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By PRI | Stories of a Changing America from PRI

Do good fences make good neighbors? A history of border walls.

Hungarian officials say the country is overwhelmed by thousands of migrants hoping to enter Hungary — the gateway to the European Union. In response, they're building a 108-mile border fence designed to keep them out, and they’re racing to finish the project by the end of the month.

The European …

Public Broadcasters

The Muslim who leads a branch of a Jewish lobbying group

The end of summer means students heading back to college, starting classes and taking up new roles on campus. On the University of Maryland campus this week, it meant games of ultimate frisbee and the drum and marching band starting to practice for football season.

For Amna Farooqi, a senior …

Middle East

The white supremacists lining up behind Trump

The devil can, indeed, be in the details. And in the case of brothers Scott and Steve Leader of Boston, the details are disturbing.

Massachusetts State Police arrested the brothers on Wednesday, alleging they urinated on and beat up a homeless man while he was sleeping outside a Boston subway …

Donald Trump

Jorge Ramos: Life under President Donald Trump

Let’s imagine for a moment the kind of country that Donald Trump, the leading Republican presidential hopeful, wants America to become if he’s elected.

“Trumpland” would feature a 1,954-mile-long wall along the US border with Mexico, to be constructed after the deportation of more than 11 million …

Donald Trump

The question Jorge Ramos tried to ask — and why more reporters should ask it, too

Let’s get to the actual question — and what Jorge Ramos tried to ask Donald Trump last night: How does he plan to deport more than 11 million undocumented immigrants, as he has often repeated?

It’s a critical question for all Americans and, especially, Ramos’ audience. For Ramos, the popular anchor …

Donald Trump

As the Pope's US visit nears, these fourth-graders prep their questions

Fourth-grader Nicholas Marronaro has a few questions for Pope Francis.

"I'd say, 'How does it feel to be the first non-European pope in 1,200 years?'"

Here’s another one. "I’m going to ask him if he collects the stamps with his face on them."

Marronaro is a student at Our Lady Queen of Angels. It's an …

Public Broadcasters

Why is lime flavor suddenly everywhere?

If you go to any grocery store in America today you will most likely find something — chips, soda, beer, or even condiments — that are "hint of lime" or "con limon."

Now it's cucumber-lime flavored Gatorade at the 7Eleven, even a whole section of supposedly Latino-themed beers — all with lime.

"Now …

Public Broadcasters

I yearned for an Indian version of an American version of a Chinese dish

A lot of international dishes have crept onto menus in India, but they don’t always taste like they do in their home countries. They take on Indian flavors.

For example, pizzas have paneer toppings and burgers are actually spicy fried potato patties.

I have to say, the concoctions are usually pretty …


Hip-hop until dawn marked this Colombian singer's days in the US

On tour. Non-stop. Twelve concerts in one week. That’s what singer Liliana (“Li”) Saumet remembers about her first days in the United States. It was in 2009, and the concerts took her band Bomba Estéreo, the wildly popular Colombian group, to Texas and, mostly, New York.

It was the first US tour for …


Undocumented immigrant who works in a Trump hotel stands up to The Donald

The topic of immigration has been a hot-button issue in recent presidential elections. But it’s especially been the case in the runup to 2016’s race, with the firestorm of controversy created by Donald Trump’s comments about illegal immigration — and specifically his focus on Mexican immigrants.

But …


Bootstrapping their own K-pop band — in New York City

Before 2012, your average American would have struggled to name any Asian-born entertainer. That all changed with the success of Psy, who opened the floodgates for K-pop acts like BigBang and Girls Generation.

As a graduate student at Columbia, Korean-born artist, Bora Kim, couldn’t help but notice …

New York City

Why do we have birthright citizenship, and should it change?

Donald Trump is not the first Republican presidential candidate to float the idea of scrapping the principle that anyone born in the United States automatically becomes a US citizen. And he probably won’t be the last.

Both Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain raised the notion four years ago. Candidates …


My grandfather's hidden past is wrapped up in his complex relationship to World War II

I always thought I knew my grandfather’s story. After all, he lived 98 years, plenty of time to get to know him.

Morio Ikeda, was born on Hawaii’s Big Island, raised by immigrants from Fukuoka, Japan. He was petite, even by Japanese standards, and meticulous to the point of insanity. He was a …

Military History

Sundar Pichai's ascension at Google isn't proof that immigrants have 'made it'

The headline Monday was that Google is creating Alphabet Inc. to be its parent company.

The second wave narrative was about Sundar Pichai, set to become the new CEO of the Internet giant. He joins not just the most powerful people in tech, but also a growing group of high-profile, Indian-born …


Google's new CEO rose from India's middle class to Silicon Valley's elite

The media giant Google announced Monday that it’s no longer the media giant Google.

Instead, Google has become a slightly smaller company that belongs to the umbrella company, Alphabet.

“Alphabet is now a holding company for a lot of Google properties,” says Brad Stone, author of The Everything Store


Lazy days of summer? Not for these students gunning for a make-or-break exam

Thirteen-year-old Ibnul Islam isn't spending his summer at camp or playing video games. Three days a week, he sits in a small class at Khan's Tutorial in Jackson Heights, Queens, going over algebra equations and logic questions. Once he's home, he said, "three to four hours consists of doing SHSAT …

Public Broadcasters

How this Russian rapper found his groove — in New York

Alex Kalnev got into hip-hip the way a lot of kids do — by hanging out at the square in the center of town, with the other kids “who were slightly different, or wanted to be different; who wanted to be punks and break dancers and just hang out and talk. Pretty much like Union Square [in New …


A 'Dora The Explorer' for Muslims?

Amin Aaser didn't need to look farther than his own Minnesota childhood to inspire his series of children's books.

The stories are set in a town called Maple Grove, named after the Minneapolis suburb where he grew up. And one of the main characters is a charismatic panda bear — also named Amin.

Amin …

Public Broadcasters

Giants of Mexican music take on Trump

Attention, Donald Trump: Now you've got Los Tigres del Norte against you.

The giants of northern Mexico music have proposed a boycott of everything owned by the Republican presidential hopeful for his offensive remarks about Mexican immigrants.

"We are deeply offended for all that he has said against …

Donald Trump

Republican candidates compete with Trump on immigration

The top-polling Republican presidential candidates spent a lot of time on immigration in Cleveland.

Donald Trump set the tone, repeating some of what he'd said before about Mexicans as criminals flooding across the border. But he wasn't the only one trying to sound tough on immigration.

"Mr. Trump is …


You gotta keep one eye on Italy to run an Italian market in Philly

Every city has its immigrant neighborhoods. That's where you can go for authentic food, those imported ingredients from different parts of the world.

“The Italian Market” is a landmark of South Philadelphia. It’s billed as the oldest open-air market in the country, celebrating its 100th anniversary …


Que te vaya bien, Jon Stewart

It's a sad night for comedy fans across the globe. News junkies as well. It's Jon Stewart's final time hosting The Daily Show.

His show has inspired numerous copy-cat shows in places like Egypt, Iran, Chile and Thailand.

Through the years, he's been able to lay bare some of what many Americans …

Jon Stewart

This year, films from the Beijing Independent Film Festival will be screened in New York

Filmmaker Zhu Rikun is homeless.

Not literally, but in a philosophical way.

"I still continue my job as a filmmaker," he says. "I just feel homeless. I don't feel any home anywhere, in China or the United States."

Zhu was the artistic director of the Beijing Independent Film Festival from 2006 to 2011 …


At one Baltimore school, students are easing racial tensions by learning from each other

Digital Harbor High is in a shiny new building, just south of downtown Baltimore. It’s summer, though, and the halls are quiet except for a small conference room on the first floor, where a handful of students and teachers gather around a table. They're here, in part, because a year ago, things at …


How dim sum cooks in California fought wage theft — and won

Minimum wages are moving up in parts of the country. While that's celebrated, wage theft remains a big worry for many workers and labor advocates. It's what makes the successful fight for lost wages at the Yank Sing restaurant in San Francisco a rare case — and one that shows just what it takes for …


A Boston community is divided over the Dominican Republic's citizenship policy

Dennis Benzan is the vice mayor of the Massachusetts city of Cambridge.

He was born in Cambridge, but much of his family is from the Dominican Republic.

In recent weeks he, and a number of other members of Boston's Dominican community, including Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Diaz, have been …


Each year in New York, Gottscheers celebrate the culture of a city that no longer exists

The Gottscheers come from a place that no longer exists.

Thousands of them now live in New York City. But until World War II, their home was a mountainous patch of Yugoslavia called Gottschee.

Gottscheers didn't speak Slavic languages like their central European neighbors. Instead, they spoke an …

New York City

To this Ethiopian American singer, 'home is always in flux'

Like a lot of immigrants in the United States, Meklit Hadero’s family arrived to a place unknown, with a single connection drawing them. For Hadero, that place was Iowa, where her dad knew a professor.

It was the early ‘80s, and Ethiopia was still feeling the aftermath of the 1974 revolution.

“There …

East Africa