Elly Yu | WABE 90.1 FM

Elly Yu


Elly Yu is a reporter at WABE, where she first got her start in public radio as an graduate student intern in 2013. Since then, she’s reported for WNYC, NPR, and Marketplace among others.  In 2014, Elly was awarded with an immigration reporting fellowship from the Institute for Justice and Journalism.

Elly holds a bachelor’s in international relations from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she co-hosted a podcast. 

campus carry
Jaime Henry-White, File / Associated Press

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill Friday that would allow people with weapons licenses to carry concealed guns on public college campuses.

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The measure passed 108-63 after more than an hour of debate on the day of a key deadline, called Crossover Day. The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

State Rep. Allen Peake, R-Macon, speaks before Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, rear, signs an executive order requiring state agencies to start preparations now for the enactment of the state's medical marijuana bill Friday, March 27, 2015, in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a measure Tuesday that would allow more medical conditions to be eligible for treatment by medical cannabis oil.

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The bill now moves to the state Senate, which recently passed its own cannabis oil measure that would add autism to the list of eligible conditions, but would also reduce the THC level of cannabis oil from 5 percent to 3 percent.

Jason Getz / Associated Press

A Georgia House committee approved a measure Monday that would require the phrase “ineligible voter” printed on licenses issued to people who don’t have U.S. citizenship.  

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The bill originally required the term "noncitizen,” but the bill’s sponsor state Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell, said he reconsidered after the legislation faced backlash.

Elly Yu / WABE

A Georgia House committee approved a bill Monday that would allow licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons on public college campuses.

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"This is changing the dynamic, and it's allowing people and affording the opportunity to defend themselves," said Rep. Mandi Ballinger, R-Canton, sponsor of the bill. 

Elly Yu / WABE

About a hundred people rallied outside a constituent event with Sen. David Perdue’s staff at the Henry County Farm Bureau in McDonough on Thursday.

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Many demanded a face-to-face meeting with Perdue, some holding signs that read, “You work for us” or “Where are you?”

Perdue’s staff say they hold mobile office hours routinely around the state to help constituents with issues like veterans’ affairs and social security.

John Bazemore / WABE

The Georgia state House approved a bill that would strip private colleges of state funding if they adopt "sanctuary" policies and don't cooperate with federal immigration officials.

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Lawmakers voted 112-17 on the bill, which now moves to the state Senate for consideration. 

Georgia Department of Driver Services

Georgia lawmakers are considering a bill that would require the label “noncitizen” to be printed on driver’s licenses issued to people without U.S. citizenship, including those with legal permanent residency.

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The Georgia Department of Driver Services currently prints the phrase “limited-term” on licenses for people who are not U.S. citizens, but who are in the country lawfully.

Aileen Burger loads an oral syringe with cannabis-infused oil used as medicine for her 4-year-old daughter Elizabeth, who suffers from severe epilepsy.
Brennan Linsley / AP Photo, File

A Georgia House panel heard testimony on Tuesday on a bill that would allow more conditions to be eligible for treatment by medical cannabis oil. 

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Current state law, which was passed two years ago, allows Georgians to use the oil if they have one of a limited number of conditions, like cancer and sickle cell disease. The bill would expand that list by eight conditions, including autism and PTSD.  

State Rep. Allen Peake is sponsoring the measure.

Flowers along a trail at Panola Mountain State Park
Al Such / WABE

Warmer weather is expected to continue in Georgia this week and climatologists say it's part of a pattern of unusually warm temperatures much of the state has experienced this winter. 

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Pam Knox, an agricultural climatologist at the University of Georgia, said temperatures have been above average as a whole this winter, and that it's likely to continue. 

Georgia State Capitol gold dome.
Al Such / WABE

The Georgia House of Representatives on Friday approved a $25 billion state budget, which includes salary raises for thousands of state employees.

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Toby Talbot, File / Associated Press

Georgia lawmakers are considering a bill that would further regulate opioid treatment centers in the state.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, would put into place new requirements for those wanting to open up centers in Georgia. The centers offer medical-assisted treatment and counseling to help treat patients with addictions to heroin and other opioids.

Bryan Cox / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via Associated Press

Recent arrests of unauthorized immigrants have sparked fear in some immigrant communities after federal officials arrested hundreds of people last week in several states, including Georgia.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it arrested 87 people in Georgia, as well as 84 people in North Carolina and 19 in South Carolina.

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press

A Georgia lawmaker has introduced a bill that would create up to 100 nonprofit health centers to serve low-income patients across the state.  

State Rep. Geoff Duncan of Cumming said the clinics, known as federally-qualified health centers, would be eligible to receive federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid. There are already about 200 centers of this kind in the state, he said.

Duncan said more clinics could help support the state's rural hospitals and give people closer access to health care.


Atlanta-area immigration attorneys and advocates say federal immigration officials have recently increased the number of immigration arrests.

Sarah Owings, chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Georgia Alabama Chapter, said arrests occurred along Buford Highway Thursday and Friday. She said arrests have been reported in other parts of the state as well, including Savannah and Cordele. 

“It’s really all over the state,” Owings said. “It’s amazing how quickly it’s happening."

David Goldman / Associated Press

Georgia lawmakers are trying to work on a plan to get more donations to struggling rural hospitals. A state House committee Thursday passed a bill that would increase the amount of tax credits people can claim when donating to rural hospitals.  

State Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming, sponsored a bill last year creating the tax credit program. His bill this year would increase the tax credit amount from 70 to 90 percent.

Fans turned out to the Falcons pep rally at Atlanta City Hall on Friday, Jan. 27 to pump up for Super Bowl LI, in which the Falcons will take on the New England Patriots.
Alison Guillory / WABE

The Super Bowl may be about two teams going head-to-head, but this year, each team’s fans bring their own separate motivation to the match-up.

For Atlanta Falcons fans, the big game against the New England Patriots, is about bringing home the city’s first-ever Super Bowl ring. Atlanta has only won one major sports championship in the past, the Braves’ World Series win in 1995.

Elly Yu / WABE

Areen Lukman Hussein tries to quiet her baby, who’s not even a month old. She just fed him with a bottle, but he’s still squirming in her arms.

She’s at the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta with her family on Monday, where refugees have been gathering to hear more about President Donald Trump’s executive actions on immigration.

Another man from Syria in the room, also a refugee, chimes in about the baby.

“Maybe the baby misses his dad,” he says in Arabic through an interpreter.

The expected arrival of a family of four refugees from Afghanistan in Atlanta Monday follows protests at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and around the country against President Donald Trump's immigration order.
Alison Guillory / WABE

A local refugee resettlement organization said they're expecting a family of four refugees from Afghanistan to arrive in Atlanta Monday evening, after President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily halting refugee resettlement.

WILFREDO LEE / Associated Press

At least four people were held at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Saturday following President Donald Trump's executive actions restricting immigration, according to a local immigration attorney. 

Sarah Owings, who chairs the Georgia-Alabama chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the original four people who were reported detained Saturday afternoon have since been released. She added that others were in custody, though it was unclear how many.

Fifty refugees have resettled in Georgia since President Donald Trump's immigration ban.
Denis O'Hayer / WABE

As President Donald Trump this week moved forward with his campaign promises to restrict immigration, those in Atlanta's refugee community are bracing for any executive actions that would ban refugees from resettling in the United States. 

According to multiple media reports, Trump is expected to sign an order that would stop the resettlement of refugees from Syria indefinitely and pause total resettlement from other countries for at least 120 days. The order would also pause the issuance of visas from several Muslim-majority nations. 

Kaitlin Kolarik

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Atlanta, despite pouring rain and thunderstorms Saturday morning and early into the afternoon in response to the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

It was a sea of colors in front of the Center for Civil and Human Rights as people brought their handwritten signs, some wrapped in plastic for the rain.

Georgia imports and exports shipped through the Georgia Ports Authority Garden City terminal, in Savannah, Ga.
Stephen B. Morton / AP Photo

Experts say a trade war between the U.S. and China could negatively affect Georgia, which exports billions of dollars in products to the country each year and has been investing in business ties with China.

“It would hurt Georgia because you've got 1.3 billion Chinese people with rising incomes and a great demand for our agricultural products,” said Jeff Rosensweig, associate professor of international business and director of the John Robson Program at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

A school bus in front of the Georgia Capitol
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia lawmakers will be looking at a record $25 billion budget when they hold joint budget hearings Tuesday and Wednesday.

The budget for fiscal year 2018 includes pay raises for state employees, money for autism treatment services for children under Medicaid, and resources for various construction projects.

David Goldman / Associated Press

Gov. Nathan Deal pushed for more access to mental health care services, called for changes to education and warned against big healthcare policy changes during his annual State of the State address Wednesday.

Deal proposed a 19 percent pay raise, on average, for caseworkers with the Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), which handles foster care cases in the state.

He also announced that his proposed budget would include money to expand healthcare coverage for children with behavioral issues, as well as for people diagnosed with autism.

David Goldman / Associated Press

State Republican leaders indicated Thursday they are not prioritizing religious exemption bills that have headlined legislative sessions in years past.

Republican House and Senate leaders spoke about their legislative agendas Thursday for this year’s General Assembly which starts Monday. The Senate GOP Caucus’s priorities included topics ranging from health care to education funding, but did not include religious exemptions bills.  

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who presides over the state Senate, said it’s a different environment today because of the recent election.

Elly Yu / WABE

When Ivan Morales heard about a Fulton County Superior Court judge’s ruling that would allow immigrant students who have temporary permission to stay in the country to pay in-state tuition at Georgia’s public colleges, he was thrilled.

Injectable and nasal forms of Naloxone, which can be used to block the potentially fatal effects of an opioid overdose, are shown Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, at an outpatient pharmacy at the University of Washington.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Drug prevention advocates in Georgia say they’re concerned about the rising cost of a drug that’s used to reverse an overdose from opioid use. 

Gov. Nathan Deal earlier this month took action to make naloxone available over the counter without a prescription. In 2014, he signed an amnesty law that extended protections for people who reported overdoses and allowed more people to administer naloxone.

Mary Claire Kelly / WABE

Tybee Island's city council is scheduled to consider a plan that would restrict alcohol consumption during the spring months.

Councilmember Julie Livingston said the measure would ban open containers on the island's beaches and parking lots from March through May.

Tybee Island has been a popular spring break destination, where people gather for the annual Orange Crush party.

The security line at Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
David Goldman / Associated Press


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is expecting more than 4.2 million passengers to travel through the airport during the holiday period that runs from Dec. 16 through Jan. 3, airports officials said. 

Travelers leaving out of Atlanta, however, shouldn't have to worry too much because the bulk of the passengers will be from connecting traffic, said Reese McCranie, the airport's director of policy and communications.

 Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga.
Kate Brumback / Associated Press

A new 780-bed immigration detention center is scheduled to open in South Georgia next year. The GEO Group, a private corrections company, said it signed a five-year contract last week with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Charlton County to run a new center in Folkston, Georgia.

The Folkston ICE Processing Center will be at a facility next to the D. Ray James Correctional Facility, which The GEO Group currently owns and operates.