Multicultural BRIDGE

Community activists are working to pass local ordinances in the sanctuary city model in communities in the Berkshires.

Danny Castro
Tom Franklin

A growing number of communities across the nation have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities, meaning local officials, including the police, will not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement efforts, but is that designation more than just a slogan? The case of 29-year-old Danny Castro who was arrested in Newark, New Jersey and almost deported, despite the city’s sanctuary designation, has raised that question.

Josh Landes / WAMC

One week ago, two dozen immigrants from 16 counties gathered at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to finalize their naturalization as U.S. citizens. WAMC sent this audio postcard after meeting some of the country’s newest American citizens.

Congressman Paul Tonko and RISSE Operations Director Francis Sengabo
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Volunteers and staff at an Albany organization that provides assistance to refugees and immigrants are struggling to keep up with the demand for services. Today, the organization got a visit from their member of Congress, Democrat Paul Tonko.

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, flanked by Earthjustice Attorney Chris Amato and BeBe White, president of the Ezra Prentice Homes Tenants Association
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A Democratic Albany County legislator has proposed a resolution that would make Albany a sanctuary county.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

As more than 300 immigrants wait inside Albany County Jail, attorneys and interpreters are organizing to gather more information on those being detained. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports dozens turned out Wednesday night to learn how to help.

Immigration continues to be a divisive political issue.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal wraps up his interview with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Lidia Matticchio Bastianich is a successful restaurateur, the author of many best-selling cookbooks, and the Emmy award-winning host of public television's "Lidia's Kitchen," which also airs internationally. She is also a judge on MasterChef Junior Italy and Italy's highly rated daily program "La Prova del Cuoco." 

Lidia's story begins with her upbringing in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito's communist regime. She enjoys a childhood surrounded by love and security, despite the family's poverty, learning everything about Italian cooking from her beloved grandmother, Nonna Rosa. When the communist regime begins investigating the family, they flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp waiting for visas to enter the United States -- an experience that will shape Lidia for the rest of her life.

Her new memoir is "My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food."

Albany County Correctional Facility
Will Anderson / WAMC

It’s been about two weeks since people detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement began arriving at Albany County Correctional Facility. Since then, hundreds of lawyers and volunteers have been working in the jail to find out basic information about the immigrants being detained.

Set over the course of one week in June of 1939, the new novel The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews is a story about siblings, the joys of music, love (mutual and unrequited), and the meaning of home.

It is a New York novel, but also one of the world, of big dreams and big love and what it means to be willing to pay any price for your family. 

This episode was recorded at The Mount in Lenox, Massachusettes. 

Josh Landes

Over the weekend, hundreds gathered in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to join nationwide demonstrations against the Trump administration’s immigration policies.


Progressive organizations and activists are holding a number of rallies and marches in our region this weekend to voice opposition to the federal government’s immigration policies.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that allows immigrant parents to designate a "standby guardian" for their children if the parent is detained in New York or faces deportation.


WAMC's David Guistina speaks with Jim Kevlin, Editor and Publisher of Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman's Journal and, about an immgration rally, Families Belong Together, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Jail cell

Additional detained undocumented immigrants may arrive at the Albany County jail today.

So far, about three dozen immigrants detained by the federal government are being held at Albany County jail. And Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said Wednesday morning more may be on the way.

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive. 

In "The Girl Who Smiled Beads," Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her commitment to constructing a life on her own terms.

Today's Panel presents a conversaton about immigration.

Immigration has been a touchstone of the U.S. political debate for decades, as policymakers weigh competing economic, security, and humanitarian concerns. Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on comprehensive immigration reform for years.

Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump signed executive orders on border security, interior enforcement, and refugees. In mid-2017, Trump rescinded two programs created by President Obama to shield undocumented children and their parents from deportation. Most recently, a “Zero-Tolerance” policy was implemented causing children to be separated from their parents at the border.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the national immigration debate. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on today's federal primaries in New York.

Josh Landes

A Berkshire County organization that offers legal aid to immigrants is in the midst of a fundraising campaign. It comes at a time when immigration is once again the subject of national debate.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on Governor Andrew Cuomo's tour of a facility in New York holding immigrant children separated from their parents after crossing the border illegally before President Trump reversed his administration's position this week. Dr. Chartock also discusses the U.S. Supreme Court decision on online retailer sales tax.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Andrew Cuomo says there are as many as 700 immigrant children in child care services in New York, and he’s demanding that state health care professionals have access to them, saying under New York’s constitution, the state is responsible for their welfare.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the executive order President Trump signed Wednesday regarding immigration. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on the end of the New York state legislative session.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the Trump administration's immigration policies.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock discusses the current immigration debate. Dr. Chartock also shares his thoughts on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's visit to China today.


WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the ongoing immigration debate.  Dr. Chartock also discusses this week's corruption cases.


     An undocumented immigrant left the sanctuary of a church in western Massachusetts today to rejoin her family after being given a one-year stay from deportation. 

Ken Lovett
Ken Lovett

WAMC's David Guistina speaks with Ken Lovett, Albany Bureau Chief for The New York Daily News, about the ongoing immigration debate across the country.  The pair also discuss Governor Andrew Cuomo's push for gun control legislation.

Picture of a judge's gavel

A New York judge says he'll rule quickly on civil rights lawyers' demands that the government stop detaining some immigrant children for an average of over eight months.

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of nine previous books of nonfiction, including "In the New World," "Remembering Satan," "The Looming Tower," "Going Clear," "Thirteen Days in September," and "The Terror Years," and one novel, "God's Favorite." His books have received many prizes and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for "The Looming Tower." He is also a playwright and screenwriter.

His new book, "God Save Texas," is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority.

Alan Chartock

WAMC's Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on the nationwide May Day rallies being held by U.S. immigrants today. Dr. Chartock also discusses the New York Times article listing questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Trump.