James E. Garcia

James E. Garcia

James E. Garcia is a Phoenix-based journalist, playwright and communications consultant. He is the editor and publisher of Vanguardia Arizona, which covers Latino news statewide, and the weekly newsletter Vanguardia America. As a journalist, he has worked as a reporter, columnist, editor and foreign correspondent. He was the first Latino Affairs correspondent for KJZZ, and the first Latino editor of major progressive news weekly in the U.S., The San Antonio Current. James has taught writing, ethnic studies, theater and Latino politics at ASU. He is the producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co. and the author of more than 30 plays.

migrant families

How to manufacture a humanitarian catastrophe

By: - March 7, 2019

U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen this week, as The New York Times put it, “implored Congress to confront” what she called a growing humanitarian catastrophe on the U.S.-Mexico border. Under normal circumstances and under a normal presidential administration, Nielsen’s entreaty might well have seemed appropriate or even compassionate. Then again, this is someone […]


The faces of immigrants are everywhere

By: - February 21, 2019

Contrary to widely mistaken popular belief, immigrants and the profound role they play in U.S. society are not confined to those grainy images Fox News loves to run with the inflammatory “Battle at the Border” logo it routinely plasters on stories about immigration.


Trump’s State of the Union, another kick in the head

By: - February 7, 2019

To paraphrase a certain red-faced, golden-haired president with a gift for Orwellian rhetoric who delivered a State of the Union address Tuesday night, what you saw and what he said was not what was happening. Okay, what you saw actually did happen. It’s the part about what he said that’s highly dubious. After two years […]


Overcoming ‘these times’

By: - January 29, 2019

I’m talking here about unabashed racists, folks who hold and express clearly bigoted views the way other people just breathe, not matter if they try cloaking them in quaint or cutting euphemisms. You know the kind. At least one of them serves in the Arizona Legislature. At least one.


Billions in federal funds for AZ threatened by potential census undercount

By: - January 11, 2019

As the D.C. press corps spends the week chasing Trump’s newest shiny objects, a federal court in San Francisco began taking testimony in a suit involving what may be one of the most underreported but nationally significant story of the decade: the once-a-decade U.S. census count. The case was brought by California Attorney General Xavier […]


Trump’s presidency is ‘the line beyond which’ we will not go

By: - December 26, 2018

No matter how woke I thought I was, the 2016 election was a life-altering sucker punch I never saw coming. Like most Americans, I didn’t appreciate how fragile freedom could be.


Beyond the scandals, Trump’s enmity for immigrants is becoming institutionalized

By: - December 12, 2018

One of the problems with Trump’s scandal-ridden administration, aside from the scandals themselves, is that the media frenzy about the scandals makes it harder to notice the long-term damage being done to vital government agencies. A case in point: the U.S. immigration system.

Ed Pastor

Pastor’s quiet leadership style crossed party lines and cultural barriers

By: - November 29, 2018

They are flying flags at half-mast in Arizona again for a felled political icon. Unlike the late Sen. John McCain, this long-time public servant was not known for a maverick pugnaciousness but for a low-key and almost old-fashioned behind-the-scenes style of leadership. Former Congressman Ed Pastor died Tuesday. He was 75. The first Mexican-American elected […]


Trumpism and the browning of Arizona’s blue wave

By: - November 14, 2018

I believe Arizona’s political watershed is the product of two key underlying forces: outright GOP arrogance, fueled by strong strains of bigotry, greed and faux evangelicalism; and the explosive growth of the Latino population.