Immigration

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On Thursday, a group of West Virginians rallied at the steps of the state Capitol, voicing concerns about what some say are human rights violations in Kashmir.  

Eric Douglas / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Immigration lawyer Paul Saluja represents many immigrants in West Virginia who are trying to get their citizenship. But an increased need for pro-bono lawyers nationally has inspired him to spend a few months this fall volunteering out West. He’ll be representing families and children who traveled across the Mexican border.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with Saluja about immigration across the country and here in the Mountain State.


Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

 

For more than a decade, more than 100 migrant and refugee families from countries like Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam, Ethiopia, Guatemala and others have come to Moorefield, West Virginia.

They’ve done so to work at Pilgrim’s Pride – a large poultry plant that is Hardy County’s biggest employer with 1,700 workers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Migrants from central America continue to come across the U.S.-Mexico border, including many children, and many of them are seeking asylum. On this West Virginia Morning, we hear two stories about how immigration affects people in West Virginia.

The Poultry Plant That’s Changed the Face of This Appalachian Town

Aug 15, 2019
Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

When Sheena Van Meter graduated from Moorefield High School in 2000, her class was mainly comprised of the children of families that had long-planted roots in West Virginia’s eastern Potomac Highlands. Some were African American. Most were white. And for the Moorefield resident, the closest exposure she had to other cultures, before leaving for college, came in the form of an occasional foreign-exchange student. 

Seeking Common Ground: Immigrants Find Footing in a Rural English Classroom

Aug 13, 2019
Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

In Amy Fabbri’s English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class in Moorefield, every time a new student joins her morning or afternoon session, she gives them the honor of pining their name next to their home country on a large map of the globe. The map that hangs on her classroom wall has pins marking Haiti. Mexico. El Salvador. Ethiopia. Myanmar. Ninety percent or more of her students work for Pilgrim’s Pride, a chicken processing plant located in the middle of the small West Virginia town. 

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

Doris Fields, also known as Lady D, West Virginia's First Lady of Soul, lead the Friday night vigil in song with 'We Shall Overcome' by Pete Seeger.
Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As Ryan Brown stood outside the West Virginia Capitol Buidling on a breezy Friday evening, her husband Ali was in Guinea, the neighboring country to Sierra Leone where Ali’s originally from. 

 

Detainees are seen outside tent shelters used to hold separated family members, Friday, June 22, in Fabens, Texas.
Matt York / AP Photo

U.S. immigration policies are very much in the spotlight recently with reports on conditions at some of the southern border detention camps and fresh concerns about children being held apart from their parents.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET Friday

Bleak scenes of tearful, malnourished children reeking of filth and jammed into frigid, overcrowded quarters have emerged in new accounts from immigrant rights lawyers, who conducted dozens of interviews with children inside Border Patrol stations across Texas.

The descriptions contained in sworn declarations as part of a legal case stand in stark contrast to what was seen when federal officials opened the doors of a Border Patrol facility outside El Paso on Wednesday.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

On the day of his self-declared presidential campaign kickoff, President Trump is threatening to deport "millions" of immigrants in the United States illegally beginning "next week."

But what's known is far less definitive.

Russ Barbour

A memoir called “I Am a Dirty Immigrant” is the story of one man’s journey from the West Indies to West Virginia. Anderson Charles grew up in a tightly knit community in Grenada, and in 1986, moved to Kentucky to play basketball and attend college. 

Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

President Trump used his veto pen for the first time Friday, after Congress tried to reverse his national emergency declaration and rein in spending on a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Congressional critics do not appear to have the votes to override Trump's veto. So, as a practical matter, the administration can continue to spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than lawmakers authorized, unless and until the courts intervene.

Updated at 4:16 p.m. ET

The Republican-controlled Senate approved a resolution to terminate President Trump's national emergency declaration at the U.S.-Mexico border, putting Congress on a path to its first veto confrontation with the Trump administration.

President Trump has suggested that he might resort to using "emergency" powers to build his border wall if he is not able to reach agreement on funding with congressional Democrats.

"We are looking at it very strongly," Trump told reporters on Sunday. "We're looking at a national emergency, because we have a national emergency."

The president does have broad powers to act in a crisis situation, but those powers are not unlimited. And critics say Trump should be careful about invoking them in this instance.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The situation at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry has been chaotic and confusing in recent days. And reactions from the American public suggest that photos and footage from the scene serve as a sort of Rorschach test.

Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday to end his controversial policy that has resulted in thousands of family separations and brought criticism from Democrats and Republicans.

"We're going to keep families together but we still have to maintain toughness or our country will be overrun by people, by crime, by all of the things that we don't stand for and that we don't want," Trump said Wednesday morning, when he announced that he would sign the order.

Shayla Klein

The U.S. Department of Justice announced a  “Zero Tolerance” policy in illegal immigration earlier this year , and that policy has recently come under scrutiny for news that  children are being separated from their parents as they enter the United States across the Mexican border. A group, called “Mountaineers for Progress”, hosted a protest Monday evening against the policy.

courtesy photo

Updated Jan. 10 12:35 p.m.:

A federal judge in California temporarily blocked the Trump administration's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program late Tuesday night (Jan. 9th).

Original story:

Democrats and Republicans say they want to pass immigration reform this year. Most Republicans are pushing for tighter border regulations, while some Democrats say they would like to find a way to extend work permits to “Dreamers” through the DACA program. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It provided two-year work permits to some undocumented immigrants if their parents brought them into the country as children. 

Tripadvisor.com

Six men in central West Virginia were arrested by federal immigration officers during a raid last week.

The federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, conducted the raid at Los Agaves Mexican Restaurant in Dunbar Thursday, August 3. 

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Harpers Ferry National Historical Park played host to a naturalization ceremony Tuesday morning for 19 new U.S. citizens.

The First Congregational United Church
WCHS-TV

A church in West Virginia has pledged to be a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants who are targets of deportation.

The Herald-Dispatch reports The First Congregational United Church of Christ in Huntington announced on Wednesday a pledge to open its doors to those facing deportation and discrimination, as it believes policies under past and current administrations have unfairly discriminated against immigrants.

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order suspending new-refugee admissions for 120 days and blocking travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days. Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely.

Updated at 5:40 a.m. ET Sunday

Federal Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn, N.Y. granted a request by the American Civil Liberties Union and issued a stay late Saturday on the deportations of valid visa holders after they have landed at a U.S. airport. The ruling by Donnelly temporarily blocks President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration signed Friday.

According to NPR's Hansi Lo Wang:

CAIR/ Ikram Benaicha

How do Muslims living in Appalachia feel about increasing Islamaphobia in America? What role does the media play in creating such fear?

Telling West Virginia's Syrian Story: Part Two, Zain

Mar 22, 2016
Ikram Benaicha

About 2 million Syrian children have been relocated due to the Civil War. Many of these children are still on the run with their families looking for security, either in neighboring countries or in Europe. But there are some Syrian kids living right here in West Virginia. 11 year-old Zain is one of them. Still, he is not a refugee, he is the youngest of a Syrian immigrant family.

CAIR/ Ikram Benaicha

How do Muslims living in Appalachia feel about increasing Islamaphobia in America? What role does the media play in creating such fear?

This issue has been heating up in the last year. As refugees from Syria have been arriving in Europe, some Americans, like Donald Trump,  have called for barring them from entering the United States.

Danny Lyon / US National Archives

On this  episode of the Inside Appalachia podcast, we talk immigration, migration and what it could all mean for Appalachia.

 

Gage Skidmore / AP Photo

What do Donald Trump, Hmong immigrants, and pepperoni rolls have in common? They're all on "The Front Porch" podcast this week.

We discuss Trump's anti-immigrant appeal, and why West Virginia has the lowest percentage of foreign-born people in the entire U.S.

Should West Virginia be recruiting immigrants as an economic development strategy? Or do immigrants compete for scarce jobs with native-born people?

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin today criticized President Obama’s new executive rule the will affect millions of illegal immigrants in this country not because of the rule itself he said, but because of the timing.

The President announced the temporary shield for more than 5 million illegal immigrants in a primetime speech Thursday.