immigration

After six years of often bitter back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama announced he has decided to go it alone by temporarily shielding up to 5 million immigrants from being deported.

So What Is An 'Executive Action' Anyway?

Nov 20, 2014

You can read here about President Obama's executive action on immigration. Or here, a story about his executive order.

Although commonly conflated in the media, the two terms aren't exactly interchangeable.

In short ...

This post was updated on Dec. 1, 2014, at 4:52 p.m.

President Obama is set to announce executive action tonight, granting temporary relief to some of the nearly 12 million immigrants who are living in the United States illegally. Here's what we know so far:

1. What kind of relief is the president offering?

Obama's move lifts the threat of deportation — at least temporarily. But it does not provide the full path to citizenship as envisioned under a comprehensive immigration bill.

Via the PlanetReuse website

Don’t waste what can be used to sustain—that’s the idea behind PlanetReuse, a Kansas City-based company that helps contractors exchange reclaimed construction materials that would otherwise be headed to the landfill. Missouri Business Alert’s Yizhu Wang sat down with founder and CEO Nathan Benjamin at Columbia’s Sustainapalooza to talk about the firm and what it means to be the self-described “go-to solution for reuse.”

The immigration debate

Aug 14, 2014
immigration protest
Connor Radnovich / AP Photo

This summer, President Obama has lobbied Congress to enact immigration reforms, with the hope of reducing illegal immigration and streamlining the process through which people move to the United States. Much of the discussion has centered around children immigrating to the US from Central and South America, who often come unaccompanied with the hope that their families will be able to join them at a later date. This week on Global Journalist, we look at the issue of immigration, the current discourse surrounding it, and what could happen next. Our guests:

Missouri education officials plan to expand a scholarship program to some high school students who came to the US illegally before their 16th birthday.

The Missouri Department of Higher Education says those students will be eligible to participate in the A+ program, which gives qualifying students to receive two free years of tuition at a Missouri community college.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the program will be opened to students who have applied with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for "Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals" status.

Neighborhood Centers, Inc. / Flickr

The Missouri Department of Higher Education is opening up a community college scholarship program to young adults who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

That means students who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, will be able to trade tutoring hours for two years of tuition reimbursement through the A+ Scholarship Program. 

The deferred action program is tied to an Obama administration initiative that started in 2012. 

A three-day conference is being held to address the integration of immigrants into the Midwest. The 13th annual Cambio De Colores conference started Wednesday night at the University of Missouri and runs through Friday.

St. Louis city and county lost population in the 2010 census which created big concerns about the region’s future.

In reaction, the area's civic leaders quickly turned their attention to immigrants.

Foreign born residents make up less than 5 percent of the metropolitan area, far below most other major U.S. cities.

The St. Louis Mosaic Project came together this last year to address the issue.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

 

While doing research for the Harvest Public Media series “In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse,” reporters Abbie Fentress Swanson and Peggy Lowe called roughly two dozen institutions to get statistics about the children of immigrant and refugee workers at American meatpacking plants. Swanson said she called federal agencies, researchers, unions, and immigration advocacy groups. But she couldn't find anyone who kept data on how many of these children live in the U.S., not to mention their health, education or economic status.

“They’re not on anyone’s radar,” Swanson said. “They’re not being tracked or followed, they’re kind of an invisible population in this country.”

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

In the Shadows of the Slaughterhouse, part 1: Attracted to stable jobs in the meatpacking industry, communities of immigrants are springing up across rural America. Many small, rural towns, however, struggle to provide much more than instruction.

It’s almost 9 a.m., and Noel Primary School teacher Erin McPherson is helping a group of Spanish-speaking students complete English language exercises. But it’s tough going.

Photo by Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

This is the latest installment of Harvest Public Media’s Field Notes, in which reporters talk to newsmakers and experts about important issues related to food production.

What does immigration look like in mid-Missouri?

May 1, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this month, a “Gang of Eight” bipartisan senators introduced an immigration bill that would grant low-skilled immigrant workers the opportunity to stay in the United States legally without a green card, among other reforms. Called “W-visas,” these visas would allow immigrants to fill positions that don’t require bachelor’s degrees for three years.

Watch the show and join the conversation on the Intersection website.

karen cottrell
Ryan Schuessler / KBIA

Columbia Public Schools is implementing a new program at Douglass High School designed to help at risk students graduate with the skills they need to join the workforce. It’s called Douglas Academy, and is catered to older students who enter the school system late and would be left behind by the traditional path to graduation. 

Kelsey Kupferer/Lukas Udstuen / KBIA

20 year-old Diana Martinez likes to say she was born in Mexico but made in America:

Immigrant advocacy groups in Missouri say that while they are pleased the US Supreme Court struck down most of a controversial Arizona immigration policy, they remain concerned about a provision that had the support of the justices.

The five-to-three ruling on Monday allowed Arizona law enforcement officials to check the papers of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Opponents say that will lead to biased policing.

Regional news from the KBIA newsroom, including:

  • E. coli reading high at Flat Branch Creek
  • Mo. officials react to Pres. Obama's executive order on immigration
  • Boone County exploring ways to fund Route Z bridge construction

Missouri officials are both praising and condemning President Obama’s executive order today that halts deportation of teenage and young adult illegal immigrants.

Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

Sioux County, in northwest Iowa, is known for its Dutch pastries. The landscape is dotted with Lutheran and reform churches.  But today, Catholic churches and tortillerias are creeping into the landscape — signs of the new residents joining this vibrant community.

In Sioux County, as in a scattering of communities across the Midwest, Hispanic immigrants are working in meat processing plants, dairies, egg-laying facilities and hog barns. In fact, the majority of U.S. farm laborers today were born outside the U.S.