Divided Families http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies Sun, 27 Apr 2008 21:51:12 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.2.1 en Divided Families: Advisory http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=252 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=252#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2008 17:44:18 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=252 DIVIDED FAMILIES: AN IN-DEPTH REPORTING PROJECT 

NOTE: There are more photos and also video available. We can mail a disc.

A young mother whose son is already beginning to forget his father. Two men who have searched for their missing brother for years. Border Patrol agents who toil miles from their families. These are the some of the people whose lives and whose families are divided by the U.S.-Mexico border. Supported by a grant from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, a group of advanced students in the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University set out in fall 2007 to do a semester-long reporting project on divided families. The result, based on more than 30 trips to the border, deep into Mexico and to various parts of Arizona, is being made available to Arizona newspapers via Cronkite News Service. We commend this package to your attention and recommend it for use in your print and online editions.

This advisory begins with a publishable intro about the overall project and an editor’s note that can be included with individual stories. Below that are abstracts and links to each story. Links to photos are at the bottom of each story. This package, which is posted in its entirety at http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies, is designed so newspapers can run individual stories in print, but we encourage Cronkite News Service clients to carry the entire package in their online editions. Please note there are more photos and also video available. We can mail a disc.

If you have questions about this package, please contact Steve Elliott at steve.elliott@asu.edu. Upon request, we can transmit all of the stories to AP Datafeature points.


Divided Families: Left Behind,1130 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=176 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=176#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 22:00:05 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=176 LEFT BEHIND, A TEENAGER TRIES TO HOLD ON TO LIFE IN AMERICA

NOTE: Video is available. This story is intended to run alongside the story Divided Families: American At Heart.

Cronkite News Service

RIMROCK, Ariz. _ Humberto was getting ready to go to school one morning when he heard the police bang on the front door.

“It’s them,” his brother said, looking through the living room window at Immigration and Customs Enforcement minivans.

The officers showed Humberto’s family what they expected to see _ documents ordering that his mother and two older brothers be deported.

While the three changed out of their pajamas and packed some clothes, police asked 15-year-old Humberto for his name.

“Don’t say anything,” his brother told him.


Divided Families: American at Heart,990 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=132 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=132#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 21:00:36 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=132 AMERICAN AT HEART: FAMILY STRUGGLES TO START OVER IN MEXICO

NOTE: Video and a Soundslides presentation are available. This story is intended to run alongside the story Divided Families: Left Behind.

Cronkite News Service

IXTAPAN DE LA SAL, Mexico _ Hector and Marcos are about as American as two young men can be.

They wear jeans and T-shirts. They are rarely without their cell phones. They like American music and American movies.

But after spending most of their lives in the United States, the two brothers were deported last year along with their mother. They now live in a tiny, dim house thousands of miles from the place they grew up and from the country they consider home.


Divided Families: Border Patrol,1130 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=209 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=209#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 20:00:37 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=209 DESOLATION, ISOLATION MAKE BORDER PATROL JOBS MORE DIFFICULT

Cronkite News Service

PAPAGO FARMS, Ariz. _ Just over the western horizon, 2 1/2 hours outside any major city, dust flies into the air.

Border Patrol agents are tracking ghosts. Until the agents see the migrants crossing here in person, they’re nothing but a spiral of dust or a footprint soaked up by soft sand.

It’s a difficult job, made more difficult by the desolation of the place and the isolation from families and loved ones.

Out here, there’s no Blockbuster, no after-work bar and, often, no family nearby.

Much is said about the immigrant families divided by the U.S.-Mexican border. But little attention is paid to the Border Patrol agents whose work keeps them from their families, often for long periods at a time.


Divided Families: Churches,965 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=3 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=3#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 19:00:53 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=3 DIVIDED FAMILY SERVES CHURCH SOUTH OF BORDER

Cronkite News Service

SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico _ On a Sunday morning at Templo Mikedash, it’s hard to miss the Zavala family.

Efrain, 22, sings and plays his guitar as part of the Methodist church’s band. His brother Damian, 21, leads the congregation in prayers. Another brother, Saul, and their mother, Isabel, sing and pray along.

The family started attending Templo Mikedash while living in San Luis Río Colorado, the Mexican border town that’s home to this congregation of about 100. And they still attend, even though they now live across the U.S.-Mexico border in Somerton, Ariz.

“We have a Methodist church just like five minutes away from our house, but we have to drive 20 minutes to come here to this church,” Damian said. “We have a place to stay here, and we feel like this is our home.”

The Zavalas’ ties to their church and their past have led them to live a life that is itself divided by the U.S.-Mexico border.


Divided Families: Death in the Desert,1560 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=5 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=5#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 18:00:25 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=5 DEATH IN THE DESERT FORCES FAMILY TO START AGAIN IN MEXICO

NOTE: Video and a Soundslides presentation are available.

Cronkite News Service

DURANGO, Mexico _ Hector Valdez walks daughters Sandra and Nancy to school, holding their backpacks until he kisses them goodbye and watches them march away wearing their uniforms and smiles.

“The hardest time of the day is when they leave for school,” Valdez said. “I come home and I miss them.”

Being a father to these two girls is a new experience for Valdez, as is discovering his daughters’ personalities. He’s found Sandra, who is 12, to be quiet and shy. Nancy, 11, is a budding writer who enjoys working on stories.

Slowly, Valdez is learning other things _ the little things _ about Sandra, whom he hadn’t seen in nine years, and Nancy, an adopted daughter he had never known.

As he learns about these two young girls and gets reacquainted with an adult daughter in Mexico, Valdez also is adjusting to life in a community and a country that he hasn’t lived in for nearly a decade. He was a welder in Phoenix when he received the call that brought him back, bringing along a 21-year-old son.

Almost a month after setting out from this colonial city in north-central Mexico, Valdez’s wife, Maria Graciela Hernandez Escobedo, has accomplished what she wanted so dearly: to reunite her family. But instead of starting a new life in the United States, she, too, is back in Durango.

Later on this fall day, Valdez, Sandra and Nancy, along with relatives and friends, will gather to pray for Maria’s soul.


Divided Familes: Missing,1185 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=205 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=205#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 17:00:26 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=205 FAMILY SEARCHES FOR BROTHER WHO VANISHED CROSSING BORDER

Cronkite News Service

MESA, Ariz. _ After spending three weeks trying to cross the border from Mexico into Arizona, 31-year-old Porfirio Montufar had finally made it.

It was a trip that Porfirio, a Mexican national, had made several times before. For the past 13 years, Porfirio had lived and worked in Mesa, Ariz., but he would return periodically to his hometown in Hidalgo, Mexico, to visit his wife, toddler and his mother. After each visit, he would sneak back across the border, dodging the U.S. Border Patrol, and make the 1,500-mile journey back to Mesa.

On this latest trip, Porfirio, who had crossed alone and on foot, had made it to a gas station in Yuma where he called one of his brothers who live in the United States. He asked him to wire money so that he could pay two drivers for transportation to Mesa.

The call came at 3 p.m., July 17, 2004. Porfirio has not been heard from since.


Divided Families: Power of Policy,930 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=182 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=182#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 15:00:16 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=182 EXPERTS: IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL COULD REMOVE EDGE FOR FAMILIES

Cronkite News Service

For years, immigration law in the United States has given an edge to families.

Those who can show that they have family members in this country make up the biggest percentage of those who are given permanent-resident status.

But if immigration laws ever get a serious overhaul _ something that Congress hasn’t been able to do for years _ the advantage for families divided by borders could be diminished, experts say.


Divided Families: Leaving Arizona,1290 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=159 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=159#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 14:00:22 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=159 SOME IMMIGRANTS LEAVING ARIZONA IN FACE OF EMPLOYER SANCTIONS LAW

NOTE: Video and a Soundslides presentation are available. 

Cronkite News Service

AVONDALE, Ariz. _ In the corner of a living room in a small house that he rents in this Phoenix suburb, Juan Carlos has piled six black garbage bags stuffed with clothes and housewares along with an old vacuum cleaner.

Juan Carlos, 50, said he will donate some of his possessions to a local church and send others to family in Mexico.

Unable to afford a moving truck and unsure of his future in Arizona, Juan Carlos is preparing to leave behind his wife and daughter, both undocumented immigrants, for a new state and a new life. Juan Carlos, who has a worker visa, declined to give his last name to protect the anonymity of his wife and daughter, who are in Arizona illegally.

“My plan is to go to Utah because I see a lot of problems here,” said Juan Carlos, who has put his house on the market.


Divided Families: Remittances,1780 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=204 http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=204#comments Wed, 05 Mar 2008 13:00:33 +0000 admin http://cronkitenews.asu.edu/dividedfamilies/?p=204 WORTH BILLIONS, REMITTANCES TO MEXICO ARE BIG BUSINESS

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was reported from Tempe, Ariz., and Veracruz and Jalisco, Mexico.

Cronkite News Service

As he has done most every week for eight years, Pedro Cordova Martinez steps into El Paisano Mercado, a convenience store near his home in Tempe, Ariz., and makes his way to the back. There he encounters two cashiers standing behind a glass panel, waiting for the end-of-the-week rush.

His hands are caked with grime. Dirt has permanently darkened fingernails that reach into his pocket and pull out $100 in cash, which Martinez hands to one of the women working the counter.

The cash is just about all of the paycheck he earns working at his job in the plumbing industry.

Martinez, 21, instructs the woman to send the money to San Isidro, Veracruz, Mexico, to the mother and father he has not seen since he entered the United States illegally in 1999.

Every week, it is the same routine.