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Farmer Paul Sangha checks out blueberry plants on his farm. He is one of about 100 Sikh berry farmers in Whatcom County.
KUOW Photo/Sarah Eden Wallace

Two thirds of the raspberries grown in the U.S. come out of the soil in Whatcom County, Washington.  And chances are, the berries you ate this summer were grown by Sikh farmers there.

Paul Sangha learned the trade from his father. Sangha is one of nearly 100 East Indian Sikhs tilling the soil just south of the Canadian border. They’re adding their own centuries-old traditions of family farming – and transforming the region.

My dad's Cinderella story: Finding love in Somalia

Sep 28, 2016
Courtesy of Zubeyda Ahmed

My dad's life story is kind of like Cinderella’s. 

My dad, Abdul-Basit Hassan, grew up without a mom, worked for an evil relative and found his princess in the least expected way. 


The International Organization for Migration says more people are opting to voluntarily return to their home countries, rather than staying in host countries as migrants.

In a report released Friday, the IOM says it assisted more than 51,000 people leaving host countries, most of them leaving Europe, in the first six months of 2016. By comparison, the organization helped about 69,000 people in all of 2015.

A federal appeals court panel in Seattle has ruled that immigrant children under the threat of deportation may not sue the government for legal representation as part of a class action. The ruling is a significant setback for the legal rights of immigrant minors.

Osman Mohamed, of Somalia, and his three daughters, ages 2, 4 and 5. Osmon hoped to find paradise in Seattle, but in his first year, his family witnessed a shooting and he was hit by a car.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

For many refugees, the first year can feel like a race against the clock to set up a new life.

You get a little cash up front and a few months of help from a social worker.

Then, you’re mostly on your own.


Banda Vagas entertains the audience in Seattle's South Park Duwamish River Festival.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Only a whisper of a breeze drifts off the water on this scorching August afternoon, but temperatures in the 90s don’t wilt the South Park crowd.

Older couples, young parents with their children, even gum-cracking teenagers wait patiently in the shade for the main musical attraction of this year’s Duwamish River Festival: Banda Vagos, a Mexican big band that performs a traditional style of music known as banda.

Neda Sharifi Khalafabadi at SeaTac Airport upon her arrival to the Seattle area.
KUOW Photo/Meryl Schenker

The couple won't say why they left Iran.

Did something bad happen?

"Yes," Peiman Karimi, the husband, says. "Not me. To Neda.”

Neda Sharifi Khalafabadi says she doesn’t feel comfortable to talk about it because it would bring everything back. All she says is her case is religious. The rest is confidential.

The U.S. defines a refugee as someone with a well-founded fear of persecution in their home country. Iran is a majority Muslim country. Religious minorities face discrimination, surveillance and arrest.


“Sincerely, if I told you the truth, you cannot achieve or reach your aim if you don’t struggle. So now, I’m struggling.”

Those are the words of Osman Mohamed, a refugee from Somalia who settled in Washington this year with his wife and three children. He grapples with past trauma and with moving forward in a new country.

We followed Mohamed's story and also those of Tu Tu from Myanmar (Burma) and an Iranian couple, Peiman Karimi and Neda Sharifi Khalafabadi, for their first eight months in the U.S.

S
MSNBC

Mexican American Marco Gutierrez says he doesn't regret saying, as a word of warning, that there would be "taco trucks on every corner" should Donald Trump lose the presidential election.

But he does wish he'd chosen better words to illustrate his point when he uttered the phrase on MSNBC earlier this week.

Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Xfinity Arena in Everett on Tuesday night.
KUOW PHOTO/DAVID HYDE

Donald Trump said he’s got a good reason to bring his anti-TPP, anti-refugee rhetoric to Boeing country.

“They say Republicans don’t win Washington state, but we’re going to win it,” Trump told the crowd Tuesday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett. “That’s why I’m here.”


Is Donald Trump considering wavering on a key campaign promise?

That's what several news reports published over the weekend suggest. And while the Trump campaign issued a statement denying any shift on immigration policy, top surrogates and campaign operatives hinted that a change just might be on its way.

The issue: what to do with the estimated 11 million immigrants already living in the United States illegally.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump, pictured here 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e41ELr

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW's race and culture reporter Liz Jones about how Trump's immigration policies laid out in a speech Monday night might impact those in the Pacific Northwest. 

'How can I claim Ethiopia as my country when they oppress my people?'

Aug 8, 2016
KUOW Photo / Paul Kiefer

"Wiping someone's identity away ... is very dangerous."

That's how many Oromos feel. On our podcast today, Oromos in Seattle talk about being Oromo in America and their fears about the current human rights violations against Oromos in Ethiopia. 


Mayte Lara Ibarra and Larissa Martinez had just finished their senior year of high school when they each decided to go public with their immigration status. Both Texas students came to the U.S. illegally, and they didn't want to keep that fact a secret any longer.

Ibarra identified herself on Twitter as one of the 65,000 undocumented youth who graduate high school in the U.S. Martinez revealed her status in the commencement speech she delivered at graduation.

Their actions sparked support and pointed criticism. That was more than a month ago.

John O'Brien

As Representative Jim McDermott prepares to retire after 28 years of service, the top three contenders for his 7th District seat in Congress are on the stump to succeed him. 


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