Global Nation

By PRI | Stories of a Changing America from PRI

Advocates say another privately operated immigration detention center for women and child is the wrong approach

The Department of Justice’s recent decision to stop contracting with private prison companies isn’t stopping immigration officials from considering opening a new privately operated detention facility in in San Diego, Texas.<p>There are already two privately operated detention centers in Texas to house …

Immigration

‘Madres Berks’ are on a hunger strike to get themselves and their kids out of immigration detention

Lisseth has been locked up in family immigration detention for close to 365 days with her 6-year-old and she wants it to be known.<p>That’s why she joined a hunger strike at Berks County Residential Center in Pennylvania. After 16 days of skipping the three meals offered, Lisseth says she began to …

Immigration

For these families in Pittsburgh, teens' summer jobs make more than just pocket money

Sixteen-year-old Vishal Kharel is spending the summer restoring trails in a large county park in Pittsburgh’s southern suburbs. As he digs a ditch, he describes his actions to the other teenagers on the crew.<p>He's is part of the program called Learn and Earn in Pittsburgh. It's designed for …

Money

Leaders of this protest against police violence gave unusual instructions: Form a circle around people of color.

In June, prosecutors chose not to press charges against police officers who shot and killed Jamar Clark. One month later, Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer, and something in Minnesota’s spirit snapped.<p>Governor Mark Dayton had to admit disappointment in his progressive …

Protest

Mariachi camp in California teaches kids tradition for free

Thirteen-year-old Jose Ramon Gonzalez Chavez usually spends summers lying on his bed at home or on his cellphone.<p>But this year, he’s at Cook Middle School in Santa Rosa learning how to strum the guitarrón — the big bass guitar that’s a trademark of mariachi music.<p>“The guitarrón is what holds the …

Kids

How Japanese and Mexican American farm workers formed an alliance that made history

Berry season is waning, but the harvest hasn't always been so sweet for the migrant workers who pick the fruit in fields across the United States. A conflict between Mexican migrant workers and the Japanese American family-owned Sakuma Brothers berry farm in Washington state shows just how thorny …

United States

These undocumented workers aren’t in the shadows, they’re out on the catwalk

There is a small undocumented workforce that's almost exclusively white. And they're far from the shadows — they're plastered atop billboards, spread across magazine covers and strutting down the catwalks.<p>It is, by all appearances, a glamorous industry. But many of the international models fueling …

Immigration

Coaching kids from Haiti all the way to college

On game days, the boys’ soccer team at Miami-Edison Senior High speaks Haitian Creole during huddles, and fans play Rara, Haitian carnival music with drums and horns, in the stands.<p>The school is smack in the middle of Little Haiti, with a student body that in many cases is just beginning to master …

College & University

A product of three cultures, it took him a while to find his voice

Nima Samimi was born in the US to an Iranian father and a French Canadian mother. Growing up he was exposed to both of their cultures — and of course, the land in which he lived.<p>“While on the one hand I’m very much 100 percent American, I’m also 100 percent an Iranian,” he says.<p>Samimi didn't live …

Iran

Shared exclusion and discrimination are uniting Somali refugees and the Black Lives Matter movement

It’s like a very bad, very politically incorrect joke: What’s worse than being Muslim or black in America?<p>“Technically we have it double as bad,” says 27-year-old Filsan Ibrahim. “Because we’re Muslim and black.”<p>Ibrahim says Somali Americans have been hesitant to claim black identities in the past, …

Minneapolis

It’s now clear that most of the Syrian refugees coming to the United States are women and children

In a November interview with Fox News, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had a question about the United State’s effort to accept Syrian refugees.<p>“It’s a total disaster. The people are going to come in,” he told Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. “I talked to you about this two weeks …

Refugees

Here's what progressive politics looks like in the city that 'invented democracy'

The face of left-wing ideals, for many in the US, is an elderly white man who recently ran for president.<p>But that man, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, relinquished his candidacy to Hillary Clinton during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week. And as the convention was going …

Democracy

Hillary Clinton wasn't the only one to break barriers at the Democratic National Convention

Hillary Clinton broke barriers and made history Thursday night at the Democratic National Convention, but an Indian American couple who lost their son to a suicide bombing stole a piece of the spotlight.<p>Khizr Khan, with his wife Ghazala Khan next to him, was one of the standout speakers leading up …

Democratic National Convention

70 years later, US World War II veterans still separated from family in the Philippines have new hope for visas

On a recent afternoon at the Veterans Equity Center in San Francisco, men and women in their 70s, 80s and 90s gather around a meeting hall. Tables are organized into a U-shape around the afternoon’s main event: bingo.<p>This monthly social gathering brings together Filipino seniors. Some of them are …

World History

Want to know what it would feel like to have a woman president? Ask Taiwan.

My daughter was born on May 20, 2014.<p>As an American, the date didn't have a whole lot of meaning to me, but I soon learned that it was not only “I Love You” Day in Chinese culture, but also, for my immigrant Taiwanese parents, it was the date of the Taiwanese presidential inauguration.<p>Like many …

World

Once, students were punished for speaking Spanish. Here, they are honored.

The amphitheater is humming: teachers hover, students murmur over spelling sheets and proud parents deliver the last gasps of pep talks. After final embraces and a tear or two, the spelling competitors are swept backstage.<p>It is sixth grader Jybr Reynoso Hidrogos’ second time competing. He made the …

World

‘Bernie-or-Bust’ is a risk many Americans with undocumented relatives can’t take

When loyal supporters of unsuccessful Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders say they will not vote for Hillary Clinton, it's usually for one of two reasons: Either they believe in Sanders' political revolution and want to use their vote as a statement, or they do not fear the possibility …

Elections

What it means to be 'American' is different for Puerto Ricans

How many people in the US think Puerto Rico is another country?<p>Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, Philadelphia's first Latina councilwoman and a boricua (Puerto Rican) herself, says she's encountered even some congressional representatives who (wrongly) believe this.<p>Quiñones-Sanchez says she was part of a …

World Politics

The new Latina Disney princess somehow lives in precolonial times

Move over, Elsa. There's a new Disney princess in town.<p>Her name is Elena, and she hails from Avalor — a fictional place that draws from several real-world cultures.<p>Elena is Latina. Which makes her the animation giant's first-ever Latina princess.<p>That's a big deal for Latino kids, who are for the …

Who's afraid of Donald Trump?

One of the strongest themes in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's address in Cleveland last night was this: Be afraid.<p>"Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation," he said in his opening lines. "The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our …

Donald Trump

These young musicians are hoping the US government likes their 'exceptional abilities'

I first saw the band Night Lights in late 2014. I had taken my daughter to a concert at a small venue in Boston. Night Lights were the opening act, playing songs like "Hit the Water" off their first EP.<p>I loved their sound right away. I thought it had a nice mix of dreamy techno and harder-edge …

U.S. Government

Mainstream comic? Hari Kondabolu is changing the definition.

From now on, if anyone is searching for mainstream American comedians on Google, Hari Kondabolu wants his name, his face and his new stand-up album “Mainstream American Comic” to dominate the search results.<p>“All three words are things I’ve had to fight for,” says Kondabolu.<p>He may not be a household …

World

Victor Kruglov tells his Russian clients to succeed in Hollywood, there's one key — lose the accent

Everyone in Hollywood knows if you need a Russian actor, you call Victor Kruglov.<p>“When I started, there was barely any Russian people in town,” Kruglov says. “I just opened an agency. It was always a dream of my childhood to be in Hollywood.”<p>That was back in 1987, four years before the end of the …

Entertainment

In Cleveland, here's where you can find people who are welcoming to immigrants

Cleveland is the very buckle of the American rust belt. It's a city that’s been in economic decline for decades, so some Clevelanders are looking at a growth strategy: Attract more immigrants.<p>In the first half of the 20th century, Cleveland was celebrated as a self-confident and growing city, an …

Trump crowd was wild for anti-undocumented rhetoric on the first night of the RNC

In retrospect, the first night of the Republican National Convention felt like a litany of the terrors of illegal immigration and radical Islamism.<p>Those two topics, plus regular bashing of Hillary Clinton, were met with roars and ovations from the mostly white crowd at Cleveland's Quicken Loans …

World

The workers who pick your summer berries are asking you not to buy them

Go into any grocery store this time of year and you’re sure to find an abundance of neatly packed cartons of blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. For many it’s a hallmark of summer.<p>Beneath the sweetness of these berries, though, lies a bitter labor dispute that has been roiling for years at …

World

Meet the young chefs behind these healthy, globally inspired lunch recipes

Need some creative cooking inspiration, or a few new healthy lunch recipes?<p>Some talented elementary school kids have you covered.<p>That's thanks to a nationwide recipe challenge for US students that promoted cooking and healthy eating. The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, part of First Lady Michelle …

This Liberian American renounced his US citizenship and then headed 'home'

Mercy Krua and her son Jefferson are having a disagreement. It’s about whether he should move back home.<p>We’re sitting on her living room couch in Boston, where she’s eager to show off his childhood photos. This one’s from graduation, another one’s from the refugee camps in Ghana. She’s reminded of …

Liberia

He loved walking in Kingston, Jamaica. But in the US, it put him in danger.

Garnette Cadogan loves walking. Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, walking was his preferred method of getting from one place to another.<p>“I would stay away from home as much as possible,” he explains. “My friend’s homes were a lot more happy and comfortable than my own, thanks to a misanthropic …