Immigration

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.

GUESTS:

Courtesy Shaheen.Senate.gov

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:

GUESTS:

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="http://www.flickr.com/photos/partiallyblind/1164043991/in/photostream/" 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.

Guests:

- 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.

Guests:

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. 

Guests

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. 

 

Guests: 

Refugees Start Fresh on the Farm

May 22, 2012
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:

The Occupy Movement held May-Day rallies all over the across the country yesterday. In New Hampshire the protest was focused on immigration reform.

Around ninety protesters in Dover were entertained by music from the “Leftist Marching Band”, as they rallied to support immigrants in the Granite state

Immigration activist Eva Castillo MC’ed the Event.

"We have to press our congress-people and our senators to pass immigration reform," Castillo called from Dover's city hall steps,"Every day that goes on without immigration reform families get split apart."

 

North Country representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of House Bill 1405 which would allow jurisdictions such as Manchester to ask for a moratorium on refugee resettlement.

As NHPR reported: “Under the bill New Hampshire towns could ask for a one-year moratorium on new refugee resettlements, which opponents say the state doesn’t have the authority to do.”

In our series, New Hampshire’s Immigration Story, we’ve talked about how immigrants and refugees have affected New Hampshire’s economy, health care system, law enforcement, schools, now we look at art. Last year photographer Mary Catherine Jones began an ongoing photo series called “New Faces New Hampshire” featuring portraits and images of refugees and immigrants in Manchester. She joined NHPR’s Brady Carlson to talk about her photo series.

You can view some of the photos here.

Flikr Creative Commons / jurvetson

You’ve heard of “Brain Drain,” but how about “Brain Waste”?

Here’s how North Country representatives voted on a resolution passed by the House Wednesday to express support for Arizona’s controversial immigration law.

The resolution is HCR2.

Part of the Arizona law requires the police to determine the immigration status of a person they have detained and whether the suspect is in the country illegally. The U.S. Supreme Court has said in December it would consider the law, NPR has reported.

Crossing the BLVD

Jan 18, 2012
Photo by mgarbowski via Flickr Creative Commons

Archie Bunker wouldn’t recognize the Queens of today, where cultures normally  thousands of miles apart live on the same block, and 138 languages can come together in a classroom. On the streets of Queens, passers by might hear Albanian hip-hop wafting from a market stall, or a  gypsy punk riff sill out of a café.  The diverse colors, accents and clothing illustrate “globalization” and “multiculturalism” in a way that corporate strategists cannot. Judith Sloan and Warren Lehrer are finely attuned to these sounds.

President Barack Obama has set a record number of deportations last fiscal year, removing nearly 400,000 illegal immigrants.

Despite this, a new administration policy set in August allows undocumented immigrants without criminal records to stay in the United States.

Seven months ago 19-year old Juan Valdez had to appear in a Nashua courtroom for driving without a license.

The Manchester resident had been undocumented since he came to the U-S from Mexico at age three.

This year’s Republican Presidential candidates have been clear about where they stand on many issues, but when it comes to immigration, its a little more murky.  Several candidates are trying to “thread the needle” on this one: sounding tough, to please the base, but not so tough, that they “turn off” voters in the general election, especially Latino voters.  Today on we bring you a special Thursday version of our Issue Tuesdays series as we look at the Republican Presidential candidates and compare their platforms on the immigration. 

Guests

New Hampshire’s Immigration Story includes the stories of many refugees, people who come to the United States because they can't stay in their native countries, due to violence or famine.

Many of those refugees are resettled in Manchester, but the city’s mayor, Ted Gatsas, says that needs to change. He wants a moratorium on new placements to avoid straining city services.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/partiallyblind/1164043991/in/photostream/" target="blank">partiallyblind</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

H-1B visas help employers find skilled workers they can’t find in the US workforce.

Something else that’s hard to come by these days for some businesses is credit.

Turns out there’s a visa program for that too. Foreigners can apply for an EB-5 visa, as long as they agree to invest a half million dollars or more in capital investment project for an American company.

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