Covering Immigration Reform
Immigration reform remains at the forefront of the national political agenda, engendering debate within and between parties over the preferred resolution of issues surrounding undocumented immigrants in the U.S. and future regulation of immigration and treatment of immigrants.
To cover this national story effectively and to localize it successfully, journalists need to understand immigration policy and legislation. They also need to understand the effects on individuals, families and communities of these national policies and laws.
Journalists can find national and local stories by gathering and analyzing hard data and statistics, including:
- Studying immigration statistics/data about their communities
- Learning the details of the pending Immigration Reform
- Mining U.S. Census data
- Studying immigration trends
- Identifying political players and advocates
The resources here will point journalists to a wealth of resources, including statistics and data, resources targeted specifically to journalists, expert sources and more.
These resources are provided as part of the McCormick Specialized Reporting Institute, “Immigration Reform: Immigration from the Border to the Heartland," held September 26-29 at the University of Texas at El Paso. The workshop, hosted by Borderzine, a Web community for Latino student journalists at UTEP, was funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
Proposed Immigration Legislation
Side-by-side comparison of 2013 Senate immigration bill with individual 2013 House bills
Beyond the Border, a News21 project
Borderzine's Mexodus Project
Colorlines immigration section
Institute for Justice and Journalism; Digital resources for journalists; aims to help journalists bring context to news coverage of social justice issues, particularly immigration and racial and economic inequality
Out of the Shadows, ABC News, Special Series, July 2010
Texas Tribune race and immigration coverage
Data and Statistics
Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review statistics, reports and other publications
The Migration Policy Institute offers several valuable data resources:
- Its Data Hub offers state-level and national data from the Census bureau and other authoritative sources on the demographics of the immigrant population and on its workforce, poverty, language, and educational outcomes as well as country of birth, recency of arrival, gender, and much, much more
- Data resources on historical U.S. immigration trends include states with the fastest-growing immigration populations, size of diasporas from different countries, and more
- All of MPI's aggregated research relating to the current U.S. immigration debate
TRAC Immigration: The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) is a data gathering, data research and data distribution organization at Syracuse University. It bills itself as "your source for comprehensive, independent and nonpartisan information about U.S. federal immigration enforcement."
Resources on the Web
The Center for American Progress offers tremendous resources on immigration, in particular “Living in Dual Shadows”, a study focusing on undocumented LGBT immigrants, and "National and State-by-State Economic Benefits of Immigration Reform", a report detailing the economic gains for 24 individual states of enabling immigrants to obtain legal status.
The Center for Immigration Studies is a nonprofit research organization that exists to provide information to the academic community, news media, and concerned citizens about the social, economic, environmental, security, and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigration into the United States.
The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is the research and policy arm of the American Immigration Council. Both organizations' websites feature a wealth of resources. In particular, check out: the special report “Stepping Up: The Impact of the Newest Immigrant, Asian, and Latino Voters”, and the resources on Comprehensive Immigration Reform 2013.
The Imprint Project works to raise awareness of the contributions of immigrant professionals.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) and the NALEO Educational Fund are the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations facilitating the full participation of Latinos in the American political process, from citizenship to public service.
The National Council of La Raza is the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S. It promotes the advancement of Latino families.
The National Immigration Forum promotes responsible federal immigration policies, addressing today’s economic and national security needs.
The National Immigration Law Center is the only national legal advocacy organization in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants and their families.
The National Partnership for New Americans advances the integration and active citizenship of immigrants.
OneAmerica was formed directly after September 11, 2001 in response to the hate crimes and discrimination targeting Arabs, Muslims and South Asians. Called Hate Free Zone at the time, the organization has grown into a leading force for immigrant, civil and human rights.
United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation. UWD organizes and advocates for the dignity and fair treatment of immigrant youth and families, regardless of immigration status.
Resources from the SRI
The Ebb and Flow of Immigration: Getting away from the Buzz by Richard Schaefer, associate professor at University of New Mexico, and Carolyn Gonzales, senior university communications representative, University of New Mexico
Finding Local Census Data on Immigrants by Paul Overberg, USA Today
Immigration Reporting: Data, Tools and Sources by Lise Olsen, investigative reporter, The Houston Chronicle
Immigration Research: Numbers and Findings by D’Vera Cohn, senior writer at Pew Research Center
Mexican Asylum Seekers in the Paso del Norte Region: Cross- border Violations of Human Rights by Molly Molloy, professor and librarian at New Mexico State University, and Crystal Massey, Southwest Asylum & Migration Institute
Where to Find Border and Immigration Data by Lise Olsen, investigative reporter, The Houston Chronicle: This document lists databases and official sources for every type of immigration data and statistics imaginable
Handling Race and Ethnicity: Examine your assumptions about race and ethnicity. Learn to approach this delicate topic with confidence and make thoughtful and informed decisions about word choices.
Religion, Culture and Society: Getting Beyond the Cliches: Learn how religion touches stories about politics, ethics, science, sexuality and more. Explore "guiding questions" that will help you dig deeper into a story, and begin to understand that what happens outside a church, mosque or temple will give your coverage about the intersection of faith and daily life deeper context, nuance and sensitivity.
Covering Immigration from the Border to the Heartland: Recent immigrants are an integral part of the fabric of U.S. urban, suburban and rural communities as policy makers and politicians debate the best way of reforming our broken immigration system. Learn how to tell the unfolding immigration story in our communities with sensitivity, depth and context.
Giving Local Stories a Global Context: See how globalization affects small businesses, foreign direct investment and immigration. This one-hour Webinar provides the tools to discover the international dimension of local stories in your community. Learn how to find a gold mine of under-covered stories, how to give international context to what’s happening locally and how to connect the dots between global events and your local community.
Imprint Project’s Webinar for journalists on Immigration Reform and Skilled Immigrants: This Webinar, targeted to general assignment journalists, provides crucial context for understanding and writing about proposed changes to immigration law, background on the existing immigration system and understanding of issues at play in revamping it.
The State of Metro America: Key Trends for the Future: In this Webinar, take a peek at the key demographic trends that define and shape the nation. This one-hour Webinar will help you understand national trends in immigration, race and ethnicity, aging, education, poverty and — and understand their effects on your community.