Refugees

Efforts by the Trump administration to increase deportations to Laos have galvanized the Hmong community in the U.S., and some leaders are speaking out in ways they haven't before.

The Hmong, a Southeast Asian ethnic group, fought as U.S. allies in the Vietnam War. After the war, tens of thousands of them were forced to flee Laos and a crackdown from its Communist government. They came to the U.S. as refugees beginning in the 1970s.

Now the Trump administration is negotiating with Laos to deport thousands of Hmong who have broken the law here.

Houleye Thiam, a Mauritanian immigrant, is working to educate Columbus' African community about the 2020 Census.
Gabe Rosenberg / WOSU

Efforts are underway in Ohio for the 2020 Census, the U.S. government's once-a-decade effort to count every resident in the country. Mailers will begin showing up on doorsteps as early as next month, with a national Census Day planned for April 1.

photo of Ahmed Abukar and Sahra Abdullahi
StoryCorps COLUMBUS / WOSU

Sahra Abdullahi and Ahmed Abukar were born in Somalia and moved to the United States when they were young. Both had a hard time fitting in and navigating American culture.

But while Abukar came with his parents, Abdullahi moved with her aunt, leaving behind her parents and six of her seven siblings. She faced many hardships in her new home and eventually in foster care.

Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) is up for re-election this year, as is President Trump, who helped campaign for him in 2018.
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the upcoming primary elections, the continuing battle over Ohio's nuclear plant bailout, and the other political stories coming down the pike this year.

President Donald Trump stands with gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine as he speaks during a rally, at the IX Center, in Cleveland, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018.
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Ohio is ready and willing to accept more refugees, Gov. Mike DeWine told the Trump administration.

Jhuma Natha Achayra
storycorps / WOSU

Jhuma Nath Achayra had never heard the word “refugee” until he and his family were forced from their homeland in Bhutan. They found themselves part of the Bhutanese refugee crisis, during which over 100,000 people were expelled from the country in the early '90s. 

As part of StoryCorps COLUMBUS, Achayra recalled his journey from Bhutan to the United States—what it meant to lose one home, and gain a second chance to find another.

A Trump administration plan to give state and local authorities the power to reject refugees from being resettled in their communities is headed for court.

Three organizations that help refugees find places to live when they first arrive in the United States filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging the executive order on refugee resettlement that President Trump issued in September.

Updated 8:38 p.m. ET

President Trump has ordered that the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. in the coming year be cut nearly in half to 18,000, down from the administration's previous refugee ceiling of 30,000.

The limit represents the lowest number of refugees seeking protection from violence or political persecution allowed into the country since the modern refugee program was established in 1980.

At a rally Tuesday at US Together, Julie Momoh tells her story about being a refugee.
Paige Pfleger / WOSU

Immigration organizers in Columbus are criticizing the Trump administration’s proposed cap on refugee resettlement.

It's the first day of school in Missoula, Mont., and Elongo Gabriel, a Congolese refugee, is dropping off his young son and two daughters.

A proud father, he has a wide grin. "For me it's like a dream to get a chance for my kids to study here," he says.

Getting here, to a safe place, has been a long and traumatic saga. His family fled war in their home country where Elongo worked for a human rights NGO. They then spent six years in Tanzania in a destitute refugee camp, with little to no schooling available and on most days only cassava to eat.

Across the United States, there’s a push to give new doctors cultural training to work with refugees and other immigrants. And some say it’s the difference between healthy and sick patients.

A University of Cincinnati space professor who studies everything from Mars to maps is taking a deeper look into why so many people are coming to the U.S. Twenty-five years of satellite maps show deforestation and subsequent climate change are driving migrants to leave Central America.

As many as 150 refugees are believed dead after their wooden boat that had been bound for Europe capsized off Libya's coast. According to the United Nations, it's the worst loss of life this year in Mediterranean.

On Wednesday night, the boat departed from Al Khoms, Libya, about 75 miles east of the capital, Tripoli. It sank on Thursday, five miles from Libya's coast.

Columbus City Councilmember Elizabeth Brown (left) speaks out about proposed cuts to refugee admissions as Columbus City Councilmember Rob Dorans (right) looks on.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

A Columbus non-profit that works with immigrants and refugees held a rally on Tuesday to speak out against a proposal to completely cut refugee admissions to the U.S. next year.

Updated: Tuesday, 9:04 a.m.

Cincinnati's Mauritanian community wants Congress to address human rights issues in their native country. Community advocates rallied Monday to raise awareness of issues going on in the West African country.

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