immigration

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been under fire for opening three detention centers to hold Central American immigrant families who fled to this country seeking asylum.

Under the pressure of a federal court order, ICE is now exploring ways to release the mothers and children with alternatives to detention — but human rights activists are unhappy that the same for-profit prison company that locked up the families now manages their cases after release.

The first Syrian refugees have arrived in Seattle since President Obama announced the U.S. would take at least 10,000 Syrian refugees next year.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

American Airlines flight number 1239 touched down at Sea-Tac Airport, and a family of Syrian refugees walked down the jet way and into a new life.

They’re one of the first families to arrive in the Seattle area since the U.S. agreed to take in more Syrian refugees. The civil war in Syria has displaced more than 4 million people.  

José Luis Avila, of Renton, is fighting for the release of his wife Nestora Salgado from Mexico.
KUOW photo/Liz Jones

Human rights activist Nestora Salgado raised her family in Renton. She’s a U.S. citizen and a human rights activist.

But most people know her now as a political prisoner. She’s been held in a Mexican prison for more than two years, with limited outside contact.

People with limited English ability tend to live near pollution-causing freeways and industrial areas. And Latinos outnumber any other group.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Neighborhoods where non-English speaking Latinos live tend to have the most toxic air quality, according to new research out of Washington State University.

At the same time that immigration is a hot-button issue on the presidential campaign trail, in the courts, immigration advocates are chipping away at the government's authority to detain non-citizens indefinitely.

Two rulings issued this week from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California say that detainees have the right to a bond hearing while they are fighting their deportation cases.

Workers who harvest clams at a Bellingham-based company say their employer underpaid them for years. They have filed a lawsuit for wage theft.

Federal law does not prohibit undocumented students from enrolling in college, but it does something nearly as effective, banning them from receiving government aid. In recent years, though, some undocumented students have stumbled upon a little-known, nonprofit online university that doesn't charge tuition and doesn't care about students' legal status.

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

Expansion plans are underway for an immigration program linked to Microsoft, but it's something that has nothing to do with computers or technology.

It’s a non-profit called KIND, or Kids In Need of Defense, and it provides free attorneys to immigrant children who face deportation.

Neatly trimmed lawns divide dozens of identical two-story brick buildings that make up the Kenwood Gardens apartment complex in Toledo, Ohio. The people who live here are college students, blue-collar workers and — as of recently — refugees from Syria's civil war.

It's where Omar Al-Awad and his family are settling into their new life in America. On a recent morning, the apartment is already bustling: a tea kettle is on the stove, and Omar's wife, Hiyam, is helping their three children review what they learned in their first day of American school.

High Risk Awaits Immigrants In Alaska’s 'Ballard North'

Oct 18, 2015
Salahaldin Adam, outside the Trident North plant in Cordova. Adam is showing the swelling on his right hand, which he hurt after just a few weeks on the job.
KUOW Photo/Alex Stonehill

In Ballard, a human resources manager for Trident Seafoods talks to a room of people hoping to be seafood processors – warning them of the dangers of the job.

SEAN CASADY, HR DIRECTOR: "You need to be able to stand on your feet for up to 16 hours a day in cold and wet conditions."

Sonny Nguyen outside of the auto parts store he owns in the town of Unalaska on the port of Dutch Harbor. He’s a refugee from Vietnam who moved to Seattle in 1976 and then went to Dutch Harbor where he’s lived on and off for 30 years.
KUOW Photo/Alex Stonehill

The yard in front of the CARQUEST Auto Parts store on this remote Alaskan island is crowded with old cars.

Sonny Nguyen, the store’s owner, keeps them because it can be faster to grab a part from the front yard than to get it shipped out here. Nguyen first came here in 1977.

Silme Domingo, left, and Gene Viernes, right, were murdered at a union hall in Seattle. It took a determined group of people to expose an international conspiracy behind the murders.
University of Washington Digital Archives

On Monday, June 1, 1981, Seattle’s KIRO TV reported a shooting in Pioneer Square.

KIRO: “The shots were fired right around a quarter of 5 this evening, shots that apparently were not heard by anyone else. The two victims were inside the union office.”

Following The Money Trail To Alaska's 'Ballard North'

Oct 18, 2015
Abdirahman Shire in his dormitory room. Room and board are free or cost less than $15 a day for seafood processing workers (depending on their contract and from plant to plant).
KUOW Photo/Alex Stonehill

A few years after Abdirahman Shire moved to the U.S., he found work at a Tyson Foods chicken factory in Kentucky.

That’s when he got a call from a friend, another Somali guy he’d known in a refugee camp in Uganda.

A barefoot boy stands on a cement wall after his family's arrival on a dinghy from the Turkish coasts to the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos. About half a million refugees have crossed the Mediterranean this year, although few will end up in Seattle.
AP Photo/Santi Palacios

Here's the short answer to how many more Syrians are expected to resettle in Washington state: Not many. At least not in the next couple years.

“Definitely not 3,000 Syrians coming to Seattle," says Bob Johnson. Johnson heads the Seattle office of the International Rescue Committee. It's one of the largest resettlement agencies in the country. 

Driving in rural, southern Hungary, especially at night, you're likely to see people emerging from dark forests along the side of the road. They trudge along the highway's narrow shoulder and sometimes flag down passing cars, asking for help.

They're migrants and refugees who've entered Hungary by the tens of thousands in recent months, mostly en route to Germany and other northern European countries.

But it's illegal for civilians in Hungary to help them get there.

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