Expanding our Coverage on Immigration

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Dear CommonWealth Reader,

Immigration has become one of the defining issues of our time, and CommonWealth is expanding its coverage to provide its readers with the news they desperately need on this important subject.

Sarah Betancourt, who joined the magazine in January, has carved out immigration as one of her main beats. A native Spanish speaker with excellent sources, Sarah is writing stories that capture the tenor of the times.

Her first story was about efforts by the Registry of Motor Vehicles to help immigrant commercial truck drivers with temporary protected status keep their licenses and their livelihoods amid a shift to a new federally approved license. The CommonWealth story, along with workshops in multiple languages hosted by the state and the Teamsters, helped spread the word so that drivers became aware of their options.

In more mainstream immigration news, Sarah covered the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act in Congress, which has many young DACA recipients concerned over their ability to remain in the country, and work legally. UMass Boston student Estefany Pineda, who was Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s guest for the state of the union, joined her on the Codcast to share some of those concerns.

Sarah jumped on (via a text from attorney at 1 a.m.) an unprecedented lawsuit by the Middlesex and Suffolk district attorneys seeking to block access by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to courthouse properties. The ongoing litigation led to many other stories, including one looking at the history of exactly how federal immigration authorities were given the opportunity to intercede in local affairs and another on a local judge who allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant in her courtroom temporarily evade capture by ICE.

In a contentious Codcast, Sarah interviewed immigration attorney Matthew Cameron and Jessica Vaughn, the policy director at the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, to discuss the issue of jurisdiction of federal immigration authorities at local courthouses.

In August, CommonWealth reported how US Customs and Immigration Services was rescinding a program called medical deferred action that allowed sick immigrants and their families to remain in the country legally. Without warning, the patients received a letter saying they had 33 days to leave the country or risk being deported. We also broke a story about how ICE was not aware that immigration services was handing the issue off to the agency.

CommonWealth’s coverage has attracted national attention. The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC has mentioned (herehere, and here) the magazine’s stories and the New York Times also picked up on the medical deferred action story. The coverage prompted a hearing before the House Oversight Committee in Washington, which was followed by a partial and then total rescinding of the policy change. Now the follow-up story is whether the program is really being reinstated almost a month later.

Our immigration reporting is getting local and national attention and influencing public policy. WE CAN’T DO IT WITH OUT YOUR SUPPORT. DONATE HERE and help us continue our reporting on issues like immigration.

Thank you,

Bruce Mohl, Editor

Meet The Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth Beacon

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