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immigration

How Immigrant Rights Plays Into May Day

Apr 30, 2018
Will James / KNKX

Immigrants in Seattle have many of the same concerns as workers in general -- affordable housing and good jobs. But they also have unique concerns -- discrimination from the general public and increased attention from law enforcement.

Bellingham, Washington, dedicates a new monument this Saturday that speaks to the Pacific Northwest's long and conflicted history with immigration. The "Arch of Healing and Reconciliation" memorializes the past expulsions of immigrant Sikhs, Japanese and Chinese.

Activists across the country say they are being targeted by federal immigration authorities for speaking out at protests and accusing the government of heavy-handed tactics.

The Trump administration has warned that anyone in the country illegally could be arrested and deported under tough new enforcement rules. And federal officials deny allegations of retaliation.

But the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups say they have documented two dozen cases of immigrant activists and volunteers who say they have been arrested or face fines for their work.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is suing California and two top state officials, accusing them of interfering with federal immigration efforts by passing and enforcing state laws that hinder U.S. operations against undocumented people.

The lawsuit filed late Tuesday in federal court in Sacramento, Calif., points out that the Constitution gives the U.S. government sweeping authority over immigration.

Updated at 5:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

"OUTSIDE NWDC" BY SEATTLE GLOBALIST IS LICENSED UNDER CC BY 2.0 http://bit.ly/2EN7Dav

A guard punched a detainee at a Tacoma detention center for immigrants facing deportation in retaliation for a hunger strike, a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington claims.

Anytime someone is booked into a county jail for a crime in the U.S., his or her fingerprints are automatically sent to federal authorities. If the suspect happens to be an undocumented immigrant, what happens next could depend on where the jail is located.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement often asks jails to hold undocumented people, so federal agents can pick them up and put them into deportation proceedings.

Will James / KNKX

A local critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policies is going to be in the audience at the president’s first State of the Union address. 

Maru Mora Villalpando, a Bellingham-based activist who is facing deportation, is attending Tuesday's speech as a guest of U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington state. 

Lea esta historia en español.

The day was going to be perfect.

Alex figured he would wake up at 6:30 a.m., help get his little brothers up and off to school and catch the bus by 7. After school, the 14-year-old would do something he had been looking forward to for weeks — play in his first football game.

Will James / KNKX

UPDATED Tuesday, Jan. 16, at 4:15 P.M. with a statement from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Federal authorities have begun deportation proceedings against a Washington activist known for criticizing the government's immigration enforcement efforts. 

Maru Mora Villalpando told reporters Tuesday that on Dec. 20 she received a certified letter ordering her to appear before an immigration judge in Seattle. The notice said a court date would be set later.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Trump administration's decision not to renew temporary protections for some immigrants from El Salvador has been reverberating across the country, including in Washington state.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington's attorney general sued Motel 6 on Wednesday, alleging the national budget chain disclosed the private information of thousands of its guests to U.S. immigration authorities in violation of the state consumer protection law.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Tacoma officials are considering limits on any future expansion of the Northwest Detention Center, the region's only detention center for immigrants facing deportation. 

Will James / KNKX

Seattle and King County officials fired back at the Trump administration Friday, saying they won't drop local law enforcement policies designed to protect undocumented immigrants despite pressure from the U.S. Justice Department.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

The City of Tacoma's legal defense fund for immigrants facing deportation is struggling to attract donors. 

Just under $2,000 has flowed in from 21 donors since the fund's creation in late October.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it conducted a major operation last week targeting so-called “sanctuary cities," including Seattle.

Focusing enforcement on certain cities because of their local laws would represent a new tactic for immigration authorities, according to immigrant advocates and local government leaders.

But details of the operation raise questions about whether it really differed from normal enforcement activities in the Northwest. 

The Trump administration is updating its travel ban, just hours before it was set to expire. In a proclamation signed by President Trump on Sunday, the travel restrictions now include eight countries, a couple of which are not majority-Muslim, as had been the case with all the nations in the original ban.

Simone Alicea / KNKX

Detainees doing work at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma are paid only $1 per day or sometimes only in snacks, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday by the Washington state attorney general in Pierce County Superior Court.

The threat of a nuclear attack, immigration enforcement and paying by the mile to drive are all on the agenda as Washington lawmakers hold meetings the week of September 11.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

They call it the "good immigrant, bad immigrant" narrative.

Undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children, known as Dreamers, have been held up and praised by politicians fighting to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA.

But some Dreamers say that praise draws an uncomfortable line between them and other undocumented people.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Hours after DACA recipients learned of the Trump administration's plan to phase out the program shielding them from deportation, some of them gathered for a rally in Seattle's Beacon Hill neighborhood.

There, they began planning for the weeks and months ahead.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Trump administration plans to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.

The Obama-era policy protects some young undocumented immigrants from deportation.

The announcement does leave an opening for Congress to act. But it also means thousands of immigrants in Washington state could lose their legal status. 

Will James / KNKX

Young undocumented immigrants are fighting to keep legal protections they gained under the Obama administration.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, shields some immigrants brought here as children from deportation.

With A DACA Summer Job, A Bumper Crop Of Worry

Aug 14, 2017

Adeline Guerra is a 19-year old nursing student at Washington State University Tri-Cities, and is one of 1.4 million people living and working in the U.S. under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Will James / KNKX

Voters in Burien will decide the fate of a local law designed to protect the city's undocumented population.

An initiative on the Nov. 7 ballot will ask voters whether they want to repeal the law, which prevents city staff and law enforcement officers from asking about a resident's immigration status or religious beliefs. 

Courtesy of King County

Updated at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1. Original story follows update.

The Burien City Council ended a meeting Monday night without taking a critical vote on the future of a local law aimed at protecting undocumented immigrants.

By failing to vote, City Council members missed an Aug. 1 deadline to put a repeal of the immigration law on the November ballot.

ALLIE FERGUSON / KNKX

The U.S. Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to move forward with part of its travel ban while a court case is pending.

The decision came down Monday. This week, legal experts are scrambling to figure out what a partial ban means for immigrants and refugees headed to Washington state.

Immigration authorities have rounded up nearly 200 Iraqis in recent weeks, and the Trump administration is now under heavy pressure to hold off moves to deport them.

Many of those currently detained are from the minority Chaldean Christian community, which faces severe persecution in Iraq.

U.S. immigration authorities say the detained Iraqis have criminal records, but their families and supporters say many have already served time or paid their fines and that they would face persecution if sent back.

Three years ago, Maira fled El Salvador, crossed into the United States illegally and asked for asylum. She says her partner of 12 years was abusive, physically and emotionally, and that she has scars on her body to prove it.

But she's waited a long time for her asylum hearing in New York.

Courtesy of the Greg Kucera Gallery

The first things you notice upon stepping into Greg Kucera's art gallery in Seattle's Pioneer Square are gigantic oil paintings of Hispanic men standing in their work clothes or sitting on luggage. 

The portraits are by the artist John Sonsini, who picks up day laborers and pays them to sit in his Los Angeles studio. Those workers then find their images hanging in some prominent places.

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