Global Nation

By PRI | Stories of a Changing America from PRI

Worldwide, nearly 100,000 college-ready Syrians can't get higher education

Zainab Abdo studied in her bedroom. It became too dangerous to attend school. Her desk faced the window and it was here she spent most of her days, reviewing for exams.<p>The civil war in Syria had been raging for a year, but the fighting had yet to reach her village of Abyan, a small town west of …

Education

As immigration detention soars, 2.3 million people are also regularly checking in with immigration agents

Millions of immigrants in the US are under some sort of supervision by the Department of Homeland Security.<p>They regularly report to deportation officers about updates to their immigration court cases, the status of their foreign passports, perhaps a changes of address. Sometimes they have nothing …

Immigration

DHS extension of protected status for Haitian immigrants might be the last

This week, nearly 60,000 immigrants awaited a Department of Homeland Security decision that would either allow them to stay in the US or end their temporary legal status.<p>After a period of anxiety, this week DHS announced the status would be extended.<p>The temporary protected status (TPS) program …

Immigration

Musician Lila Downs fights back

Musician Lila Downs is hitting back. After the election of Donald Trump, Downs, who has lived in both the United States and Mexico, says she was put “in a dark place.”<p>“I remember feeling really depressed and sad, but then there’s a part in me that says I’m not going to give up and I’m going to keep …

Elections

It took a health emergency for this Guatemalan boy, who crossed the border alone, to see a US judge

To see Bartolo now — happy, healthy, slurping a Go-Gurt in an English language class — you’d never know what he’s been through since he left his town of San Mateo Ixtatán in northern Guatemala four years ago.<p>He grew up working in the fields alongside his father, occasionally selling items in the …

Immigration

Haitian immigrants get extension of protected status, worry it might not be long enough

More than 58,000 Haitians who stayed in the United States with a special protected status since a catastrophic 2010 earthquake will be allowed to stay another six months, the Department of Homeland Security said Monday.<p>The Haitians were facing orders to return home in July if the department did not …

Immigration

An arcane law is preventing immigrants impacted by America’s nuclear testing from accessing health care

When I met Lenwa Joab in Enid, Oklahoma, last November, her health was already failing. She was 65, with a creased face and gray hair combed back with coconut oil. She sat silently in a wheelchair, watching her husband Ernest sweep a leaf blower across the yard of their brick rental home.<p>For …

Health Care

How private donors are making college dreams a reality for undocumented immigrants

Mariana Hernandez wore a wreath of artificial flowers around her graduation cap, an homage to the late artist Frida Kahlo. Then she walked onto the stage, shook hands with her college president and became the first member of her immediate family to earn a bachelor’s degree.<p>Several factors helped …

Immigration

In Minnesota, a measles outbreak exposes the gaps in public health

The Riverside Plaza high-rise apartments, the iconic symbol of the Somali community in Minneapolis, are a short walk from the People’s Center Health Services, where most of the patients are of Somali descent. A parent with sick children, or an elder who needs diabetes care, does not have to travel …

Public Health

One of America's first Syrian immigrants helped conquer the West — with camels

Admitting immigrants and refugees from the Middle East has become a huge flashpoint in US policy with the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict their entry to the US.<p>So it’s interesting to note that back in the 19th century, one of the first Arab Muslim immigrants to the US — potentially the …

Middle East

How immigration detention creates a shadow prison system

For much of the 20th century, immigration detention was a concept that was scoffed at. But today, the practice of apprehending immigrants and holding them in custody has created a shadow prison system, served by hundreds of federal and private facilities throughout the country.<p>Ralph Alhassani is a …

Immigration

In the age of Trump, fewer lenders want to provide this med student with student loans

Roughly 11,300 people applied to Loyola’s Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago this year. They interviewed about 600 people. About 160 were accepted — the odds of getting in were less than 2 percent.<p>And 10 of the students they accepted are undocumented, brought to the US as children. They have …

Immigration

Is Trump's immigration rhetoric causing a drop in international student applications?

Students from the Middle East, Asia and Latin America are growing more fearful of attending college in the US.<p>That’s according to a recent survey by the American Association of College Registrar and Admissions Officers. Higher education institutions have reported a decline in international student …

Students

Have you heard of 'cash for keys'? Many elderly immigrants in LA have — and are fighting it.

In cities around the US, rents are rising fast.<p>The technology boom and the housing rebound are transforming urban areas in many parts of the country, driving up the cost of living and forcing low-income residents out of their longtime homes. Among those most affected are immigrant seniors, like …

Housing

This aged well: Mexico's Café Tacvba still rocks, hard

It’s spelled “Jei Beibi” but it’s pronounced “Hey Baby.” That’s the first thing you should know about the first new album in five years from Mexican rock band Café Tacvba.<p>Oh, and the “v” in Tacvba is pronounced like a “u.” (It's a long story, involving a famous Mexico City restaurant.)<p>The second …

Café

A brother and sister flee gang violence in El Salvador and start over in the US

Kevin Alvarez Mejía spent his tween years trying to avoid running into gang members up in the remote El Salvadoran mountain village where he was born and raised. Gang members lurked around, and if they saw him out on the street, they would sidle up and ask him if he was one of them. So, Kevin said, …

Crime

Why 80 asylum-seekers are marching to the US southern border, even though they'll probably be turned away

On Sunday evening, over six dozen Nicaraguan, Salvadoran, Guatemalan and Honduran migrants arrived at Tijuana’s northernmost edge to request asylum, en masse, at California’s San Ysidro Port of Entry.<p>The youngest was just 3 months old.<p>Organized by a team of American and Mexican activists from the …

Immigration

Poor health care in immigrant detention centers may get worse under Trump

On a blustery day in April, reporters file through the long echoing corridors of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Adelanto Detention Facility in the high desert north of San Bernardino, California. Our tour guide is ICE’s Los Angeles field office director, David Marin, who’s built like a …

Immigration

For refugees in Seattle, rising rents mean the search for home isn’t over

There’s a letter on Yulina Bilombele’s dining room table that she cannot read.<p>“Defendant failed to pay the rent and has further failed to vacate and surrender the premises.”<p>Bilombele is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She’s 80 years old. She does not speak English. She is too frail …

Democratic Republic of the Congo

The biggest group of current refugees in the US? Christians from Myanmar.

For the most part, the United States is a “dreamland” to Kaw Hser, a refugee born in the land-mine-strewn jungles of eastern Myanmar.<p>But a few years back, that dream dimmed a bit inside a Wal-Mart in upstate New York.<p>The 26-year-old was working there as a sales associate — one of three jobs he was …

Refugees

As California considers a ‘sanctuary state’ bill, this sheriff isn’t ready to give up his relationship with immigration agents

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones tried to quiet down the boos, jeers and cheers. But just 30 seconds into his opening speech to a boisterous crowd, someone shouted, “Fuck you!”<p>This was how an immigration forum played out in late March in California’s capital city. Hundreds of people — …

Immigration

Afghanistan’s first rock band wants to build a cultural bridge in the US

Sulyman Qardash and I are in a rehearsal studio in Oakland. He's the lead singer and guitarist of Kabul Dreams, one of Afghanistan’s first rock bands, and picks up a guitar to play me the song "Saturated Hope" off their newest album.<p>Qardash has dark eyes, black hair, a thin frame and wears a black …

Guitar

President Trump, will Native American sovereignty make a difference when you decide to build a wall or not?

<i>Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.</i><p><b>#100. @realDonaldTrump, will Native American sovereignty make a difference when you decide to</b> …

Immigration

President Trump, some 20% of this year’s college grads will be immigrants. What careers can they have in the US?

<i>Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.</i><p><b>#99. @realdonaldtrump, Some 20% of this year’s college grads will be immigrants. What careers</b> …

Immigration

Texas police may soon act more like federal immigration enforcers

Texas State Rep. Gene Wu was visibly emotional on Wednesday as he spoke about a controversial immigration enforcement bill before the Texas House of Representatives.<p>"This topic is painful for me," said Wu, a Democrat who represents a district in Houston. "I am an immigrant. My parents are …

Immigration

The FBI came knocking at this man's door — long before Trump

Sarmad Gilani was working at Google’s offices in San Francisco one morning when he received a message that two cops were waiting for him in Google’s lobby.<p>The 31-year-old software engineer at Google figured the officers just wanted to talk about an unpaid parking ticket. But Gilani also wondered if …

Breitbart News

Colleges create 'safe zones' on campus for undocumented students

Maria Soria Castañeda grew up in North Carolina but was born in Mexico. She moved to the US with her family when she was 3. She’s also undocumented and, now, a junior at Swarthmore College, where she feels like a bit of a pioneer.<p>"We don’t really know what undocumented students they had before, but …

College & University

President Trump, what will you do to draw immigrant scientists to the US?

<i>Over President Donald Trump's first 100 days, we're asking him questions that our audience wants answers to. Join the project by tweeting this question to @realDonaldTrump with the hashtag #100Days100Qs.</i><p><b>#90. @realDonaldTrump, what will you do to draw immigrant scientists to the US?? …

Donald Trump

The White House threatens to take Congress to the mat on the border wall

The Trump White House has doubled down on its demand that a government spending bill include $1.4 billion for a wall on the US-Mexico border.<p>But a determined group of US lawmakers is prepared to stand in the president's way.<p>"We're going to fight this to make sure that we don't get a wall," says …

Immigration