immigration

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

For people untouched by federal immigration policy, the issue can feel distant. But a planned immigration jail in Uinta County has made the issue intensely local for the residents of Evanston.

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide the fate of the DACA program. Meanwhile, several dozen child-advocacy groups, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently filed an amicus brief in the case.

What if you could put all your hard feelings—grief, depression, sadness—into the body of another person? That’s the premise of the new speculative young adult novel The Grief Keeper. And the people charged with carrying the grief of others? United States immigrants.

Immigrants make up more than ten percent of the population in our region. And according to a report, that can provide big economic benefits.

Last month, the Trump administration said it would start deporting gravely ill immigrants here temporarily for medical care. This week, it backtracked a little. But 20 Attorneys General sent a letter to the administration saying they’re not satisfied. 

Melodie Edwards / Wyoming Public Radio

Last week, Uinta County Commissioners made a trip to California to visit a privately-owned Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility to evaluate whether the company should be allowed to build a similar one in Evanston. The original company, Management and Training Corporation or MTC, backed out, and a new company, CoreCivic, has stepped in.

Commissioner Mark Anderson said, during his visit, he saw a facility that was clean and comfortable.

Civil rights groups have filed a class action lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement for failing to treat the medical and mental health needs of detainees. Two of the plaintiffs are being held in the Mountain West. 

Federal prosecutors have decided to bring border activist Scott Warren to trial for a second time. His case puts a spotlight on the murky legal boundaries of humanitarian aid at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

As U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, increases its activity in Wyoming and the nation, some activists are taking steps to provide legal information to immigrants.

Public Domain

Wyoming is one of the least racially diverse states in the country-but it wasn't always that way. A museum in Evanston chronicles a time when the state bustled with international immigrants.

The Modern West 48: Zarif Khan

May 22, 2019
sheridanmedia.com

Here's the story of an early 20th century Pakistani immigrant who created a life in Wyoming and set the path for others to follow. 

StoryCorps

Maria came to the U.S. illegally with her mother when she was a little girl…so they could meet up with her father, who was working in the country legally. When StoryCorps came to Jackson last summer, Maria told her son Jorden about how she ended up in Idaho.

Juntos

This Wednesday, an activist organization will host a march to raise awareness about immigrant rights. It's called "ICE on Trial," and it's the fourth year the group Juntos has hosted such an event. Director Antonio Serrano said the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has increased the number of arrests of undocumented immigrants in Wyoming.

The backlog in U.S. immigration courts is now over 850,000 cases long. People can wait years for their hearings. And that can be a long time to pay for a lawyer and to make appearances in court. Both of these things can be much harder for immigrants living in rural and mountainous parts of the West.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday over whether the Census may include a question about citizenship.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced recently that all asylum-seekers must be detained or deported. Immigrant advocates say this will put more pressure on detention centers that are already failing to meet the needs of detainees.

Federal immigration authorities recently announced that immigrants working in the marijuana industry could risk their chance at gaining citizenship.

Catherine Wheeler

The story of 20th century Sheridan immigrant and entrepreneur Zarif Khan resurfaced in the last several years. After a 2016 New Yorker story that detailed Khan's life, University of Iowa jazz studies professor and musician John Rapson was inspired to tell Khan's uniquely American story along with composer Danyel Gaglione. 

andrewghayes via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/

The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation and Wyoming Rising are co-sponsoring an event focused on non-citizen employees of Park County.

aoc.gov Public Domain

This week the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed a measure rejecting President Trump's emergency declaration so he can build his long-desired wall. There also seems to be enough opposition in the Senate to reject it, but neither chamber looks to have enough votes to override Trump's promised veto. But Senator John Barrasso is all in with Trump. 

yooperann/Flickr Creative Commons

A 25-year-old immigrant got a job working for a landscaping company in Jackson. One day, he was out mowing a lawn.

"I had an accident. A coworker drove over my foot with a machine," he said.

As an undocumented worker, he was immediately worried.

Melodie Edwards, Allie Gross

Allie Gross of the Jackson Hole News and Guide and Melodie Edwards of Wyoming Public Radio collaborated on a story about worker's compensation for undocumented immigrants. They joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard to discuss why they decided to co-produce this story.

The battle over a controversial citizenship question on the 2020 census may have profound economic implications for the Mountain West.

StoryCorps

Jackson is the most economically unequal city in the U.S. That's according to the Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank. A study found in 2016 that the income gap between the bottom 99 percent and the top one percent is widest in Jackson.

That makes affordable housing challenging. When StoryCorps came to Jackson in June, friends Marcela Badillo and Cristina Briones sat down to talk about what that means for immigrant families. 

A Colorado District Judge has ruled it is unconstitutional to detain inmates purely on behalf of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Similar cases have been argued throughout our region.

The parents sat stiffly; some had clearly been crying. Their children, largely oblivious, scribbled with crayons on the carpeted floor of a Denver immigration court. In a matter of months, the judge before them will make 71 life-changing decisions.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice instructed ten immigration courts around the country to speed up cases of families seeking asylum on U.S. soil. In Denver, that directive is being carried out in a series of group hearings, designed to decide cases in less than a year.

UWYO.EDU

In her new book Girlhood in the Borderlands, associate UW professor Lilia Soto takes a deep look at the lives of teenage girls who grow up living between Mexico and the United States. In her research, she conducted interviews with teen girls who have "transnational" families, where loved ones live on both sides of the border.

Soto will be giving a talk about the book Wednesday, October 3 at 5 p.m. in the University of Wyoming Union East Ballroom as part of Hispanic Heritage month. She joined Wyoming Public Radio's Caroline Ballard for a conversation and said her own upbringing sparked her interest in the subject.

Parker, Tom, Photographer (NARA record: 4682167) - U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain

Earlier this year, the Trump Administration put its zero-tolerance policy into place at the border, leading to the separation of immigrant parents and children. Now some people are looking back at history to try to understand how this policy truly affects those involved. 

Wyoming Rapid Response Network

An immigrant advocacy organization in Wyoming has joined forces with another in Colorado to create what they’re calling a Rapid Response Network. The groups plan to work across state lines to provide legal services, discrimination reporting and other aid to the region’s immigrants.

President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration has federal agencies scrambling to create thousands of new beds to hold potentially deportable immigrants, including in the Mountain West region.  

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