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.

Sonoran guv: Build bridges, not walls

By: - January 7, 2019

With the backdrop of a presidential trip to the southern border and a government partially shut-down over disagreement on funding for a border wall, Gov. Claudia Pavlovich of Sonora, Mexico, told the Arizona Mirror she rejects plans to build a wall along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Deaths of migrant kids underscore risks of hieleras

By: - December 28, 2018

Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin, 7, died on Dec. 8 in an El Paso hospital. Felipe Gómez Alonzo, 8, died on Christmas Eve at a medical center in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Records suggest MCSO didn’t fully investigate child abuse claims at migrant shelter

By: - December 26, 2018

Public records released to the Arizona Mirror shed light into the three reports of child abuse that led the federal government to shut down a shelter for migrant minors in Youngtown in September. The reports show neither the Southwest Key employees nor the minors involved were ever interviewed by law enforcement, and the Maricopa County […]

ACLU of Arizona sues ICE, DHS for records on immigration call center

By: - December 21, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona is suing for records on an immigration call center local law enforcement officers use to check the immigration status of the people they encounter.

New vehicle registration fee hurts the poor, needs accountability, critics say

By: - December 19, 2018

The new public safety fee all Arizona vehicle-owners will face next year to fund the Arizona Department of Public Safety will hurt Arizona’s poor disproportionately, said Tomas Robles, co-executive director of Living United for Change Arizona, an advocacy nonprofit for working families.

AZ legislator wants to require counties accept any grants for law enforcement, prosecutors

By: - December 14, 2018

An Oro Valley Republican wants to take away the authority of all county governing bodies to turn down any federal money awarded to law enforcement and prosecutors, effectively mandating that counties rubber stamp the partnerships between federal law enforcement and local law enforcement if the federal government provides any amount of funding.

Retired AZ judges to ICE: Stop arrests at courthouses

By: - December 14, 2018

A group of 68 retired judges from 23 states sent a letter Wednesday to the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement urging the agency to stop arrests at courthouses. Among those judges were 16 from Arizona, including two former chief justices of the Arizona Supreme Court.

‘I felt like they crushed me there’: Salvadoran teen describes discrimination at Glendale Union

By: - December 14, 2018

Estefany Sandoval left El Salvador for many reasons: her parents physically abused her, gangs were zeroing in on her community and she felt like she couldn’t be herself.

Proposal to limit legal immigration spurring some to opt out of food, health programs

By: - December 6, 2018

Immigrant families in Arizona are opting out of food safety programs and public health clinics visits out of fear and confusion over a new proposal by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security intended to curb legal immigration. It’s a complex rule and different versions of it have been leaked since early 2017, creating confusion and […]

NYT: Southwest Key execs “possibly engaged in self-dealing”

By: - December 3, 2018

The New York Times this weekend profiled Southwest Key founder Juan Sanchez and the organization he’s built. Southwest Key, a nonprofit, is the nation’s largest operator of shelters for immigrant children and has received $1.7 billion in federal contracts over the past decade.

Phoenix area churches have received nearly 5,000 migrant families since October

By: - November 30, 2018

A church gymnasium in Mesa was the space where more than 100 asylum-seeking men, women and children from Guatemala and Honduras arrived Wednesday evening after spending several days in federal custody.

MCSO: Employee at closed Southwest Key shelter dragged girl by the leg

By: - November 27, 2018

An allegation of child abuse at a West Valley Southwest Key facility involved an employee who dragged a girl by her leg to her to bed, according to a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office incident report obtained by the Arizona Mirror. The federal government suspended operations at that shelter the day after MCSO responded to the […]