Refugees

Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing back against the federal government.

On Monday, the city is filing suit against the Department of Justice, which announced it would withhold millions of dollars in police grant money from so-called sanctuary cities.

Emanuel is suing because he says new rules for a federal crime-fighting grant go against the Constitution and the city's values.

"Chicago will not let our police officers become political pawns in a debate," Emanuel said.

The Supreme Court has upheld parts of a lower court order that had widened the definition of which citizens from the six Muslim-majority countries covered by the Trump administration's travel ban are still eligible to travel to the U.S.

The order issued Wednesday leaves in place the action of a U.S. District Court judge in Hawaii who broadened the definition of close family to include categories such as the grandparents and cousins of a person in the U.S.

Updated at 10:30 p.m. ET

The Trump administration has filed a motion with the Supreme Court, asking for clarification of the justices' order upholding a version of the travel ban. The justices' order allowed the administration to restrict entry by people from six mostly Muslim countries, except for those who have what's judged to be a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States, including close family members.

The Supreme Court says it will decide the fate of President Trump's revised travel ban, agreeing to hear arguments over immigration cases that were filed in federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland and allowing parts of the ban that has been on hold since March to take effect.

The justices removed the two lower courts' injunctions against the ban "with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States," narrowing the scope of those injunctions that had put the ban in limbo.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

President Trump's administration filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday night seeking to reverse rulings by lower courts in Hawaii and Maryland that blocked a temporary ban on travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries.

The Trump administration says the Constitution gives the president "broad authority to prevent aliens abroad from entering this country when he deems it in the nation's interest."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is narrowing the scope of an executive order on so-called sanctuary cities.

A federal judge in California last month blocked a key part of that order, reasoning that the Trump administration had overstepped by threatening to yank federal money from those places.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

A 13-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit heard arguments on Monday over President Trump's revised travel ban, with judges repeatedly questioning the government's lawyer in the case about Trump's campaign call "for a complete and total shutdown" of Muslims entering the country.

Marches in support of worker rights and labor unions are taking place around the world Monday, dubbed "May Day." Here in the U.S., they're expected to draw larger than usual crowds due to President Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration.

In heavily Latino Los Angeles, where labor unions also hold big sway, community organizers spent much of the last weekend doing last minute planning and logistics, as well as peacekeeping training.

Nearly 100 days into his administration, President Trump has drastically reduced the flow of immigration, both legal and illegal, to the U.S. He's been able to accomplish that without any new legislation — and without many of his signature ideas solidly in place, including executive orders that have been put on hold by the courts and a proposed wall on the Mexican border.

Eileen Koteras Elibol

John Hockenberry of The Takeaway hosted a panel discussion Tuesday night in the WNED|WBFO studios. The conversation touched upon a number of subjects, though the centerpiece highlighted Buffalo's long relationship with immigration.


Updated 11:45 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities, commonly known as sanctuary cities.

The Takeaway

Award-winning journalist John Hockenberry and his popular radio show The Takeaway are coming to Buffalo on April 25. The program will  begin at 6 p.m.  at WNED|WBFO. It will include a segment that will be recorded before a live audience and aired on The Takeaway on April 26.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Refugees across the region are going to continue receiving help adjusting to their new life in America. Albany is now funding resettlement agencies that faced cuts under President Trump's refugee ban. Local advocates see many benefits for the community.

WBFO News photo by Jonny Moran

New students from other countries continue to arrive in Buffalo.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley spoke with some refugee teenagers, now attending Lafayette International, to share their stories of leaving behind difficult lives.     

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Thursday evening President Donald Trump order military action against Syria. Missiles were launched against a Syrian air base in response to this week's chemical attack on civilians.  WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley talked with a Buffalo high school student, who is a Syrian refugee, and supports the United States response.  

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Daemen College played host Tuesday to a panel discussion on refugees, immigrants and President Donald Trump's policies concerning them.


Katie Park/NPR

A local economic development strategy has to include the area's growing immigrant and refugee population. That is according to the International Institute of Buffalo's Eva Hassett, speaking Thursday night at Medaille.

NPR's Renee Montagne shines at WNED|WBFO studios

Mar 30, 2017
WBFO News photos by Eileen Elibol

It was a conversation that ranged from Paul McCartney to Donald Trump, from Afghanistan to fake news. WNED|WBFO Thursday night welcomed to its studios one of the most familiar voices on National Public Radio, Renee Montagne for "An Evening with Renee Montagne."

The Trump administration has appealed an order by a federal judge in Hawaii that indefinitely blocks the president's executive order restricting travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program.

The state of Hawaii sued to stop the travel ban, arguing the president's policy violates the Constitution. U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson extended his nationwide order blocking the executive order while the lawsuit continues. The administration has asked the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule against Watson.

The Justice Department is following through on an executive order to withhold as much as $4.1 billion in federal grants from so-called "sanctuary cities," generally defined as places where local law enforcement limit their cooperation with federal authorities on immigration enforcement.

City nominates West Side Bazaar for $300K grant

Mar 22, 2017
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The organization that oversees a boutique and business incubator for immigrants and refugees has been nominated by the City of Buffalo for a cash grant that could help bring a desired expansion closer to reality.


Updated at 10:45 p.m.

President Trump blasted a federal judge's decision to temporarily halt his revised travel ban on Wednesday night, telling a campaign rally in Nashville, Tenn., that he wished he had stood his ground and fought for his original, much stricter executive order.

WBFO's Mike Desmond

International Women's Day protestors marched from Buffalo City Hall to Tupper Street Wednesday, seeking a variety of legal changes and more equality in hiring and promotions.

Local agency and its Iranian employee face visa dilemma

Feb 22, 2017
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

President Trump is expected to issue a revised executive order that again seeks to restrict travel from seven mostly-Muslim nations. The administration's desired immigration policies are leaving one local resident, and her employers, wondering if she'll be allowed to stay in the United States when her student visa expires.

Updated 5:25 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is releasing more on its plans to crack down on illegal immigration, enforcing the executive orders President Trump issued in late January. Those orders called for increased border security and stricter enforcement of immigration laws.

The Department of Homeland Security issued the new rules on Tuesday, laid out in two documents signed by Secretary John Kelly.

WBFO News file photo

Several aid organizations and pro-immigrant groups are pressuring the Canadian government to pull out of a controversial program which turns away almost all refugees coming in through the United States.

Karen DeWitt

Some upstate lawmakers are asking the state to step in and fund refugee resettlement programs that they said have been caught up in President Donald Trump’s travel ban and the resulting chaos.


Two lawyers, three judges, thousands of ordinary Americans: On Tuesday night, oral arguments in Washington v. Trump attracted an unusually large audience for audio-only legal proceedings.

The case centers on President Trump's controversial executive order that would temporarily bar all new refugees from entering the U.S., as well as visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries.

A federal appeals court denied President Trump's attempt to restore his travel ban on refugees and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries Sunday morning, sending people scrambling to board planes while it is legal once again for them to enter the country.

Refugees and immigrants in the Buffalo area met with attorneys and other experts Saturday at a question and answer session at Jericho Road on Barton Street.

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