immigration

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut has gained a reputation globally as a sanctuary for immigrants, according to Dr. Saud Anwar, a South Windsor town council member who recently returned from a trip to Jordan.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

DataHaven, a New Haven-based nonprofit organization, recently completed the nation’s largest survey on community well-being. This hour, we take a look at the results and consider what they reveal about health, happiness, and quality of life in Connecticut. 

Michael Iamele / Soul de Cuba Café

American Airlines and Jet Blue have announced plans to offer scheduled flights to Cuba. This follows last week’s new agreement on commercial flights between the island nation and the United States. 

Stephen Dunn / WNPR

The debate over who should be allowed into the U.S. continues to dominate headlines, most recently at last week's Republican presidential debate. All of the GOP candidates said they oppose the Obama administration's plans to permit 10,000 more Syrian refugees into the country. Syrians living in Connecticut are following the rhetoric closely. 

President Obama wrapped up 2015 by taking another round of questions from the press.

At the traditional end-of-year news conference Friday afternoon, Obama began with a list of achievements, including the legalization of same-sex marriage across America and progress made toward addressing global climate change.

Bringing Syrian refugees to the U.S. has become an especially contentious issue. In Canada, however, they're being welcomed with open arms.

Roughly 600 Syrians from refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon will arrive by plane in Canada this evening. They're the first of 25,000 Syrians the new Canadian government wants to resettle by the end of February.

In one of the largest waves of Cuban migration in decades, more than 70,000 have fled the island this year, rushing to the U.S. out of fear that its preferential policy toward those escaping the Castro regime might change.

Donald Trump made a drastic call on Monday for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."

Trump's call comes one day after President Obama's address from the Oval Office in the aftermath of the San Bernardino, Calif., shootings that were carried out by an apparently self-radicalized married couple. The male shooter was an American citizen, born in the United States. His wife was born in Pakistan but was in the U.S. legally on a visa for fiancees.

Arasmus Photo / Creative Commons

Sanctuary cities have become a focus in the national debate on immigration reform. But what are they? Where are they? And how do they affect communities around the country? 

If you want to see how refugees are changing Buffalo, N.Y., the West Side Bazaar is a good place to start. It's an incubator for immigrant-owned businesses. And it's the only place in town where you can eat Ethiopian sponge bread, Burmese noodles and Peruvian chicken at the same table. It's also a market with clothing and gifts.

"We are like family here — families from different countries," says Nadeen Yousef, who moved to Buffalo from Iraq last year. Yousef now has a booth at the bazaar, where she sells handmade macrame wall hangings and art.

The Obama administration has announced some changes to the visa waiver program, which allows travelers from some 38 countries including France, Belgium and other European countries, to come to the U.S. without a visa.

The White House announced several steps, including attempting better tracking of past travel, fines for airlines that don't verify passport data, assisting other countries on the screening of refugees and with border security.

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Opponents and supporters of plans to accept Syrian refugees into the United States held dueling but peaceful rallies in Hartford.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal said he wants an investigation into a federal agency after a Haitian national was accused of killing a Connecticut woman shortly after his release from prison.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's still unclear how the U.S. Senate will respond to the House of Representatives' bill that would tighten the vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. 

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

In a 289 to 137 vote last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would tighten the vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. The measure passed despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama -- a threat Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says "baffles" him.

State Senator Elaine Morgan (R-Hopkinton), who attracted national criticism for an email in which she condemned Muslims, released a statement Friday defending her concerns about admitting Syrian refugees into the US.

Some Americans have taken to Twitter and threatened to move to Canada if the U.S. welcomes Syrian refugees. Perhaps they haven't been paying attention to news north of the border.

Justin Trudeau's campaign pledge to resettle refugees in Canada helped sweep him into the prime minister's office last month. His new government is adamant it will go through with an ambitious plan to bring in 25,000 Syrian refugees before the end of the year — just six weeks away.

shadyart87 / Creative Commons

Two members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation voted with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives Thursday to strengthen the vetting procedure for Syrian refugees entering the U.S.

The House of Representatives has easily passed a GOP-authored bill to restrict the admission of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to America by requiring extra security procedures.

The bill — called the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015, or the American SAFE Act of 2015 — would require the secretary of Homeland Security, the head of the FBI and the director of national intelligence to sign off on every individual refugee from Iraq and Syria, affirming he or she is not a threat.

Aliyya Swaby / New Haven Independent

A young Syrian family is now living in New Haven after Indiana officials objected to plans for the refugees to resettle in their state. Local officials scrambled to accommodate the family of three. 

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is calling for the U.S. to demand higher security from its European partners around the visa waiver program.

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The civil war in Syria has claimed thousands of lives and led millions of Syrians to seek refuge in other countries, including the U.S. Federal officials said just 2,100 of them have been resettled in the U.S. so far.

In Connecticut, there's been a developing grassroots effort over the last several months to help Syrian refugees.

The Obama administration is working to stem the backlash against its plans to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States.

As of late Tuesday, 30 governors — 29 Republicans and 1 Democrat — had expressed opposition to bringing in refugees after European officials confirmed one of the terrorists who attacked Paris last week was a Syrian who had registered with E.U. officials while traveling through Greece seeking asylum.

Updated at 3:32 p.m. ET

Governors in 30 states across the country have now publicly asked for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to stop until security concerns can be addressed.

Those states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Dominic Chavez / World Bank

More than two dozen U.S. governors are publicly opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the wake of attacks in Paris last week.

But in Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy said the state will continue to welcome refugees who undergo a rigorous security screening. 

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

One of the suicide bombers who struck Paris on Friday has been identified as a Syrian who passed through Greece as an asylum-seeker this year and registered with European authorities.

That fact has spurred a strong reaction from many politicians here in the United States over the resettlement of Syrian refugees, with swift opposition from many Republican governors, and one Democrat, to further resettlement of Syrian refugees in their states.

In the wake of Friday's coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, the French people — and supporters around the world — have been grieving. More than 120 people died in explosions and gunfire when well-coordinated teams of assailants struck at least six sites across the city.

Actor Randall Park takes the responsibility of portraying an Asian-American character on television very seriously. When he accepted the role of Louis Huang on the ABC comedy Fresh Off the Boat, Park wanted to make sure his portrayal avoided stereotypes and clichés.

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Connecticut is "The Land of Steady Habits," which is why our state budget remains in a state of permanent crisis. Recently, Governor Dan Malloy made emergency cuts to the budget and targeted hospital funding and social services. He was on Where We Live this week and defended his actions and drew more criticism from the hospital community.

The U.N. knows what it needs to do. But can it do it all?

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