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Only in America with Ali Noorani
18 minutes | 4 days ago
A Country of Welcome: Part II
What happens when a group of evangelical women come together to advocate for refugees? This week we hear from Tess Clark, Director of We Welcome Refugees, about their effort to gather voices from across the country to urge President Biden to raise the refugee ceiling. Some people sent their voicemails in before this month’s announcement, and some were recorded after. These emotional messages detail why refugees are so important to this country - and why it’s important for people of faith to step up.
19 minutes | 9 days ago
A Country of Welcome
We’re taking a break from Utah this week to address President Biden’s refugee ceiling announcement. Our virtual road -trip will be back soon! President Biden’s decision this week to raise the refugee ceiling to 62,500 came after a broad range of voices urged the administration to reconsider their initial decision to keep the ceiling at the historically low 15,000 set by President Trump. Ali speaks with Edafe Okporo, a global gay rights activist and executive director of the RDJ Refugee Shelter in Harlem, New York, about his experience with the US asylum system and how he is trying to help other asylees. We also hear from Jenny Yang, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief, about the growing need for refugee resettlement.
22 minutes | 18 days ago
Field Notes: Utah – Dr. Armando Solorzano
Our virtual road trip around Utah continues as we learn about the unique history and future of Latino communities in the Beehive state, which has seen its Hispanic population grow nearly 26 % between 2010 and 2018 -- which was more than twice as fast as the non-Hispanic white population. Ali talks to Dr. Armando Solórzano about the rapidly changing demographics of Utah, the history of immigration, and how under the Biden administration, the historical importance of parks and monuments may take on added significance.
28 minutes | 25 days ago
Field Notes: Utah – Bernardo Castro
The Beehive State is not often at the forefront of the immigration debate, but as we discuss this week, Utah’s approach to immigration reform has a lot we can learn from. As many of their geographical neighbors passed notoriously anti-immigrant and racist legislation, Utah’s communities were sending a different kind of message. One of welcome and opportunity, rather than fear and hostility. This week we are joined by Bernardo Castro, a Utah Dreamer, BYU graduate and small business owner. Bernardo discusses the ever-changing status of DACA, growing up undocumented in a state with a relatively small Latino population and the principles of dignity and humane policies for all.
32 minutes | a month ago
What's Happening at the Southern Border
A record number of people have been attempting to cross the US-Mexico border this year, many of them children. There are reports of a backlog of thousands of people willing to take a chance. And those turned back usually wait a bit in Mexico and try again. So how does the number of people attempting to cross the border this year compare to previous years? What are these individuals and families facing? And what approaches can we take immediately to start addressing these issues? This week, an on-the-ground look at the U.S.-Mexico border as we speak with Joanna Williams, Executive Director of the Kino Border Initiative, Linda Chavez, a former Reagan White House official and Danilo Zak, Policy & Advocacy Associate at the Forum.
2 minutes | 2 months ago
Introducing Field Notes: Utah
In our upcoming series, we take a virtual road trip around Utah to talk to residents about how immigration impacts Utah and what it's like to be an immigrant in the Beehive State. We’ll be exploring how immigrants contribute to their communities in Utah, how national immigration conversations impact – or don’t impact – reforms in Utah, and where Utahns think we go from here.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Special Episode: Stopping AAPI Hate with John C. Yang
Last week’s shooting in Atlanta is part of a tragic rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country. This rise is coupled with the fact that discrimination and hate faced by Asian Americans is often overlooked by press, policymakers and systems. Data collection efforts lag; outreach is stunted. This week, Ali speaks with John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice. John shares what he’s hearing from organizers and partners on the ground, and how we can use this as a moment of change.
24 minutes | 2 months ago
Response and Recovery: Maria Ramos
Ensuring safe, equitable vaccination campaigns is a challenge for communities across the country. But the rollout for an immigrant in New York City can look quite different than it does for one in small-town Iowa. This week, Ali talks to Maria Ramos, a city council member in Storm Lake, Iowa. Maria discusses how her small-but-diverse town has responded to the pandemic, and how she sees her role as a leader in the immigrant community and the town as a whole.
32 minutes | 2 months ago
Response and Recovery: Dr. Luz Garcini
What can the undocumented experience teach us about how to support vulnerable communities through the grief and trauma of the past year? Ali talks to Dr. Luz Garcini, a nonresident fellow at the Center for the United States and Mexico, part of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, about how we build a pipeline that meets immigrant health needs, and how the new administration can help break the cycle of mistrust and fear that leaves immigrants more vulnerable.
32 minutes | 3 months ago
Response and Recovery: Valentina Pereda
Prioritizing vaccine access for vulnerable communities is critical to a successful pandemic response – but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. This week’s guest is Valentina Pereda, a communications expert and documentary filmmaker based in LA. She tells Ali about her work tracking and combatting misinformation in the Latino community, particularly around COVID-19. Valentina helped produce the following vaccine PSAs: Imam Muhammad Kolila: https://www.facebook.com/MasjidAlshuhadaa/videos/1119238831834139/ Dr. Lily Cervantes: https://www.facebook.com/1548681666/videos/10224241052444509/ Dr. AK Agundiabe: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CKl_0WvHFKw/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
36 minutes | 3 months ago
Response and Recovery: Laura Spinney
Recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving herd immunity won't be possible, Laura Spinney argues, unless we prioritize immigrant communities. This week Ali talks to Laura, a science journalist and author of Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, about why protecting ourselves is impossible without protecting the most vulnerable.
2 minutes | 3 months ago
Trailer: Response and Recovery
Immigrants have played a key role in our nation’s response to COVID-19 – and they’re especially vulnerable to the pandemic’s devastating effects. So for our next series, we’re talking to public health experts, science journalists and more to understand how communities are responding to the pandemic and the systemic challenges that it has shed a light on.
27 minutes | 3 months ago
The First 100: Todd Schulte
Building a truly successful legal immigration system will take more than undoing Trump policies – it’s going to take an overhaul of a long-outdated system that cannot meet our modern immigration needs. So, where do we go from here? Ali talks to Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, about how Congress and the administration can tackle the remnants of Trump-era policies – and why a broader vision for a legal immigration system is vital for our nation’s future.
30 minutes | 4 months ago
The First 100: Joy Olson
Among President Biden's immigration actions is a $4 billion four-year plan to address root causes of migration in Central America. But when lawmakers talk about addressing migration's “root causes,” what do they really mean? And who has a seat at the negotiation table? Ali talks to Joy Olson, a foreign policy expert and the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America, about untangling Trump’s asylum mess, what was missing from previous regional approaches, and what she hopes the Biden administration will focus on.
41 minutes | 4 months ago
The First 100: Elizabeth Neumann
Joe Biden is expected to rescind Trump’s travel ban almost immediately after taking office this week – but where does our national security conversation go from there, and how do we balance it with smart immigration policies? Ali talks to Elizabeth Neumann, a security expert who served at DHS during the Trump administration, about why rescinding the ban will make us safer, and what smarter policies could look like.
30 minutes | 4 months ago
The First 100: Mark Hetfield
This week, Ali talks to Mark Hetfield, President and CEO of HIAS, about what a Biden administration means for refugee resettlement. HIAS is one of nine primarily faith-based organizations partnering with the federal government to help resettle refugees, and is also engaged in refugee advocacy at the national and international level. Mark and Ali spoke about the obstacles refugees face on the road to resettlement, the policy decisions facing the Biden administration, and what a modernized refugee program could look like.
2 minutes | 4 months ago
Trailer: The First 100
We’re hitting the ground running in 2021 and for season 4 of Only in America, with a series focused on what President-elect Biden’s first 100 days mean for the 117th Congress and what our immigration system could look like. We’ll start by seeing what the Biden administration can do during its early days — and then shift to what the implications are in Congress for longer-term, bipartisan solutions for reform on key issues like DACA, border security and more.
33 minutes | 5 months ago
Immigrant Youth: Irena Abdelalem Abdelmaksoud
In our final episode of the season, we get a glimpse of the challenges migrant youth face in other parts of the world. Ali talks with Irena Abdelalem Abdelmaksoud, a protection officer who specializes in working with unaccompanied children at Info Park, a grassroots NGO in Belgrade, Serbia, that has been assisting refugees in the area since 2015. They provide urgent aid, psychological support, accommodation, information and other services for refugees across Belgrade, a major transit hub for refugees making the arduous journey to the European Union.
28 minutes | 5 months ago
Immigrant Youth: Mental Health with Luna Greenstein
This week we dive into the importance of mental health care in the U.S. — in particular for immigrant youth. Ali talks with Luna Greenstein, a senior content manager at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, about personal stories of immigrants’ mental health experiences, and how by understanding these stories, we can get a sense of the mental health challenges that young immigrants may face more often than their peers.
34 minutes | 5 months ago
Immigrant Youth: Molly Baldwin and Victoria Ramirez-Morales
Ali talks to two people who have years of experience creating a safer environment for young immigrants to address their trauma and heal. Their work focuses on disrupting cycles of poverty and helping them build skills and access resources to build a better life. Molly Baldwin is the founder and CEO of Roca in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Victoria Ramirez-Morales leads Roca’s Central American Youth Initiative.
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