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Borders, Migration and Belonging


Click here for the 2018-2019 series: Native Voices

KLCC presents a year-long series on Immigration in Oregon beginning July, 2017.  Stories air monthly during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

The series is reported by KLCC's Jacob Lewin and Karen Richards, and funded by the University of Oregon's Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics.  Stories are designed to coincide with the Center's 2017-2019 Theme of Inquiry: Borders, Migration and Belonging.

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Episode 1 - July 9, 2017
When a Parent is Taken from the Home by Jacob Lewin

This story deals with the increased enforcement efforts by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement  agency in the Northwest and, in particular, how deporting a parent impacts a family and the community.

Episode 2 - August 10, 2017
Oregonians Frustrated by Stagnant Immigration Laws by Karen Richards

Nearly 400,000 Oregonians were born in another country; about 115,000 are undocumented.  This story sets out to learn where we stand, learning that while global migration is in crisis, U.S. policy is static.

Episode 3 - September 12, 2017
Immigrants Make Mark on Oregon Economy by Jacob Lewin
President Trump is proposing cutting legal immigration by half.  The federal government has ramped up arrests of undocumented foreigners.  The dreamers are on hold. Yet in Oregon, immigrants continue to make their mark on the state's economy.

Episode 4 - October 10, 2017
Sanctuary Struggles Hit Home by Karen Richards
A decades-old Oregon law is under new scrutiny and a threat of repeal. Here's a look at the state's so-called “sanctuary” law and how it's become part of a national story.

Episode 5 - November 14, 2017
Census Shows Asians Fastest-Growing Immigrant Group in Oregon by Jacob Lewin
A recent Census Bureau survey shows that people from Asia make up a third of all immigrants in Oregon. They are our fastest growing minority and our fastest growing immigrant group.

Episode 6 - December 14, 2017
For Immigrants, Where and What, is Home?by Karen Richards
Is home what our passport says, where our heart is, or something else? The title of our immigration series is “Borders, Migration and Belonging.” Here, we explore what it means to belong to a place.

Episode 7 - January 9, 2018
Stories of Four Immigrants by Jacob Lewin
Four immigrants in Oregon—a refugee, an asylee, a lawful permanent resident, and someone here on an investor’s visa—tell their stories.

Episode 8 - February 15, 2018
Skilled Immigrants Have Local Impact by Karen Richards
Last year, the “Buy American and Hire American” executive order implied skilled worker visas should be harder to get. The H-1B visa goes to a limited number of professionals, most with at least a bachelor's degree. Though largely associated with places like Silicon Valley, Eugene and Springfield are home to dozens of these immigrants. Here, we look at the local impact of the program, and possible effects should it change.

Episode 9 - March 15, 2018
Indigenous Under the Radar by Jacob Lewin

There may be as many as 150-thousand indigenous Latinos in Oregon, with a recent boost from immigrants fleeing organized crime and violence in Guatemala. They are very much under the radar and are amongst the most vulnerable people in Oregon, but they are seeking political representation.

Episode 10 - April 9, 2018
Non-Targeted Immigrants Speak Up by Karen Richards

While the focus of recent U.S. immigration debate is lately Latino or Muslim countries, migrants from other places are also paying attention. KLCC's Karen Richards spoke to several people in the Eugene area from non-targeted countries and has this report.

Episode 11 - May 24, 2018
Number of Immigrant Doctors in Oregon Growing
by Jacob Lewin
As the Trump administration continues efforts to rein in immigration, the state of Oregon is trying harder to recruit a certain kind of immigrant to help with a wide-spread shortage.  State and local health officials are hoping to add to Oregon's relatively large number of foreign-born doctors.

Episode 12 - June 14, 2018
Oregon's Non-LatinX DREAMer Population May Growby Karen Richards

As the six-year anniversary of DACA approaches, KLCC looks at the policy and how it affects Oregonians. One thing many people might not know is that DACA isn't solely a “Mexican immigration” topic.

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View the 2016 series on The Future of Public Education in Oregon, also funded by the Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics.

View the 2018 series on Native Voices, funded by the Wayne Morse Center for Law & Politics and made possible by a grant from the KLCC Public Radio Foundation.


Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.