Global Nation

By PRI | Stories of a Changing America from PRI

US law students, driven by their own family stories, are helping asylum-seekers

A colorful mural on the wall at the University of California, Davis’ immigration law clinic shows letters from immigrants behind bars and chains turning into quetzal birds: a metaphor for the students' work.<p>Chicano studies students painted the mural and “chose the quetzal over the dove because it …

University of California

Some migrants are rethinking the US as their ultimate destination

On a bright Sunday morning, the Suchiate River bustles with makeshift rafts loaded with people. It’s a popular place to cross from Guatemala to Mexico. And crossing is easy. There’s no wall, and no border patrol in sight.<p>It's known as Paso del Coyote, or “Coyote Pass.”<p>Luis Fernando Pérez operates a …

Refugees

Here’s how private prisons are being challenged, even as they scale up

The Trump administration has been a huge windfall for the private prison industry. Two of the largest companies have seen their stock price more than double since Trump’s election in November.<p>But private detention centers are also taking a hit in the courts and in the media.<p>GEO Group, one of the …

Prison

A massive ICE raid in this town didn't stop undocumented labor — or illegal immigration

The traffic blockade was ready. The vans and buses were standing by. The agents told the mayor and the Department of Social Services. And then they stormed the factory.<p>It was March 6, 2007, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Immigration officials raided the Michael Bianco leather factory, a defense …

Immigration

Wounded San Diego activist is recovering after disappearing in Mexico

Missing San Diego activist Hugo Castro has received medical attention and is stable after being found wounded Tuesday on a street called Avenida San Rafael in Tlalnepantla de Baz, a city in the State of Mexico, Mexico's attorney general said in a press release.<p>Investigators at the office of the …

San Diego

Mexico’s 'Mama Africa' welcomes migrants on a long journey

For migrants, whether moving through Europe or Latin America, certain spots become known along the way for welcoming people.<p>I visit one such place in the Mexican city of Tapachula, near the border with Guatemala. It’s a bare-bones hotel near downtown. The manager is a petite, 59-year-old Mexican …

Pope Francis

Undocumented workers demand rights in a city scarred by a massive raid

It’s Friday afternoon, and about 30 snow-flecked workers are crammed into the human resources office of Sid Wainer & Son, a gourmet food wholesaler in New Bedford, Mass., demanding to speak to the owners.<p>They have all been fired — unfairly, they feel. They’re employees of a temp agency Sid Wainer …

Activism

Immigration law experts say workplace raids don't really work

So far, the Trump administration's crackdown on illegal immigration and people living in the US without proper authorization has mostly targeted individuals, not employers or groups of laborers. But it wasn’t long ago that the US saw large-scale worksite raids, particularly under presidents Bill …

Immigration

I'm the great-great-great-great-grandchild of immigrants — but not everyone in my family wants to hear that history

One evening in mid March, I was part of a full-house audience at the local city council meeting in Eugene, Oregon. On the agenda was an ordinance to prevent the city and police from using its resources to arrest and detain people whose only offense is violating federal immigration laws.<p>I can see …

Immigration Law

A new government report is on hold because of errors — and now we know even less about immigration enforcement

Immigration officials confirmed Tuesday that they are suspending the publication of a weekly report that lists municipalities which refuse to hold inmates beyond their release dates.<p>The weekly “Declined Detainer Outcome Report” lists counties and jail facilities that refuse to honor immigration …

Government

'How crazy is it that undocumented people are paying for their own deportation?'

Many immigrants without legal status pay taxes.<p>Lots of taxes. Last year, undocumented workers handed over $26.3 billion in federal taxes to the US Internal Revenue Service.<p>Those filings came in all sorts of income categories. Youth organizer Greisa Martínez first visited a tax preparer in Dallas, …

Immigration

For this Syrian Yazidi family and their Jewish hosts, Passover is a refugee story

Rachel Miller is grating horseradish in preparation for her Seder — the Passover meal — as Mizgin, her husband Adris, and their three children — ages 12, 9 and 5 — watch her work. The family are refugees from Syria and they’re spending the year living with Rachel and her husband in a Boston suburb. …

Refugees

One legacy of the Chinese Exclusion Act? Secrecy.

Photographer Wing Young Huie knew that his family came to Minnesota to start a new life. But why they moved is something he never knew growing up. Like, not at all.<p>Huie remembers going from his native Duluth to New York when he was in the middle of third grade in 1963. He didn’t understand why he …

China

Designs for Trump's border wall are here. They fall into 4 categories.

Imagine the Great Wall of China along the banks of the Rio Grande. Or maybe an animal-friendly barrier that keeps migrants out but lets roadrunners in.<p>These are some of the designs contractors submitted this week in the first round of bids to build President Donald Trump's promised 2,000-mile wall …

Great Wall of China

How some immigrant student activists are tapping the civil rights playbook

In the spring of his senior year in high school, Arturo Martinez’s friends began showing off their college acceptance letters. “Why are you not going to college?” he recalled them asking. “I mean, you’re so smart, you can go to Georgia Tech or UGA [University of Georgia].” Martinez didn’t want to …

Civil Rights

How to shut down an immigration raid — even if it means getting arrested

On Feb. 15, some 20 people were taken without warning from their homes in and around Las Cruces, New Mexico.<p>Government officials will not confirm the details of the operation, but advocates and residents say immigration agents raided a mobile home park and arrested people who they were not …

Immigration

A Muslim immigrant and a Christian pastor find common ground — and try to connect with their Latino neighbors too

Abdul Taleb has run Mi Carnal market for 12 years. It’s a corner grocery store on busy Foothill Boulevard in East Oakland. People in this low-income neighborhood, known as the San Antonio district, stop in to buy fresh mangoes or cuts of meat.<p>In this neighborhood, where 42 percent of the residents …

Oakland

This is the data we no longer get about immigration enforcement under the Trump administration

When US Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned sanctuary cities and counties in a press conference on Monday that they could lose federal grants, he cited a new immigration report about immigrants who were not detained by immigration officials:<p>“The charges and convictions against these aliens …

Government

Arab Americans lobbied for their own US census box. Will it backfire?

I’m half-Palestinian, half-English. I have often been mistaken for a range of ethnicities along the brown spectrum, from Italian to Indian. When people hear my name they often mistake me for a Muslim. What they never mistake me for, however, is white.<p>And yet, in America, that's how I'm classified. …

Demographics

This underground railroad took slaves to freedom in Mexico

Donald Trump said during the presidential campaign that he wanted to keep “bad hombres” out of the country. He told the Mexican president, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press, that he wanted Mexico to stop "bad hombres down there" from coming across the southern border of the US.<p>…

Mexico

How a Muslim lawyer and critic of Showtime’s 'Homeland' became a consultant for the show

There’s no doubt Showtime’s “Homeland” is a hit. It’s now in its sixth season. But it’s also gotten some pretty tough criticism for its portrayal of Muslims.<p>“The depiction of Muslim characters was almost uniformly negative,” attorney Ramzi Kassem says of the show, which focuses on US …

TV

The 20-year-old biopic on Tejana star Selena almost didn't happen

When the movie "Selena" opened in theaters back in 1997, it was an instant hit. That first weekend, the biopic starring Jennifer Lopez rang up more than $11 million in box office receipts, making it the No. 2 film in the country.<p>It had only been two years since singer Selena Quintanilla-Perez died …

Movies

How a community in Ohio is stepping up when deportations split families

Outside an old, brick apartment complex, Virginia Nunes Gutierrez pulls two large, plastic garbage bags from the trunk of her white Ford Explorer. “We have a diaper fund, so we buy diapers," for immigrant families in need, Nunes Gutierrez explains. “Also, we have some clothes that the church …

Deportation

Green homes in Buffalo are keeping poor people warm. But Trump’s budget could hurt that.

When you’re poor, you have to make tough choices.<p>“I couldn’t afford to pay my heat bill. My gas got turned off,” says Bob Cook, who lost his $30,000-a-year job a few years back while working in the computer industry.<p>“I had to stay warm by using a small electric heater and have a blanket around …

Green Living

'Egypt's Jon Stewart' is trying to rebuild his comedy career in the US. It’s hard.

Bassem Youssef likes to swear.<p>In his new book, "Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring," he uses the F-word as any number of parts of speech: noun, verb, adjective, even a command.<p>The Egyptian heart surgeon-turned-satirist says swearing in his native Arabic is even more …

Egypt

Visas are running out for the US military's Afghan interpreters

Ajmal Faqiri was 18 when he became an interpreter for the US military in Afghanistan. It was 2006 and the work was risky.<p>"We used to leave the base in the dark and go home to see our families," he recalls. "It was very dangerous."<p>Faqiri and his family received frequent death threats and eventually …

There’s a buzz in the air at SXSW — but it’s not just about the technology

Every March in Austin, Texas, an explosion of technology entrepreneurs show off their latest ideas and hobnob at parties, tweeting, snapping and gramming epic stories about who they met and what they saw.<p>South by Southwest — referred to as SXSW — is known for the music and films that premiere here. …

Asian American students push to reveal what the 'model minority' myth hides

Between three jobs and a full academic course schedule, University of Washington senior Sam Le is always on the go. He also plans to graduate on time this June. But that wasn’t the case when he was a freshman and nearly flunked out.<p>“I was taking hard classes early on and I was commuting really …

Education