immigration | KUOW News and Information

immigration

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.

This story comes from NPR's Rough Translation podcast, which explores how ideas we wrestle with in the U.S. are being discussed in the rest of the world.

Sophia Lierenfeld didn't set out to give dating advice to Syrian refugees.

Dozens of murals hang on the walls at the Northwest Detention Center. They're painted by detainees, and the designs must be approved by staff. Painting is also considered a voluntary job, and the artists are paid $1 per day for their work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing the company that runs the immigration detention center in Tacoma.

The lawsuit claims that GEO Group, Inc., the second-largest private prison operator in the nation, has been violating the state's minimum wage law for over a decade.

When 2-month-old Isaac Enrique Sanchez was diagnosed with pyloric stenosis, a condition that causes vomiting, dehydration and weight loss in infants, his parents were told that their son's condition was curable. The problem was that no hospital in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas had a pediatric surgery team capable of performing the operation on his stomach.

Courtesy of Zuheera Ali

My mom, my Hooyo, has a special way of teaching you so much about the world and so little about herself.

She tells you the parts of her life that are going to push you to succeed the way she did, without letting you see the struggles she went through.


KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

A new lawsuit aims to safeguard Burien’s sanctuary policies for immigrants and keep the issue off the November ballot.

The U.S. Supreme Court will temporarily allow the Trump administration to block many refugees from six mostly Muslim countries without direct familial ties in the United States from entering this country.

In a brief order issued Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy delayed implementation of a ruling issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have allowed entry to refugees with formal ties to resettlement agencies here.

Courtesy of Leo Carmona

Bill Radke talks with Ray Corona about President Trump's decision to end the DACA program. Corona is a DACA recipient and executive director of the non-profit Somos Seattle.

DACA Supporters Rally In Yakima

Sep 6, 2017

Yakima County, Washington, predominantly voted for Donald Trump during the general election. But just hours after President Trump announced he was ending the DACA program in six months, 75 DACA supporters gathered downtown.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state, surrounded by DACA recipients, denounce the Trump Administration's plan to end the federal protection program for young immigrants.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

One day after announcing his plans to scrap a federal program protecting young immigrants from deportation, President Trump faces a lawsuit.

Updated at 11:58 a.m. ET

With President Trump's announcement on Tuesday that his administration is ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, the White House made clear it wants a legislative solution from Congress to protect the roughly 800,000 "DREAMers," who came to the U.S. illegally as children and now could face the possibility of deportation.

Emmanuel Carrillo, center, with UNITE HERE, the Hospitality Worker's Labor Union, chants during a community rally in support of DACA recipients on Tuesday.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Updated on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 11:33 a.m.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Wednesday that his office is filing a multi-state lawsuit to defend the DACA program. Fifteen states and Washington, D.C. have joined in the complaint, filed in the Eastern District of New York. Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks have also filed declarations in support. 

Eastern Washington’s Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the most powerful Republican woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. And now, she’s speaking out against President Donald Trump’s decision to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—or DACA.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) meets with DACA recipients in Seattle on September 4, 2017
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Nearly 18,000 young immigrants in Washington state are protected from deportation through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But that protection may come to an end in six months.

President Trump announced today that DACA will be phased out. The Obama-era program is for certain immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

America's business leaders are speaking out against President Trump's move to end DACA.

The president of Microsoft, Brad Smith, took a notable stand. He said not only will his company lobby for a legislative solution but also that Microsoft is calling on Congress to make immigration the top priority, before tax reform. And he is calling on other business leaders to follow suit.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Tuesday formally announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — putting an expiration date on the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people known as "DREAMers," who entered the country illegally as children.

President Trump issued a statement, saying, "I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the selection of four construction companies to build concrete prototypes of the wall President Trump plans to build along with border with Mexico.

Each prototype will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide, and cost between $400,000 and about $500,000.

The four companies are Caddell Construction of Montgomery, Ala.; Fisher Sand and Gravel/DBA Fisher Industries of Tempe, Ariz.; Texas Sterling Construction of Houston, Texas; and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia, Miss.

KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

“I’m losing sleep,” said Graciela Nuñez Pargas. “A lot of us are not sleeping.”

Nuñez is one of roughly 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” on edge around the country this week.

A detainee sits in the intake area at the Tacoma Detention Center in 2017.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Unlike criminal cases, immigrants don’t have access to free legal representation.

Seattle wants to change that by giving money to six community groups that help vulnerable immigrants. 


President Trump returns Tuesday night to the same Phoenix convention center where he spoke during the campaign last year, laying out a 10-point plan to fight illegal immigration.

He's also visiting a U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility in Yuma, Ariz., a few miles from the Southwest border.

Now seven months into his presidency, Trump has pushed for dramatic changes to the nation's immigration system. But he's also been stymied by Congress and by the courts.

Dozens of murals hang on the walls at the Northwest Detention Center. They're painted by detainees, and the designs must be approved by staff. Painting is also considered a voluntary job, and the artists are paid $1 per day for their work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A federal program that gives legal status to some undocumented youth is under legal threat.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was established five years ago under President Barack Obama. But a deadline is looming that could dismantle the program.  

KUOW Photo / Amina Ibrahim

The process of immigrating to the U.S. is complicated and getting harder all the time. Abdulai Yakubu immigrated from Ghana to go to Cornell University and ended up in Seattle. 

He has made it most of the way through the immigration process. Now he’s now wading through the questions of the U.S. Application for Naturalization.  Click or tap on the photos above to see his answers. 

With A DACA Summer Job, A Bumper Crop Of Worry

Aug 9, 2017

Adeline Guerra is a 19-year old nursing student at Washington State University Tri-Cities, and is one of 1.4 million people living and working in the U.S. under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Burien City Council. (Back row) Councilmember Debi Wagner, Councilmember Austin Bell, Councilmember Stephen Armstrong, Councilmember Bob Edgar. (Front row) Mayor Lucy Krakowiak, Deputy Mayor Nancy Tosta, Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz.
Official photograph

Bill Radke talks with Craig Keller and Pedro Olguin about a Burien city ordinance meant to protect immigrants. The ordinance makes it illegal for city employees to ask residents about their immigration status.

On Monday, the Burien City Council voted to put Ordinance 651 up to a public vote this November.

The Burien City Council. (Back row) Councilmember Debi Wagner, Councilmember Austin Bell, Councilmember Stephen Armstrong, Councilmember Bob Edgar. (Front row) Mayor Lucy Krakowiak, Deputy Mayor Nancy Tosta, Councilmember Lauren Berkowitz.
Official photograph

The Burien City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to keep its sanctuary city status. The council passed its sanctuary city law with a 4-3 vote earlier this year.

Now, they're debating an initiative that would undo that measure. The council can either approve the initiative, or send it to voters to decide.


Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government.

On Monday, the city is filing suit against the Department of Justice, which announced it would withhold millions of dollars in police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.

Emanuel is suing because he says new rules for a federal crime-fighting grant go against the Constitution and the city's values.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate," Emanuel said.

A family waits to speak with an immigration attorney at a free legal clinic hosted by the City of Seattle
KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Kim Malcolm talks with Wired Magazine senior writer Issie Lapowsky about a new Senate proposal that would overhaul the legal immigration system in the U.S.

It would cut in half the number of immigrants admitted to the U.S. and scrap the current system, which favors family reunification.

Instead, it would introduce what the president calls a "merit-based" system. Immigrants with English proficiency, education and high-paying job offers would be given preference to acquire a green card.

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