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immigration

Brinton Lykes is a psychologist who has spent her career living and working with people in Central America who have survived war and genocidal violence. In her work, she uses the creative arts and local cultural traditions to understand and document the effects of trauma on communities.

Lykes is in Rochester as guest of the Rochester Committee on Latin America to receive the International White Dove Award. She joins us in studio to discuss her work, and the United States' role in Latin American affairs.

Author Reyna Grande says there are voices missing from the conversation about immigration reform -- those of undocumented children. Grande crossed the border into the U.S. from Mexico when she was nine years old. In her new memoir, The Distance Between Us, she writes about the extreme poverty she and her siblings experienced in Mexico, and why a chance at a better life in the U.S. ripped her family apart. It's a true story of trauma, struggle, and hope - one that Grande says she hopes will help change misconceptions about immigrants in the U.S.

The Distance Between Us has been selected by Writers & Books for this year's Rochester Reads program. Grande will be in Rochester for a series of events this week, but first, she joins us on Connections. Our guests:

  • Reyna Grande, author of The Distance Between Us
  • Karen van Meenen, coordinator of the Rochester Reads and Debut Novel Series programs at Writers & Books

When we talk about DACA, building a wall, and immigration policy, what are we really talking about? Will Wilkinson from the Niskanen Center in Washington has an idea. He says the immigration debate is actually about whether Latinos are considered “real Americans.” He says that liberal pluralists in this country have sort of dithered, while white nationalism is on the move; nativism, as far as the White House, is helping to set policy.

Wilkinson says it’s time for liberal pluralists to get off the sidelines and fight for multiculturalism, to talk about history in more realistic terms, and to fight for better policies. Our panel discusses these issues and immigration policy. Our guests:

Raul Ramirez describes himself as a DREAMer The University of Rochester student is pursuing a BA in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. He has dreams of eventually practicing family medicine for the LGBTQ community. But Ramirez has a more immediate dream - for Congress to pass legislation that allows undocumented young people, just like him, and their families, to stay in the United States without fear of deportation. Ramirez, founder of the group UR DREAMers, joins this edition of Need to Know to share his story.

Some say the issue of immigration reform has not only taken a nasty turn in Congress, but also in our society. One reason might be lack of understanding and confusion in terms of what’s going on and why.

Joining this edition of Need to Know to share their understanding and perspectives on the issue at hand is:

  • Wes Renfro - Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Legal Studies at St. John Fisher College
  • Jocelyn “Josh” Apo - A Haitian refugee now US Citizen who released an inspiring memoir in 2017 about his journey, “Gold from the Well”
  • Jim Morris - Associate Vice President for Family Services at Catholic Family Center

It’s been described as a fiscal showdown in Washington. Members of Congress have been up against the clock to pass a federal spending bill and avoid another government shutdown. So what’s the issue? There’s one matter of contention.

What you need to know about immigration reform according to dreamers, one of your Congressional representatives, a refugee-now-U.S. citizen, and more, on this edition of Need to Know.

Have you ever had a conversation with a refugee? An upcoming cultural fair will give participants the opportunity to learn about people of different backgrounds by experiencing aspects of their cultures.

The organizer of “From Strangers to Neighbors” says the fair is one way to break down stereotypes and remove the fear sparked by controversies surrounding the Trump administration’s immigration ban. Our guests help us preview the event. In studio:

  • Samiha Islam, organizer of From Strangers to Neighbors
  • Sareer Fazili, president of the board of directors at the Islamic Center of Rochester
  • Alma Omerhodzic, Bosnian refugee and program participant
  • Obaida Omar, representative of Catholic Family Center who works to help integrate refugees into the Rochester area

An old army base about 70 miles from Rochester was the only site in the United States to welcome refugees from Europe during the Holocaust. Fort Ontario in Oswego, an internment camp, became home to 982 refugees in 1944, but many people don't know its story or the history and politics behind the refugees' arrival. Now, Fort Ontario is back in the news: there's proposed legislation to make the site a national park. 

In 1987, WXXI produced a documentary about the camp. It's called Safe Haven. We honor the film's 30th anniversary and the lives of Holocaust victims and survivors by sharing their stories. Our guests:

  • Paul Lewis, writer, director, and producer of Safe Haven
  • Irving Schild, Holocaust survivor who lived at Fort Ontario
  • Warren Heilbronner, Holocaust survivor

The White House's latest travel ban was thrown out by a federal judge on Wednesday. But countries on President Trump's list have already floated the idea of "reciprocal bans." What would that mean?

Our guests touch on the recent news, but they also discuss Nowruz -- the Persian New Year. We talk about the cultural meaning of what it is, along with misconceptions. Our guests:

  • Shahin Monshipour, Iranian American anthropologist who teaches sociology and cultural anthropology at RIT
  • Zari Kamarei, director of the Carlson Science & Engineering Library at the University of Rochester
  • Robert Dunbar, visiting instructor in the Department of Religious Studies at St. John Fisher College

What is a Sanctuary City? Next week, Rochester City Council will take up legislation related to Rochester's status as a "Sanctuary City." But what, exactly, does that mean?

We explore the impact for refugees, and the possible impact related to federal funding and support. Our guests:

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