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.

Bill to add state oversight of facilities like Southwest Key ready for Senate vote

By: - February 26, 2019

The Senate on Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would impose more local oversight on facilities like Southwest Key, which contracts with the federal government to house migrant youth.

Courts

Journalist sues ICE to shed light on contractor that held migrant children in Phoenix offices

By: - February 22, 2019

The Center for Investigative Reporting and journalist Aura Bogado sued the federal government this week to obtain a contract with a company that held migrant children overnight in an commercial office building in Phoenix.    In November (after a July records request was inexplicably closed), Bogado requested through the Freedom of Information Act the contract […]

DCS-backed proposal an ‘absolute devastation’ for unaccompanied migrant youth

By: - February 21, 2019

A policy proposal introduced twice in the Senate could have devastating consequences for migrant minors in Arizona who were abandoned, abused or neglected and arrived in the country alone to seek protections, advocates said.

Tuition bill covering dreamers approved by Senate

By: - February 20, 2019

The state Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to offer a special tuition rate to all graduates of Arizona high schools that will cover immigrants known as dreamers.

House lawyer: Student employment bill conflicts with AZ’s minimum wage law

By: - February 19, 2019

A bill to pay some students less than the state’s minimum wage conflicts with Arizona’s voter-approved minimum wage statute and is thus unconstitutional, a staff attorney told  the House Rules Committee on Monday.

Bill would allow new higher-ed tuition rates for dreamers

By: and - February 18, 2019

Legislation that would allow public universities and community colleges to set a new tuition rate for every student who graduates from an Arizona high, regardless of immigration status, is ready to be considered by the full Senate.

Brophy McGee narrows inspection requirement on Southwest Key oversight bill

By: - February 15, 2019

A Senate bill to expand state oversight of facilities like Southwest Key that house migrant children in Arizona won’t go as far as originally intended, some advocates said.  With the recent controversies surrounding migrant youth shelter operator Southwest Key in mind, Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, introduced Senate Bill 1247 to expand background checks and […]

Gallego, Valenzuela divided over city-funded sports venues

By: - February 13, 2019

Phoenix mayoral candidates disagreed over the controversial Phoenix Suns arena deal during a debate hosted by KJZZ Tuesday. Kate Gallego said she doesn’t think city money should be used to subsidize professional sports venues, while Daniel Valenzuela argued the facilities are economic drivers.

Lawmaker wants working students to earn less than minimum wage

By: - February 12, 2019

A Republican legislator wants to allow Arizona businesses to pay some students 34 percent less than the state’s minimum wage, and his GOP colleagues on a House panel gave the measure preliminary approval Monday. House Bill 2523 gives employers the discretion to pay the federal minimum wage rate, which is $7.25, to full-time students younger […]

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.