Refugees

Esther Honig

On a summer evening, police Sgt. Anthony Gagliano patrols the long, open streets of Fort Morgan, Colorado. He’s lived here for the last 16 years, almost as long as he’s been on the force. There’s one thing he knows sets apart this rural city of about 11,000: the diversity.

Geo Group, Inc

Dozens of young children were reunited with their parents yesterday after being separated at the border under the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. The government is still working to reunite many more children with their parents, some of whom are being held at a detention center in Aurora, Colorado.

Grieving Boiseans and members of the refugee community gathered Monday night to pray, hold vigil and deliver white flowers for the victims of Saturday’s mass stabbing.

 


Update, 1:49 p.m. Monday: The suspect in Saturday night’s mass stabbing is now facing first-degree murder charges after one of the victims died at a Utah hospital.

 


Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Citizenship applications were on the rise across the country in 2016. And while there’s no definitive data for the first part of 2017, there are small indications that same trend could be continuing this year.

Many immigrants in the U.S. are worried that changes to immigration policy pushed by the Trump administration could impact their families -- and that’s true in rural America, too. In some rural communities, immigrants and refugees are taking steps to go from green card holders to fully-fledged citizens.

Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

The bell signals the start of second period. A trio of young women take seats in English class, their attention quickly drifting outside the walls of the high school in Fort Morgan, Colorado, eager to talk about what they’re working toward.

“I want to become an FBI [agent],” says freshman Mariam Mohammed. “It’s my dream.”

On her left, her sister, Mutaas Mohammed, with a clay-colored hijab wrapped around her face and dark purple lipstick, says she wants to study fashion design. The girls’ friend, Isra Mohamud, a senior this year, chimes in: She’s looking at a nursing program at the local community college.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Debate among Colorado lawmakers got heated on Tuesday during consideration of a symbolic measure to denounce President Trump’s executive order temporarily barring refugees entry into the United States.

The measure, considered in the Democrat-controlled House, ultimately passed by a voice vote. Some Republicans said privately that they felt stung by statements made ahead of the vote by Rep. Joe Salazar, a Democrat from Thornton. Salazar chided Republicans for not backing the measure – House Joint Resolution 1013 – accusing them of supporting civil rights when it is politically expedient. 

Ann Marie Awad / KUNC

Sher Mizer fled his native Bhutan in 1990, when he was just 13. Mizer is an ethnic Nepali - known in Bhutan as Lhotshampa - a group whose citizenship was stripped by the government. Now 37 and about to swear an oath of U.S. citizenship in Denver, Colorado, it will mark the first time he’s held citizenship in any country since he was a boy.

“‘One nation, one people,’ that was the slogan used by Bhutan,” Mizer says. “It means that the government wanted to bring the people of Bhutan under one nation, one culture, one script, one language.”

State of Colorado

Gov. John Hickenlooper announced Monday that Colorado would accept Syrian refugees. President Barack Obama said the U.S. would receive at least 10,000 Syrian refugees within the next year, but a growing list of Republican governors pledged to block refugees from relocating to their states.

"We can protect our security and provide a place where the world's most vulnerable can rebuild their lives," said Hickenlooper in a statement.

Poncie Rutsch / KUNC

Fort Morgan is a town of about 11,000 people tucked into the farmland of northeastern Colorado. Among its residents are people of Latino and European ancestry, and more recent immigrants, including refugees from eastern Africa.

“Our little town -- it's an anomaly,” says Nick Ng, the soccer coach at Fort Morgan High School. “We have all these people from other places in the world and we have one thing in common: soccer.”

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