Beyond Our Borders
6:45 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Executive Action On Immigration Gives Kansas City Hispanic Communities Hope

El Torito II is located on Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kan. It started as a Hispanic supermarket, added a taco stand and now is one of the neighborhood's most popular restaurants, complete with an ice cream shop. It's one example of Central Avenue's growth in the past 20 years, when a wave of Latino immigrants came to the area.
Credit Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

In November, President Obama announced sweeping changes to immigration policy via executive action.

The action, which protects about 4.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States from deportation, has been met with controversy nationwide.

But Hispanic communities in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., say the measure is a step in the right direction.

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Harvest Public Media
7:24 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Migrant Farmworkers Remain Crucial To Harvest

Both Veronica Jaramillio and her mother Maria have spent decades traveling the country as migrant farmworkers.
Esther Honig for Harvest Public Media

On a warm October afternoon Veronica Jaramillo walks through rows of skinny apple trees on the orchard where she works as the sun sinks behind rolling Missouri hills.

The 30 year-old migrant farmworker reaches into a tree on the Waverly, Mo., orchard, and in one fluid motion, picks a Golden Delicious apple.

“I don’t like picking the Golden,” laughs Jaramillo. “They’re real delicate and you can bruise them with just your fingertips.”

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Harvest Public Media
8:03 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Young Immigrants Search For Home On The Farm

At Bear Creek Dairy, 15-year-old Teun Boelen works closely with the calves, helping with difficult births, feeding the young animals and raising them until they join the herd of milk cows.
Amy Mayer Harvest Public Media

Bear Creek Dairy in Brooklyn, Iowa, is home to more than 1,100 cows, who provide about 100,000 pounds of milk each day. The 15-year-old farmer who works closely with the farm’s calves comes from a long line of dairymen – in Europe.

Five years ago, Teun Boelen’s parents sold their farm in the Netherlands and bought a dairy in southeast Iowa because, as his mother explains it, there was no room for their old farm to grow.  

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Central Standard
5:07 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Understanding Recent Child Migration From Central America

In the last year, there was a nearly 100% increase in the number of unaccompanied child migrants crossing the United States-Mexico border. The result has been a humanitarian crisis on the border, a crisis that has an impact throughout the country, including in Kansas City.



  • Jennifer Harbury, immigration attorney, author and human rights advocate
  • Angela Williams, Kansas City immigration attorney, Angela L. Williams, LLC
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Up To Date
3:25 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Kansas City, Kansas Group Works To Keep Children From Becoming Border Kids

This is a family in Guatemala who has received support from Unbound.

As the U.S. struggles with the thousands of "border kids" crossing its southern boundaries, one organization in Kansas City, Kansas is working with families in Latin America to help children remain in their own communities.

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10:47 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Deferred Action Immigration Program Leaves Detained Kansas City Man In Limbo

Edher Palafox talks with KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross via video phone from the Missouri jail where he is being detained.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Update, 3:32 p.m.
Edher Palafox was released from ICE custody Thursday afternoon, his lawyer said in an email.

The original story appears below:

It’s been a year and a half since President Barack Obama announced an executive order that could potentially transform the lives of many undocumented immigrants.

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KC Currents
8:00 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Offers Future To Undocumented Youth

DREAM Act Protesters during President Obama's Visit to Austin on May 10, 2011
Credit Tood Dwyer / Flickr -- Creative Commons

On June 15, 2012 President Barack Obama signed a memorandum called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Under this mandate, young people who were brought to the United States illegally as children can apply to attend public universities, get driver licenses and work legally.

However, DACA offers no path to citizenship and its future is uncertain.  

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8:39 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Your Questions For The Neo-Nazi Leader

Commander Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

The National Socialist Movement, an organization that grew out of the American Nazi Party, held a rally in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday. By about 10 to one, opponents of the anti-immigrant rally outnumbered the neo-Nazis at  counter-protests close by- one across the street and a second at The Liberty Memorial.

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Harvest Public Media
8:37 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Children Of Meatpackers Dream Big, Cultivate Opportunity

Binh Hua (left) and My Nguyen, both 18, work in the Garden City Community College chemistry lab. The two best friends graduated from high school in three years and after community college, plan to go on to universities.
Peggy Lowe Harvest Public Media

Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.

The teacher calls the class to order, calling the students “Busters,” short for “Broncbusters,” the college’s mascot and a reminder of this old West town’s history of raising cattle.

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Harvest Public Media
8:56 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Schools Become The Safety-Net For Immigrants In Rural Missouri

At the primary school in rural Noel, Mo., teachers and staff function as educators about as often as they do de facto social workers.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.

One student in a bright blue T-shirt – 9-year-old Isac Martinez – has not yet picked up his pencil. He’s clearly sick. When McPherson asks him what’s wrong, Isac’s small voice is barely audible in between coughs. He says he threw up four times last night but did not go to a doctor.

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Up to Date
10:44 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Immigration: A Grown-Up Subject For Young Readers

Kansas City writer Angela Cervantes' latest book is "Gaby, Lost and Found"

The newest book by Kansas City author Angela Cervantes tackles a tough subject: what happens when immigrant families are torn apart. Cervantes' approach is different: the book is written for a young audience aged 8-12, and tackles a topic difficult and all-too-familar to many of her intended readers.

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10:11 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Immigration Debate Heats Up at Topeka Town Hall Meeting

Congresswoman Jenkins speaking during the town hall meeting.
Stephen Koranda Kansas Public Radio

Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins held a town hall meeting in Topeka Wednesday to hear opinions from voters in eastern Kansas, and many of them had immigration on their minds. Jenkins fielded several questions and comments about immigration and the discussion became quite heated.

Renee Slinkard from Parker said the U.S. should close the borders and increase immigration enforcement.

“Our immigration system is not broke,” said Slinkard. “Our immigration system is fine.  What is broken is the enforcement of that immigration system.”

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Up to Date
10:14 am
Thu June 27, 2013

The Ethics Professors: Government & Privacy

The story of Edward Snowden conjures of images of Cold War politics, such as Spy vs. Spy.
Credit Terry Robinson/Flickr-CC

Should the government be able to access your telephone records? Are the actions of the NSA any worse than companies like Google that constantly mine our information? 

On Thursday's Up to Date, the Ethics Professors, Wayne Vaught and Clancy Martin, join Steve Kraske to discuss what boundaries the government has crossed and where to draw the line. They also explore the gray area of immigration reform.  

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4:17 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Border Blockage Seen Key To Immigration Law Change

As the U.S. Senate wrestles with immigration law changes, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says the measures are doomed to fail without real border security.

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90-Mile View
3:17 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

90-Mile View: Rev. Rick Behrens On Immigration Reform

Rev. Rick Behrens
Credit Danie Alexander / KCUR-FM

Rev. Rick Behrens is pastor of Grandview Park Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Kansas, an inner-city church with a congregation and a community largely made up of immigrants.  In this installment of 90-Mile View, Rick talks immigration policy and reform with Steve Kraske and what it means to the people he serves.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Divided Opinions Dominate Immigration Talks

Thursday's Up to Date focuses on immigration.
Credit Loretta Prencipe/ Flickr-CC

A new Kansas statute requires proof of citizenship before voting in an election for the first time. The controversial legislation has many people divided. 

 This hour, Kris Kobach, known for his influence on immigration law, and author Alvaro Vargas Llosa join Steve Kraske to discuss policy and reform.  

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KC Currents
10:59 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Photography Exhibit Portrays 100 Years Of Missouri Immigrants

Chico Bakery--Cherokee St., St. Louis
Juan Montana

The cultures of Kansas and Missouri was shaped by wave after wave of immigrants: from Germany, Ireland, Italy and Eastern Europe. A new exhibit called, The Missouri Immigrant Experience: Faces and Places portrays vivid images of the state’s diverse immigrants from the early nineteenth century to today.  The exhibit was sponsored by the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA), a coalition of organizations that advocates for immigrants.

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10:24 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Missouri Senate Panel Holds Final Immigration Meeting

Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

The Missouri Senate’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration held its final meeting Thursday.  Among the issues discussed was legislation that would require driver’s license exams be given in English only. 

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5:04 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Policy Change Brings 800 New Immigration Service Jobs To Region

A change in U.S. immigration policy last summer has translated into 800 new jobs for metro Kansas City.  The work will be both sides of state line and pay no less than $27,000 a year.

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Central Standard
10:08 am
Tue October 16, 2012

The Distance Between Us

On Tuesday’s Central Standard author Reyna Grande describes her experience living as in illegal immigrant in the U.S.

Her memoir, The Distance Between Us, is an intimate, graphic narrative about her early years left behind by her parents in Mexico, tumultuous time as a youth in America and journey to becoming a U.S. citizen.

Up to Date
11:21 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Missourians React To Obama Immigration Policy Announcement

President Barack Obama delivers a statement about immigration policy Friday June 15, 2012 in the Rose Garden.
Pete Souza Official White House Photo

President Obama surprised the country on Friday by unveiling a new immigration policy

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The Two-Way
3:49 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Report: Immigration From Mexico To U.S. Comes To Standstill


The historic wave of migration from Mexico to the United States, which over four decades brought 12 million immigrants to the country, has come to a standstill. That's what a new Pew Hispanic Center study released today found.

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Mitt Romney
2:41 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Immigration Remains A Dicey Issue For Romney, GOP

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks at a campaign rally in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 7:29 am

At a Republican candidates' forum in Wisconsin before the state's primary earlier this month, a speaker who wasn't on the ballot had strong words for the GOP regarding its low standing among Hispanic voters.

"The way the party ... talks about immigration is going to impact the future course of this party and the future course of this nation," said former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, the first Hispanic to hold the nation's highest law enforcement post.

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Up to Date
5:23 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Becoming American In Missouri

In 2003 he left his life working as an attorney in London and Paris and moved to the much smaller community of Columbia, Missouri. Last week, he made it official. Alex George is a U.S. citizen.

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4:57 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Controversy In Kansas Over Proposed Immigration Bill

A bill introduced into the legislature proposes that undocumented immigrants be allowed to work in Kansas for two years at a time to address labor shortages at feedlots and dairies.
NDSU Ag Comm

The controversy over illegal immigration is pitting Republican against Republican and business against immigration hardliners in Kansas.

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KC Currents
5:16 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Kansas Cuts Food Benefits For Some Immigrants' Families

The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services recently cut off hundreds – possibly thousands – of immigrant families from receiving food stamps.

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8:31 am
Fri February 3, 2012

Republicans At Odds Over Undocumented Worker Program

A bill introduced into the legislature proposes that undocumented immigrants be allowed to work in Kansas for two years at a time to address labor shortages at feedlots and dairies.
NDSU Ag Comm

A pro-business, pro-immigration bill introduced in the Kansas legislature yesterday pits traditionally Republican business leaders against the hardline anti-immigration Secretary of State and maybe the Republican governor as well.

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KC Currents
4:24 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Missouri Bill Calls For Schools To Check Citizenship

Missouri State Senator Will Kraus

A Missouri Senate committee is holding a hearing Tuesday, January 17 on a bill that would require schools to check the immigration status of students. And it calls on police to check anyone they stop, if they have a suspicion it could be an illegal immigrant. 

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KC Currents
2:38 pm
Mon May 24, 2010

Rockhurst Student Faces Deportation

Kansas City, Mo. – The movement for immigrants' rights has been held back by the fact that many illegal immigrants are reluctant to advocate openly for their cause. But this week, a small group of young immigrants, some of whom are undocumented, began a high-stakes campaign of civil disobedience.

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