American Siblings in a Family Divided by Law

As immigration continues to be front and center, much of the conversation around this topic leaves out the more than four million U.S. citizen children who have at least one undocumented parent. Data show these children are at a disadvantage in education, health and economic opportunities. No matter what side of the immigration debates one takes, these are American citizens…the next generation of police officers, school teachers, doctors and army soldiers.

Jim, Bill, Naomi and Bobby de la Rosa are seeing how the unintended consequences of immigration policies affect their lives.

These siblings live in Tucson, Arizona. They are U.S. citizens and so is their father, but their mother lacks legal status in this country.

This story offers a glimpse into the challenges they face.

Featured image: Naomi and Bobby sleep on the same bed most nights, they are each other’s best friends. The siblings are the two youngest in a family of four American citizens affected by U.S. immigration policies. (Photo by Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Star)

The original version of this story, Divided by Law was produced by Fernanda Echávarri for Arizona Public Media for a project that was done in collaboration with The Arizona Daily Star. The original story was co-reported with Perla Trevizo and all photography was done by Mike Christy, both of The Arizona Daily Star.

Precious Knowledge

The Mexican American Studies Program at a local high school in Tucson, Arizona helped increase the Latino graduation rate and the number of students who went to college. The recently banned program is now the subject of a new documentary, Precious Knowledge, to air next week on PBS. We speak to Eren Isabel McGinnis, the co-director of the film, and Alanna Castro, one of the students who took part in the program.


Click here to download this week’s show.


Eren Isabel McGinnis has produced award-winning documentaries for PBS and other international media outlets for several years. She co-founded Caf Sisters Productions with Christine Fugate, an all-woman production company. She also co-founded Dos Vatos Productions with Ari Luis Palos.