It’s been more than a month since my coworker Ron Jackson and I returned from an immigration fellowship hosted by the Institute for Justice and Journalism and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
The fellowship, called Immigration in the Heartland, was designed to immerse journalists in the issues, arguments, faces and facts surrounding the immigration debate in the country. We heard from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, lawmakers, community leaders, naturalized citizens and undocumented immigrants. We talked to lawyers, judges and talking heads. Husbands, single mothers and students attending school in south Oklahoma City.
Most of the week-long fellowship took place in Norman and Oklahoma City. But we also spent time at immigration court in Dallas and other federal offices.
One of the requirements of the fellowship is that the journalists produce stories on the issue. This weekend, Ron and I will publish the first group of what we plan to be a series of stories about immigration in Oklahoma.
As Oklahoman and Miss USA first-runner up Morgan Woolard said, “It’s one of the most hot button issues in our country today.”
My hope is these stories will educate and foster informed debate on the issue. Keep an eye out for the stories here on Newsok and in The Oklahoman.