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Rock Bridge Christian Church announced Sunday that it is the second sanctuary church in Columbia. The Universalist Unitarian Church became Columbia’s first sanctuary church in April. Sanctuary churches provide shelter and support for immigrants facing deportation. Rock Bridge Christian Church has been considering becoming a sanctuary church since May of this year.

Rev. Sarah Klaassen, the pastor at Rock Bridge Christian Church, says the congregation wants to stand in solidarity with those affected by immigration policies.

Emergency Response Centre International (Courtesy)

Back in 2015, the immigration crisis in Europe was in headlines all over the world. Since then the numbers of people crossing the by sea to the continent has declined from more than 1 million annually to just 126,000 through early September of this year, according to the U.N.'s migration agency. 

But many problems remain unresolved. Not least for the tens of thousands of migrants who arrived in Europe over the past few years and still find themselves in legal limbo. On this edition of Global Journalist, we look at Europe's tortured efforts to address the problem, and get an up close view at conditions for migrants in France and Greece. 


AP Images

On this two-part edition of Global Journalist, we look at political corruption in Malaysia and a controversial new film about migration to Europe.

In Malaysia, the country's politics have been in turmoil for two years amid a corruption scandal involving the prime minister and allegations of money laundering in a government investment fund known as 1MDB.

Joining the program to talk about why the allegations have received little coverage in the southeast Asian nation's media is Nicholas Cheng of the Malaysian newspaper The Star.

In a separate interview, the Dutch filmmaker Guido Hendrikx speaks about his new film "Stranger in Paradise," a hard-edged look at how migrants are received in Europe. The film has shown at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and the 2017 True/False Film Festival in Missouri.


Renee Hickman / KBIA

About 100 people gathered for a lunchtime protest outside Sen. Roy Blunt’s office Tuesday to voice their opposition to various aspects of President Donald Trump’s agenda.

CoMo for Progress, a progressive community group, organized the event to address President Trump’s recent cabinet picks and his executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Protestors chanted, held signs and delivered letters expressing their concerns to Sen. Blunt’s local office staff.

AP

For months now, the world has watched as more than a million refugees and migrants from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have risked their lives to try and find safe haven in Europe.

But this influx has created enormous tensions in the European Union about how many newcomers to accept and which countries should take them. Governments in Sweden and Germany have each taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants–and taken criticism both from other European states and their own people.

So, who foots the bill for settling the hundreds of thousands of immigrants? And if no one, where will these people go?


j.stephenconn / flickr

Business, labor and civil rights groups are opposing a bill that would require all Missouri employers to use a federal program checking employees' authorization to legally work in the U.S.

Bill sponsor Rep. Rick Brattin told a House panel Monday that mandating participation in the E-Verify system is a quick and cheap way to ensure employers follow immigration laws. His bill would establish a three-strike system in which a business would lose its license the third time it hires someone unauthorized to work in the country.

The Cost Behind Nice Nails

May 14, 2015
via Flickr user madame.furie

The New York Times published an investigative piece on the high price of cheap nails. The article quickly got people to think twice about bargain salons, and regulation changes are already underway. Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean discuss the issue on the weekly media criticism program, "Views of the News." 

For more, follow Views of the News on  Facebook ,  Twitter, and  YouTube.    

After a two-month wait in Libya, Hassan Silla, a 35-year-old from Sierra Leone, made the sea crossing from northern Africa to southern Italy on a smuggler's boat last February.

As one of 76 migrants on a 12-meter-long inflatable dinghy, Silla knew exactly what the risks were. Lawlessness and chaos have gripped Libya, and Silla says migrants from sub-Saharan Africa are the most vulnerable.

While waiting to make the crossing, he lost his best friend.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

Immigrants living in Missouri illegally couldn't receive scholarships or in-state tuition under a bill approved by the House.

Cows to be milked
Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

When Jon Slutsky’s dairy farm in Wellington, Colo. is fully staffed, it’s a moment to celebrate. A full roster of employees at Slutsky’s La Luna Dairy is rare these days.

“We’re doing really well with our employee base,” Slutsky said. “A year ago, we couldn’t say that. We were short.”

With the farm’s 1,500 cows waiting to be milked, Slutsky and his wife Susan Moore felt panicked, worried they didn’t have enough hands on deck to milk about 200 cows per hour.

“That’s what pays the bills for a place like this is milk sales,” Slutsky said. “We were short 5 milkers out of 11.”


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.