Laura Gómez Rodriguez previously covered state politics and immigration for the Arizona Mirror.
Bill to add state oversight of facilities like Southwest Key ready for Senate vote
By: Laura Gómez - 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.
Journalist sues ICE to shed light on contractor that held migrant children in Phoenix offices
By: Laura Gómez - 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: Laura Gómez - 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.
House lawyer: Student employment bill conflicts with AZ’s minimum wage law
By: Laura Gómez - 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: Laura Gómez and Jerod MacDonald-Evoy - 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: Laura Gómez - 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: Laura Gómez - 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: Laura Gómez - 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: Laura Gómez - 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: Laura Gómez - 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: Laura Gómez - 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.