Immigration

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.

Want to Come to the US? Invest in a Business

Nov 15, 2011
<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.

Photo by Canalita0306, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

More evidence that some people are losing faith in American exceptionalism: Chinatowns everywhere are vacating as residents head back home in search of the "Chinese Dream".  Journalist Bonnie Tsui explains the circumstances surrounded the growth and decline of American Chinatowns.

 

LINKS

Bonnie's article "The End of Chinatown"

Manchester Community College has received a grant of nearly 5 million dollars for a worker training program.

As NHPR’s Sam Evans-Brown reports the funds come from an unexpected source.

When American companies can’t find the American workers with the skills they need, they can bring in guest workers on a temporary visa.

Applying for that visa costs the employer a lot of money, and the Department of Labor gives that money back in the form of grants to train Americans.

Although we are a nation of immigrants, the first laws to enforce who could be an  American citizen  and who couldn't didn’t appear until the late 1880s.  Since then, new legislation like the Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1965, as well as the Refugee Act of 1980s have both strengthen and loosened these rules.  As part of our year long series "New Hampshire's Immigration Story", we'll talk today about the law, how it’s evolved and ask if it once again needs to be modified?

Guests

Manchester Central is New Hampshire's largest and oldest public high school, and its most diverse. Refugee and immigrant teenagers from nearly 70 countries attend classes at Central. Independent producer, John Rudolph, and the staff of NHPR spent several months gathering the stories of students and teachers to find out what diversity means to them, culminating in the week-long series Culture Lessons.

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