Immigrants

Migrants under a bridge
Lynda M. González for KUT

Almost 40 child welfare and medical groups in Texas sent a letter to federal and state leaders Thursday expressing concern about the treatment of child migrants on the state’s southern border. They say poor living conditions are causing trauma among these children, which could have lasting effects.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Sayed Musa Hashimi was an interpreter for the U.S. military in his native Afghanistan. After he was attacked in his home, he applied for a special immigrant visa. In 2014, he and his family came to Austin.

Sayed and his daughter, Hajera, talk about their journey, missing family and their hopes for the future.

A Grim Border Drowning Underlines The Peril Facing Many Migrants

Jun 26, 2019
The Rio Grande River as seen from Brownsville, Texas as it passes under the Gateway International Bridge between the border cities of Brownsville and Matamoros, Mexico.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

The man and his 23-month-old daughter lay face down in shallow water along the bank of the Rio Grande, his black shirt hiked up to his chest with the girl tucked inside. Her arm was draped around his neck suggesting she clung to him in her final moments.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Priscila Vega came to the U.S. as a child from her native El Salvador. Her family fled that country's civil war.

She spent 21 years in the U.S. without documentation.

Now a teacher in Austin, Vega talks about voting for the first time and the need to give back.

We're highlighting the voices of people who came to the U.S. from another country in celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month. We want to hear your story! Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #ATXImmigrants.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Diana Nguyen left her native Vietnam after her father was threatened with prison for serving in the South Vietnamese army.

She talks about encountering pirates in the Pacific Ocean, seeing snow for the first time and not taking anything for granted.

Ronald Muljadi came to the U.S. with his family at 5 years old.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Ronald Muljadi is a mortgage broker in Austin. He moved to the U.S. with his parents and sister when he was 5 years old. 

Growing up, he never felt like he got the "full experience" of his Indonesian heritage until he got older.

Ximena Cardoso-Sloane, originally from Ecuador
Julia Reihs / KUT

Ximena Cardoso-Sloane, a math teacher in Round Rock, never planned to move to the U.S. She left her native Ecuador in 2000 to visit a friend in America — and ended up staying.

"In my heart," she says, "I always was a citizen of the world."

Julia Reihs / KUT

Monica Caivano came to Austin from Argentina in 1994. She co-founded Esquina Tango, a "mini cultural center" that teaches language and dance in East Austin.

Julia Reihs / KUT

We're celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month by highlighting people who have moved to Austin from all over the world.

 

Anna Katrina Davey is originally from Italy, but spent time in Germany and Vietnam before moving to Austin. She owns a company that trains businesspeople to recognize and understand cultural differences with people they do business with in other countries.

Lynda M. González/KUT

From Texas Standard:

A single picture can change the way people think about an issue or event, even something happening on the other side of the world. Think of the girl running from a napalm attack during the Vietnam War. Or, more recently, the image of the dead body of the Syrian toddler, Alan Kurdi, who washed up on a beach in Turkey after an attempted escape from Syria. How does what we see in those images compare with what the photojournalist sees? Does the click of the shutter imply a certain photojournalistic responsibility?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

We're celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month by highlighting people who have moved to Austin from all over the world.

Moyo Oyelola

Government leaders in Texas often tout the state as the best in the country for business, and they have some data to back that up. Texas is home to some of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. But a new documentary debuting this week at South by Southwest asks viewers to look at the human cost of that growth.

Wally Gobetz/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to shifting racial and ethnic demographics in Texas, often the first thing that comes to mind is the state's growing Latino population. In fact, one of the fastest-growing racial groups in Texas is Asian Americans. Two Texas cities, Houston and Arlington, have some of the country's largest Vietnamese populations, and those communities grew quickly during the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. But reporting from The Atlantic last week revealed that the Trump administration is looking to deport some Vietnamese immigrants who've committed crimes in the U.S.; some of them immigrated here after fleeing Vietnam during the war.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Public health experts in Texas are concerned that a growing number of American children are forgoing services like Medicaid and food stamps because their parents are undocumented. The trend could get worse, they say, if a proposed change to immigration policy goes through.  

Updated at 5:27 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants, even those with permanent legal status and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Immigrants in Texas are committing fewer crimes proportionally than natural-born citizens, according to a new report from the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute.

Researchers with the libertarian think-tank used 2015 data from the Texas Department of Public Safety to measure the criminal conviction and arrest rates of three groups: illegal immigrants, legal immigrants and native-born Americans.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection /Wikimedia Commons [Public domain]

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump took office a year ago promising to ramp up border security. New data from the Hope Border Institute and the Borderland Immigration Council show the situation for asylum-seekers has gotten worse. The U.S. can’t turn away migrants who express fear of persecution; they're legally entitled to a screening interview to see if they qualify for asylum. But new data show asylum-seekers are being denied those interviews and being mistreated, both at the border and while in detention.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Watchdog groups are concerned about a Department of Justice request to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. The agency says the information is needed to enforce the Voting Rights Act, specifically a section that bans racial discrimination.

“It’s just a ridiculous political statement and doesn’t hold water given the facts,” says Phil Sparks, co-director of the Census Project, a national coalition of groups that use census data.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

If Congress doesn’t reauthorize funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) soon, it's not just Texas children who could lose access to health insurance; thousands of pregnant women could lose coverage, too.

Lynda Gonzalez / KUT

Editor's note: We have removed the last name of the woman profiled in this story to protect the identity of her parents.

Oluwatoyosi, Toyosi for short, stands observant, her hands clasped in the middle of a crowd of more than 40 people in the basement of Hogg Auditorium. The 21-year-old is showcasing a collection of designs at Fest Africa: Africa Uncut, the Texas African Student Organization’s annual cultural showcase.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Donald Trump said at the kickoff of his presidential campaign in 2015. "They're bringing drugs," he said. "They're bringing crime. They're rapists," allowing that "some, I assume, are good people."

Immigrants who need to renew their DACA permits can get free legal help through a local nonprofit at a clinic Sept. 17.

Texas Here To Stay is hosting the clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Mexican Consulate on Ben White Boulevard to help people fill out and send in their renewal forms.

Air Force One (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump's latest executive order focuses on the way the federal government gives visas to highly trained foreign workers. It's part of the administration's "buy American, hire American" efforts, and it could have a pretty significant impact on Texas.

A portion of the south Texas border fence and remote surveillance cameras.
Donna Burton/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Government Work)

From Texas Standard:

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said just yesterday that it is "unlikely" that a wall along the United States' southern border will be built in full. That’s different from the Trump administration's original proposed plans to build a continuous 30-foot wall, regardless of the terrain and other potential obstacles.

 

M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

Remember the Takata airbag scandal? The company’s actions – though they took lives – were not criminal; Takata’s offenses were civil. Nobody went to jail. But the company was fined $1 billion.

 

Joy Diaz

From Texas Standard:

Undocumented immigrants in the United States are paying close attention to the deportation policies of the Trump administration. More and more it appears that those who have committed crimes are not the only ones who are a priority for removal.

 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Thousands gathered at the Texas state Capitol on Saturday for a rally to show solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities, and to protest recent federal and state immigration actions.

KUT News

The Austin School Board unanimously approved a resolution 9-0 Monday night in support of all students, regardless of immigration status. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Businesses across Austin were closed Thursday as part of a nationwide strike to show support for immigrants in the U.S.

“Day Without Immigrants” was organized in response to President Trump’s immigration agenda, including the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, the proposed border wall with Mexico and the now-suspended travel ban. The aim of the protests is to show the contributions immigrants make in the country on a daily basis.

Scores of protesters gathered at Austin City Hall and marched to the Capitol in a peaceful protest of the ICE actions. 

Martin do Nascimento for The Texas Tribune

With Donald Trump in the White House and rumors of widespread law enforcement raids percolating throughout her heavily immigrant community in North Austin, Irma Perez said she decided to help pay off her brother’s unpaid tickets to help him avoid any trouble. 

It would lead to her own family’s undoing.

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