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immigration

The Seattle City Council has decided developers can build taller in pockets around the city. One that’s yet to be decided is a Vietnamese business district between “the Chinatown ID” and the Central District.

Flickr Photo/Jude Matsalla (CC BY-NC-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/drMj8G

Kim Malcolm talks with reporter Amber Jamieson about the green card lottery, which gives out 50,000 green cards each year through a lottery system. Jamieson, who's Australian, has entered the green card lottery for the past six years.

Faith communities gather on May Day 2017 at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood to declare their support for immigrants and refugees.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The sanctuary movement that was part of the Seattle faith community in the 1980s is back.

Josh Potter of Vancouver, Wash. attends a pro-Trump rally at Westlake Plaza in downtown Seattle on Monday, May 1, 2017.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

Many of the protesters drove in from hours outside Seattle to show the antifa “people who have a different point of view.”

Jacque Larrainzar, one of the first people from Mexico to be granted asylum in the United States based on her sexuality.
KUOW Photo/ Amina Al-Sadi

Jacque Larrainzar fled Mexico in the late 1990s. She asked the woman at the airport how far she could go with the $300 in her pocket, and the woman suggested she fly to Seattle.

Madhura Nirkhe at ACT Theatre
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

The Storywallahs series provides a stage for Puget Sound residents with roots in India and South Asia to tell stories. This time around the theme concerned the question of belonging. In the era of "making America great again," these stories help illuminate what it means to be great in the first place. 

Jewish children protest the so-called Muslim travel ban at Sea-Tac International Airport.
KUOW File Photo/Liz Jones

Airports were in chaos in January, hours after President Trump issued an executive order barring people from seven Muslim countries. 

Protesters gather outside a San Francisco courthouse hearing of the first lawsuit challenging President Trump's executive order to withhold funding from so-called sanctuary cities, April 14, 2017.
AP Photo/Haven Daley

A federal district court judge in San Francisco has blocked the White House from withholding federal funds to so-called sanctuary cities, which includes Seattle. 

Updated 11:45 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities, commonly known as sanctuary cities.

R
Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

The Trump White House has doubled down on its demand that a government spending bill include $1.4 billion for a wall on the US-Mexico border. 

But a determined group of US lawmakers is prepared to stand in the president's way.

KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Last week President Trump signed an executive order that could bring significant changes to the H-1B visa program, which lets companies temporarily hire a limited number of foreign workers. Created in 1990, the program is popular among local tech companies, especially Microsoft.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle area immigration attorney Luis Cortes knew this was a case he had to take. 

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Justice Department has escalated its approach to so-called sanctuary cities, writing at least eight jurisdictions Friday to put them on notice they could be failing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Alan Hanson, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's grant-making arm, warned the cities that they're required to submit proof that they comply with federal immigration law.

At the public library in the rural Morgan County town of Brush, Colo., Marissa Velazquez welcomes her students to class. It's a sunny Saturday morning, and the day marks the halfway point in Velazquez's class, a 10-week crash course on American history, civics and English.

Nearly all of the students work in either meatpacking or dairying. Everyone in it has the same goal: become an American citizen. In two hours, Velazquez runs through voting rights, the legislative process and some grammar tips.

Pop quiz: When do we celebrate the venerable American holiday of Flag Day?

Bill Radke talks with Emily Parkhurst, editor-in-chief of the Puget Sound Business Journal. Parkhurst discusses President Donald Trump's most recent executive order which orders a review of H1-B visas. Parkhurst explains that these visas are what bring much of the specialized tech workers to the U.S., but that there is also a high potential for fraud and exploitation of immigrants.

Volunteers help with citizenship forms.
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

In two separate measures passed Monday, Seattle and King County set aside money for low-income immigrants who may need a lawyer or legal advice.

That would include people who face deportation, most of whom don't have an attorney.

President Trump is trying to put more muscle into his campaign slogan of "Buy American and Hire American" and is preparing to sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at strengthening existing government policies to support domestic products and workers.

Trump is expected to sign the order during a visit to the Snap-on tool company in Kenosha, Wis.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vehicle in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Kim Malcolm talks with New York Times reporter Caitlin Dickerson about new regulations that would roll back health and safety standards for detained immigrants. 

Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A class action lawsuit says the company running an immigration detention center in Colorado is violating federal anti-slavery laws. It’s the same company that runs the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, scene of an expanding hunger strike.

Victor Pizarro, who runs a cab company in Plattsburgh, N.Y., started noticing something unusual in January, around the time of President Trump's inauguration.

People who didn't speak English were getting off at the bus station in the city, located about 20 miles from the Canadian border, and handing his drivers a piece of paper that read, "Take me to Roxham Road. How much?"

Pizarro had never heard of Roxham Road. It's a narrow street that dead-ends in a ditch marking the border between the U.S. and Canada.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with Ramilya Salem and Yunus Alhobane, two students at Edmonds Community College. Three years ago, they came to America for a 10-month high school exchange program through the state department.

Then, a civil war broke out in their home country of Yemen. It was too dangerous for them to go home, so the State Department extended their stay.

The American Civil Liberties Union announced on Wednesday that its affiliates had filed 13 coordinated Freedom of Information Act lawsuits, demanding government documents related to implementation of the president's executive orders on travel and immigration.

South Lake Union neighborhood, home to many Seattle tech companies
Flickr Photo/Ted Eytan (CC BY-SA-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/agMkfy

Kim Malcolm talks with Axios tech editor Kim Hart about recent rule changes to the H-1B visa program, and what they could mean for tech workers in the Puget Sound region.

A file picture from Oct. 17, 2008, shows the 'B' cell and bunk unit of the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Immigrants at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma are continuing a hunger strike, according to immigrant advocacy group Latino Advocacy.

Latino Advocacy director Maru Mora Villalpando said up to 200 people were participating in the hunger strike Monday.

President Trump's updated executive order, the one restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries, is blocked for now.

But administrators at Northeastern University in Boston aren't taking any chances.

"We're in a state of limbo," says Mike Armini, who oversees government relations. "We don't quite know what's going to happen next, so we've advised them to stay here," he says, talking about the 250 Northeastern students from those six countries.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Liz Jones talks with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson about the role of local governments in federal immigration enforcement. The Attorney General's office produced a document that lays out best practices and policies for police departments, schools, hospitals, and other public agencies.

Read the full document online here.

Poet Hamda Yusuf says Somali poetry 'is the poetry that you have to hear. And you have to hear it from the person who wrote it.'
Courtesy of Hamda Yusuf

When Hamda Yusuf was growing up in West Seattle, her mom used to recite original poems for her children in the car.

"I remember my dad telling me Somalia is the nation of poets and I always knew this to be true... because I know nobody else's mom is writing them poems," Yusuf said. 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vehicle in downtown Seattle
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Washington state’s highest-ranking judge is still waiting for federal immigration officials to write her back.

Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst requested that courthouses be off limits for immigration arrests. But that option will likely stay on the table for now.

KUOW PHOTO/BOND HUBERMAN

Seattle sues President Trump over sanctuary cities and says goodbye to bike share, Sound Transit's CEO talks car tabs and KOMO's news staff takes on their employer over fake news.

KUOW PHOTO/MEGHAN WALKER

Seattle officials are taking their support for immigrants and refugees a step further: They want to create a $1 million legal defense fund to help people facing deportation.

Seattle would join other cities that have created similar programs, including Los Angeles and New York, in reaction to stricter federal immigration enforcement.


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