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.

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Reducing Immigration Holds
4:41 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Proposal Seeks To Shrink King County Role In Immigration Enforcement

King County council members on Thursday introduced a measure that would limit when unauthorized immigrants can be held in jail.

Every year, hundreds of people booked into King County jail automatically get handed over to immigration authorities. That's even if the person has not yet been convicted of a crime and has no criminal record. Council member Larry Gosset introduced legislation that would change that.

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Immigration Enforcement
1:07 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

Facing Deportation, Wash. Immigrants Face Long Holds

Flickr Photo/Seattle Globalist



Forty-eight days: That’s the average time people who are suspected of immigration violations are held in detention in Washington state before they are released or deported. A new report from researchers at Syracuse University also concludes that among states with the largest populations of detainees, Washington ranks among the worst for long detention times: number 20 out of 30.

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RadioActive Youth Media
11:06 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Episode 39: The Ups And Downs Of Moving Countries And Choosing Careers

RadioActive's Yafiet Bezabih and Ann Kane in KUOW's studio recording this program.
KUOW photo/Lila Kitaeff

This month RadioActive hosts Yafiet Bezabih and Ann Kane are fixing to surprise you. First we bring you three amazing stories about the challenges and hardships of moving to a new country. In collaboration with Renton High School’s Arrow newspaper,  Renton High school students from Somalia, Ethiopia and Mexico share their experiences of coming to America and adjusting to the weather, navigating the language barrier and finding friendship.

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Listener Call-In
12:40 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Questions Concerning Adoption Law

 Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law on Tuesday that gives people who were adopted access to non-certified copies of their birth certificates. Before now they had to get a special court order. More than 50 percent of families in Washington state have been impacted by adoption — meaning someone in their extended family is either an adoptive parent, an adoptee or the birth parent of an adoptive child.

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Adolescent Creativity
1:18 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Imaginary Friends Forever

"Deven," April 5, 2007. The words read: "Evil. It has lasers. Lasers! It can fly."
Flickr Photo/Matt LeClair

Did you ever have an imaginary friend? Maybe a furry blue monster who hates stop signs or a chattering fairy that hides in your pocket and steals bites of your breakfast cereal? In the past, many people thought imaginary friends were bad and that they indicated some kind of mental anxiety. In the movies, kids confide in imaginary friends when grown-ups fail to pay attention. But now, we know better: kids with imaginary friends are simply creative.

Scroll through the slideshow to see the imaginary friends that a group of elementary children drew up, along with the students' descriptions of the unique traits of each. And if you think pictures of imaginary friends are cool, wait until you hear them on the radio.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents, May 22:

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Poetry
11:56 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Poet Colleen McElroy On "Crossing Oceans"

Author Colleen McElroy
Credit Ingrid Pape-Sheldon

One of the most persistent stories about America — that it was made by immigrants fleeing "the old country" — is also one of the most incomplete. And since stories shape our perception of reality, poet Colleen McElroy is intent on telling another aspect of America's story in "Crossing Oceans."  The poem appears in her most recent collection "Here I Throw Down My Heart" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012).

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Intimidation At Work
4:12 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Farm Worker Harassment Draws Increased Scrutiny

Farm workers picking strawberries.
Flickr Photo/Au Zut

In her green minivan, Angelica Villa navigates the farm roads north of Bellingham like a seasoned tour guide. She points out a cannery, a potato plant and miles of berry fields.  Villa previously worked at many of these places and she rattles off story after story about harassment on the job.

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RadioActive Spring 2013
9:38 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Finding Peace: From Ethiopian Refugee To United States Citizen

Nigisti Hailemariam in her Seattle home.
KUOW Photo/Yafiet Bezabih

Nigisti Hailemariam has been in the United States for over 20 years. She has two kids, a stable job, and a red Honda outside her three-bedroom apartment. But life wasn't always this peaceful for Nigisti. RadioActive youth producer Yafiet Bezabih tells the story of his mother's journey.

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News & Analysis
9:00 am
Mon May 6, 2013

The Week Ahead In Washington DC, Charles Ives, And Digital Manners

A rise in texting at dinner has given rise to a popular game: Participants place their phones in a stack in the middle of the table at a restaurant. The first person to cave in and answer a call or text pays for the rest of the table.
Flickr Photo/Ted Eytan

The Week Ahead In Washington, D.C.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is taking up an immigration bill. Amendments are being added to the bill that might threaten whether or not it passes. Also, the fight is on over how the United States should intervene in Syria. CBS News' Jill Jackson looks ahead at this week in Washington, D.C. 

Composer Charles Ives
Charles Ives is remembered as one of America’s most important and influential composers of the 20th century.  Yet this artist’s relationship with composition, musicians and the musical establishment in America was controversial and complex.  He was American to the core, but also a puzzling musical outsider. The UW School of Music hosts a Festival of Ives this week.

How To Behave In A Digital World
Do you text at the dinner table? Can you tag your friends in photos on Facebook without their permission? Should you play Angry Birds at work or in the dentist's office? While the Internet might seem like the perfect place for “anything goes” behavior, there is an etiquette to how and when we use it. Author Daniel Post Senning gives advice on the proper use of our technologies in his new book, "Manners in the Digital World."

Senate Bill Filed
8:58 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Immigration Reform Bill Draws Mixed Reaction

Immigrants Otts Bolisay and Xochitl Rojas hug at a press conference about immigration reform.
Credit Liz Jones / KUOW

The mood was upbeat Wednesday afternoon as supporters of immigration reform gathered in Seattle for a press conference. Students, union workers and immigrant advocates cheered the long-awaited arrival of a proposed bill in Congress. But many at the event also voiced mixed feelings about a few things the bill includes and a few things it leaves out.

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Education
9:00 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Closing The Opportunity Gap For Students Of Color

Closing the opportunity gap for students.

Trish Millines Dziko co-founded the Technology Access Foundation in 1996 to provide science, math, engineering and technology education for Seattle's students of color. Access to technology has improved since the foundation was created, but many low-income students and students of color still face obstacles to becoming innovators and creators. How can we close the gap so all students have equal opportunities? Can programs like this work in all of our school districts? Trish Dziko joins us.

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Immigration Backlogs
5:58 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Feds Agree To Changes for Asylum Seekers

Naturalization ceremony at the Grand Canyon.
Credit USCIS

Attorneys with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle say they’ve reached agreement with federal officials on a nationwide class action lawsuit.  The case was filed on behalf of immigrants requesting asylum in the US who say they face persecution or harm in their home countries. The settlement aims to speed up the process for asylum seekers to get a work permit.

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Awaiting Legislation
10:49 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Rallies For Immigration Reform From Seattle To DC

Harumy Rojas (in pink) attended an immigration rally with her mother and other families in downtown Seattle.
Liz Jones KUOW

Supporters of immigration reform call the outside of the Federal Building in downtown Seattle their patio. That’s because they’ve gathered here so many times in the past decade to push for an overhaul to the country’s immigration system, including a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants who are in  the US illegally.

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