Making Immigration Reform Personal

Immigration coverage has been a hot button issue in the US since the 2016 presidential election. Increased discussion and legislation on immigration correlates with the rising level of coverage on both local and national levels.

From Donald Trump’s travel ban to increased deportation forces immigration, and the discussion around sanctuary cities has taken a more personal turn, especially in areas of with large immigrant populations. With the increase in coverage there is also an increase in incorporating personal stories into the reporting.

National publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times have published many articles sharing the stories of those affected by the various immigration policies and changes since the beginning of this year. This shift and increase in coverage humanizes the immigration battle and putting names and faces to the people that deal the struggle of immigration reform everyday. From police enforcement, to undocumented immigrants and their children – the nation is now able to take a closer look at the lives of those who make up the immigration statistics.

Reporters are getting also taking a closer look into local communities and sharing these stories all over the nation. This is seen in coverage of towns across the country affected by the threats to sanctuary cities, or how everyone is affected by deportation efforts in Oregon.

After the 2016 elections national media faced criticism over their lack of connection to “Middle America” and are still struggling with legitimacy in a turbulent time for media and press relations. In terms of immigration coverage, national newspapers are taking steps to tell stories from a wide variety of peoples and speak to all ends of the spectrum when it comes to immigration coverage.

The leaders in immigration coverage are Spanish language media, especially Telemundo and Univision. Both stations are taking great strides and talking directly to people that are affected by the current shifts in immigration.

On Telemundo, journalist Jorge Ramos and his Sunday afternoon political show Al Punto has created a segment centered around telling the stories of those affected by immigration. He speaks with children, mothers, employers and organizations focused on immigration reform about the effects of Donald Trump’s proposed policies and the increase in deportation efforts.

Coverage has not only increased at a national level, but in local newspapers as well. Uriel Garcia of The Santa Fe New Mexican said that since the election his coverage of immigration has increased. Though his approach to immigration has not changed, the demand and reception for his pieces on immigration is increasing.

When writing, Garcia focuses on both personal stories and immigration enforcement, but writes in a broader national angle because “stories from Northern-New Mexico are worth telling someone in DC” and the rest of the nation.

Statistics and ICE raid reports are one way to tell a story, but by putting names and faces to those affected by the new policies, the press is able to connect the people of the US to more than just a number. Learning about the effects of immigration on schools, families and even local police enforcement helps to give people more information and connect the nation.

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