immigration

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool

Hundreds of immigrant children held at the southern border could be moved to a military base near Tacoma.

Federal and local officials plan to discuss the option Wednesday.

"They call me the Wolf," said the 25-year-old human smuggler sitting in front of me, sipping a Coke and stepping away for frequent cellphone calls.

"Everybody says we're the problem, but it's the reverse. The gringos don't want to get their hands dirty. So I bring them the Mexicans and Central Americans to do the dirty work for them," he says, smiling.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other groups sued the federal government Wednesday for its failure to provide legal representation to immigrant children in deportation proceedings.

The federal government continues to struggle with a flood of immigrant children arriving at the U.S. border with Mexico. Today, a class-action suit filed in Seattle seeks additional legal help for these and all other children who face possible deportation.

It's turning into the largest influx of asylum seekers on U.S. soil since the 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba.

Since October, more than 52,000 children — most from Central America and many of them unaccompanied by adults — have been taken into custody. That's nearly double last year's total and 10 times the number from 2009.

People who enter the U.S. and nearby countries illegally from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras should not be forced to return home and should be treated as refugees, a U.N. agency says. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees says people from those countries are subject to persecution.

From Geneva, Lisa Schlein reports for our Newscast unit:

Homeland Security buses carrying migrant children and families were rerouted Tuesday to a facility in San Diego after American flag-waving protesters blocked the group from reaching a suburban processing center.

The standoff in Murrieta came after Mayor Alan Long urged residents to complain to elected officials about the plan to transfer the Central American migrants to California to ease overcrowding of facilities along the Texas-Mexico border. Many protesters held U.S. flags, while others held signs reading “stop illegal immigration,” and “illegals out!”

Marcie Sillman talks with U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott about the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions, President Obama's executive action on immigration policy, and a variety of other issues.

Marcie Sillman talks with KUOW reporter Liz Jones about how President Obama's executive action on immigration policy could affect Washington state.

Transcript

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Child Migrants: The View From Guatemala

Jun 26, 2014

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson yesterday toured the warehouse in Nogales, Arizona, where some of the 52,000 unaccompanied children who’ve illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in the past year are being held.

Republicans blame Obama administration policies for the recent wave of child immigrants. The White House blames gang violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

A flood of immigrant children arriving at the border with Mexico could end up in Washington state at Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma.

Transcript

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It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Vice President Joe Biden heads to Guatemala this week to meet with leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador about the wave of unaccompanied children coming across the U.S. Mexico border from those Central American countries.

Border patrol agents are finding children as young as 4, with notes pinned on their clothing with instructions on how to contact relatives in the U.S.

African Americans And Native Speakers Keep Swahili Language Alive

Jun 13, 2014
KUOW Photo

RadioActive’s Leija Farr grew up celebrating Kwanzaa, the year-end celebration that started in 1966 as a way for African Americans to connect with their African heritage. The Swahili language is at the heart of the celebration. As Leija discovered, that language connects her with new immigrants from parts of Africa. Like Leija’s community, native speakers are grappling with how to keep the language going. Here’s Leija’s story, in her own words.

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