The Star-Ledger

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Upon graduating from Columbia University, my first experience in the American press was a one-year internship at the biggest newspaper in New Jersey, The Star-Ledger. There I covered the city of Elizabeth, where more than half the population is Hispanic. In 2006, I traveled to Mexico to write a cover story on Central American migrants for the newspaper.

A migrant runs to catch a northbound train leaving the Tultitlan railyard. › Mexico’s Own Migrant Problem: While the Mexican government demands respect for the human rights of its undocumented countrymen inside the U.S., an uncomfortable double-standard unfolds within its own borders: many Central American migrants traversing the country are the victims of violence and abuse. [ Read story ]

"We have a debt, we don't have a house," say Maritza and Scott Chesney.Torn Up Over Being Torn Down: An exclusive investigation starting with a tip from an employee at the newspaper and delving into public records all over Northern Jersey. A fake architect took thousands of dollars from several families and disappeared without finishing the work. He even demolished a house and vanished before building its replacement. [ Read story ]

The Sun of May Also Rises: Uruguayans in Elizabeth, NJ› From Uruguay to Elizabeth: In the latest immigration wave in a city of immigrants, many Uruguayans arrived in Elizabeth in the early 2000s. Most of those who came entered the United States through a visa waiver program and then stayed illegally. “It truly was an exodus,” says a local community leader. [ Read story ]

Old train station gets new life in Elizabeth.› New Life for a Historic Train Station: Two 14-foot wooden benches sat covered in dust inside the dilapidated interior of the historic Midtown train station in Elizabeth. Throughout most of the 20th century, passengers would sit on them while waiting for trains of the Central Railroad of New Jersey. But only dirt has sat on the benches since the last train left the station in 1978. [ Read story ]