immigrants

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Nashua is the most diverse city in New Hampshire, with the state’s largest population of foreign-born residents.  Today on Word of Mouth, we’re exploring how immigrants decide to build a life in Nashua… and what that has meant for them and for the city.

 

Then, we’re going way back in time to look at how Magna Carta shaped the American democratic project.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

An Indonesian woman detained in a deportation case since last summer is asking a federal judge for her release.

Etty Tham is a resident of Portsmouth and has two grandchildren who are U.S. citizens.

U.S. ICE

A Congolese man detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Dover was released Thursday after spending a month in jail.

Bienfait says he left the Democratic Republic of Congo to seek asylum in Canada, after his son was kidnapped and his family received multiple threats from local militia. NHPR is only using his first name because he fears retaliation in his country of origin.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig got an early holiday present on Monday from a group of Webster Elementary School English language learners.

The students presented a book they've been preparing for the last few months in their immersive all-day ESL class.

The book opens with the words "We are Manchester Proud" and a photo of the students, who moved here within the last year from countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

After that, there are pages of photos of their new city, Manchester, that the students took themselves on walking tours.

Police in Manchester, Pelham, Nashua, and Concord are joining forces on Saturday to host a "Youth Forum for New Americans."

The event is the first time the police have organized this kind of event for young people, specifically targetting immigrants and refugees.

John Marasco is an Administrative Major with the New Hampshire State Police. He says the afternoon is meant to build relationships between the police and new Americans, particularly those who have had bad experiences with law enforcement in the past.

NHPR File Photo

On Sunday, Brazilians will head to the polls to elect their next president. For the first time, Brazilians in New Hampshire will be able to cast their ballot in state, at Nashua’s Elm Street Middle School.

In previous elections, many New Hampshire Brazilians would to head to Boston or Brighton to vote.

Cosme Neles is the president of Nashua's Latino Community Council, and he asked the Brazilian consulate in Boston to add Nashua to their list of polling places.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Manchester's Franco-American Centre kicked off a new summer program for French-speaking immigrant children this week.

 

Eight young Haitian-Americans participated in day three of "Camp Bienvenue." Thursday they went to go see “Wizard of Oz” at the Palace Theater, but participant Angela Cenesca said, earlier in the week the focus was sports. "We went to the baseball, the Fisher Cats stadium," she said.

 

The ACLU released a statement on its social media accounts calling for bus transit company Concord Coach Lines to cease what it says is complicity with immigration officials.

The civil liberties group also posted video allegedly showing travelers encountering immigration agents as they prepared to board a Concord Coach Lines bus in Maine. In that video, some of the customers question a company employee.

A New Hampshire nonprofit is going to announce a new economic program for first-generation immigrants to encourage business development and job creation.

The Regional Economic Development Center is talking about the program Friday in Manchester. The center serves communities in Rockingham and Hillsborough counties. It offers technical assistance, funding, and business and development training.

State Division of Economic Development Director Will Arvelo, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig and a program participant will be among the speakers at the event.

NHPR File Photo

 

The New Hampshire House has delayed action on a bill that would ban anyone who is not a legal resident from the state's adult education programs.

Supporters say the roughly $4 million the state spends on adult workforce training programs should be reserved for people who can legally work in the United States. Opponents say the bill would hurt immigrants and refugees working toward citizenship. The bill passed the Senate in March but the House voted 233-97 on Wednesday to further study it.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

A bill that would limit state-funded adult education programs to legal residents cleared the Senate last week.

 

Republican Senator Andy Sanborn is the primary sponsor of SB 525. He contends it will focus taxpayer funding on those who can work legally in the state.

 

Sanborn pointed out during a Senate session last week that the bill is not meant to target those on a path to citizenship.

The Trump administration is ending temporary protected status for some 60,000 Haitians living in the U.S. after an earthquake devastated their country in 2010.

This affects between 80 and 150 Haitians in New Hampshire, according to Samson DuClair, president of the Haitian Community Center of N.H. He says these people are worried about being sent back, and many don’t have a home to return to.

Jonathan McIntosh / https://flic.kr/p/742Wx2

Nineteen Indonesian immigrants living in New Hampshire received deportation orders Tuesday after checking in at federal immigration offices in Manchester.

The immigrants are undocumented, but check in every month with ICE officials.

Maggie Fogarty, co-director of the New Hampshire program for the American Friends Service Committee, said ICE told the Indonesians to return next month with plane tickets showing a November departure.

Fogarty said immigrants who have been complying with regular check-ins are easy targets for deportation.

President Trump’s decision to end the DACA immigration policy could affect nearly 400 people here in New Hampshire.

Ron Abramson, an immigration attorney based in Manchester, says he’s been working with clients protected by DACA in the run up to this decision to explore their options.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Tuesday formally announced it will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — also called DACA — putting an expiration date on the legal protections granted to roughly 800,000 people known as "DREAMers," who entered the country illegally as children.

President Trump issued a statement, saying, "I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws."

The number of asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. into Canada is surging this summer, with nearly 800 people illegally walking into Quebec in June alone.

Catholic Charities of NH has received $60,000 in federal funds to help immigrant victims of crimes perpetrated by U.S. citizens and permanent residents.

Cathy Chesley of Catholic Charities said most of the organizations eligible clients are survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, although victimes of other crimes are also eligible.

Religious leaders in New Hampshire are holding a vigil outside Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in an effort to show support for immigrant families at risk of deportation.

The vigil takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday outside the Norris Cotton Federal Building in Manchester. The leaders of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish congregations will call upon the agency known as ICE to let immigrants stay and work to keep families together.

Courtesy Easterseals NH

Easterseals New Hampshire was trying to fill 280 open positions in Manchester to serve children with physical, neurological or behavioral disabilities. To fill those open positions, Easterseals had to get creative.

Wikimedia commons

Every Sunday an ad hoc group of friends and acquaintances meets to play a game of pick-up soccer… the teams are fluid, and there's no referee, but they play a spirited game, with players shouting in both Spanish and English…

Alfredo is decked out in neon yellow socks and cleats, and his hair pulled back in a small bun…he plays a mean game, fast footwork. To protect his privacy … we’re only using his first name.

Ted Siefer

For the growing immigrant communities in southern New Hampshire, the language barrier poses many challenges, from schools to public transit. The city of Nashua has come up with a novel way to help city bus drivers communicate with passengers with limited English abilities. 

 

NPR's Tom Gjelten on America's Immigration Story

Jun 6, 2016
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Longtime NPR foreign correspondent Tom Gjelten writes that for most of our history, immigration law favored Europeans. But with the 1965 Immigration Act, the door was opened for people from all corners of the world, ushering in transformation, tensions and a new debate over what it means to be American.

(From El Rincon Colombiano's Yelp page)

 

Step into the Rincon Colombiano on a Saturday night, and you’ll probably have trouble finding a seat. There’s just a few tables, a long counter—tonight, all full. And in back, Owner Beatriz Delacruz and her two daughters barely have room to move in this tiny kitchen.

There’s lots of different dishes coming out this swinging door. I came for the empanadas.

OZinOH via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4iiMnW

The US says it will open its doors to at least 10,000 refugees fleeing turmoil in Syria, but that doesn’t mean open arms. Today, we’ll learn about the detention process that keeps asylum seekers behind bars for months – even years – in hidden facilities across the country. Plus, a look at the upcoming lineup for this weekend’s New Hampshire Film Festival – including a documentary about the Gore Vidal vs. William F. Buckley debates that turned televised political debates into blood sport. 

Giving Matters: Telephone Game

May 9, 2015

When doctors in this country work with patients originally from other countries, it can feel like a bit of a telephone game. This feeling is compounded when there’s a translator in the room passing messages back and forth. 

Jack Rodolico

New immigrants often face an unexpected challenge: how to navigate away from an American diet that takes a toll on your health? That’s becoming easier in New Hampshire due to a network of markets and farms that carry familiar foods for the state’s foreign residents.

New Hampshire is home to a small but growing immigrant population; about one in 20 Granite Staters are foreign born. And there’s an experience that unites many of them: that bewildering first visit to an American grocery store.

New England Reacts To The Immigrant Surge

Jul 21, 2014
dawn paley / Flickr/CC

We discuss New England's reaction to the surge in unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S.- Mexico border, and what it means for the national debate on immigration.

Listen to the program here:

GUESTS:

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire House passed a measure Tuesday that would give in-state tuition at University of New Hampshire schools to the children of undocumented immigrants.

By a vote of 188 to 155, the Democratic-led House moved the bill on to the Senate, where it faces a Republican majority and likely a much tougher test.

Representative Rick Ladd of Haverhill says the state should be supporting all students attending its public schools.

acuoptimist / Flickr Creative Commons

A new documentary by New Hampshire filmmaker Doria Bramante follows exiles from the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan as they abandon their twenty-year effort to return home from Nepalese refugee camps and decide to seek a new life in America. Many of these refugees have resettled in the New Hampshire cities of Concord, Manchester, and Laconia. Today we take a look at their incredible journey…along with the challenges and successes of starting over in the Granite State.

GUESTS:

Immigration Reform's Affect On Asian-Americans

Feb 4, 2013

With all the talk of how immigration reform will affect our neighbors to the South, we look at how it might affect immigrants to the United States from the Far East. 

A US based Chinese Journalist even argues that certain aspects of  the reforms might actually be beneficial for Asian immigrants. Mee Moua, Executive Director from the Asian American Justice Center joins us to discuss the issue.

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