Immigration

Tilahun Liben thought he was seeing things. Surely that mound of orange orbs under those trees near his church couldn't be oranges. Could they?

It was 2010, and Liben had just arrived in Tucson, Ariz., as a refugee from Ethiopia. He had been a musician, playing saxophone in nightclubs, but that life ended abruptly in 1999 when an oppressive regime imprisoned him for three months for his political dissent. After Liben's release, further persecution forced him to flee his homeland: He ended up at the Kakuma refugee camp, in Kenya, where he waited 10 years to be resettled.

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“Am I going to get deported? Am I going to be sent back? What do I do if immigration comes to my house? What if they come to Roberts?”

The Trump administration has reopened the door to refugees seeking admission to the U.S. – but with broad new security procedures that raise fresh concerns for the groups that help them resettle here.

Most refugee admissions had been suspended for the last four months as the Trump administration came up with new security measures. Now the White House has issued an executive erder allowing the program to resume, with those measures in place.

Three churches in Ohio are among the dozens nationwide who are openly providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants who face deportation. This weekend, the Beacon Journal’s Doug Livingston profiled two of those churches – one in Akron and one in Cleveland Heights. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze spoke with Livingston about the sanctuary church movement and the differences between it and higher profile – and more controversial -- “sanctuary cities.”

Esther Honig

Since a bombing killed 358 people in the Somali capital of Mogadishu October 14, members of Columbus' Somali community have been working to deliver aid. Local fundraising efforts over the last five days raised more than $13,000.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A federal judge in Hawaii has partially blocked President Trump's third attempt to restrict entry into the U.S. for citizens of certain countries. The Department of Justice says it plans to appeal.

The newest version of the travel ban was due to go into effect on Wednesday. Like two previous executive orders, it was challenged in multiple courts. The new ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson is only one piece of the complicated legal puzzle over the long-term fate of the president's efforts to limit travel to the U.S.

Dave Joyce / Facebook

Activists plan to deliver petitions this week to the Painesville office of Rep. Dave Joyce, a Republican, as part of a national effort to keep the young immigrants known as DREAMers in the United States. 

Ohio Interfaith Immigrant and Migrant Justice Coalition / Facebook

Edith Espinal, the first undocumented immigrant offered sanctuary by a church in Columbus, was scheduled to depart on Tuesday for Mexico, her country of origin. Instead, Espinal decided to remain in the U.S. and is asking that Ohio leaders visit and hear her story.

President Trump on Sunday sent Congress a list of sweeping immigration changes he says "must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients."

Trump wants the border wall he campaigned on to be built, a crackdown on illegal immigration and to switch the U.S. legal immigration system from one that prioritizes family connections to one based on merit.

Tiffany Stacy holding daughter Paulina
M.L. SCHULTZE / WKSU

Over the last decade, the International Institute of Akron brought thousands of people from Nepal to Akron. It also brought Tiffany Ann Stacy and Amber Subba together. Theirs is the first – and believed to be only – mixed-marriage so far between a Bhutanese refugee and an Akron-area native.

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