immigration

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday said President Trump may be open to creating a way for some undocumented immigrant workers to stay in the U.S. and Perdue is already working on a “blueprint” of policy guidelines to offer the president.

Dan Margolies / KCUR 89.3

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Thursday again defended President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration, but this time he was met with protesters denouncing his stands on immigration and voter registration.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Five minutes before the town hall is supposed to end, a girl in a superhero shirt with perfect posture steps up to the microphone. She tells Kansas City Public Schools Supt. Mark Bedell the only reason she’s still in school is ROTC.

Student Gabriela Cardenas, left, asks a question of citizenship class instructor Marissa Velazquez at the Brush, Colo., public library.
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the special series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

At the public library in the rural Morgan County town of Brush, Colorado, Marissa Velazquez welcomes her students to class. It’s a sunny Saturday morning, and today marks the halfway point in Velazquez’s class, a ten-week crash course on American history, civics and English.

Creative Commons-Pixabay

Immigrants — both legal and undocumented — living in the metropolitan Kansas City area face unique barriers to health care, according to a report released this week by the REACH Healthcare Foundation.

Danny Wood / KCUR 89.3

Tens of thousands of Kansas Citians are marking St. Patrick’s Day. The festivities started this morning with the annual parade through the city.

The celebrations come on the heels of Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House.  With Trump standing alongside, Kenny reminded the president that St. Patrick was the patron of immigrants. 

Mayor Sly James echoed those words today alongside the parade route at Kansas City’s Irish Center.

Baylor University

Not every undocumented migrant crossing our southern border makes it. Remains of those who die in the attempt are found in the open and in unmarked graves. Meet the anthropologist using forensics to return skeletal remains to waiting families. Then KU's Lisa McLendon says "it's all about attitude" when it comes to grammar. Her passion for sentence structure and punctuation led her to write a workbook about it.

Last month, a shooting at an Olathe bar ended with one Garmin employee from India dead, and another wounded. The incident, now being investigated as a hate crime, sent chills through the Indian immigrant community, as well as local business and engineering programs that recruit international students and workers.

As Kansas City tries to establish itself as a tech hub, we explore the relationship between immigration and technology.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

A New Missouri Inc., a recently founded nonprofit with ties to Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, has Sen. John Rizzo, D-Kansas City, worried about financial transparency and wondering how Democrats can keep up. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

If you're looking for a public-service job in law enforcement, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office wants to talk to you.

That's according to Sheriff Calvin Hayden, who says his department is a long way from where they need to be staffed — 50 uniformed deputies short, to be exact.

"That's our huge issue right now," he says. "Recruiting is our No. 1 priority for this year."

Hayden, who took office in January, attributed the deficiency to the increased criticism law enforcers are receiving.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A shooting in Olathe, Kansas that left one Indian man dead and another injured has captured national and international attention. How does violence like this change South Asian immigrants' perceptions of the Midwest and the "American Dream?"

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Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

Looking back, Mira Mdivani says she can now connect the events and put them in context.

“Before the shooting, actually,” she says, “I had a phone call from an Indian national who emigrated to the United States and is a United States citizen.”

Mdivani, an immigration attorney in Overland Park, Kansas, was recalling the Feb. 22 shooting at an Olathe bar in which two Indian men were targeted in what appears to have been a racially motivated attack.

Johnson County Sheriff's Office

The suspected gunman in the Feb. 22 shooting that left one man dead and two injured at an Olathe, Kansas, bar asked two Indian nationals if their “status was legal” before shooting them, according to a probable cause affidavit released Monday morning from Johnson County District Court. 

The document, which outlines the police case for detention of the suspect, says that roughly 30 minutes before the shooting, the three victims were seated in the patio area at the front of the neighborhood bar, Austins Bar and Grill near 151st and Mur-Len. 

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

The violence and reported racism of a shooting at an Olathe, Kansas, bar that killed one Indian immigrant and wounded another as well as a good Samaritan has left the Indian community in Johnson County shaken and worried about the direction of the United States. But the incident also has strengthened the community's ties to the area. 

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Dr. Saeedeh Salmanzadeh became a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony in October 2015.

When the presiding official asked if any of the new citizens wanted to speak, she was one of the first to raise her hand.

By then Salmanzadeh had spent 15 years in America, after leaving her home in Iran where she was a doctor.

She had spent two years with no pay, studying for exams so she could practice in the United States.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A shooting at an Olathe sports bar last week killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla and wounded his friend Alok Madasani, as well as bar patron, Ian Grillot, who tried to intervene. Witnesses say the two Indian-American men were targeted, claiming the gunman opened fire shouting, "Get out of my country!"

We hear how that anti-foreign rhetoric and the tragedy of the shooting are affecting members of our community, particularly those from South Asia.

Courtesy Pedro Lasch

Pedro Lasch’s artwork challenges familiar ideas of identity and belonging, of which he has first-hand knowledge. Lasch – a citizen of Mexico, Austria and Germany – became a United States citizen on Inauguration Day this year. His was the last round of naturalization ceremonies in the Obama presidency.

Lasch, a visual artist from Mexico City and professor at Duke University, titled his series “Abstract Nationalism & National Abstraction.” The work employs a fusion of flags and national anthems from around the world.

Isra Mohamud, 18, is a member of Fort Morgan Colorado's small East African community.
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the special series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

The bell signals the start of second period. A trio of young women take seats in English class, their attention quickly drifting outside the walls of the high school in Fort Morgan, Colorado, eager to talk about what they’re working toward.

“I want to become an FBI [agent],” says freshman Mariam Mohammed. “It’s my dream.”

This is a two-part story on immigrants and small town viability. Part one aired on this Weekend Edition Saturday. For the full story, listen to both audio segments.

Like thousands of rural towns across the country, Cawker City, Kan., was built for bygone time.

Resident Linda Clover has spent most of her life in Cawker City, and she loves the place, but it's a shell of the town it used to be.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

If you closed your eyes you could have been at a Trump rally.

Boisterous chants of “U-S-A! U-S-A!” rang across east 12th Street as hundreds of protestors joined in a national day of opposition to an executive order restricting immigration and refugees by the Trump administration.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas legislators heard concerns from law enforcement groups Wednesday about two immigration bills promoted by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The bills seek to enlist state and local officers in efforts to enforce federal immigration law. But the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association said they don’t have the resources to do that and they don’t want to be exposed to costly lawsuits if they wrongfully detain someone under the complex federal regulations.

Both groups said they weren’t consulted before the bills were introduced.

A worker tends to the cows at a dairy farm outside Wellington, Colorado.
File: Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

After hundreds of arrests of undocumented immigrants by immigration police, the Trump administration’s increased focus on immigration enforcement has some of the country’s largest farm groups worried.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

There were rumors on social media over the weekend that authorities would be waiting outside local churches in Kansas City to arrest undocumented worshippers.

Marco Silva / BBC World Service

How are the first few weeks of the Trump administration affecting Kansas City? On this international edition of Up To Date, host Steve Kraske is joined by the BBC's Shaimaa Khalil to hear what callers are thinking about President Trump's executive orders concerning an immigration ban and repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service

Not only is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the thick of the latest national debate over immigration policy, he remains under consideration for a high-level job in the Trump administration.

The state’s chief elections officer told Kansas Republicans gathered Saturday in Manhattan for their 2017 state convention that he was advising President Donald Trump and key members of his national security team on how to overcome a recent federal court ruling blocking the administration’s ban on travel from seven countries with predominantly Muslim populations.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

A family of nine Somali refugees, their journey interrupted by an executive order barring refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Somalia, arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule at KCI Wednesday night.

They were welcomed by cheers and hand-made signs of good will. Some read “Welcome Home,” “You Matter” and "You Are Loved." The group of several dozen men, women and a few children smiled and waved.

One greeter handed one of the children, a young boy, a teddy bear.

Kurt Albin and his wife, Sarah were at the front of the crowd.

With the new administration's immigration orders and the proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall, tensions have been on the rise. To get a sense of how Kansas City's Mexican immigrant communities are feeling right now, we check in with a DACA student, the head consul of Mexico in Kansas City, and an immigration lawyer.

Guests:

Updated 10:40 a.m., February 7th.

Just Monday morning, The Della Lamb Community Service Agency learned a family of nine scheduled to be resettled in Kansas City last week will now arrive on Wednesday.

The news comes after a federal judge in Washington rescinded President Trump’s travel ban on incoming refugees last Friday night.

Courtesy of Nabil Haddad

"'In America,' he told me, 'In America, we sell hamburgers.'"

But Nabil Haddad didn't have a clue what a hamburger was. It was 1958, and Haddad was looking for a job. 

Earlier that year, tensions started escalating between Christians and Muslims in Lebanon. Haddad's father sent him to Baghdad, Iraq, for refuge. Seven days after Haddad arrived, the Iraqi Revolution broke out.

"There was a lot of killing, dragging colonels and generals in the streets naked ... It was atrocious," Haddad says.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City metro-area residents continue to voice opposition to the Trump Administration's executive orders on immigration. The latest was a candlelight vigil Sunday afternoon in Overland Park.

Sofia Khan started planning the vigil last weekend, after an order temporarily barring refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries was issued.

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