Immigration in the Northwest | KUOW News and Information

Immigration in the Northwest

An undocumented father outside the school where he works as a custodian.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Kim Malcolm talks with Pew Research Center demographer Jeff Passel about new population estimates about undocumented immigrants in the United States. 

Flickr Photo/Jude Matsalla (CC BY-NC-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/drMj8G

Kim Malcolm talks with reporter Amber Jamieson about the green card lottery, which gives out 50,000 green cards each year through a lottery system. Jamieson, who's Australian, has entered the green card lottery for the past six years.

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:


Marwal Frotan plays with his daughter Bushra in their Kent home. Frotan and his family moved to Seattle four months ago.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Many refugee resettlement agencies have been in limbo since the travel bans came out.


FILE: People begin to gather before a rally protesting President Donald Trump's travel ban on refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Protests. Arrests. Executive orders stopped in court, revised and stopped again. President Trump's early immigration policies have rolled out in waves, crashing into government agencies and immigrant communities, leaving behind uncertainty, fear and unrest. 

KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Last week President Trump signed an executive order that could bring significant changes to the H-1B visa program, which lets companies temporarily hire a limited number of foreign workers. Created in 1990, the program is popular among local tech companies, especially Microsoft.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle area immigration attorney Luis Cortes knew this was a case he had to take. 

Volunteers help with citizenship forms.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

In two separate measures passed Monday, Seattle and King County set aside money for low-income immigrants who may need a lawyer or legal advice.

That would include people who face deportation, most of whom don't have an attorney.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vehicle in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Kim Malcolm talks with New York Times reporter Caitlin Dickerson about new regulations that would roll back health and safety standards for detained immigrants. 

Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A class action lawsuit says the company running an immigration detention center in Colorado is violating federal anti-slavery laws. It’s the same company that runs the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, scene of an expanding hunger strike.

South Lake Union neighborhood, home to many Seattle tech companies
Flickr Photo/Ted Eytan (CC BY-SA-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/agMkfy

Kim Malcolm talks with Axios tech editor Kim Hart about recent rule changes to the H-1B visa program, and what they could mean for tech workers in the Puget Sound region.

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.


KUOW PHOTO/MEGHAN WALKER

Seattle officials are taking their support for immigrants and refugees a step further: They want to create a $1 million legal defense fund to help people facing deportation.

Seattle would join other cities that have created similar programs, including Los Angeles and New York, in reaction to stricter federal immigration enforcement.


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.”


People who don’t have permanent immigration status and who’ve been victims of crime may qualify for a special visa.

Problem is, they’re often reluctant to come forward and report the abuse. Even if they do, law enforcement lacks guidelines for helping them.

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.

On Sunday, the Seattle Sounders were officially welcomed back to their home field for the first time after winning the championship last year.

The team may play under one championship banner now, but when they stand for the national anthem many players face a flag that is not their own.


Eat With Muslims co-founders Fathia Absie and Ilays Aden
KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Fathia Absie wants you to come to dinner. The Somali-American filmmaker and writer is co-founder of a Seattle-based project called Eat With Muslims, where Muslim families host dinners for people of all faiths and cultures.

On March 4, about 25 people gathered in the community space of a Belltown apartment building. The dinner was hosted by Absie and co-founder Ilays Aden. The mood was light and fun — like a dinner party.

Guests gathered to talk, but it wasn't a question-and-answer style event. Instead they answered questions as a group, like, "What's the most beautiful thing in the world?" and "What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Muslims?" 

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:


Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos (CC BY-NC-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/bt29wL

Kim Malcolm talks with Kaiser Health News reporter Julie Rovner about how immigrants and refugees may be affected by the American Health Care Act, the House Republicans' replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Detainees are shown inside a holding cell at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Tacoma officials have taken a step that effectively stops Washington's immigrant detention center from growing.

The Tacoma City Council passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday that targets private and public prisons. The measure temporarily bans expansion of private prisons and limits where public correctional facilities can be located within Tacoma.

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.

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 White House may have issued a new travel order, but the same legal concerns from the original one remain.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson says he’s reviewing the new executive order to see how it affects the state’s suit against the federal government.


Sahan Abdi Korane is tired of waiting. She's taking her family home. dadaab camp
Rwaida Gharib

DADAAB, KENYA — Here, at the largest refugee camp in the world, the name Trump is uttered hundreds of times a day.

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