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What really drives the immigration debate? It’s people, not politics. Join us for “Only in America” from the National Immigration Forum to hear how Americans from all walks of life and from across the political spectrum are experiencing changes in their communities as a result of immigration. Faith leaders, law enforcement officials, business owners and others speak openly about the way culture, identity and values are shaping and defining our country, and they offer a constructive way forwa ...
 
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Thousands of Afghan evacuees are still unmoored months after the U.S withdrawal from Afghanistan. Many remain on military bases in the U.S. and across the world. Their stories don’t end with evacuation - in fact, it’s just the beginning of a resettlement process that requires a formidable amount of planning, resources, and cooperation across commun…
 
We are back! Thank you for joining us after our brief break. Not all heroes wear capes, but this one does wear a Captain America costume. Vishavjit Singh is a writer, artist, creator of Sikhtoons, and Sikh Captain America. He uses his powers of building bridges and storytelling to fight intolerance and have difficult conversations to create underst…
 
This week we look at the symbolism and substance of borders. We’ve covered the US/Mexico border previously, but this time we take a large look at borderlands and what those lines mean for the people living on either side. Ali speaks with VICE news correspondent David Noriega and Danilo Zak Policy & Advocacy Associate at the Forum. Check us out on T…
 
Immigration reform for Dreamers could be on the horizon, but what does achieving it through budget reconciliation mean for future immigration reform efforts? This week we speak to Bill Kristol director of Defending Democracy Together. Our conversation looks at what the potentially $3.5 trillion budget package would really mean for DACA and other im…
 
The Olympics are a unique opportunity to celebrate both individual victories and our collective unity. And this week we went for the gold! Ali speaks with former Olympian and refugee Makorobondo “Dee” Salukombo about learning to love running and his work starting Project Kirotshe a program that pays children in Congo’s school fees as they train and…
 
As the Olympics approach and we collectively turn our TVs to feats of athleticism, we highlight another way sports brings people together. This week’s episode features the co-founders of the Curbside Cup – a soccer tournament for refugee children in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Terri Sheldon and Jean Bosco Tuyisenge tell the story of how the tournament…
 
Driving through neighborhoods across the country, you could see the effects. Shuttered storefronts. Quiet business districts. Not to mention the stories of families who have scraped by day after day, over the last year. In this episode, we check bring stories of immigrant business owners and workers who have been essential to the response and recov…
 
Our celebration of Immigration Heritage Month continues! And as much as Immigrant Heritage Month is a joyful occasion, it’s also an opportunity to remember how much more work there is to be done. For part 2, we revisit some of last week’s guests -- and talk to some new ones -- to hear more about their heritage and how it informs their sense of bein…
 
It’s Immigrant Heritage Month! And for the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing stories that shine a light on the contributions of immigrants – those who came here to work hard, seek opportunities or find protection – and what their experiences and recent research can tell us about the American Identity and American attitudes towards immigration. We he…
 
For local law enforcement, building trust within their communities is key to doing their jobs. But for many immigrant communities, contact with law enforcement is associated with discrimination, surveillance and a risk of deportation. This week we ask: How can local police build a better relationship with their communities? In the final stop on our…
 
In Utah, where the immigrant population has grown significantly in recent decades, federal policies are only the beginning of a conversation that can play out much more meaningfully at the local level. Utah’s changing demographics have presented new challenges – and new opportunities. This week, Ali speaks with Salt Lake County Mayor and life-long …
 
We’re back on our virtual road trip through Utah, taking a look back at what we’ve learned about the state so far -- and also looking ahead. Our first two Utah conversations helped us understand the experiences of immigrants and the history of the Latino community in the state, and our upcoming guests will help us understand how community leaders i…
 
What happens when a group of evangelical women come together to advocate for refugees? This week we hear from Tess Clarke, 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 …
 
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 historic…
 
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…
 
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 o…
 
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…
 
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 Ut…
 
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 sp…
 
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 respo…
 
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 he…
 
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 …
 
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 …
 
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 lig…
 
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 T…
 
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 directo…
 
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 th…
 
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 sp…
 
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 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. T…
 
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 he…
 
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 Ramire…
 
For the last few episodes of season three, we’re taking a look forward. Specifically, to the young immigrants who are shaping our nation’s future. We’ll hear about immigrant youth experiences and the unique challenges they face across a variety of backgrounds, including growing up as a first-generation immigrant, addressing trauma and violence prev…
 
In lieu of a regular, full episode this week, we hope you’ll join us live for the National Immigration Forum’s annual convening, Leading the Way, Nov. 16-19. Each day from 3-5 p.m. Eastern, we’re bringing together influential voices for critical conversations about immigration and the role of immigration in our nation’s future. Tune in to hear more…
 
For our special post-election episode, Ali talks to Robert P. Jones about the future of American identity, interpreting recent polling trends, and what the numbers reveal about how we can heal and build a path forward. Robert is CEO and Founder of the Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI. He’s also the author of “White Too Long: The Legacy o…
 
This week, we’re taking a bit of a break from the relentless election news cycle. Ali chats with Nancy Jooyoun Kim, whose debut novel, The Last Story of Mina Lee, has become a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller since being published in September. They discuss immigrant experiences in the U.S. and how telling those stories can bring a powerful …
 
In the final episode of our pre-election deep dive into civic engagement, Ali hears about the experiences of two first-time voters who recently became U.S. citizens through the Forum’s New American Workforce program. Karla Garcia, a Honduran immigrant who works for the D.C. Board of Elections, talks about her father’s experience voting for the firs…
 
Ali sits down with Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the executive producers of Little America, an Apple TV anthology series telling the immigrant stories we don’t often hear in American pop culture. They chat about the about the power of storytelling, how to create a sense of connectedness amid division, and what’s missing from conversations on…
 
This week Ali speaks to Bob Worsley, a businessman and former Republican member of the Arizona State Senate. He recently wrote a book called “The Horseshoe Virus” on polarization in politics. An active member of the LDS Church, Bob spoke about how his faith informed his civic engagement — and why advocating for commonsense immigration policies does…
 
This week, we're looking at how marginalized communities are leveraging their collective power this election season – even if they can’t vote themselves. By emphasizing connectedness at a time when it’s needed the most, organizers are finding new ways to engage their communities and advocate for Dreamers and other immigrants. Ali chats with Greisa …
 
This week Ali talks to Adamou Mohamed, an organizer and civic engagement coordinator with Church World Service. He leads their efforts working with refugee leaders on voter registration, education, and turnout. He and Ali spoke about the unique experiences and challenges refugee voters face, and the importance of building engagement across communit…
 
Catch this preview of our upcoming series on civic engagement and how immigrants and immigration impact the 2020 election. Plus, stick around for a segment from another great podcast, “A Better Life?” from Feet in 2 Worlds, winner of multiple awards for journalism about and by immigrants. This clip features a conversation with a couple in Miami rec…
 
Reporter Tina Vasquez tells Ali about her work as a movement journalist and her work building trust within the communities she reports on, including the Black immigrant community. Tina is a senior reporter at Prism — a BIPOC-focused media outlet whose news team is 100% led by women of color — where she leads coverage of both gender justice and work…
 
This week Ali talks to Abdi Nor Iftin, bestselling author of “Call Me American: A Memoir.” Originally from Somalia, Abdi left the dangers of his home country only to be confronted with the harsh realities of racism in the U.S. Abdi spoke to Ali about improving the visibility and accessibility of Black immigrant stories, and his advice to non-Black …
 
This week, Ali talks to Alan Cross, lead pastor at the Petaluma Valley Baptist Church in northern California and author of “When Heaven and Earth Collide: Racism, Southern Evangelicals, and the Better Way of Jesus.” Raised in Mississippi, Alan has preached in churches across the South. Alan and Ali spoke about the complicated history of the region,…
 
This week, Ali talks to Professor Karla McKanders, who directs the Immigration Practice Clinic at Vanderbilt Law School. She also teaches refugee and immigration law. She has written about the intersection of immigration and Blackness, and is releasing a children’s book on the issue soon. Professor McKanders and Ali spoke about the experiences of B…
 
The color of our skin and our immigration status dramatically affect how we move through our daily lives in this country. And these two identities, while distinct, are constantly interacting with each other. For our next series, we’re taking a critical look at the complex relationship between racial justice and immigration. We’ll start out by diggi…
 
For our last week in our “How Did We Get Here?” series, we’ll see the human impact of flawed policies. Ali talks to Ainee Athar, Immigration Program Manager at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Born in Pakistan, Ainee and her family sought protection from religious persecution. But in coming to the U.S., they faced a slew of obstacles over many years…
 
This week, Ali talks to Becky Tallent, former chief of staff to Sen. John McCain and adviser to House Speaker John Boehner, about the push for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 and 2013. Becky is currently head of U.S. Government Relations at Dropbox and serves as Vice Chair of the Forum’s Board of Directors.…
 
This week we hear about what happened around immigration in the 1990s, and how that’s affected today’s conversations. Ali talks to Doris Meissner, a former Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. She’s currently a Senior Fellow and Director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute.…
 
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