Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category

Jose Antonio Vargas: Undocumented and Unafraid

 

 

Jose Antonio Vargas has a Pulitzer Prize, but he lacks a Green Card. Vargas came to the United States at age 12 to discover his immigration papers were fake a few years later. He went on to a brilliant career winning the coveted Pulitzer Prize in 2008. Maria Hinojosa talks to him about his upcoming documentary, the media bias against undocumented immigrants, and President Obama as the #DeporterInChief.

 

Photo By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Keeping Mayan Culture Alive In Nebraska.

More than 400 thousand Guatemalans have emigrated to the U.S, fleeing a violent civil war that led to the genocide of thousands of indigenous Mayans. Some of these Guatemalans are Mayans who don’t speak much Spanish, much less English.

In Nebraska, a group of Mayans fights to keep their culture alive and to make sure their community has access to the services it needs to thrive in this faraway place.

 Photo by Ariana Brocious

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atrowe_smallAriana Brocious is a radio reporter/producer currently working as Reporter/Morning Host at NET Radio in Nebraska, where she covers water, environment, culture and community stories. A native of Tucson and graduate of the University of Arizona, she spent four years in Western Colorado, where she worked at KVNF Public Radio and High Country News magazine, before moving to the Great Plains.

 

“The State Of Arizona”: A Microscope On The Immigration Debate

When filmmakers Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini arrived in Arizona in 2011 to shoot a documentary about the fierce battles over immigration happening in the state, they found a lot of angry people. Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 – better known as the “Show Me Your Papers Law” – was the harshest US anti-immigration bill in recent memory. Passions flared on both sides of the debate, and what started as a local initiative to curb immigration became a major national story that ultimately, changed the landscape of American politics as record numbers of Latinos made their voices heard in the 2012 presidential election in response.

Sandoval and Tambini’s new PBS documentary, “The State of Arizona,” brings audiences up-close to the front lines of those debates. Maria Hinojosa speaks with the filmmakers on about how, through intimate interviews with both anti- and pro-immigrant activists, “The State of Arizona” tells a story about the resilience and power of American democracy.

 

 

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Carlos Sandoval is the co-director/producer of the award-winning documentaries A Class Apart (American Experience 2009, Imagen Award), soon to be a major motion picture, and Farmingville (P.O.V. 2004, Sundance Special Jury Prize), which was about a small suburban town in the wake of the hate-based attempted murder of two Mexican day laborers.

 

 

 

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Catherine Tambini is the co-director/producer of the award-winning documentary Farmingville. Ms. Tambini co-produced the Academy Award-nominated documentary Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse, which aired on PBS’s Great Performances/Dance In America. Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma and a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Neighborly Policing In Alabama

Alabama is known for having some of the nation’s harshest anti-immigrant laws. In the tiny town of Clanton, officers were ordered to arrest anyone with a valid visa, leading to severe cases like the arrest of a breastfeeding mother. But police chief Brian Stilwell is trying to change his force’s negative image by finally reaching out to Clanton’s growing immigrant community. Ashley Cleek went down to the Alabama town to learn more.

 

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Ashley Cleek is a radio reporter and producer living in Birmingham, Alabama. Before moving down South, Ashley reported stories in Turkey, Ukraine, India, and Russia for American, German and British radio.  Her stories have appeared on radio shows like The World and Marketplace and on websites like PBS’s Tehran  Bureau, Global Post, and the Atlantic.

A Refuge For Detention Center Visitors

Reporter Martha Dalton takes us to the remote town of Lumpkin, Georgia. Volunteers are supporting  the family members of detained immigrants. One small act of kindness–creating a place to stay–helps these families visit their loved ones. The volunteers also create an opportunity for people to come and meet those affected by immigration detention policies.

 

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Martha Dalton is a reporter at WABE, Atlanta’s NPR station. She covers immigration and education, as well as other local issues. Martha has worked in partnership with NPR and its StateImpact project on reporting education policy and initiatives. Before joining WABE, she reported for CNNRadio. She has worked for several radio companies in the Southeast over the years.  In her former life she was an elementary school teacher and reading specialist.  She is a native of Atlanta.

Mirta Ojito: Death In The Neighborhood

In November 2008, Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant was attacked and killed by seven teenagers in the town of Patchogue on Long Island. Later, one of his attackers confessed that hunting immigrants was a frequent pastime for his group of friends. Lucero’s death highlighted the disturbing trend that hate crimes against Latinos were on the rise and were being fueled by anti-immigrant rhetoric from local politicians. In her new book, Hunting Season: Immigration and Murder in an All American Town, Mirta Ojito revisits Lucero’s murder and explores the trends and circumstances that lead to his tragic death.

 

Photo by Joel Saget, AFP

 

 

MIRTA_OJITO-photo_by_clare_holtMirta Ojito, a reporter since 1987, has worked for The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, and, from 1996 to 2002, for The New York Times, where she covered immigration, among other beats, for the Metro Desk. She has received numerous awards, including the American Society of Newspaper Editor’s writing award for best foreign reporting in 1999 for a series of articles about life in Cuba, and a shared Pulitzer for national reporting in 2001 for a New York Times series of articles about race in America.

 

Garden City, Kansas: A Melting Pot On The Prairie

Out on the dusty plains in the middle of the heartland is a small town that has made neighbors of people from all over the world. Garden City, Kansas, once a very white town, is today home to Mexicans, Central Americans, Asians and Africans. They came to work in the town’s massive meatpacking plants that turn cattle into beef.

We often hear about anti-immigrant sentiment in Middle America, but Garden City is exactly the opposite story. When the immigrants first started arriving, residents made the decision to open their doors and welcome the newcomers with open arms. As a result, an area once known as a cowboy capital has become a cultural crossroads.

Reporter Peggy Lowe tells us how it all happened, and Maria speaks with former Garden City mayor Tim Cruz about the value of neighborliness.

Photo courtesy of the Kansas State Public Library

 

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peglowbPeggy Lowe is a multimedia reporter for Harvest Public Media and for KCUR, the NPR station in Kansas City, Mo. She was previously a reporter for the Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and the Orange County Register. 

 

 

The Drop In Deportations

The Latino vote helped re-elect President Obama in 2012. Yet despite Latino support, the Obama administration has been responsible for a record number of deportations, on track to reach the 2 million mark sometime this year.

However, deportations fell slightly in 2013.

So…should advocates renew their faith in Mr. Obama’s campaign promise of immigration reform?

 

 

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Disappointment across the aisle

 

Graca Martinez, an organizer with United We Dream, says she’s upset with President Obama’s deportation policy.

 

“He promised the first year of his presidency to give us immigration reform and here we are in his second term and he’s given us nothing,” says Martinez.”

 

In fact, the president’s immigration policies displease people across the political spectrum.

 

Raul Grijalva was one of 29 democratic congressmen who signed a letter asking for the deportations of non-criminals to be halted. He says the administration has fallen into a Catch-22.

 

“Now they find themselves with no political response on the other side and owning a policy that’s deported more people than in the history of the country,” says Grijalva.

 

Republican congressman Mario Diaz Balart is critical of the president’s deportation policy.

 

“He said that he was not going to deport folks that didn’t have serious criminal records, he is deporting record numbers of people, many of which have families in the United States and have not committed serious crimes,” says Balart.

 

Looking ahead

 

There could be movement on immigration reform this year.

 

House Speaker John Boehner continues to support tackling immigration reform in a piece meal fashion.

 

In the meantime, democratic congressman Luis Gutierrez argues the president should stop breaking immigrant families apart through deportations.

 

“This isn’t amnesty, this isn’t a permanent solution,” says Gutierrez, “this is a temporary solution that allows you to say, ‘I’m going to protect you in the place you’re at right now, you don’t get to travel, you don’t get to vote, you just get to stay with your family in a safe place.”

 

The immigration reform effort is further complicated by this year’s midterm elections.

 

Some reform advocates hope Hope Republicans will be more open to compromise after primary season.

 

Now it’s a waiting game to see whether President Obama is remembered as the president who tackled immigration reform or the one who carried out a record number of deportations.

 

Migrant Deaths in Brooks County Texas

The road to the United States is paved with danger for tens of thousands of immigrants who come here illegally. Heavier enforcement in urban centers and along the Arizona border has made south Texas the latest hot spot for illegal crossings. One of the highest migrant death rates in the nation is in rural Brooks County, 70 miles north of the border.

 

MonicaOrtizUribe1_t210Mónica Ortiz Uribe is a native of El Paso, Texas, where she recently worked as a freelance reporter. Her work has aired on NPR, Public Radio International and Radio Bilingue. Most of her stories examined the effects of drug-related violence across the border in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. Previously, she worked as a reporter for the Waco Tribune Herald in Waco, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso with a degree in history.

Texas Border Vigilantes

Reporter Amy Bracken spends a night with the Texas Border Volunteers, which has taken it upon itself to police the border and report migrants to the US Border Patrol. Her reporting was made possible by a fellowship with the French-American Foundation.

Photo by Amy Bracken

 

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BrackenShotAmy Bracken is a Boston-based freelance reporter and radio producer. She’s had stories on PRI’s The World and in The Christian Science Monitor and Boston Globe. Tweet @brackenamy.

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