Author

Laura Gómez

Laura Gómez

Reporter Laura Gómez Rodriguez covers state politics and immigration for the Arizona Mirror. She was named Best Investigative Reporter by Phoenix Magazine in its 2018 newspaper category and has been honored by the Arizona Press Club for education, immigration, political, and public safety reporting and Spanish-language news and feature reporting. Laura worked for The Arizona Republic and La Voz Arizona for four years, covering city government, economic development, immigration, politics and trade. In 2017, Laura traveled the length of the U.S.-Mexico border for “The Wall,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning project produced by The Arizona Republic and USA Today Network. She is a native of Bogotá, Colombia and lived in Puerto Rico and Boston before moving to Phoenix in 2014. Catch her researching travel deals, feasting on mariscos or playing soccer.

Dems propose to add state, community oversight of migrant youth shelters

By: - February 11, 2019

Democratic lawmakers have proposed several bills intended to increase protections for children at migrant shelters, which are privately operated and under the purview of federal agencies. Rep. Kelli Butler, D-Paradise Valley, has two bills that would increase background check requirements for all residential facilities that service children and allow state health regulators to conduct compliance […]

Can Southwest Key bounce back from state freeze?

By: - February 8, 2019

With an admissions freeze imposed on Southwest Key by state health regulators in effect for more than 100 days,  the nation’s largest operator of shelters for migrant minors now houses fewer than 250 youth in Arizona.

State to pay $600k in settlement to end legal battle over immigrant drivers licenses

By: - February 7, 2019

It’s official: Gov. Doug Ducey has dropped an appeal to a class action lawsuit challenging his policy to restrict immigrants legally authorized to work in the country from getting driver’s licenses. The state will pay $600,000 in attorney’s fees to the plaintiffs.

Valenzuela fuming over flyer calling police, lobbyist support ‘blood money’

By: - February 7, 2019

An incendiary political flyer hit the race for Phoenix mayor last week.

Man who sexually abused 7 boys at Southwest Key facility sentenced to 19 years in prison

By: - February 1, 2019

A federal judge sentenced Levian Pacheco, who sexually abused several teenage boys at a shelter in Mesa for migrant youth, to 19 years in prison and a lifetime supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Arizona.

Gallego, Valenzuela will draw from experience to address homelessness in Phoenix

By: - January 31, 2019

Kate Gallego shared examples of existing programs she’s worked on that would continue to guide her policy on housing and services for homeless people, while Daniel Valenzuela centered the discussion around his personal experiences with housing instability as a child during a mayoral forum on health, housing and homelessness Tuesday. Both stressed that, as mayors, […]

Senate bill gives state more oversight of facilities like Southwest Key

By: - January 30, 2019

A new bill would require all residential care centers for children in Arizona check employees against a state database that lists people with proven reports of child abuse or neglect, and allows regulators to inspect those institutions unannounced.

Senate committee urges congressional action on border wall

By: - January 29, 2019

The Senate Government Committee voted to urge Congress to pass a border wall bill that is virtually dead.   Sen. David Farnsworth, R-Mesa, who chairs the committee, introduced Senate Concurrent Memorial 1001 to urge federal lawmakers to “enact the Fund and Complete the Border Wall Act or similar legislation” at the request of U.S. Rep. […]

Bombshell report increases pressure on embattled Stringer

By: and - January 25, 2019

State Rep. David Stringer, who was already facing calls for his resignation and possible censure in the Arizona House of Representatives over a series of racist remarks, now faces intensified pressure following revelations that he was charged with sex offenses in Maryland in the early 1980s. The Phoenix New Times dropped a bombshell on Stringer […]

Judge orders woman to pay attorney fees to lawmaker in birther lawsuit

By: - January 24, 2019

The southern Arizona woman who falsely claimed Rep. Raquel Terán couldn’t hold office because she is not a U.S. citizen will have to pay more than $3,000 in attorneys fees, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday. Judge Connie Contes dismissed the case brought by Alice Novoa during a November hearing. The next day, […]

Bill to repeal vehicle registration fee gets bipartisan support

By: - January 23, 2019

A Senate committee voted unanimously Tuesday to advance a bill to repeal the new and controversial $32 fee vehicle owners have to pay this year when they renew their registration. But Gov. Doug Ducey, who signed the fee into law last year, has already signalled that he’s not willing to repeal it. Senate Bill 1001, […]

Thousands turn out for Women’s March in Phoenix to show unity, reject Trump

By: - January 19, 2019

Several thousand women, men and children turned out Saturday in Phoenix for the Women’s March at the Arizona State Capitol.