Aneesh Sheth speaks at KUOW's Storywallahs event in early May at the Kirkland Performing Arts Center.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The South Asian community in the United States has roots in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The community represents one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country. From 2000 to 2010 their population grew by 81 percent nationally, in Seattle the increase was 173 percent.

photo courtesy of Sumaiya Mahee

(Reader's Note: Sumaiya Mahee wrote this essay "You're Not Who You Say You Are: Beyond the Single Story" for her 8th grade English class in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was part of a course that taught all students that they each have been stereotyped — and how those stories are generally all wrong.)

Outside the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

The immigration detention center in Tacoma has been hit this week by new allegations of abuse by guards.

An incident in mid-April set off this recent flurry of complaints against the Northwest Detention Center. Several detainees say they witnessed guards allegedly assault an elderly man from Honduras.

Hector Alonso, 38, says he came to the U.S. to help support his parents and seven siblings. He was 18 when he left home.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Undocumented immigrants around the country had hoped to celebrate Tuesday. It’s the day a new federal policy was set to kick in, offering new benefits to many parents of children born in the U.S.

But that plan is currently tied up in court.

KUOW's Liz Jones stopped in at a rally held to mark the day in Seattle.

Somalis moved to Seattle in two waves -- one in the 1970s and the second after 1991. Somalia's prime minister stopped in Seattle to ask for their help.
Flickr Photo/City of Seattle Tech

We need your help.

That’s the message from Somalia’s former prime minister as he tours the U.S. to meet with Somali diaspora communities. There are about 100,000 Somalis in the U.S., most of them in Minnesota, Ohio and Seattle.

Cesar Vargas has a resume most young Americans would envy. He graduated from a Brooklyn high school that counts Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders among its alumni. He made honors in both college and law school. But because he was brought to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was 5 years old, he can't fulfill one of his dreams: joining the armed forces.

"I do believe that because this country has given me so much, I do want to be able to give back," Vargas said in an interview.

Cheu Chang, right, at the Indochinese Farm Project in Woodinville in the mid-80s.
Courtesy of WSU Extension/Sharon Coleman

If you’ve bought one of those big flower bouquets at Seattle’s Pike Place Market, there’s a good chance a Hmong farmer sold it to you.

Omar Abdulalim and Shuad Farole send money every month to Farole's aunt in Somalia. She uses the money to pay for food, housing and school fees for 12 children.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle's Somali-American community and elected officials came together Tuesday night to discuss a worsening problem: There is no longer a reliable way for people here to send money to families in Somalia.

Since February, all banks in the U.S. have stopped offering these remittance services to Somalia.

The Seattle area is home to the third largest Somali community in the country, so the abrupt change is acutely felt here.

Liz Jones / KUOW

The Washington State Supreme court will hear arguments Tuesday on a case dealing with wages for farm workers. It examines how employers handle the paid rest breaks required by state law, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

In this Sept. 10, 2014 file photo, detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas. About 70 children from the border have been placed with foster families in Washington state.
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Sara, 20, is a Mexican student in Des Moines, Washington, a half hour south of Seattle. She wears her hair in two braids, tucked under her black knit hat. White ear buds hang from her collar. She’s friendly, but far from talkative.

We meet in a small meeting room at Highline Community College, where she is taking a GED-prep class. She looks out the window as she recalls her first days in the U.S., at an immigration holding shelter in California. 

A federal judge in Seattle heard arguments Friday in a potentially far-reaching immigration case. At issue is whether children who face deportation alone are entitled to an attorney, at the government’s expense. KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.


There’s a rising trend of children coming alone to the U.S., unlawfully crossing the southern border. Most are from Mexico and Central America. They’re often called  ‘unaccompanied minors’.

The Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP)

On Friday, hundreds of Latino students will visit with lawmakers in Olympia. One of their top issues relates a state-funded college scholarship. As KUOW’s Liz Jones reports, they want undocumented students to be eligible for this money, too.

The political battle over immigration, now provoking a confrontation between Congress and the White House, touches all of us in one very direct way: our food. That salad mix, and those apples, may well have been harvested by workers who arrived here in the U.S. illegally.

RP's husband works in the Seattle area on an H-1B  visa. They lived together in Seattle for a year and a half before RP returned to work in India, due to visa restrictions.
KUOW Photo/Harsha Vadlamani

Washington is one of the top states that brings in high-skilled foreign workers, filling thousands of jobs every year.

This week, those workers got some long-awaited news from the federal government: A blanket rule that barred their spouses from working will soon be lifted.

The congressional wrangling over immigration policy -- which threatens to cut off Homeland Security money later this week -- is spilling over to the Washington State Capitol in a fashion.