Solomon Lake Whatcom April 2012

The cost of family separation

Three years ago, I left my life in rural Malawi — and 15 bouts of malaria — to return to the states with my son.
Jan 6, 2015
1990 RomCom "Green Card" depicted a French-American couple whose sham immigration marriage turned to true love.

Green card marriages blur lines between love and convenience

A green card marriage is one of the easiest ways to immigrate to the U.S. — but you'll have to convince the government your love is true.
“It’s demanding because there’s always a bit of work to do each day,” says Lin. She spends one to two hours on her CHIN 101 coursework every day.

Growing up illiterate…in my family language

Twitter Cantonese and/or Chinese? How Chinese students are choosing their native language options. #language #China #Chinese #Cantonese Facebook How are immigrant and second-generation Chinese students keeping their native language choices open?
Jan 5, 2015
Migrant farm workers in the tomato fields of Immokalee, Fla., where advocacy led to a Fair Food agreement with major food chains. (Still from FoodChainsFilm.com)

What can Sakuma workers on strike learn from ‘Food Chains’?

Connecting the field to the grocery store proved to be the best means to achieve labor gains for migrant farmworkers.
Jan 2, 2015
Jane McGrane on her first trip to the US, in San Francisco in 1976. (Photograph courtesy of Jane McGrane)

Scottish in Seattle

When was the last time you saw a cow? If you lived in Kilmaurs, Scotland, the answer would probably be “this morning.” The town of just over 2,600 people is ringed by dairy farms, manure-filled fields, and cows, making them part of residents’ everyday life.
Dec 26, 2014
The turnout at Highline College at an informational event earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of NWIRP)

Opportunities, challenges await immigrant parents eligible for Obama’s deferred action

“These work permits have an expiration date to them,” said Corona, who also heads the Washington Dream Act Coalition. “It's an obvious and clear thing for an employer who may start questioning the longevity of someone they are about to make an major investment in.”
Dec 17, 2014
Detainees left their marks on the walls of the building’s outdoor recreation courtyard using melted roofing tar. Many left their names and from where they emigrated. (Photo by Ana Sofia Knauf)

Detainees memorialized at old INS building

Walking into the Inscape Arts and Cultural Center didn’t feel quite like I thought it would. The building looks more like a school or a train station than the former home of United States Immigrant Station and Assay Office. But that’s exactly what it is. This past Sunday, Dec. 7, Inscape opened “Voices of the […]
Dec 10, 2014
Dancers perform a traditional Peruvian number last December at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. (Photo by Aida Solomon)

De Inga y Mandiga rising in Seattle

It’s that time of year again. The leaves that fall have fallen, downtown is wrapped in lights and El Centro de la Raza is selling Christmas trees. For many, now is a time for family, food and holiday traditions. For artist and anthropologist Monica Rojas, it’s a time for music, education and celebration with the […]
Seattleites joined Mayor Murray, Rep. Adam Smith and immigrant rights advocates at a rally outside the Federal Building Thursday, heralding Obama's executive action and demanding further steps toward immigration reform. (Photo by Alex Garland)

Obama announces largest immigration overhaul in decades

Despite warnings from Republicans, the president took unilateral action Thursday that shields millions from deportation.
Nov 20, 2014
The boy who painted this visual story dreamed of a world where impoverished ethnic Burmese villagers were considered as worthy of human rights as wealthy city dwellers. (Image courtesy of Erika Berg)

Young refugees from Burma speak through art

By 2009, Burma became our state's largest refugee community.
Nov 19, 2014
SUSI students visited The Seattle Times newsroom. (Photo by Jessica Partnow)

Twitter chat on immigration, feminism and Subway sandwiches in South Asia

Join this live chat at 8am Pacific Time/11am Eastern/8:30pm India on Thursday October 30th. Tune in here or by following the Twitter hashtag #susi2014.
Oct 29, 2014
Jose Antonio Vargas attends a Mitt Romney presidential campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 2012. (Photo courtesy Apo Anak Productions)

The new ‘coming out’

Our undocumented neighbors, co-workers and friends are taking a brave step out of the shadows to change the way we think about immigration.
Oct 23, 2014
Children at immigration reform protesters in front of the White House in July. (Photo from Center for Human Rights)

Northwest families open their homes to unaccompanied immigrant kids

While the numbers of unsupervised youth crossing the border from Mexico and Central America has begun to wane in recent weeks, the challenges faced by those awaiting their fates in holding facilities along the border are still very real.
Oct 6, 2014
Mayor Murray announced OIRA initiatives yesterday morning at City Hall, with new OIRA director Cuc Vu, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim (far right) and members of the Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission looking on.

Mayor Murray proposes rollout of services for immigrant and refugee empowerment

Yesterday morning, Mayor Ed Murray announced $680,000 of new proposed investments to support Seattle’s immigrant and refugee communities, which now make up every one in five city residents.
Sep 18, 2014
Harold Jones, a paralegal specialist and diversity officer at Navy Medicine Support Command, reads to first-grade students as part of a community volunteer program. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce Cummins)

South King County schools see big wins getting immigrant parents involved

For the first time this year, the majority of kids enrolled in American public schools will be minorities. Some local school districts are ready.
Aug 18, 2014
OneAmerica hosted a youth rally for immigration reform this past spring. Tensions have risen from conflating the unaccompanied minor issue with immigration reform, at large. (Photo courtesy OneAmerica)

Washington prepares for 600 unaccompanied minors from Central America

Preparations are underway for local organizations to provide support for the 600 minors who may arrive in Washington in coming weeks.
Jul 24, 2014
Seattle's new Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs Director Cuc Vu (center) flanked by Mayor Ed Murray and outgoing Interim Director Aaliyah Gupta. (Photo by Kamna Shastri)

New boss for city’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

Tuesday morning, Seattle Mayor Edward Murray introduced Cuc Vu as the new acting director of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA). Vu will be taking the place of Interim Director Aaliyah Gupta.
Jul 16, 2014
Nestora Salgado addresses the community police force she lead in Olinalá, Mexico, prior to her arrest last year. (Still from Youtube)

Political support grows for Renton grandmother-turned-militia-leader held in Mexico

  After almost a year in a Mexican prison, a wave of political pressure is gathering for the release of Renton resident Nestora Salgado. “We must shame the Mexican government into doing the right thing,” Congressman Adam Smith said in a press conference held at Seattle University on Monday. Salgado is a naturalized citizen and U.S. passport holder who moved […]
Jun 19, 2014
Nearly 10,000 showed up the May Day march with signs and flags, calling for a higher minimum wage and an end to discrimination against immigrants. (Photo by Seth Halleran)

Who really wins with a $15 minimum wage?

Answer: Immigrants, women, minorities.
Jun 18, 2014
Director Peres Owino (left) on set of her documentary "Bound: Africans versus African Americans" premiering at the Seattle International Film Festival this weekend. (Photo by Nyar Nam Productions)

Bound by history, Africans and African Americans struggle to relate

Two little boys dig in the sand on an empty beach, the blue ocean behind them reflecting a dazzling sun. An off-screen narrator describes inseparable brothers in “the land of warm waters.” But the peaceful scene quickly turns frightening as one brother suddenly vanishes — disappeared, explains our narrator, “to the land of cold winters.” This […]
Jun 6, 2014