While I chase immigration news in search of the New Jersey connection, I’ve also found stories that illustrate the impact these federal policies have on small towns across the Garden State.
Small children chased each other, yelling in English and Spanish, in the basement of a Freehold Borough church, as their parents served platters brimming with rice, Honduran-style fried chicken and American potato salad.
One by one, the guests filled their plates with the chicken and potato salad. Some tried their first cup of Inca Kola, a bright yellow Peruvian soda.
Most of the guests were white English speakers who had never met Latino churchgoers.
All this crowd had in common was their zip code, and that they were willing to show up. Read more here.
A story I covered for months went viral after Gov. Phil Murphy visited a church where undocumented immigrants claimed asylum (my live stream on Periscope). I followed these developments closely, highlighting one immigrant’s role in repairing homes damaged by superstorm Sandy as well as the tensions in Middlesex County. I led the coverage every step of the way, including the night when a judge preliminarily agreed to hear a class-action lawsuit that challenged their deportation. More on that here.
‘What are my kids going to do?’ Long Branch man faces deportation
Our interview with the Larios family gives us a glimpse into life without legal status, which mirrors the experiences of nearly 500,000 undocumented immigrants in New Jersey. Read the story here.