immigration

Ellie Harold’s migration inspired art installation, “Birds Fly In: A Human Refuge,” is on display at the Oliver Art Center in Frankfort through Sept. 11, 2020.
Diane Frederick

In 2017, artist Ellie Harold was stuck in traffic in Atlanta. There was road rage all around her, and she started feeling it bubble up inside of her too. She asked herself, “Wouldn’t it be great if people could just have a place to go for a time out?”


Taylor Wizner

This week on Points North, a private prison in Baldwin will hold immigrants convicted of crimes. Some nearby residents argue it will bring jobs to the area, while others want nothing to do with it.

Plus hear about a legal scholar turned writer whose stories brought her back to northern Michigan.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

In less than two weeks, a prison housing immigrants will open in northern Michigan. 

Private prison operator GEO Group won the contract from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to hold inmates convicted of federal crimes at their North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin. 

 


 

Today on Stateside, how Michigan farmers are dealing with devastating crop losses and the impacts of a trade war. Plus, many in Michigan's immigrant communities were not surprised by a new Trump administration rule that denies green cards to immigrants who have used, or are likely to use, public benefits.

 

Noelle Riley

Two controversial agenda items proposed by the Grand Traverse County Commissioners supporting Line 5 and the U.S. Census question were postponed Wednesday.

A state Senate committee approved a budget provision to financially penalize communities with sanctuary city policies. 

Today on Stateside, Michigan's lame-duck legislature moved to roll back previously-passed legislation that increased the state's minimum wage and mandated paid sick leave. Plus, a member of the Mackinac Bridge Authority weighs in on the state's plan to have the organization oversee a tunnel to house the replacement pipelines for of Enbridge's aging Line 5. 

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

 


As the nation's attention has focused on ICE and its role in the Trump administration's zero-tolerance immigration policy, another immigration agency has quietly been making drastic changes to its mission and policies. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a federal agency traditionally charged with managing benefits and services for immigrants to the U.S. 

In February, USCIS published a new mission statement, considerably shifting the direction of their organization. 

  

The plight of migrant children being separated from their families at detention centers has grabbed the attention of many across the country. The first reunification deadline to reunite children under five with their families was Tuesday.

From this crisis many grassroots groups have sprung up, as parents, teachers, foster parents, and religious leaders search for ways to help migrant families who were separated.

Three parents were able to finally see their children again today in Grand Rapids.

It had been three months since these dads seeking asylum in the U.S. were separated from their children. All of whom are under five years old.

Today a U.S. House Committee is holding a hearing to get a progress report on the 2020 census. 

If the Trump administration gets its way, the next census will have something that hasn't been on a census in 70 years: a question about your citizenship status.

That has critics on high alert, fearing the question will keep non-citizens and even legal immigrants from responding to the census.

They say an inaccurate head-count is bad for their communities, and for Michigan.

President Trump's executive order ending family separations at the southern border, but leaving in place the zero-tolerance policy, did nothing to quell the national anger and confusion.

Trump's order did not address what happens for some 2,300 children who have already been taken from their parents after crossing the border. Those children are currently in shelters and foster care across the country, inlcuding here in Michigan.

More than 1,000 people marched through the streets of downtown Grand Rapids Tuesday in support of immigrants and protesting deportations.

Andy Johnston is the VP of government and corporate affairs for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce. He joined Stateside to explain how immigrants play a crucial role in the Grand Rapids economy.

When President Donald Trump gives his State of the Union speech tomorrow night, the wife of a man the Trump administration deported will be in the audience.

Cindy Garcia will be the guest of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.

Rep. Dingell has been working to reunite Jorge Garcia with his family. He was deported to Mexico in mid-January.

Cindy and Jorge Garcia joined Stateside to discuss Cindy's life with her husband in the United States, and how she feels about the president’s immigration policies.

Last Friday, President Trump was asked about the future of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). It’s the program that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain in the country. They're widely known as "DREAMers."

"We love the DREAMers," President Trump said. "We love everybody."

 


One of the promises President Donald Trump built his campaign on, and a promise he continues to repeat, is bringing jobs back to the United States.

But many employers say it’s workers they need. All across Michigan, businesses are constantly struggling to fill openings.

That pressure is particularly acute on Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City. Many popular hotels and restaurants there rely heavily on foreign workers who enter the country on H-2B visas.

Michigan Sheriffs' Association

Law enforcement officials in Michigan are talking about what President Trump’s immigration policies mean for them. 

The Trump administration has made a priority of deporting people living in the country illegally. Normally immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government – not local sheriffs. But sheriffs and local police departments do sometimes play a role in the process. 

Protesters pack sanctuary city hearing

May 31, 2017

A discussion on whether Traverse City should become a sanctuary city drew dozens of protesters to the governmental center Wednesday night.

Sanctuary city status would likely mean that local police would not report illegal immigrants to the federal government.

Traverse City considering 'sanctuary city' status

May 12, 2017
Aaron Selbig

Officials in Traverse City are discussing the possibility of “sanctuary city” status. The city’s Human Rights Commission has debated the idea at its meetings over the last few months. The declaration would mean police would not report undocumented immigrants to the federal government.

Lansing's City Council did an about-face last night. 

The Council reversed its earlier unanimous decision to declare Lansing a "sanctuary city". The 5-2 vote means the city is not a sanctuary for immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants.

The Trump Administration has threatened to punish sanctuary cities by withholding federal funds.

The Michigan and Lansing Chambers of Commerce had been urging Lansing's City Council to rescind that earlier resolution.

Rich Studley, the president and CEO of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, joined Stateside to explain why they rejected the resolution.

 

President Donald Trump has signed executive orders that change the deportation priorities for people who are in the U.S. illegally. Some are worried that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) could be caught up in the wave of increased enforcement.

"Don't be afraid to call us."

That's what Grand Rapids Police Chief David Rahinsky said in a recent meeting of anxious people at the Hispanic Center of West Michigan.

The meeting addressed concerns from people who don't know how and if President Trump's immigration crackdown involves local police agencies.

Across Michigan, a number of undocumented Mexican immigrants have been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials.

While President Donald Trump indicated his order would deport criminals – “bad hombres,” as he put it –  there are reports that people with only minor violations are being picked up, even people with no apparent violations.

Traverse City family welcomes African child refugee

Feb 15, 2017
David Cassleman

The past few weeks have been challenging ones for a new refugee program in northern Michigan. The plan is to resettle up to 15 refugee children with foster families in the Traverse City area this year.  

President Trump has complicated things with his executive order on immigration and refugees.

But with the order temporarily halted, the program in Traverse City is welcoming its first refugee on Wednesday — a teenage girl from Africa. 

 

The White House continues to insist that the President's executive orders on immigrants and refugees will make America safer.

The West Michigan group Samaritas begs to differ.

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