Refugees

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.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The continuing national turmoil about immigration and the U.S. southern border drew a large crowd Wednesday night to St. Joseph University Church for an interfaith service.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo residents who came to the region as refugees and representatives of agencies who support local resettlement efforts gathered Friday to rally and urge the greater public to speak out in opposition to a reported proposal by the Trump Administration to reduce - or even zero out - refugee admissions next year.

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

It might still be more than a month away for kids, but some adults went back to school this week. It was the start of the Buffalo Public Schools’ summer semester of English classes for individuals aged 21 and older.


House Passes $4.5 Billion In Emergency Border Aid

Jun 26, 2019

The House Democratic leadership pushed through a $4.5 billion emergency aid package late Tuesday to help thousands of migrants packed into overcrowded facilities at the U.S.-Mexico border, but it's unlikely to get a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

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.

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.

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.

Chris Thomas / WNED

The Trump administration's decision to slash the annual cap on refugees to the United States is starting to have an effect on chronically struggling, shrinking cities such as Buffalo.

Lynne Bader / WNED-TV

When did immigration to the United States become illegal? That is the question many people may wonder, as the Trump Administration toughens restrictions on undocumented Americans. As Latin American scholar and author Aviva Chomsky told an audience Thursday evening at Trinity Church of Buffalo, excluding non-white immigrants is a long tradition.

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.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Several community organizations who serve local refugees and immigrants are uniting to denounce the Supreme Court decision upholding President Trump's travel ban from seven nations, including five featuring Muslim-majority populations.

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.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Catholic Charities hosted representatives of more than a dozen local businesses Tuesday. It was the not-for-profit agency's opportunity to say "thank you" for the willingness of those companies to provide jobs for some of Buffalo's resettled refugee population.


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.

University at Buffalo

The University at Buffalo remains an attractive place for students from across the world to go to undergraduate and graduate school.

Trump Travel Ban Allowed To Take Partial Effect

Nov 14, 2017

A federal appeals court in California has ruled that the Trump administration's long-delayed travel ban can go into partial effect, allowing the government to temporarily keep travelers from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

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.

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