The New Haven Museum

Monday, June 20, is World Refugee Day. A new exhibit at the New Haven Museum shares the compelling stories and works from refugee artists who have resettled in the New Haven area.

A judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by Texas officials who want to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state.

The suit claimed the Obama administration had not adequately consulted with states before placing the refugees. In his decision, signed Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David Godbey ruled that the state has no authority over resettlements handled by the federal government, which has authority over immigration policy.

Godbey also found the state had failed to present plausible evidence that Syrian refugees pose an imminent risk.

Gabe Simerson / WNPR

A group of Muslim men and boys knelt in prayer in the Berlin Mosque as an imam recited from the Qur’an. A few hours earlier, they were downstairs, hosting their first "Youth Hangout" -- an afternoon of Jeopardy for high schoolers of all faiths designed to show solidarity in the face of anti-Muslim hate rhetoric. 

Immigrants fleeing gang violence in Central America are again surging across the U.S.-Mexico border, approaching the numbers that created an immigration crisis in the summer of 2014. While the flow of immigrants slowed for much of last year, nothing the U.S. government does seems to deter the current wave of travelers.

World Bank Photo Collection / Creative Commons

On Wednesday, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and 26 other Democratic senators sent a letter to President Obama expressing their deep concern about "the slow pace of admissions for Syrian refugees" and encouraged him to step up the process. 

A legal battle between refugee students and the school district of Utica, N.Y., may soon come to an end.

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit claiming that refugees in Utica, a Rust Belt city located about four hours north of New York City, have been illegally blocked from attending the local high school.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's governor has received the 2016 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his public support of resettling Syrian refugees in the U.S. 

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

A new play premieres Thursday night at the Yale Cabaret that brings together Iraqi and Afghan refugees and U.S. veterans who tell their stories.

During her sophomore year at Southern Connecticut State University, Cinthia Perez and her younger brother dropped out. They decided to work full-time because the family was struggling to pay tuition out-of-pocket.  

Perez said, “It was really hard for my mom, especially. She was like, ‘No, I want you guys to go to college because that would be the main key to help everyone in the family.’ But then we were like, ‘It was either that, or we’re just not going to have any food at home.’”

The fate of one of President Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration goes before the Supreme Court on Monday. The action would grant temporary, quasi-legal status and work permits to as many as 4 million parents who entered the U.S. illegally prior to 2010. The president's order applies only to parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

Of the 3 million students identified as gifted in the U.S., English Language Learners are by far the most underrepresented. And nobody knows that better than 17-year-old Alejandra Galindo.

"It's just kind of hard to not see people who look like me in my classes," she says. "I'm a minority in the gifted world."

Sweden has taken in more asylum seekers per capita than any other European country — 160,000 last year alone. Refugees are now part of the landscape, even in small towns. And nearly everybody, not just those working with aid groups, is encountering the newcomers.

In the southern town of Ronneby, Dagmar Nordberg is giving Swedish lessons to Waliullah Hafiz, who goes by Wali, at her kitchen table. The 60-year-old Swedish museum director met this 23-year-old migrant from Kabul on a train platform in a nearby village on a freezing cold day last November.

The first boats of refugees and migrants have arrived back in Turkey from Greece, as part of a new — and controversial — deal between Turkey and the European Union that takes effect today. It is aimed at stopping the flood of people seeking asylum in Europe.

Under the deal, every migrant who reaches Greece illegally from Turkey after March 20 will be returned to Turkey, unless they qualify for asylum. However, for every Syrian turned back, a Syrian refugee who has been vetted is to be resettled from Turkey in an EU country.

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Two former Connecticut residents who were deported to Italy have lost their bid to return to the state to testify before lawmakers about how criminal convictions and deportation affect immigrant families. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has been named the recipient of this year's John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for supporting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. following the Paris terrorist attacks and personally welcoming a Syrian family to Connecticut that had been turned away from Indiana. 


The federal government deports thousands of people from the U.S. each year. Number one on its priority list are violent criminals.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

On Monday, March 28, a federal judge may rule on whether immigration officials must allow two former Connecticut residents back into the country to talk about why they were deported. 

West Hartford Clergy Look to Sponsor Refugees

Mar 14, 2016
U.S. Department of State

Pastor Geordie Campbell of the First Congregational Church of Christ organized the first meeting of West Hartford clergy last September because of his own anguish over the refugee crisis.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Shafida Kamal is 16. She had just moved to this country and then immediately started her freshman year at Bulkeley High School this fall. At the very beginning, it was rough.

Less than four months after it started accepting Syrian refugees, Canada says it has reached its goal of bringing in 25,000 people who have fled the raging civil war.

Hundreds of demonstrators packed the statehouse Monday chanting “refugees are welcome here.” The demonstration in support of Syrian refugees included Sterck Zaza, who emigrated from Syria to West Warwick as a child. 

“I am here as a mother, a sister, a friend,” said Zaza, who was close to tears a. “I support anyone who comes to this country in peace. And that’s where these refugees are coming from. They are coming for peace. That’s all they want is peace. And they’re my brothers, and they’re my sisters.”

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR

Immigration reform is a hot topic this presidential election year. Often, the question of who’s living here illegally centers on the many immigrants who cross the country's southern border. But the federal government deports people from countries across the globe. That includes a Connecticut woman who in three months must leave the country and her family. 

This hour -- from Holocaust survivor to iconic twentieth-century inventor -- we hear about the life and career of Hartford's own H. Joseph Gerber. His story is chronicled in the new biography, The Inventor's Dilemma.

Also, urbanist Richard Florida gives us his take on GE's move from Fairfield to Boston

Arasmus Photo / Flickr 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? 

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to review a challenge to President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

As we've reported, back in November 2014, Obama announced plans to shield from deportation up to 5 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Even before his plans got off the ground, lower courts put them on hold.