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.
Puerto Rico not sending its inmates to Arizona as planned
By: Laura Gómez - October 24, 2018
Plans made public in August that would have seen Puerto Rico transfer inmates to Arizona have been scrapped, but the island’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) is still looking to transfer over a thousand people from its prison population to the mainland.
As Trump said ‘we don’t want them’ in Mesa, migrant families arrived at Phoenix church
By: Laura Gómez - October 23, 2018
The smell of chicken soup, the sound of clapping and the faces of smiling parishioners welcomed the families to an outdoor stretch of grass where tables and chairs were set up for them to dine.
A warm meal, a hair tie and shoe laces
By: Laura Gómez - October 12, 2018
Ana Sofia, 5, arrived Tuesday night with her gray T-shirt dirty around her neck. Her frizzy blonde hair was tied in a ponytail with a long silver piece of plastic. She and her mother, Patricia, spent several days in government custody after traveling from Honduras.
‘It’s a crisis’ as ICE releases hundreds of migrant families in Phoenix
By: Laura Gómez - October 11, 2018
Tuesday night was a first for Pastor Angel Campos. His Phoenix church had never accommodated migrant families just released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody and in need of a place to stay. The congregation of mostly immigrants at Monte Vista Baptist Church mobilized Tuesday afternoon to feed, clothe, house and welcome about 44 people, all families from Central America.
Community groups want more Arizona gov’t oversight of migrant shelters
By: Laura Gómez - October 10, 2018
A coalition of Arizona groups seeking the release and reunification of migrant children and families are calling for state officials to implement stronger measures to address what they call a systemic pattern of physical and sexual abuse of children at Southwest Key facilities, which house migrant minors.
Government report provides insight into what went wrong during family separation crisis
By: Laura Gómez - October 5, 2018
A report published this week concluded the U.S. Department of Homeland Security “was not fully prepared to implement” the Trump Administration’s controversial Zero Tolerance Policy “or to deal with some of its after-effects.” The report by the DHS Office of Inspector General special, titled, Initial Observations Regarding Family Separation Issues Under the Zero Tolerance […]
Three migrant boys run away from Southwest Key shelter, one ordered deported
By: Laura Gómez - October 2, 2018
Three minors ran away from a shelter for migrant children operated by Southwest Key in Glendale on August 19. One of the boys, who didn’t show up to his immigration hearing Friday, was ordered deported to Guatemala by U.S. immigration Judge Linda Spencer-Walters. The boys were playing in a yard when they decided to jump […]
After backing Garcia in 2014, AZ Latino business group staying on sidelines in gov’s race
By: Laura Gómez - September 26, 2018
The Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically made David Garcia its first ever endorsement in his 2014 bid for state schools superintendent, but it likely won’t be backing him this year as he challenges Gov. Doug Ducey.
Naturalization backlog doubles to almost 15K in AZ, immigrant rights groups sue
By: Laura Gómez - September 25, 2018
Immigrants’ rights groups sued the government Sept. 17 over a backlog in processing citizenship applications that has left more than 753,000 people waiting to access lawful citizenship and voting rights. The lawsuit stems from failure by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that process and adjudicates naturalized citizenship, to provide documents requested through the […]
‘Two lives: one before Maria, and one after.’ Puerto Ricans in Arizona mark anniversary of tragedy
By: Laura Gómez - September 25, 2018
Two Phoenix events marked the first year anniversary of the catastrophic hurricane that destroyed Puerto Rico. Those who lived through Hurricane Maria and those who witnessed it from afar gathered Sept. 20 to tend to the wound that’s still open, for communities destroyed, the thousands of lives taken, the families separated and the livelihoods gone. […]