Immigration

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh man who was arrested in May for being in the United States illegally declined to take a plea deal negotiated in federal court Thursday as expected. Lawyers for Martin Esquivel-Hernandez said they'd hoped their client’s felony re-entry charges would be reduced to misdemeanors, which would have decreased the possibility of his deportation.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

About 50 advocates for local activist and Mexican immigrant Martín Esquivel-Hernandez held a rally in downtown Pittsburgh Tuesday morning, calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to stop deportation proceedings against him.

Canada's Immigration and Citizenship website was down for hours Tuesday and Wednesday — apparently due to a spike in searches by Americans reacting to Tuesday's presidential election. Access was cut off on Election Day; the site was brought back online shortly after 10 a.m. ET. Search traffic for "Canada immigration," "Canada" and "move to Canada" has increased in the United States relative to the past seven days, according to Google Trends. Google reports that the search terms were...

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Sage Arnold, 13, is not a big fan of this year’s election. “When I was little I watched one of the debates between Obama and Mitt Romney,” he said. “I couldn’t really understand a lot of it, but it sounded really civilized and mature.”

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Holding her newly minted citizenship certificate and voter registration application, Sumebha Gupta grinned. “I just wanted to give my vote to be counted,” she said. Gupta is one of 39 people who became a United States citizen this month, many of whom cited the upcoming presidential election as their major motivation. “I feel excited," said Omar Coker, originally form Sierra Leone. He said registering to vote was "definitely a must." Naturalization applications tend to surge during...

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump said Monday it's time to "chart a new course" in the battle against "radical Islamic terrorism," though much of what he proposed is similar to the course already set by President Obama. "My administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS," Trump said during a foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Ohio. He also called for international efforts to cut off funding to terrorist groups, expanded...

Office of Public Art

Four resident artists will pair with local organizations that work with immigrant populations to create public art installations. It’s part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Our Town” initiative, which supports programs where artists engage with the community. The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council’s Office of Public Art received a $200,000 grant from the NEA for the resident artists program. Welcoming Pittsburgh and the Department of City Planning will help place the artists with the...

Nazareth College / flickr

Employers from around the region will be on the lookout for new hires at the second annual Refugee and Immigrant Job Fair this Friday. The event seeks to assist new citizens transitioning into the American job market who may be unfamiliar with U.S. employment techniques.

'The Aleppo Evil' Is Making A Comeback

Jun 29, 2016

When the first cases were reported in Syria 275 years ago, it was called "the Aleppo boil" or "the Aleppo evil." And for good reason: The parasitic illness spread by sand flies causes nasty skin lesions that leave victims scarred for life physically and can leave emotional scars as well. The disease, now known as Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis, or CL, is not unique to Syria. It's found in parts of the Middle East, Africa, Asia and southern Europe, according to the Centers for Disease...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnBmOPZI_Wc President Obama says he agrees with Donald Trump on one thing: There are "parallels" between the U.S. election and the United Kingdom's dramatic vote to leave the European Union. Obama describes the parallels differently, however. Trump described Britons "taking their country back." Obama says the Brexit vote and Trump's campaign both are marked by "xenophobia" and a fear of "funny-looking people." Obama spoke during a wide-ranging interview with NPR...

Ryan Deto / City Paper

Last week the Supreme Court's 4-4 vote left in place a Texas federal judge's order that has prevented President Obama from granting deportation relief to more than 4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens. One of them is Martin-Esqivel-Hernandez who was taken recently from his Pittsburgh home to prison and faces deportation to Mexico. We'll talk with City Paper reporter Ryan Deto , who recently wrote a cover story about this case, and Guillermo Perez head of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and part of the campaign to release Martin Esquivel-Hernandez from detention..

pittsburghpa.gov

For the next month, the city of Pittsburgh will highlight a different resident each day in an effort to show off the region’s diversity. “We’re very much lacking in that area,” said Betty Cruz, the city's deputy chief of special initiatives. “But there are people from diverse backgrounds here and they need to be welcomed and they need to have their story told.” " 30 Neighbors. 30 Days. " was born from Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council Member Elizabeth Heidenreich's reaction to negative...

Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

When students Bishal Rai, Arpun Khadka and Gabriel Sahij walk into Concord Elementary School in Carrick, a welcome sign greets them in English, Spanish and Nepali.

Allie_Caulfield / Flickr

Allegheny County can no longer hold individuals based on solely on their suspected illegal immigration status, according to a settlement reached Wednesday with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

Larkin Page-Jacobs / 90.5 WESA

About 20 immigrants became U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony at Schenley Plaza in Oakland on Monday. Men and women from Brazil, Bhutan, Taiwan, Egypt and other countries took their Oath of Allegiance and were handed American flags and certificates from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. They also listened to speeches by the presidents of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. City of Pittsburgh Special Initiatives Manager Betty Cruz was on hand to...

Reporting On 'American Coyotes' Along The U.S.-Mexican Border

Jul 22, 2015
Justin Merriman / Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

People who enter the country illegally have a great impact on the American labor force. But that same American labor is helping to smuggle migrants cross the U.S.–Mexico border. These smugglers, known as “coyotes,” are the focus of a week-long series in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review . I nvestigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman joined Essential Pittsburgh to discuss their work .

Erika Beras

Following a naturalization ceremony in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers on Monday morning, Mayor Bill Peduto and his staff introduced Welcoming Pittsburgh, an initiative to make life easier for the city’s immigrants. “This is not only a question of doing what is right," he said. "It's also a critical part of the growth of a new Pittsburgh, the next economy and a part of seeing the full potential of every neighborhood to see revitalization.”

Foreign-born students studying in the U.S. spend billions in local economies and their talents should be more deliberately harnessed, according to a new study by the Brookings Institution. International students contribute close to $35 billion in tuition and living costs to over 100 metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. The students disproportionately study science, technology, engineering, and math – or STEM – careers and the number of people coming to U.S. institutions is growing. The...

David Brossard / Flickr

In an increasingly global job market how do you attract and maintain the best talent? What if that talent isn't local but global? Those were some of the questions posed at the Governor's Jobs 1st Summit held here in Pittsburgh. Immigration attorney and former U.S. diplomat Kamana Mathur joins us to discuss the challenges employers face in attaining and keeping talent from around the world.

In an effort to make Pittsburgh more welcoming, a 40-member-council has been formed to listen to ideas, implement changes and make new residents feel at home. “It’s part of what’s called ‘Welcoming America,’ which is a national movement to bring on cities and counties across the country to get them to commit to become more welcoming in their practices to their foreign born residents and really to encourage immigrant integration,” said Betty Cruz, nonprofit and faith-based manager for the...

Maria Antonio came to the United States 11 years ago with her husband and her son, who is now 13 years old. She has since had two more children, but they all face the threat of losing their father because he has been involved in a deportation case with immigration for two years. “My children say to me regularly: ‘Mommy, are we going to be separated, are they going to send daddy away?’” Antonio said. “This is what we most fear – not just my family, but all families.” She, her husband and her...

As the national debate on immigration reform continues, local officials are examining the role immigrants play in helping communities grow. Pittsburgh and other Rust Belt cities have struggled for years to grow the economy while the population continues to decline. “In order to be a growing place, an economically growing place, you have to have people – talent – that’s contributing as workers, as entrepreneurs, as job-creators, as educators, as students – you need to have individuals making...

Global Great Lakes Conference Attracts Immigrants to Pittsburgh

Jun 10, 2014
Andy / Wikipedia Commons

A recent report by the Institute for Policy Innovation concludes that wages rise fastest in U.S. cities with the greatest influx of highly skilled immigrants. This could be one reason why a number of cities are looking to attract more immigrants to their municipalities. Attracting and retaining immigrant populations will be the focus of the Global Great Lakes Conference taking place this week in Pittsburgh. Betty Cruz, Non-Profit and Faith Based manager for Mayor Peduto’s Office and Tom Buell , Director of marketing and Study Pittsburgh Initiative at Global Pittsburgh, provide an overview of this week’s conference. Last year the Global Great Lakes conference took place in Detroit, one of the most active cities in the United States trying to attract immigrants. This year’s conference will be co-organized by Global Detroit, Vibrant Pittsburgh and GlobalPittsburgh. Buell has high hopes for how this conference may be a game changer for immigration reform and how immigration is received in Pittsburgh as a whole.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto announced Wednesday the creation of Welcoming Pittsburgh, an initiative aimed at attracting and retaining immigrants in order to advance the city. In the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries, people flocked to the city from all over the world to work in the steel mills and factories. The Pittsburgh of today was built by the immigrants of the past. One century later, Pittsburgh has lost much of its population and the city is feeling the effects. The answer to...

senatorsmucker.com

At best estimate, tens of thousands of children of undocumented immigrants live in our state today. The Pennsylvania Dream Act would give children of undocumented immigrants who have attended high school in the state, an opportunity to apply for admission to state owned colleges and universities, or related universities, at in-state rates. The Dream Act bill is led by Pennsylvania State Senator Lloyd Smucker , a Republican who says, “This is not a partisan issue this is about, what is the right thing to do for this group of kids.”

Making Pittsburgh Appealing for Immigration & Innovation

Aug 16, 2013
Autophotomoto / Flickr

Hundreds of immigrants come to Pittsburgh to refine their skills in engineering and the sciences at schools like CMU and University of Pittsburgh. But current immigration laws often cannot keep this potential workforce in the United States. Brian Kennedy, Vice President of Strategic Services and Government Relations for the Pittsburgh Technology Council says these potential entrepreneurs are leaving Pittsburgh for places that have more comprehensive immigration legislation.

Wikipedia

A strong showing of bipartisan support Thursday resulted in the U.S. Senate's vote in favor of immigration reform . This marks the most significant overhaul of the nation's immigration laws in a generation.

wikipedia

These topics air Friday in the noon hour on 90.5 WESA Immigration Reform
Thursday afternoon the Senate passed an extensive immigration reform bill . However, critics believe the bill could run into trouble in the Republican controlled House. This is the first major immigration reform since 1986 when Congress passed a bill giving potential amnesty to more than three million undocumented immigrants. What’s different this time and how will immigration reform change the country? We’ll talk with immigration attorney and former U.S. diplomat Kamana Mathur . Also taking part in the conversation will be immigration attorney Rohit Dharwadkar.

UPMC/University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

The White House released a video on immigration reform featuring staffers in an attempt to push their support for the issue. It's hoped Congress will vote on the issue before before the July 4th holiday? Six years ago President Bush urged lawmakers on Capitol Hill to pass his proposed immigration reform. Instead the bill passed away.

Pittsburgh City Council voted Wednesday to issue a resolution that urges Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package. Authored by Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, the Will of Council document demands an easier process for foreigners to become U.S. citizens. "There is no reasonable system for people to become citizens of this country," Rudiak said. "That's why we have 11 million people living in the shadows. If we actually had a reasonable pathway to citizenship, people would be...

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