topic of my News21 article
This is completely un-related to travel, however I could not resist the urge to spread the good news. My in-depth article that I wrote for News21 on employer sanctions was published in PRiNT and ONLiNE. This is the biggest accomplishment – to date – in my journalism career.
Background: I was chosen as one of 10 fellows for the Carnegie-Knight News21 Initiative, which includes 12 universities across the nation and is headquartered at my Alma Mater: Arizona State University. I was one of two undergrads accepted into the program and was the FiRST to get my story published out of the ASU group. The summer fellowship focuses on innovative story-telling. This year there was much more emphasis on impact and newsworthiness.
The nation’s leading journalism schools come together in this unique program to experiment with new forms of in-depth and investigative reporting.
Students travel the country to report on critical issues facing our changing nation and then find innovative ways to tell those stories.
my story leading the AzCentral home-page
Each school spent all their time and attention investigating and reporting on a specific subject area they felt they could write about accurately.
In Arizona, our group focused on immigration issues. Being so close to the border we felt this was appropriate.
My project: It dealt with employer sanctions, which are laws that states pass in order to combat the hiring of undocumented immigrants in the workplace.
To narrow the focus and make a better comparison, I looked at two states: Arizona and South Carolina.
Both had incredibly similar employer sanctions laws. However, only one has been able to successfully educate their state businesses, enforce their immigration law, and prosecute or violate those that do not comply. Which state, you may be wondering? I’ll let you find that out for yourself. Here is the introduction to my article, which can be read online at AzCentral:
COLUMBIA, S.C. — When it comes to cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, Arizona may be getting the headlines, but South Carolina seems to be getting results. Only three businesses – all in the Phoenix area – have been prosecuted in the nearly three years since Arizona’s highly publicized employer-sanctions law took effect.
During that time, not a single business outside of Maricopa County has been punished for hiring illegal immigrants. By contrast, South Carolina has cited more than 200 businesses for being out of compliance since that state’s employer-sanctions law went into effect in 2009. South Carolina officials say that their efforts have paid off with far fewer illegal hires.
The two states have radically different approaches on how to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants.
South Carolina’s system gives authorities the power to scrutinize businesses’ hiring records and the state has a comprehensive program to educate employers about the legal consequences of hiring illegal immigrants. If auditors find illegal immigrants on the payroll, employers are cited, fined and forced to fire the workers.
In Arizona, county prosecutors must build an individual court case against each employer suspected of hiring illegal immigrants. And they must do it without easy access to the employer’s records, because the Arizona law does not provide subpoena power for those types of investigations.
Visit AzCentral to read the full story. Take a look at other immigrations stories covered in the 2010 News21 program at Arizona State University.
During my internship this summer I had the opportunity to travel to South Carolina. Here is a compilation of the sites I got to see throughout my road-trip across the southern state.
The last stop on my News21 road-trip across South Carolina was in the Mt. Pleasant and Charleston area along the coast. I had to cross this beautiful bridge (I took a video of it on my phone but have yet to find out how to get it from my phone to YouTube) and was right at my hotel.
As soon as I got to the check-in counter I asked the lady how do I get to the water. She kindly took out a map and used a marker to plot my course, at the same time providing verbal directions. I threw my luggage on my bed and grabbed the camera equipment, thinking this would be another grand opportunity to shoot some B-Roll. I headed out and took the proper right turn and followed it all the way (across another bridge), noticing the sunset and water appearing right before my windshield.
I paid for parking and let my feet find the soft, smooth sand of the Carolina shoreline. The water of the North Atlantic ocean was warm and inviting. Fishing poles were cast from the pier into the water below. Families were relaxing and kids were playing soccer. Couples walked hand-in-hand along the waterline watching the sunset paint the sky with its shades of orange and purple. Daring teens jumped onto their skimboards in the water, only to fall mere seconds later.
Watching the sky grow darker, I picked up a collection of seashells that I knew would find themselves in the trash can later. For me, this was the best way to end one hectic trip across a state that I had never visited before. The people were truly hospitable and showed their Southern comfort at every moment, sadly not as much on the roads. I believe I have never seen as much green in my life than I did during this trip. I honestly lost count of how many times I pulled over to the side of the road to take pictures of the verde land or the cliche river bridges, and water in general. Despite the green pastures sprawling everywhere, it made me miss the dry-heat I have taken for granted growing up in the Valley of the Sun my entire life. Although I never did get to have a taste of the infamous Southern food, I sincerely felt like I left South Carolina with a satisfactory taste in my mind.
These were some of the photographs from my trip down South.