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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Immigration
12:20 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Coming To America

Happy participants in the military naturalization ceremony, Yongsan, Korea, Dec. 2008.
US Army Photo by Edward N. Johnson

According to the Migration Policy Institute as of 2011, 13.3 percent of Washington’s population was born in another country. Today on The Conversation, Ross Reynolds hears stories about traveling to the US in search of a new home.

Financial Aid Eligibility
5:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Legislators Consider College Aid For Undocumented Students

Credit wisetechcolleges / Flickr

On Wednesday, hundreds of immigrants and advocates plan to gather in Olympia to lay out their priorities for lawmakers. One top issue is called the Washington Dream Act, which state Senator Ed Murray, D-Seattle, introduced today. Under the measure, undocumented college students would become eligible for state financial aid.

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Immigration
12:32 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

E-Verify: A Verifiably Good Or Bad Idea?

E-Verify protesters march in front of Congressman Peter King’s office, Massapequa Park, New York, Sept. 2011.
longislandwins Flickr

President Obama thinks E-Verify should be mandatory as part of his plan for immigration reform. Is this a good idea? How accurate is E-Verify? What happens if someone comes up negative? Is immigration contacted immediately? Ross Reynolds talks with CEO Roy Beck of Numbers USA, and Policy Analyst David Bier.

Immigration
12:20 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Does Microsoft Need More Temporary Worker Visas?

Big changes to US immigration policy could mean more temporary work visas for people with skills like computer programming. Employers in the Northwest including Microsoft say there aren’t enough US workers to meet demand. Now, a bipartisan group of Senators wants to expand the number of temporary worker visas from 65,000 to 115,000. But critics say those jobs can and should be filled by qualified US workers. Ross Reynolds talks with public policy advocate and political strategist Maria Cardona and president of the Programmers Guild, Kim Berry about the ongoing issue of temporary worker visas.

Agriculture Workforce
9:03 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Washington Farmers Encouraged By Senate Immigration Plan

In this Oct. 21, 2011, file photo Margarito Calderon picks apples at an orchard in Tieton, Wash.
Shannon Dininny, File AP Photo

This week, something new is sprouting in the Northwest’s fields and fruit orchards: optimism about immigration reform.

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Immigration
10:00 am
Tue January 29, 2013

The Politics Of Federal Immigration Reform

Sen. Robert Menendez and Sen. Charles Schumer join a bipartisan group of leading senators to announce that they have reached agreement on the principles of sweeping legislation to rewrite the nation's immigration laws, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. The deal covers border security, guest workers and employer verification, as well as a path to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country.
Credit AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite


There appears to be a bipartisan deal in Congress to reform the country's immigration policy, as Democrats and Republicans dance a delicate dance in the hopes that neither party jeopardizes the agreement. The proposal by a Senate "Gang of Eight" creates a path to citizenship for 11 million people living in the US without documentation, creates a more secure border and, the GOP hopes, could reshape the political calculations of a growing segment of the electorate. We look at the policy and the politics of immigration reform with University of Washington pollster Matt Barreto.

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Proof of Legal Status
5:36 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Wash. Lawmakers Want Citizenship Checks For Driver’s Licenses

Credit Clark County, WA

Some lawmakers in Olympia want to make the Department of Licensing an immigration checkpoint.
A proposed bill would require people to prove they are lawfully in the United States in order to get a driver’s license.

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Immigration
2:00 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

In Mexico, Deported American Kids Learn Spanish As A Second Language

Credit Flickr / Art Of Backpacking

It’s a familiar problem wherever there are immigrants: students may not speak the language of their teachers.

In Mexico, immigrants from US have this problem. Many have never visited Mexico before and don’t speak Spanish.  

They’re the children of deported Americans. And Mexican teachers are reaching out to them – by learning English.

Other Stories From KUOW Presents on January 15, 2013:

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Rules of Re-Entry
7:57 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Immigration Change Eases Family Separations

Credit sarah sosiak / Flickr

Immigrant advocates are cheering a change in federal policy. New guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security offer a small break to people who entered the country illegally and now have a spouse or child who is a US citizen.

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Laws in Translation
5:13 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Border Patrol To Stop Acting As Interpreters For Local Police

U.S. Customs and Border Protection cpb.gov

When a police officer needs to question someone in Spanish, or any other language, they can no longer use US Border Patrol agents as interpreters. This change in federal policy comes after a group of attorneys and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) in Seattle filed a complaint earlier this year. 

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Food
9:25 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Women, Hispanic Farmers Say Discrimination Continues In Settlement

Hispanic and women farmers have been combined in the USDA's final settlement over discrimination in farm loans. Photo courtesy of HispanicFarmerJustice.com

Originally published on Mon November 12, 2012 10:18 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a long history of discriminating against farmers who are women, Hispanic, Native American and African American. Numerous lawsuits have cost the government several billion dollars. The latest legal settlement is for women and Hispanic farmers who can prove they were discriminated against in the 1980s and ‘90s. But some of these farmers say the deal to make amends for discrimination is itself discriminatory.

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Immigrant Rights
9:29 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Magdaleno Rose-Avila On Immigration And Refugee Affairs In Seattle

Magdaleno Rose-Avila (left) and Enrique Cerna at CASA Latina's La Fiesta del Sol, October 2012.
Credit CASA Latina / Facebook

Magdaleno Rose-Avila is the first director of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. He was selected by Mayor Mike McGinn for his decades of experience working with diverse communities in pursuit of human rights.

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Family Pressure
5:45 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Her Immigrant Parents Chose Her College - And Her Career

Jane Wong never got to decide what she wanted to be when she grew up: her parents decided for her. “They decided that I would go into medical school,” she told RadioActive’s Kamna Shastri. “They decided that for my brother too. That was from when I was little, so I’ve sort of grown into the idea.”

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