Immigration in the Northwest | KUOW News and Information

Immigration in the Northwest

Arshiya Chime, Omid Bagheri, and Hossein Khorram
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke talks with Arshiya Chime, Omid Bagheri, and Hossein Khorram about President Trump's executive order that limits immigration and refugee resettlement. 

Chime is a doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. Bagheri is a faculty member at the UW's school of public health. Khorram is a real estate developer in Bellevue, and a Republic Party delegate for President Trump.

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.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration. The suit alleges the Executive Order is harming Washington residents and damaging the state's economy.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Washington state is the first in the nation to challenge President Trump’s travel ban. Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a federal lawsuit, saying major portions of the executive order are unconstitutional.  

In the state’s complaint filed Monday, Ferguson says the administration’s policy discriminates based on country of origin and religion. 


A refugee family from Iran arrives at SeaTac Airport in 2015
Credit/Meryl Schenker

Kim Malcolm talks with Nicky Smith about how President Trump's refugee ban will impact refugee families living in the Puget Sound region. Smith is executive director of Seattle's office of the International Rescue Committee.

From left, Haider Kadhem, Sarmd Hady, Wafaa Fakhri and Mustafa Kadhem. Fakhri had gone to visit her sister, who is ill, in Iraq. She worried she wouldn't be allowed back in to the U.S., even though she is a green card holder.
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Nervous families gathered at Sea-Tac airport on Monday morning, three days after the president's executive order banning travelers from seven majority Muslim countries.

KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

Thousands protested in downtown Seattle last night against President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration and refugees.


immigrant rights protest westlake park
KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

The protest was packed before it was scheduled to begin. 

Bodies were crowded in tight at Westlake Park as thousands of people gathered to protest President Trump's executive order on immigration, which had already sparked protests at Sea-Tac International Airport the night before.

On January 27th, President Trump signed an executive order that halted the arrival of immigrants and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries. The order indefinitely banned refugees from Syria. Lama Chikh came to the Seattle area from Damascus, Syria. She lives in Shoreline with her husband and two children.

Leslie Brown, an activist with Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition, shouted into a bullhorn to rally dozens of protesters gathered outside the Edmonds PCC, January 29, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Before crowds packed a protest in Seattle, another protest was already underway.

Dozens of residents crowded onto the four corners of Edmonds Way and 100th Ave W, a busy intersection where locals go for groceries and commuters zoom past to catch the ferry.

They chanted, "No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here!" and cheered as cars blared their horns.

Here's what a few attendees told us:

It’s been an emotional weekend for Washington residents hoping to reunite with family as officials tried to enforce President Trump’s travel ban on immigrants and refugees arriving from certain predominantly Muslim countries.

Democrats have condemned the travel ban. Reaction from the state’s Republican congressional delegation has been somewhat mixed.

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.

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