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immigration

My grandma’s first kiss happened in a Chilean prison

Dec 13, 2017
KUOW Photo / Diego Villarroel

September 11, 1973, was the day everything changed for my grandmother, Beatriz Alvarez. She was attending university in Santiago, Chile, on her way to becoming a history teacher.


Hiwot Taddesse, left, and Executive Chef Lisa Nakamura laugh while cooking at the Ubuntu Street Cafe on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, in Kent.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

On a quiet side street in Kent sits the Ubuntu Street Cafe. Ubuntu, which means humanity toward others, is the brainchild of Veena Prasad, executive director of Project Feast. 

Courtesy U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Sanctuary policies in Seattle and King County have put some money on the line, and drawn questions from the feds. Local officials defended their position this week against what they call a threat to withhold federal law enforcement aid.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGAN FARMER

It's Monday evening. My mom, my dad, and I are sitting at the dinner table with our eyes trained on the computer screen in front of us.

I say hello in Chinese: “Nǐmen hǎo!”

"Āi!" my grandma replies.

I see my mom's three older sisters and my grandma eating brunch in Tianjin, China. We're eating dinner in Redmond, Washington. They tease us for eating Costco dumplings and flaunt their own homemade ones. 


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The Trump administration told a federal appeals court Wednesday that the president has broad authority to prevent people from any country from traveling to the U.S.

Gustavo Lavariega, a volunteer with Deportees United, talks with an official from Mexico's labor department as he waits for deportees to arrive on a flight from Texas.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

In a far corner of the Mexico City Airport, past all the shops inside the international arrivals terminal, you’ll find the N door.

This is a special exit for passengers who arrive on deportation flights from the U.S.

Milagros Ortiz holds a photo of herself as a child at her home in Vancouver, British Columbia.
KUOW Photo/Isabella Ortiz

My great aunt, Milagros Ortiz, has an air about her that's warm and calm. Her laugh is loud, and when she speaks, it's right to your soul.

In her house in British Columbia, we listen to traditional dance music she recorded when she visited Nicaragua a few years ago. It's a place she has mixed feelings about because "pain is there." But there's also resilience and joy, my Tia (aunt in her native language, Spanish) tells me.


Rebecca Fatty becomes emotional while holding her 4-month-old daughter Sunkarah as she speaks to the press after her husband Bangally Fatty was denied bond on Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Court hearings at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma are typically a quiet affair. But this week, a busload of students and faculty from the University of Washington showed up to call for the release of a fellow student who’s facing deportation.

A picture of Rebecca and Bangally Fatty on their wedding day is shown in a photo album on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated 11/27/2017, 1:55 p.m.

Bangally Fatty, a University of Washington student who faces deportation, could be allowed to return to his Seattle home this week. A judge is set to decide on Wednesday, Nov. 29, if Fatty will remain in custody or be released on bond.

Original story, 11/16/2017

An empty classroom in Parrington Hall where Bangally Fatty was enrolled and taking a class is shown on the University of Washington campus on Thursday, November 16, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The University of Washington is facing a test of what it means to be a so-called sanctuary campus. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement has detained a UW student. He’s the first student detainee that the university knows about.

KUOW race and equity reporter Liz Jones reported the story; The Record host Bill Radke sat down with Liz to learn more.

Cooking curry is my mom's feminist act

Nov 15, 2017
Neelima Musaliar (L) learned to cook as a prerequisite for an arranged marriage. Now she's teaching her daughter Aliyah (R) to cook to show her that she doesn't need to stir the pot for anyone other than herself.
KUOW Photo / Aliyah Musaliar

I’m the worst cook.

Actually, I'm worse than the worst. I’m the kid who burnt cereal because I thought microwaving Cocoa Puffs would result in a more melty-chocolate flavor.


KUOW file photo/Liz Jones

After former U.S. Army Captain Allen Vaught was ambushed and hit with an IED in Iraq, a translator he’d hired traveled nearly 60 miles to make sure he was okay. The two men formed a close bond.

In July 2003, Elmas Ozmico died of blood poisoning in the U.K., where she had been seeking asylum after fleeing Turkey in the back of a semi-trailer truck. Fatim Jawara, a 19-year-old who played on the Gambian national soccer team and dreamed of playing in Europe, drowned off the coast of Libya before she could make it to Italy.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Just south of Seattle, the immigration debate took center stage in a closely watched election.

In Burien, four out of seven City Council seats were up for election. And three were still a tossup after initial vote results Tuesday night.

Courtesy of Julian Johnson

Author Amy Tan is known for her portrayals of Chinese and Chinese-American lives, especially mother-daughter bonds. Her relationship with her own mother Daisy was fraught to say the least, but it also inspired her writing.

From left, James Marx, Carrie Howell, Robin Mueller and Haley Ballast write letters of support after a flier from the group Respect Washington circulated Burien, on Monday, October 30, 2017, in Burien.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to KUOW's immigration reporter Liz Jones about a letter that was mailed to some residents in Burien that listed the names and addresses of people who were accused of committing crimes and believed to be undocumented residents. 

Gretchen Lemon writes a letter of support on Monday, October 30, 2017, in Burien.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A few days after a controversial flier circulated in Burien, a neighborhood group is fighting back with a mass mailing of their own.

The flier that started uproar came from a group called Respect Washington and listed names and addresses of people who are allegedly undocumented and accused of crimes.

Right after the U.S. election last year, Mike Tippett saw an opportunity.

He'd been talking to his friends in Silicon Valley and they were nervous about the newly elected president's attitude toward immigration.

"Many of the start-ups and technology companies in the States and across the globe are made up of people who are not necessarily from that country," Tippett says.

Almost half of all American start-ups were actually founded by immigrants.

D
Jasmine Garsd/PRI

It was a cool, fall morning in southern Texas, a day not so different from any other in the small border city of McAllen. Jane Doe arrived at the abortion clinic early, with little fanfare, as if she was just another teenager — not someone who had quietly sparked an uproar across America.

Amid the Trump administration's efforts to arrest people living in the country illegally, the Department of Homeland Security is looking at locations for five new detention centers around the country that could hold thousands of detainees.

Updated October 20

Construction crews are erecting eight looming prototypes of President Trump's border wall in a remote section of the San Diego borderlands. Four are solid concrete; four are made of steel and concrete; one is topped with spikes. They all approach 30 feet in height. Customs and Border Protection is paying $20 million to six construction companies from Mississippi, Maryland, Alabama, Texas and Arizona. Crews in white hardhats operating cranes and forklifts are expected to complete the models by the end of the month.

The Pentagon is tightening the screening process for immigrants who volunteer for military service and slowing their path to U.S. citizenship.

The U.S. military will no longer allow green card holders to enter basic training before the successful completion of a background check. The policy change is intended to improve security vetting of foreign-born recruits.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump's third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries. The Department of Justice says it plans to appeal.

The newest version of the travel ban was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president's efforts to limit travel to the U.S.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The cease and desist order came as a shock. It was from the U.S. Justice Department, ordering a group of Seattle lawyers to stop helping in some deportation cases.

There are nearly 700,000 people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, and Thursday is the final deadline for them to renew their DACA status, which the Trump Administration announced would be discontinued unless Congress steps in to save it.

Light shines through a poster with a photograph of a displaced child as students from Morningside Academy gather around the Forced From Home exhibit on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, at the South Lake Union Discovery Center in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

As the Trump administration plans to reduce the number of refugees entering the country, Doctors Without Borders wants to show you just what it's like to be driven out of your home, and forced to find a new place to live. 

A detainee in solitary at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Immigration detention is a booming business in the U.S., mostly run by private, for-profit contractors. A new bill in Congress aims to phase out these private facilities, including the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

Dulce Palma, right, and classmates join a walkout to support undocumented students.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Students at several high schools in Seattle staged a walkout Thursday in support of their undocumented classmates.

This comes in response to the Trump administration’s phase out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and a looming October 5 deadline for current DACA recipients to renew their temporary waivers one last time.

Republicans who might have been leery of supporting the bipartisan Dream Act got a more conservative-friendly option this week in the form of a new bill dubbed the SUCCEED Act (Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education and Defending our nation).

After months of competition and preparation, contractors broke ground Tuesday on eight prototypes for President Trump's long-promised border wall. U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that the companies would have about 30 days to complete construction on their prototypes in San Diego.

"We are committed to securing our border and that includes constructing border walls," CBP's acting deputy commissioner, Ronald Vitiello, said in a statement Tuesday.

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