Immigration in the Northwest | KUOW News and Information

Immigration in the Northwest

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.


KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke talks with Graciela Nuñez Pargas about her experience as an enrollee in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The future of DACA is uncertain. During his campaign, President Trump promised to the end the program, which gives deportation protections to undocumented people who came to the U.S. as children, but don't have legal status.

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. 

Community health leaders like Teresita Batayola of ICHS worry about the future of ACA.
Courtesy of ICHS

The deadline to sign up for health coverage is coming up at the end of the month. So far, more Americans have enrolled for health insurance this year than in previous years. At the same time, Congress has taken steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act.


Ron Chew works at the International Community Health Services. He holds a portrait of his parents. His grandfather came to the U.S. illegally during the Chinese Exclusion Act.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The Trump Administration’s talk about changing immigration enforcement is causing anxiety for thousands of immigrants in Washington state who, until now, have had protection.

Even for people who are pillars of the community, the national rhetoric is bringing back memories.


Pramila Jayapal
Flickr Photo/Joe Mabel (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/zznt82

Bill Radke talks with Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal about President Donald Trump's executive actions to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and cut federal funding to sanctuary cities like Seattle.

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/Lisa Wang

They spent the first hours of Donald Trump's presidency waiting.

First they were in the cold, snaked outside McCaw Hall. A little boy  seemed desperate to splash in a nearby water feature.  Then they waited inside—for hours—as volunteers distributed snacks, waiting themselves for instructions.

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.


Volunteers help with citizenship forms.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

People started lining up in Seattle several hours before the city’s big immigration workshop opened its doors at noon Friday.

The city planned the event to coincide with Inauguration Day to emphasize that Seattle would remain a welcoming city for immigrants and refugees under the Trump administration.

People wait to attend a citizenship workshop in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

On Inauguration Day, the city of Seattle hosted a free legal clinic for immigrants and refugees. Hundreds of people gathered at McCaw Hall, many seeking to become citizens. We asked attendees what's at stake for them, as Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States.

KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The handover of presidential power makes us  wonder how the new administration will affect our lives.

That's especially true for young people.

  


Kim Malcolm talks with Cuc Vu about why the city of Seattle is hosting an event on Inauguration Day to provide free legal advice to immigrants and refugees. Vu directs Seattle's Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs.

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

We picked the school as our meeting place.

Victor has worked as a custodian at this junior high for several years. It’s in a suburb of Seattle, near his home. He also runs a landscaping business on the side.

Victor’s also not his real name. We’re using a pseudonym because he’s undocumented.

Leading up to President Donald Trump's inauguration, KUOW reached out to a diverse group of people in the Puget Sound region to find out what this moment means to them. Here are the thoughts of Seattle resident Dujie Tahat.

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Flickr Photo/Kjetil-Ree (CC BY-NC-ND)

Kim Malcolm talks with University of Washington law professor Hugh Spitzer about how previous U.S. Supreme Court decisions could prevent the Trump administration from cutting federal funding to sanctuary cities like Seattle. 

As a new president takes office Friday, the City of Seattle will mark the occasion with a huge event for immigrants and refugees. It’s a symbolic contrast to events in Washington, D.C. And it also aims to help about a thousand immigrants with citizenship applications and other legal services.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Since Donald Trump’s election, a sanctuary movement has popped up at college campuses across the United States. 

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke talks with attorney Jorge Barón about how the Trump administration could impact undocumented immigrants living in the Puget Sound region. Barón is executive director of the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project

More thoughts from Barón, and four other perspectives on how the incoming administration could impact undocumented immigrants can be found here.

This photo was taken by an undocumented immigrant featured in a KUOW story in July 2014. It was the last photo he took of America before turning around and walking into Mexico.
Courtesy Jorge Lerma

Build a wall.

Increase deportations.

End protections for young people known as "Dreamers."

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Long before Seattle was a sanctuary city, churches here sheltered immigrants from Central America.

Carlos Mejia and his wife Ercilia moved here in 1983 from El Salvador, which was in the throes of a civil war. Patricia was seven months pregnant at the time; she later gave birth on the third floor of University Baptist Church.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announces more resources for immigrant families in the city's public schools.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

The City of Seattle plans to boost counseling resources in public schools for immigrant and refugee students, particularly those who are undocumented or Muslim.

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