immigration

Courtesy Wichita Public Schools

The Wichita Public School District has close to 10,000 students in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs, with more than 109 unique languages represented in the district. More than 19 percent of the total student population in Wichita speaks a language other than English at home.

Other than the U.S., the largest numbers of students have come from Mexico, Vietnam, Democratic Republic of Congo, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Honduras. In total, students in the district represent 94 different countries.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

This story is part of the special series United And Divided, which explores the links and rifts between rural and urban America.

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President Trump has signed a revised executive order, once again barring travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program. It's similar to the president's January order that was blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

But this latest order leaves Iraq off the list of barred countries. The White House cites more cooperation with the Iraqi government in vetting people who apply for U.S. visas.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Dr. Saeedeh Salmanzadeh became a U.S. citizen at a naturalization ceremony in October 2015.

When the presiding official asked if any of the new citizens wanted to speak, she was one of the first to raise her hand.

By then Salmanzadeh had spent 15 years in America, after leaving her home in Iran where she was a doctor.

She had spent two years with no pay, studying for exams so she could practice in the United States.

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

After hundreds of arrests of undocumented immigrants by immigration police, the Trump administration’s increased focus on immigration enforcement has some of the country’s largest farm groups worried.

Brad Wilson / flickr Creative Commons

Several schools districts across Kansas saw a big increase in the number of students absent Thursday.

Attendance at public schools in Wichita, Dodge City and Garden City dropped significantly as immigrants across the country took part in an initiative seeking to highlight their contributions to U.S. business, economy and culture. Officials from all three districts said the absences couldn't be linked explicitly to the planned "Day Without Immigrants," but the number of students not in class was definitely higher than usual.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Since President Donald Trump took office, there has been a flurry of protests and rallies here in Wichita, spurred by grassroots activists. Dr. Gretchen Eick, professor emeritus at Friends University, is a local history expert when it comes to the modern civil rights movement. KMUW’s Abigail Beckman spoke to Eick about how the activities we’re seeing now parallel the past.

Andy Marso / Kansas News Service

Kansas legislators heard concerns from law enforcement groups Wednesday about two immigration bills promoted by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

In a reversal from a 2014 policy, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office in Wichita says it will once again honor requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, to detain people suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A local immigration activist says recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrests across the Midwest have immigrant communities on edge.

Guadalupe Magdaleno is the executive director of Sunflower Community Action, a nonprofit advocacy group in Wichita. She says the reports of widespread enforcement by immigration officials have fueled fear and rumors.

“The community has been calling us nonstop," she says. "They have a lot of questions where they’re trying to find out if it’s true, what’s going on, and who are they after."

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