrant advocates are urging Washington state to offer reparations to people whose information was shared with federal immigration officials.

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.

Washington Department of Licensing
Washington Department of Licensing

Immigrant rights leaders in Washington state say it's time for Pat Kohler to resign as director of the state's Department of Licensing.

The DOL came under scrutiny in January for handing over people's personal and citizenship information to federal immigration authorities. That violated an executive order from Washington’s governor.

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.

Flickr Photo/Third Way Think Tank (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/WFNxkD

President Donald Trump talked a lot about immigration in his State of the Union address last night. He said the immigration package in Congress right now would give a path to citizenship for Dreamers, fully secure the border, end the visa lottery and “chain migration.”


Michael Perera speaking at a "Why We Stayed Here" event at Theatre Off Jackson on January 17, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Michael Perera gave this talk as part of a KUOW-sponsored  “Why We Stayed Here” event that took place at Theatre Off Jackson on January 17. It has been edited and republished with permission.

I started putting this talk together the day after it was announced that someone who lives in Seattle is officially the richest person of all time.

I’m guessing it’s not one of the people in this room. But if it is, can you give me a ride home?

Fifteen years ago, the Chicago Police Department started gathering information about gangs electronically. It was the next big thing at the time for police departments. The idea was to store gang intelligence in one centralized system.

"It allows us to reduce violent crime, to identify the most active gangs and gang members," says Michael Martin, a member of the the Midwest Gang Investigators Association who teaches at the National Gang Center based in Florida.

Lea esta historia en español.

The day was going to be perfect.

Alex figured he would wake up at 6:30 a.m., help get his little brothers up and off to school and catch the bus by 7. After school, the 14-year-old would do something he had been looking forward to for weeks — play in his first football game.

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