immigration | KUER 90.1

immigration

SCOTUS
KUER File Photo

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump Administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, won’t stand. The program defers deportations of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and gives them a legal work permit.

Photo of a woman wearing a mask walking through a gated fence to meet waiting family members.
Andrew Becker / KUER

Pedro Viera had one thing on his mind: getting to Las Vegas. And he needed the judge to know it.

Law enforcement stand in front of a home
Courtesy of ACLU of Utah

The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has filed a lawsuit against agents from Utah Adult Probation and Parole and it’s director over an August 2018 raid on a Salt Lake City home. 

Picture of a woman sitting inside a church
Kelsie Moore / RadioWest Films

Two years ago, Vicky Chavez was facing deportation and almost got on a plane headed to her native Honduras, the country she had escaped to get away from a violent relationship. She came to Utah in 2014 as an undocumented immigrant to join the rest of her family who was already living here.

Photo of Matheson Courthouse.
Brian Albers / KUER

Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall are among the more than 30 people who have submitted public comments in favor of allowing certain young immigrants to practice law in Utah. 

Elaine Clark / KUER

 


Photo of a family hugging with balloons and flowers.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Imelda Vasquez’s heart first broke 38 years ago.

That’s when her younger brother, Raul, left their native Michoacan in central Mexico to find a better paying job in the United States. He left behind his children who Vasquez, now 62, raised as her own.

Photo of an asylum application in front of an American flag.
iStock

Immigration judges in Utah and across the country made a record number of decisions on asylum cases last year. About 70% of those 67,406 decisions were denials, according to data released last week by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a think tank at Syracuse University. 

Photo of Welcome to Utah sign.
Brian Albers / KUER

Updated 4:52 p.m. MDT 11/01/19:

As the Trump administration clamps down on the number of refugees allowed into the United States, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is asking the president to send more of them to Utah.

Photo of Cecilia Figueroa-Figueroa and her attorney Aaron Tarin.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Cecilia Figueroa-Figueroa never expected to make headlines.

But since early September, when the Salt Lake City advocate for immigrant health care faced the daunting choice of either leaving the country on her own or deportation, her story has been all over local and national news. 

Photo of school board meeting.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The Salt Lake City Board of Education voted Tuesday night in favor of two resolutions that reaffirmed its commitment to protecting its immigrant students and families as the Trump administration ramps up immigration enforcement.

Photo of protesters and CECY sign.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Updated 6:33 p.m. MDT 9/3/19

A Salt Lake City activist has avoided deportation — for now — following protests against her removal last week, an immigrant rights group said Tuesday.

KUER File Photo

After a rash of mass shootings last month, Gov. Gary Herbert said Wednesday all gun control measures should be on the table for discussion.

Immigration enforcement badge.
Public Domain / Immigration and Customs Enforcement

The Department of Homeland Security may now fast-track deportations of certain immigrants in the country illegally, regardless of where immigration officers encounter them. 

Woman with head scarf kneading dough in kitchen.
From film "A Kitchen Can Take You Back." Kelsie Moore / KUER.

Refugee resettlement numbers have been declining in the U.S. and Utah for the past three years. According to a recent report by Politico, the Trump administration is considering even deeper cuts to resettlement programs.

Salt Lake City vigil attendees hold up signs, lights
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

OGDEN — Sandra Nieto was 13 years old when she fled her home country of El Salvador and crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in 1983. She and her 15-year-old sister came to the country to escape the violence from their country’s civil war and to reunite with their mother. 

Photo of The Grand American Hotel.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Four citizens of the Philippines who came to work at Salt Lake City’s Grand America Hotel on an internship-like visa program in 2016 claim the hotel treated them poorly and didn’t provide them the learning and cultural experiences they were promised. That’s according to a putative class action lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court, District of Utah. 

Photo of dancers.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

This weekend, immigration officials are looking to deport as many as 2,000 migrant families in major U.S. cities including Denver, Miami and Chicago.

Photo of county council meeting.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

After a heated debate on immigration issues at its Tuesday meeting, the Salt Lake County Council passed an amended resolution by Council Member Steve DeBry that outlined the county’s support of its immigrant residents and urged Utah congressional leaders to pass immigration laws that keep families together.

Photo of county council meeting.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

After a heated debate on immigration issues at its Tuesday meeting, the Salt Lake County Council passed an amended resolution by Council Member Steve DeBry that outlined the county’s support of its immigrant residents and urged Utah congressional leaders to pass immigration laws that keep families together.

Illustration of White House.
Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Trump is unveiling an immigration plan that would vastly change who's allowed into the United States. The administration's proposal focuses on reducing family-based immigration to the U.S. in favor of employment skill-based immigration. Watch his remarks from the White House Rose Garden live. The address is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. MDT.

Photo of Victoria.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

The opera singer draws her breathe, and exhales. Then, a powerful voice bursts from her core.

“You now sue and you now win on my son’s broken back.”

It’s a voice she inherited from her grandmother who encouraged her to sing while they worked in the fields of Lesotho in southern Africa.

The backlog in U.S. immigration courts is now over 850,000 cases long. People can wait years for their hearings. And that can be a long time to pay for a lawyer and to make appearances in court. Both of these things can be much harder for immigrants living in rural and mountainous parts of the West.

Photo of Bilal.
Rocio Hernandez / KUER

When Kholoud Abou Arida, Moawiyah Bilal and their three children arrived in Salt Lake City in 2014 after fleeing their war-torn homeland in Syria, they were a different kind of Utah pioneer.

Rocio Hernandez / KUER

Close to 300 Latinos — many with Venezuelan roots — packed Taylorsville’s City Hall Thursday night for a town hall that at times seemed like a party, even if not everyone was invited.

Photo of Chavez.
Kelsie Moore / KUER

A year ago, Vicky Chavez and her two young daughters were bracing to return to her native Honduras, a country she fled to escape an abusive relationship and death threats.

Photo of DOJ.
iStock.com / pabradyphoto

As the partial government shutdown drags toward its fifth week, immigration courts are another aspect of government caught in the middle of the standstill in Congress.

Renee Bright / KUER

Sen. Orrin Hatch will retire next month, winding down a political career spanning four decades ... longer than any elected official in Utah's history. The 84-year-old will likely be remembered for his role in bruising Supreme Court nomination battles, passing the Children's Health Insurance Program and funneling millions of dollars back to Utah.

But this week, KUER is remembering lesser known parts of Hatch's legacy. 

Saul Morales was only 2 when he crossed the border from Mexico, so he doesn’t remember much of the journey.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JORGE ARELLANO

Midvale artist Jorge Arellano spent a few days last month helping members of the migrant caravan while they stopped in Mexico City on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. This group of Central American migrants fleeing their home countries has been in the headlines after President Trump labeled the caravan “an invasion.”

 

Arellano recently returned to Utah from Mexico's capital where he grew up. He spoke with KUER’s Rocio Hernandez about the obligation he feels to support the migrants as an immigrant himself.

Illustration of immigration line.
Renee Bright / KUER

Like other expectant parents, Kenadee Ferre and her husband Eleazar Ishmael Castro Afane are a bundle of excitement and nerves as they prepare for their birth of first children.

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