Liz Jones

Reporter

Liz Jones is a general assignment reporter with a focus on immigration and diversity issues. Her work has taken her to central Mexico, where she produced an award-winning documentary about immigration and indigenous communities.

Previously, Liz worked as an editor and writer for Oxygen Media in New York.

One of Liz’s greatest challenges is staying put. She’s lived in Spain and Peru and loves to travel. But she finds a good radio story can often satisfy the travel bug – you get to meet new people, make sense out of something unfamiliar and find creative ways to communicate.

Her work has been heard on NPR and other national programs, including The World, Latino USA and Weekend America.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, making jam, snowboarding and watching every filmed version of "Pride and Prejudice" over and over and over again.

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Immigration
3:17 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

An Immigrant Leaves America To Chase His Dreams In Mexico

Before entering Mexico, leaving the U.S. for good, Jorge Lerma takes this photo. Lerma, 32, was an undocumented immigrant for nearly half his life before deciding to return home for better opportunities.
Credit Courtesy Jorge Lerma

As Jorge Lerma approached the Mexican border from the U.S. side, he felt like he was hooked to a bungee cord, ready to leap into the unknown.

Jorge had lived in the U.S. for 16 years, attended high school and college in California, but his status here as an undocumented immigrant thwarted his dreams to be an engineer. So he decided to move back to Mexico.

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Immigration
9:20 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Goodbye, America: Frustrated, A Young Immigrant Returns To Mexico

Jorge Lerma prepares to return to Mexico, where he is from, after having spent half his life as an undocumented immigrant in the U.S.
Credit KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Jorge Lerma sorts through his neckties. Dozens are draped across the couch; others get tossed into the give-away pile. 

Jorge rents a tiny room at this house in Bellevue, Washington. The landlord pops in to check out possible bargains and buys a flat-screen TV and a light-weight tripod. The discard pile shrinks, but on top remains a crisp American flag that Jorge used to hang in his room.

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Migration
7:58 am
Wed July 16, 2014

600 Border Kids Could End Up At Base Near Tacoma

In this June 25, 2014 photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas.
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.

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Unaccompanied Minors
1:28 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Lawsuit: All Kids Facing Deportation Need Attorneys

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.

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Supreme Court Ruling
6:25 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Could Northwest Union Members Avoid Paying Dues?

Legal experts in Washington state are still assessing Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding labor unions. At issue is whether unions can require home health care workers to pay certain dues and fees. And, as KUOW’s Liz Jones reports, Washington is one of a handful of states where this ruling could apply.

TRANSCRIPT

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Border Crisis
10:35 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Kids Found On Border Could End Up At Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Credit 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.

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Same-Sex Marriage
11:57 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Without Saying 'I Do,' Thousands Of Washington Couples Set To Get Married

Jennie Laird and Elise Gautama of Seattle had been together 18 years and registered as domestic partners. The decided to officially tie the knot in May rather than allow their domestic partnership to passively become a marriage license.
Credit Courtesy of Jennie Laird and Elisa Gautama

There will be no wedding band, no ceremony or awkward toasts. But on June 30, up to 4,000 same-sex couples in Washington are set to be married – without ever uttering the words, "I do."

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Immigration Reform
2:09 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Local Immigration Advocates Rethink Strategy After Cantor Defeat

Chances for immigration reform dimmed even more this week, following the defeat of House Republican leader Eric Cantor. His surprising loss in the Virginia primary to Tea Party candidate David Brat is causing ripple effects here in Washington state, too, as local immigration advocates are rethinking their strategy.

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Transit
1:32 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Constantine Vetoes County Council Bill To Prevent Bus Cuts

Councilmember Rod Dembowski speaks with constituents about proposed transit cuts at a May 13 forum at Union Station.
Credit King County Photo

For a few minutes Monday night, most of the proposed cuts to Metro bus service were spared. In a narrow 5-4 vote, the King County Council agreed to only go ahead with the cuts planned for this September, and hold off on three more rounds of cuts planned for 2015.

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Gender Wage Gap
2:18 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Seattle Women Earn Less Than Men. The City Wants To Change That

Seattle Councilwoman Jean Godden said she was shocked to learn that the city does not provide its employees with paid time off to care for a new child.
Credit Jean Godden's Facebook page

City of Seattle employees who are women earn on average 9.5 percent less than men.

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Memorial Day
8:46 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Local Veteran 'Says A Little Prayer' When Flags Are Lowered To Half-Staff

Patrick Daly served in the U.S. Air Force for 26 years.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Memorial Day is just one of many days throughout the year when the American flag is lowered to half-staff. The President of the United States and state governors can also order flags lowered during times of mourning.

In Washington state, flags have flown at half-staff three times so far in 2014 to honor local soldiers who died on active duty. In April, Governor Jay Inslee also ordered to lower the flags for a week in memory of the victims of the tragic Oso landslide.

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Immigrant And Refugee Affairs
9:24 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Seattle Office Wants To Go Beyond ‘Same Old Voices’ To Address Immigrant Needs

Uriel Ruelas, originally from Mexico City, has lived in Seattle for 15 years. He says immigrants should have the same access to city services as everyone else.
Credit KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

In October 2012, Seattle’s local government expanded in a way typically only seen in bigger cities. Former mayor Mike McGinn created the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, or OIRA, in an effort to give more voice to the area’s booming immigrant population. Nearly 20 percent of Seattle’s residents are born outside of the U.S., according to recent census figures.

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Metro Bus Cuts
5:06 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Murray's Plan To Save Seattle City Buses

Flickr Photo/Canadian Pacific

Efforts to prevent King County Metro bus cuts have narrowed from a county-wide approach to a more localized strategy.  On Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray unveiled his proposal to give Seattle voters another option to save Seattle-centric routes, although he's still got his eye on a broader, regional plan.

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Workforce
2:27 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Us Too! King County Considers Minimum Wage For Employees

In the “me too” department, King County is jumping on the bandwagon to consider a higher minimum wage for its employees. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray issued a similar proposal for city workers soon after he took office in January.

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Immigration Enforcement
5:27 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Detainee Hunger Strike In Tacoma Sparks Federal Bill

File photo of the interior of Northwest Detention Center.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma recently ended after nearly two months, but the ripple effects continue. U.S. Congressman Adam Smith, D-Bellevue, plans to introduce a bill Thursday that would change how federal agencies operate and audit detention centers.

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