Immigration Reform

As Congress moves forward with immigration reform, we take a look at how this issue connects to culture, business and families in the Northwest.

Our region is home to a unique blend of immigrants who work in all parts of our economy — from high-tech to agriculture. This population already has a deeply-rooted history here. And its ranks are expanding rapidly.

Proposals for comprehensive immigration reform address border security, employment verification, guest-worker programs and pathway to citizenship for an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the US.

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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An appeals court in Seattle heard arguments Thursday in a far-reaching immigration case. The central question is whether minors who face deportation should be appointed lawyers at the government's expense.


Crater Lake shimmers deep blue in the afternoon sun. It's striking as always in the high Cascades of Southern Oregon. High above the lake surface, on the rim of the old volcano’s caldera, the wind whips an American flag to full display.

A voice comes over a speaker: "Raise your right hand and repeat after me."

Immigrants and advocates around the Seattle area say their fight is far from over. The recent Supreme Court ruling is a setback, they say, and also a catalyst to focus on the presidential election. 

New Census numbers out Thursday reinforce a trend a you’ve probably noticed: The state’s population is booming. Washington ranks fifth for states that added the most new residents in the past year.

Costa Rican officials say more than 800 people claiming to be from Africa have come to their country in just the last two months. Most are believed to be from the two neighboring Congo states in central Africa. But in a visit this week, NPR also found Eritreans, Angolans and Nigerians.

Authorities also suspect that some are from Haiti.

Central America has long been the route north for people fleeing violence or poverty in Latin America. Now it's also a route from Africa.

Immigrants fleeing gang violence in Central America are again surging across the U.S.-Mexico border, approaching the numbers that created an immigration crisis in the summer of 2014. While the flow of immigrants slowed for much of last year, nothing the U.S. government does seems to deter the current wave of travelers.

Carla used to get dialysis a couple of times a week at the public hospital in Indianapolis, Eskenazi Hospital. She would sit in a chair for hours as a machine took blood out of her arm, cleaned it, and pumped it back into her body.

Then one day in 2014, she was turned away.  


Presidential candidate Donald Trump warned against Syrian refugees during his recent visit to Washington state. KUOW’s Race and Culture reporter Liz Jones takes a closer look at the candidate’s claims.


Some new ripples this week in a Seattle-based immigration case that’s gained national attention. 

Class has just ended at a community center in the southern Swedish town of Ronneby. This is the first stop for refugees in the area, once they've been granted asylum. They receive 60 hours of instruction on how to live in Sweden. The courses cover such things as how to rent an apartment, get a job and grow old here.

A federal judge in Seattle will soon decide whether a local deportation case should extend to thousands of children across the country.   

The central question is whether children who face deportation should be entitled to government-appointed attorneys. 

Nestora Salgado — an activist and grandmother from Renton — is back home. Salgado spent more than two years in a Mexican prison on charges that have now been dropped.  A crowd gathered at Sea-Tac Airport to greet her, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports.

Will America Fall Like Rome?

Mar 1, 2016

Bill Radke speaks with University of Washington classics professor Sarah Stroup about her view that America is becoming more xenophobic and how we seem to be paralleling Ancient Rome.  

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