Ted Siefer

It’s been more than a month since an apartment fire in Manchester displaced nearly 20 people, the majority of them refugees from the South Asian country of Bhutan. City officials called the fire suspicious, but they have yet to determine its cause. The fire has raised safety concerns in the city’s refugee community, among the most recent to make a home in Manchester.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The Radisson ballroom was not yet full, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would not arrive for almost an hour. Already, the crowd chanted, “lock her up.” Peter Vincello from Raymond was on his way in, with his 15 year-old son.

“He kinda talked me into it. I was actually supporting Cruz in the primary.” But now, Vincello said, “He says all the right things, second amendment, getting the economy back, law and order.”

6.23.16: How We Can Be More Nordic & Citizen Khan

Jun 23, 2016
Valerio Fuoglio via Flickr CC /

Bernie Sanders’ proposals for free education and healthcare were flatly rejected by those who said "we are not Denmark". A new book argues that the policies and protections in Nordic countries don't work because of shared benevolence, but because they benefit everyone's selfish interests. Today, a Finnish expat gives the US a pep talk.

Then, Zarif Khan migrated to America in the early 20th century and became prosperous and beloved in his Wyoming town...though the law prevented his citizenship.

NPR's Tom Gjelten on America's Immigration Story

Jun 6, 2016
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Longtime NPR foreign correspondent Tom Gjelten writes that for most of our history, immigration law favored Europeans. But with the 1965 Immigration Act, the door was opened for people from all corners of the world, ushering in transformation, tensions and a new debate over what it means to be American.

 Federal data shows that the U.S. government has placed fewer than 100 migrant children from Central America who have entered the United States without their parents in Northern New England since the fall of 2013.

The federal government says it has placed 60 unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras with relatives and other sponsors in New Hampshire. A total of 24 were placed in Maine, and five were placed in Vermont.

Natasha Haverty

In the 2016 presidential campaign, few issues have been as fiercely debated as immigration. Here in New Hampshire, the US Southern border thousands of miles away can feel like an abstraction. But a small and growing number of voters in New Hampshire take the immigration debate very personally: the state’s Latino community. And as that community grows, so does its resolve to find a political voice. 

  New Hampshire’s foreign-born population continues to grow, though not as quickly as the national rate.

An analysis of census data from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows the percentage of foreign-born residents in New Hampshire has risen to 5.4 percent.

OZinOH via Flickr CC /

The US says it will open its doors to at least 10,000 refugees fleeing turmoil in Syria, but that doesn’t mean open arms. Today, we’ll learn about the detention process that keeps asylum seekers behind bars for months – even years – in hidden facilities across the country. Plus, a look at the upcoming lineup for this weekend’s New Hampshire Film Festival – including a documentary about the Gore Vidal vs. William F. Buckley debates that turned televised political debates into blood sport. 

File photo by Allegra Boverman for NHPR

If you attend any Republican presidential campaign event these days, you are all but guaranteed to hear a voter ask this:

“What would you do about illegal immigration?”  

Immigration and the Campaign Trail

Aug 6, 2015
John McIntosh / Flickr/CC

It’s been a top issue this primary season: how to fix what most everyone agrees is a system in need of reform. The remedies vary, from bolstering the border to establishing a path to citizenship.  In some cases, as with GOP candidate Donald Trump, the rhetoric has been heated. We’ll look at how this issue is playing out among both parties.

Immigration Impasse: The Future Of Reform

Jan 26, 2015
Jerry Schmidt / Flickr/CC

Late last year, President Obama issued sweeping directives for allowing a certain group of undocumented immigrants to remain here without fear of deportation. On Capitol Hill, opposition is fierce among Republicans, who are now coming up with ways to undo these actions.  We’ll find out more, including impacts in the Granite State.



New Hampshire’s two U.S. Senators are split on President Obama’s executive order on immigration preventing nearly five million people in the country illegally from being deported.

During a visit to Portsmouth Friday, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen said there’s legal precedent for the president’s action.

But Shaheen said there’s more to work to be done.

“I think Congress needs to act. That’s the way to address this issue and to get it done in a way that addresses our border security and addresses our visa system – all of the aspects of immigration.”

New England Reacts To The Immigrant Surge

Jul 21, 2014
dawn paley / Flickr/CC

We discuss New England's reaction to the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.- Mexico border, and what it means for the national debate on immigration.

Listen to the program here:


Gov. Peter Shumlin has agreed to a request from the White House to investigate whether the state could house some of the undocumented children now being detained in the southwestern part of the country.

The request from the White House is the first step in a very long process. 

The initial goal is to determine how much capacity each state has to house some of the nearly 60,000 children who have streamed across the border in the last few weeks.

<a href="" target="blank">partiallyblind</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan says the federal government has not contacted the state about sheltering some of the unaccompanied children who have crossed the nation’s southern border illegally.

The federal government has reached out to other New England states, including Massachusetts, Vermont, and Connecticut.

Governor Hassan’s spokesman says if the federal government were to make such a request, the governor would share that with the public, authorities, health officials and local communities.

Kyle Todesca, UNH

Senate lawmakers are considering a bill that would grant in-state tuition at University System of New Hampshire schools to children of undocumented immigrants.

Sen. Ayotte Weighs In On Immigration Impasse

Feb 10, 2014
Kelly Ayotte in Portsmouth
Cheryl Senter / NHPR

New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte is weighing-in on immigration reform.  This after House Speaker John Boehner said he didn’t think he could pass a bill this year.  

We're kicking off a new feature on All Things Considered called New England Snapshot, where we look at issues around the region.

One issue playing out in a number of states is immigration. Here in New Hampshire, House lawmakers have approved a measure that would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates at University System of New Hampshire schools.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

At the Warren B. Rudman Courthouse in Concord Friday morning, 81 people from 36 different countries took an oath and became American citizens.

Governor Maggie Hassan spoke at the naturalization ceremony.

Among those sworn in was a man originally from India who now lives in Hudson with his wife and their six month old child.

There was also a husband and wife, both native Kenyans, who became citizens together. They live in Lee with their four children.

And a Manchester man who moved to America from Sweden who said his citizenship was a long time coming. 

otzberg via flickr creative commons

On July 7th, the senate passed immigration reform legislation with an overwhelming majority. Meanwhile, the republican-led house has verbally panned the bill as “flawed legislation,” leaving little hope for a passage into law. But a new immigration solution has been posited in a report published by the non-profit Migration Policy Institute. Two and a half years in the making, the movement would utilize regional visas and limit immigrants to specific destinations within the United States. Demetrios Papademetriou is president and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute.

The Senate has passed a significant overhaul of the country’s immigration laws.  The plan includes a path to citizenship and more border security. But the bipartisan effort has stalled at the House border, with some Republicans there calling the bill “dead on arrival.” We’ll talk with Granite Staters following  this debate.


- Eva Castillo - Director of the New Hampshire Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees.

Thirty years ago, Corrections Corporation of America opened its first private prison. As demand for border patrol increased over the decades, so has its earnings. Last year, CCA brought in $1.7 billion dollars in revenue – a quarter of which came from government agencies enforcing immigration policy and incarcerating non-citizens in the US. Lee fang is Reporting Fellow with the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. He probed the connection between prison profits and stiffer immigration policies and came up with some unsettling answers.

Thirty years ago, Corrections Corporation of America opened its first private prison. As demand for border patrol increased over the decades, so has its earnings. Last year, CCA brought in $1.7 billion dollars in revenue – a quarter of which came from government agencies enforcing immigration policy and incarcerating non-citizens in the US. Lee fang is Reporting Fellow with the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.

twg1942 via Flickr Creative Commons

After years of rancor and stalemate there now appears to be rare bipartisan movement on this issue on Capitol Hill. Still, there is plenty of room for disagreement over such matters as a path to citizenship for those here illegally. We’ll take a look at some of the major issues at stake -- and what may happen nationally and here in New Hampshire.


marlonius via flickr Creative Commons

With all the talk of how immigration reform will affect our neighbors to the South, we look at how it might affect immigrants to the United States from the Far East. 

A US based Chinese Journalist even argues that certain aspects of  the reforms might actually be beneficial for Asian immigrants. Mee Moua, Executive Director from the Asian American Justice Center joins us to discuss the issue.

For the past few years they’ve been our state’s largest incoming refugee group with hundreds coming every year.  A new documentary explores their journeys from nearly twenty years in refugee camps to new lives in the Granite State. We’ll hear their stories, their challenges and hopes for a new life in America. 


As part of our year-long series on New Hampshire's Immigration Story, we've looked at what it's like for a refugee to arrive in New Hampshire, speaking a different language, and having to learn new customs.

For young refugees who enroll in New Hampshire schools, the challenges can be even greater - and the same goes for teachers working with them.

jozecuervo via Flickr Creative Commons

Every group that has arrived here has experienced some conflict – whether between newcomers and long-time residents…or, within new immigrant groups themselves.  As part of our series on New Hampshire’s Immigration Story, we’ll look at what difficulties tend to come up, again and again – also, how different people draw the lines between assimilation and maintaining their culture. 



Todd Bookman/NHPR

As a farmer in Bhutan, Laxmi Narayan Mishre provided food and stability for his family.

But when ethnic tensions flared in the small Himalayan country, his land was seized.

With his wife and ten children, Mishre would spend the next two decades living in a cramped refugee camp in neighboring Nepal. Rumors swirled about a possible resettlement to America, and what life would be like here.

North Country representatives split along party lines in voting Tuesday on a bill that would allow towns and cities to have a one-year moratorium on having refugees settle in their jurisdictions.

Seven were in favor. Seven against. Two were excused from voting.

As NHPR has reported the bill previously passed the House but had trouble when it reached the Senate.

The Associated Press is reporting the bill was revived: