Immigrants

WNED | WBFO's Making Buffalo Home

Older refugees in Buffalo face challenges that younger refugees circumvent. Although services are prolific for this community, they are not always as accessible due to certain barriers. Those barriers make it sometimes impossible for them to utilize the available resources.


Courtesy of WEDI

Buffalo's popular West Side Bazaar, an incubator for immigrant and refugee-run businesses, is moving from its current home on Grant Street to a larger space on Niagara Street.

Thomas O'Neil-White

While the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border continues to make headlines, the City of Good Neighbors continues to live up to its nickname.

Nick Lippa / WBFO

The International Institute of Buffalo held a naturalization ceremony Wednesday in conjunction with World Refugee Day. 25 candidates from 15 different countries officially became citizens of the United States. WBFO’s Nick Lippa was there and spoke with a few immigrants on what brought them to this country.

Jericho Road

One hundred immigrants from the Democratic Republic of the Congo are here to seek asylum in the United States.


Ryan Zunner/WBFO News

Much of the current focus on immigration into the United States remains on the country’s southern border. But in Buffalo, a local organization continues to serve as a beacon of hope for individuals and families fleeing war-torn and unstable nations.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Democrats in the state Assembly say they plan to move ahead with a bill to grant driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in New York. However, the Assembly speaker said he wants to educate people about the benefits of the measure first.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo is hosting a visiting exhibit created by a Burmese artist who, along with hundreds of subjects he has met through his project, are former political prisoners in their homeland. His exhibit, a Show of Hands, features plaster casts of each former prisoner's hand. Some of them are of individuals who have since settled in Buffalo after spending years as refugees.

The U.S. Supreme Court, narrowly divided along ideological lines, ruled Tuesday that the government may detain — without a hearing — legal immigrants long after they have served the sentences for crimes they committed.

Chris Thomas / WNED

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, asking the State Department to maintain refugee resettlement sites in Buffalo.

An appellate court in Brooklyn ruled Wednesday that local police officers in New York state can't hold immigrants in custody beyond their release date solely to turn them over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement without a judicial warrant.

Federal Appeals Court Deals Trump Another Setback On DACA

Nov 9, 2018

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court in California has blocked the Trump administration from immediately terminating an Obama-era program protecting from deportation young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Coding class wraps up for local New American students

Aug 10, 2018
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

It was the last day of computer coding class Friday for dozens of teen girls, all of whom came to Buffalo as immigrants or refugees.


With the United States dealing with what many call an immigration crisis, a church in Buffalo is making an artistic statement on the divisive issue.

USCIS message to Buffalo's immigrants: we're here to help

Jun 11, 2018
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Immigration could be a thorny issue this coming Congressional mid-term election. House Speaker Paul Ryan has promised compromise, as moderates demand protection for those who came into the US undocumented as children. Others are concerned for those who arrive via human trafficking. WBFO was invited recently to sit with the Buffalo-area District Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services to learn what the local office does, and how they assist immigrants who have arrivred under extraordinary circumstances.


Current U.S. immigration policies pose an economic threat to New York's struggling dairy industry, according to the director of a farmworker program at Cornell University.

At the New York City cellphone shop where he does his homework, 9-year-old Ahmed Alhuthaifi says he misses his mom a lot.

"Sometimes, I feel like I am going to cry," he says. "Trump won't let her in."

After a years-long effort, his mother, who is stuck in Saudi Arabia, was denied a visa because of President Trump's restrictions on immigration and travel from certain countries, including Yemen. She and Ahmed's four younger siblings, who live with her, missed Ahmed's birthday celebrations on April 3.

Buffalo Public Schools

Buffalo Public Schools have added so many immigrants to the student population, the district now has 84 languages spoken in the hallways and 125 teachers have been added to work with these students.

Wallethub

New York’s economy benefits from immigrants more than any other state, according to a new national study.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, analyzed 19 metrics and assigned each state a score based on  the economic impact of immigrants. New York topped the list, followed by California and New Jersey.

The data weighed included immigrants’ household incomes, the number of jobs created by international students and their contributions to innovation.

It wouldn't make any sense to send a French-speaking refugee to a German-speaking town in Switzerland.

But under Switzerland's current system of placing refugees, that's a situation that can easily happen. This problem isn't unique to Switzerland, and it's not the only kind of mismatch that might happen.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

It's the alleged word used that is being heard around the world. But for representatives of five Western New York agencies that serve immigrant and refugee populations, President Donald Trump's alleged description of Haiti, El Salvador and 54 African countries as "s***hole nations" is part of a greater attitude toward those who come to the United States. On Friday, they gathered to denounce the alleged words and tone from the White House.


Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the Trump administration to fully enforce its revised ban on allowing entry to the United States by residents of eight countries while legal challenges are heard by a federal appeals court.

Six of the countries — Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia — are majority-Muslim nations. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela.

Google Maps

A federal judge has ruled that the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia must reform how it decides parole for asylum.

Canada's 'Welcome' To Immigrants Has Some Unintended Consequences

Oct 30, 2017

Right after the U.S. election last year, Mike Tippett saw an opportunity.

He'd been talking to his friends in Silicon Valley and they were nervous about the newly elected president's attitude toward immigration.

"Many of the start-ups and technology companies in the States and across the globe are made up of people who are not necessarily from that country," Tippett says.

Almost half of all American start-ups were actually founded by immigrants.

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.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

For immigrants and refugees seeking asylum, receiving proper medical evaluations before entering the United States could be lifesaving - especially for victims of torture.

Republicans who might have been leery of supporting the bipartisan Dream Act got a more conservative-friendly option this week in the form of a new bill dubbed the SUCCEED Act (Solution for Undocumented Children through Careers, Employment, Education and Defending our nation).

The Trump administration plans to cap the number of refugees the U.S. will accept next year at 45,000. That is a dramatic drop from the level set by the Obama administration and would be the lowest number in years.

The White House formally announced its plans in a report to congressional leaders Wednesday, as required by law.

The number of refugees the U.S. admits has fluctuated over time. But this cap is the lowest that any White House has sought since the president began setting the ceiling on refugee admissions in 1980.

The Supreme Court has taken two cases involving President Trump's controversial travel ban off its calendar, after the White House issued a revised and expanded ban. The justices ordered both sides to file new briefs over whether parts of the issue are now moot.

"The cases are removed from the oral argument calendar, pending further order of the Court," the justices wrote in an order issued Monday.

Parties in the two cases — Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii — have until next Thursday, Oct. 5, to file their briefs.

Pages