immigration

Library of Congress

The Great Plains is its own eco-niche with distinctive plants, mammals, birds, weather, and history that constantly evolve. Its human population is as dynamic as these other unique factors. Those of us whose families have lived here for generations understand the world Willa Cather describes in My Antonia. Our families lived her stories. When we read them, we wonder how we got where we are today.

Ancient Seas to Borders

Aug 5, 2016
J.W. Buell (1889)

High Plains Public Radio will soon begin its Fall Radio Readers Book Club.  The theme this time is Borders and Becoming.  Here’s a brief appreciation of the unique land mass found in books which embrace our “wide-openness.”

Radio Readers 2016 Fall Read

Aug 5, 2016

Join us for the HPPR Radio Readers Fall Read Stories: Borders and Becoming.  The books include Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Sonya Nazario’s Enrique’s Journey, and Dave Egger’s What is the What.  To let us know what you’re thinking about our diverse ethnic culture here on the High Plains, join the discussion on the HPPR Radio Readers  Facebook page or listen to the BookByte Features aired Monday, Wednesday and Friday  during Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

Terry Jeanson / Texas Escapes

Immigration in Texas doesn’t seem to be slowing, notes The LA Times. Almost 45,000 immigrants have crossed the border since October, most from Central America. The small Texas town of Alice has found itself reeling after the oil bust, and the influx of immigrants hasn’t helped the town’s fortunes. But now a British correctional company has offered itself up as an “unexpected savior.”

Tim Patterson / Texas Tribune

Americans are moving to Texas from other states in droves, reports The Texas Tribune. From 2005 to 2013, almost six million people moved to Texas, and five million of those came from one of the other 49 states. That means Texas grew by an average of 345 people per day during that period—and the influx hasn’t abated.

Sam Hodgson / Reuters

A new study has found that people who back Ted Cruz for president seem less culturally anxious about immigration than those who back Trump. The PRRI / The Atlantic poll suggests the answer to that question is helping to shape the presidential race.

Luis Romero / Flickr Creative Commons

Of regional interest, there are currently more Mexicans leaving the U.S. than coming in, reports Texas Standard. Even so, last year immigrants in the US sent $56 billion to their families back home, an astoundingly high amount.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Three weeks ago the federal government took 121 people into custody. The raid was part of a multi-state roundup of Central American families, reports The Guardian. Now seven of those detainees, who are being held in a Texas facility, have written a letter to Barack Obama. In the open letter, the immigrants plead for mercy and freedom for their families.

Creative Commons

The U.S. has two long traditions that have recently been battling for the public heart. We are a nation of immigrants, a melting pot, and we have a long history of welcoming refugees with open arms. But we also have another tradition, of locking down our borders from fear of outsiders.

Jose Luis Gonzalez / Reuters

A contingent in America has recently decided that the U.S. would be better off if we tried to slow the diversification of our population. But Atlantic offshoot Quartz.com reports there is a sea of evidence that suggests otherwise.

David Scott Holloway / CNN/EPA

An editorial in The Guardian posed an interesting question last week. Most Hispanics vote Democrat, so why are so many Hispanic politicians Republican? Cindy Casares, a columnist for the Texas Observer, says it sometimes comes down to nationality.

Kansas to Take in 777 Refugees

Sep 28, 2015
AP photo

Kansas is expected to take in 777 refugees this year, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Of that number, 90 will settle in southwest Kansas, mostly in Finney, Ford and Seward counties. Various organizations throughout Kansas are working with the refugees, helping them to start over in the heartland.

Texas to Receive Syrian Immigrants

Sep 16, 2015
UNHCR

Texans could soon be greeting some new neighbors from the other side of the world. According to The Texas Tribune, as strife in the Middle East continues to grow, the Lone Star State could see an influx of Syrian refugees fleeing their war-ravaged country. In fact, the resettlement has already begun, as 123 Syrians have come to Texas since last October. But that number is small compared to what’s coming.

In regional news, state and public college employees in Texas now have a new gauntlet to pass through during the hiring process, reports The Texas Tribune. As of September 1st, state hires will have their information run through a verification system managed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Once a regular dining option, a mix of cultural and economic factors pushed lamb off the American dinner table. To put the meat back on the menu, ranchers and retailers are being encouraged to reach out to a more diverse set of consumers, specifically American Muslims and Latinos.

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.

Megan Verlee / cpr.org

As of yesterday there’s only one place in Colorado for undocumented immigrants to get a driver’s license reports Colorado Public Radio.

The licensing program is funded by an extra fee charged on undocumented immigrant driver’s licenses, but the DMV needs approval from the legislature’s budget committee before spending the money its collected.

texastribune.org

Despite concerns that the undocumented immigrant population in Texas is growing, it’s remained stable in recent years reports the Texas Tribune. 

In fact, more than half of the state’s undocumented immigrants have lived in Texas for more than 10 years according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.

Texas has the second-largest undocumented immigrant population in the country—about 1.5 million people.  California has about twice as many.

Alan Gomez / USA TODAY

Garden City is in national news.  A reporter from USA Today came to the southwestern Kansas community talking with residents about the impact President Obama’s immigration plan would have.  Some said it would allow undocumented immigrants live without the worry of being picked up by immigration officers.  Some worry there will be an exodus as they look for better jobs in other parts of the country. 

Kansas Department of Revenue

President Obama’s executive action to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program could lead to some unauthorized immigrants having the necessary identification to obtain a Kansas driver’s license.

The size of the unauthorized immigrant population in Colorado and Kansas fell between 2009 and 2012 and stayed the same in Texas and Oklahoma, according to an updated tracking report from the Pew Center for Research. 

Survey says most Texans favor voter ID

Oct 28, 2014
texastribune.org

Two-thirds of registered Texas voters have a favorable opinion of the state’s voter photo ID law, and more than half have a “very favorable” view, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In a dimly-lit lab on the Des Moines, Iowa, public schools’ agricultural science campus, students in aprons, safety goggles and plastic gloves poke and probe chicken wings. About 15 girls and just one boy in this vet careers class are looking for ligaments, tendons, cartilage and other features of this animal part that teenagers more often experience cooked and covered in barbecue sauce.

A 17-year old senior, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail for the dissection, high-fives her lab partner when they identify the ligament and show it to their teacher. This young woman is a chapter officer in the Des Moines FFA group and recently got elected to a district-wide leadership position. She’s already earned a full scholarship to Iowa State University and aspires to be a large animal veterinarian with her own small cattle herd.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Bear Creek Dairy in Brooklyn, Iowa, is home to more than 1,100 cows, who provide about 100,000 pounds of milk each day. The 15-year-old farmer who works closely with the farm’s calves comes from a long line of dairymen – in Europe.

Five years ago, Teun Boelen’s parents sold their farm in the Netherlands and bought a dairy in southeast Iowa because, as his mother explains it, there was no room for their old farm to grow.  

Dodge City Mom fights to stay in U.S.

Jun 6, 2014
dodgeglobe.com

Vanessa Melendez was six years old when she arrived in the United States.  She doesn’t remember much about her life before in Mexico.  The Dodge City resident does remember being a teenager and discovering she was in the U.S. illegally when she applied for her first job according to a recent article from the Dodge City Daily Globe.

jcpost.com

State Rep. Allan Rothlisberg, R-Grandview Plaza recently filed a bill requiring the state to count and report how many undocumented children are in Kansas public schools reported the Lawrence Journal-World.  

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.

The teacher calls the class to order, calling the students “Busters,” short for “Broncbusters,” the college’s mascot and a reminder of this old West town’s history of raising cattle.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — Sister Janice Thome’s office is a 2003 brown Ford Focus with a backseat piled high with paperwork and a prayer book.

Thome puts 125,000 miles a year on this car, picking up boxes from the food pantry, finding a mattress for a newcomer, delivering a sick soul to a doctor’s appointment. All the while, she fields emergency calls on her flip phone, responding to her mission to serve the poor of Garden City, out on the plains of southwest Kansas.

This day, Thome is teaching her teen parenting class at the alternative high school.

Abbie Fentress Swanson/Harvest Public Media

NOEL, MO - 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.

One student in a bright blue T-shirt – 9-year-old Isac Martinez – has not yet picked up his pencil. He’s clearly sick. When McPherson asks him what’s wrong, Isac’s small voice is barely audible in between coughs. He says he threw up four times last night but did not go to a doctor.

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