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refugees

Graduates of the International Rescue Committee summer school program, including Ikran Osman, 5, center, sit in the cafeteria before a graduation ceremony on Thursday, August 3, 2017, at Showalter Middle School in Tukwila.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last year more than 1,700 refugees entering Washington state were school aged children. But many of them were not ready for the classroom.

For nearly a decade, a resettlement program has been running summer school in Tukwila for refugee kids to help them get ready to learn.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke talks with KUOW immigration reporter Liz Jones about the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments this fall on President Trump's revised travel ban. The high court also allowed portions of the travel ban to take effect beginning on Thursday.

The Australian government has agreed to a $53 million settlement with 1,905 people who were held at a refugee detention camp on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea.

It's one of the largest human rights class-action settlements in Australian history.

The Manus Island camp, an all-male facility, has for years been blasted by rights groups for its conditions. The detainees party to the lawsuit were held there at various times between November 2012 and May 2016, and say they suffered from negligence and false imprisonment.

KUOW Photo/Andy Hurst

Hate crimes in Seattle are on the rise.

So far this year, 80 separate incidents have been reported to police. The city is on pace for 320 hate crimes this year — an increase of 25 percent — and that's affecting the health of refugees and immigrants. 

"The climate has changed over the last several months," said Harborview pediatrician Suzinne Pak-Gorstein. "We felt almost a palpable level of increase in fear among a lot of families and communities that we serve."

The Alhamdan family -- two parents and six children -- arrived recently in Seattle from Syria. They are joining a tiny community of 25 recent Syrian refugees.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Washington state could welcome more refugees soon.

The U.S. State Department said it will lift restrictions on refugee admissions.

The agency said that's because of  a new spending bill passed by Congress, not because of the legal battle over President Trump's travel ban.


Refugees make headlines. Internally displaced people don't.

Maybe their plight eludes the limelight because, unlike refugees, they don't cross international borders ... or seek to enter the United States or Western Europe, where people debate how many of them to let in ... or undertake harrowing voyages across the Mediterranean.

And maybe it's because of their official label. "Internally displaced persons" (also known as IDPs) sounds vague and a bit confusing, as if they were lost inside themselves.

Marwal Frotan plays with his daughter Bushra in their Kent home. Frotan and his family moved to Seattle four months ago.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Many refugee resettlement agencies have been in limbo since the travel bans came out.


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.

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. 

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.

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.

The Swedish word uppgivenhetssyndrom sounds like what it is: a syndrome in which kids have given up on life. That's what several hundred children and adolescents have done — literally checked out of the world for months or years. They go to bed and don't get up. They're unable to move, eat, drink, speak or respond. All of the victims of the disorder, sometimes called resignation syndrome, have been youngsters seeking asylum after a traumatic migration, mostly from former Soviet and Yugoslav states. And all of them live in Sweden.

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen at Seattle Public Library
KUOW photo/Sonya Harris

Before Viet Thanh Nguyen became the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel “The Sympathizers,” he was a 4-year-old boy uprooted from war-torn Vietnam and transported to a refugee camp in the United States.

Nguyen’s experience as a refugee marked his journey towards becoming an American in crucial ways. He describes the experience of being both a refugee and an American as being “split in two.”

Six times in recent days, Marco Antonio Cabachuela, his wife, Irma, and their 3-year-old, Valerie, walked up to federal immigration officers at the Hidalgo, Texas, port of entry and asked for asylum.

And every night, they returned to an immigrant shelter in Reynosa, Mexico, where men and women sit listlessly in a shady courtyard.

"They rejected it," he says. "They said there was no room for us."

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos (CC BY-NC-2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/bt29wL

Kim Malcolm talks with Kaiser Health News reporter Julie Rovner about how immigrants and refugees may be affected by the American Health Care Act, the House Republicans' replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

The State Department is running out of visas for Afghans who are in danger because they worked with the U.S. government in Afghanistan.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department announced that it expected the visas to be depleted by June 1 and that "No further interviews for Afghan principal applicants ... will be scheduled after March 1, 2017."

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson smiles during a news conference about President Trump's new executive order Monday, March 6, 2017, in Seattle. The new ban, which takes effect March 16, halts travel for 90 days for residents of Iran, Libya,
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

The state will continue to press its legal case against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today.

Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in Dadaab for more than 20 years. He hopes to move to Seattle, where he has relatives.
Courtesy of Rwaida Gharib

In the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, there’s a baby waiting to be vetted by the U.S. government. He’s just over a year old. And he’s the reason that his family is still living in limbo, instead of in Seattle.

To understand this story, we have to go back to March 2015.

Sahan Abdi Korane is tired of waiting. She's taking her family home. dadaab camp
Rwaida Gharib

DADAAB, KENYA — Here, at the largest refugee camp in the world, the name Trump is uttered hundreds of times a day.

Rizwan Samad, president New Wave Travel, outside his Seattle office.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Here’s some advice you wouldn’t typically expect from the owner of a travel agency.

“If you don’t have to travel, please don’t travel — because it’s just going to be nightmare,” said Rizwan Samad, owner of New Wave Travel in Seattle’s University District.

President Donald Trump put a fresh spin on his temporary travel ban this week, but Muslims in the Seattle area, including Samad, still see a host of problems.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he has “major concerns” about President Donald Trump’s new executive order on immigration and refugees. But the Democrat says the fact Trump rescinded his previous travel ban Monday represents a “victory.”

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Bill Radke talks with KUOW immigration reporter Liz Jones about the potential impact of President Trump's new executive order on immigration. It temporarily bars citizens of six predominantly Muslim countries from being issued new visas to enter the United States. The revised order eliminates Iraq from the list of banned countries, and it no longer requires an indefinite ban on Syrians.

As President Trump prepares a new executive order on vetting refugees and immigrants, one idea keeps cropping up: checking the social media accounts of those coming to the U.S.

In fact, such a program was begun under the Obama administration more than a year ago on a limited basis and is likely to be expanded. But social media vetting is a heavy lift, and it's too early to tell how effective it will be.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Braced for more troubling news, immigrants around the country nervously await version two of President Trump’s travel ban. The revised executive order is expected next week.

Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in Dadaab for more than 20 years. He hopes to move to Seattle, where he has relatives.
Courtesy of Rwaida Gharib

DADAAB REFUGEE CAMP, KENYA — Mohamed Rashid Mohamed has lived in the Dadaab refugee camp for more than two decades. It’s a sprawling desert camp, home to more than 265,000 refugees.

Caption by photographer Dorothea Lange: Ester Naite, an office worker from Los Angeles, operates an electric iron in her quarters at Manzanar, California, a War Relocation Authority center where evacuees of Japanese ancestry will spend the duration.
Dorothea Lange/Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Washington, DC 20540 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

It’s not often that we look back on ugly times in our nation’s history. We’re not very good at that as Americans.

But the Japanese internment has been coming up a lot lately.

Refugees are freezing to flee the US for Canada

Feb 17, 2017

Winters in Canada get cold. Really, really cold.

So people would have to be pretty desperate to walk across the wide expanses of deep snow separating Canada from the US.

But that’s what’s happening.

world relief refugees immigration immigrant
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

The effects of President Trump’s travel ban have not been limited to immigrants entering the U.S. Nonprofit groups that resettle refugees are also facing uncertainty.

Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Flickr Photo/John McCallum (CC BY ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1QPN3Sh

Bill Radke talks to Stephen Quinn, the host of CBC radio's On The Coast about the news out of Canada this week. They discuss Prime Minister Trudeau's trip to the U.S., Canada's trade deal with Europe and  refugees crossing the Canadian border. 

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson prepares to talk to the media about a federal judge's ruling on the Trump refugee order Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

President Trump’s immigration ban will remain on hold.

A three-judge panel unanimously denied the federal government’s appeal to reinstate parts of the executive order barring immigrants and refugees of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country.

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