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Covering Immigration from the Border to the Heartland

About This Course

Recent immigrants are an integral part of the fabric of U.S. urban, suburban and rural communities as policy makers and politicians debate the best way of reforming our broken immigration system.

How do we tell the unfolding immigration story in our communities with sensitivity, depth and context? How do we negotiate time and resources with editors and producers who may not fully understand the ongoing demographic changes in the nation and on our home turf?

What Will I Learn?

  • A review of recent immigration reform efforts—from the amnesty program of the 1980s to immigration reform legislation pending in Congress now, with a discussion of its most contentious provisions
  • How and where to find and report immigration stories in your local community
  • Where to find data and statistics about immigrant populations and immigrant communities
  • Tips on how to report on immigration with sensitivity and tact, whether you are interviewing a reticent-to-talk undocumented immigrant or a Border Patrol official
  • Strategies on how to negotiate time and resources for your immigration stories

Who Should Take this Course?

Reporters, editors, producers, bloggers and others who cover immigration and immigration reform issues in their area.

Course Instructor

Zita Arocha

Zita Arocha

Zita Arocha is a bilingual journalist and senior lecturer in the UTEP Department of Communication since 2004. She is director of, a multimedia web magazine at UTEP that prepares Hispanic college journalists for jobs in 21st century newsrooms. For over 20 years she worked as a reporter for The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, The Miami News and The Tampa Times. She was executive director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists from 1993-1997, and was training coordinator for the Freedom Forum’s Chips Quinn Scholars Program from 2000-02. A freelance contributor to various national publications, she earned a master’s degree in English and comparative literature from the University of South Florida, and is currently pursuing an MFA in bilingual creative writing at UTEP. She is working on a memoir, Leaving Cuba.

She directs the award-winning bilingual website about borders, , at the University of Texas at El Paso.


Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Robert R. McCormick Foundation

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to fostering communities of educated, informed and engaged citizens. Through philanthropic programs, Cantigny Park and museums, the foundation helps develop citizen leaders and works to make life better in our communities. The foundation was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The foundation is one of the nation's largest foundations, with more than $1 billion in assets.

This $30 course is free thanks to the generous support of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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