As I wrote in January, I'm spending the next year working on my Masters in a brand-new journalism program. During the program, I'll be working on a reporting project, and I've decided to focus on undocumented Latin American immigrants living in the United States.
For the project, I'll be doing original reporting, which you'll be able to follow on the project's Medium. I published my first story last night. For this story, I interviewed immigrants who commented on Obama's immigration town hall last week on Twitter. I put together a Storify of some of the most interesting questions and comments, and then I reached out to many of those people to do interviews. The stories I heard were quite diverse: from a Uruguayan high school kid in Georgia worried about his undocumented parents to a Venezuelan who actually has a green card but is fighting deportation due to a decade-old misdemeanor conviction.
One of the people I spoke to was a Venezuelan immigrant in Florida who became a U.S. citizen and and then got started on legalizing her Brazilian husband's status. Two days after she sent in the paperwork, her husband Marcos was in a car accident and was taken into immigration detention after police called ICE. He was deported last month to São Paulo.
I couldn't fit all the details in the story, which I wrote for my reporting class and was supposed to only be 700 words. So here's another extra tidbit. The woman, named Maria Martinez, actually had her question about her husband asked during the town hall, since the host took questions from Twitter. Obama then responded to her.
Maria told me that she sent a video of Obama's response to her husband on Whatsapp, since she was so excited that the president found out about their case. Her husband responded: "Tudo vai dar certo." Her 10-year-old son also saw Obama's response, and asked: "Does this mean Marcos can come back?"