Democracy in Crisis: Fearing deportation, Haitians flee the U.S. for Canada

Francois LeFranc, 45, lingers over breakfast in the dining room of the NAV Centre, an Ontario hotel and conference center on the banks of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Dressed in a t-shirt and jeans, he displays only one sign that he had been detained by the Canadian immigration authorities five days earlier: a plastic, hospital-style turquoise bracelet he wears with his I.D. number on it. […]

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Iowa City’s Sudanese community navigates Trump’s travel ban rhetoric

Hanadi Elshazali will always remember what it felt like to go to work on Nov. 9, 2016 — the day after the country elected Donald Trump as its 45th president. She’ll remember the chaotic silence as she entered her office at the Pheasant Ridge Neighborhood Center of Johnson County, the muffled whispers that made her […]

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Eastern Iowa Refugee Summit this week in Iowa City

The first annual Eastern Iowa Refugee Summit will begin Friday morning and go through Saturday afternoon with a series of discussions and events aimed at celebrating the various cultures refugees and immigrants bring to the area and introducing them to services in the community. […]

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En Español: Beyond Borders: Iowa organizations work to include Latinx communities

En mayo del 2015 cuatro personas llegaron a West Liberty con cámaras y micrófonos para filmar las clases bilingües en español y en inglés en la escuela primaria y entrevistar a algunos de los estudiantes y profesores. Estas escenas no aparecen en la versión final del documental Más allá de las fronteras: americanos mexicanos sin documentos de Micah Fink, que se presentó el 24 de abril en West Liberty. La Liga de Latinoamericanos Unidos de West Liberty (LULCA) y la Asociación de Educación de West Liberty (WLEA) se encargaron de organizar la proyección para mostrar su apoyo a estudiantes y familias latinas sin importar su estatus migratorio. […]

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Iowa City school board moves to increase support for immigrant students and families

After hearing comments from Iowa City residents, the Iowa City Community School Board moved forward with an effort to support and protect immigrant students and families. Iowa City residents spoke out in favor of a resolution supporting immigrant students and families threatened by immigration enforcement during the community comment portion of the school board meeting […]

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Nearly 200 protested at Eastern Iowa Airport in solidarity with immigrants and refugees

Nearly 200 protesters gathered at the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids on Sunday in the wake of an executive order issued Friday by President Donald Trump barring citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Sudan from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The order also denied entry to all refugees for 120 days, except those […]

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High school students urge community to unite against hate following election

Students from Iowa City’s City High School and West High School organized a march against hate Tuesday night. The students initially called for a march after multiple alleged incidents of hate based on race, religion, gender and sexuality had occurred on their campuses. The students said this past election cycle has emboldened hatred from their […]

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Immigrants, refugees in eastern Iowa navigate their way to the voting booth

Illustration by Marcus Parker

Shouts and cheers in a mix of French and occasional English rang out on Coe College’s Clark Field in Cedar Rapids last month as soccer players from countries across Africa vied for a goal. The game celebrated the mixture of cultures immigrants bring to eastern Iowa, but the overarching goal was to raise awareness about […]

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Interview: Writer José Orduña on the U.S.’ inconsistent immigration policies, Trump rhetoric and the scapegoating of migrants

Illustration by Nathan Wilson

José Orduña reading Prairie Lights — Thursday, Apr. 21 at 7 p.m. In José Orduña’s recently published debut, The Weight of Shadows: A Memoir of Immigration, he explores his path through the naturalization process, from his early life as a “removable alien” in Chicago, to becoming a United States citizen during his time in Iowa […]

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