Latino USA continues to mark its 30th anniversary and look back at its reporting throughout the last three decades.

On today’s show, we look at immigration, then and now.

Maria Hinojosa is joined by Camilo Montoya-Galvez, immigration and politics reporter for CBS; Natalia Aristizabal, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York; and Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. Together, they discuss immigration policies from the last 30 years and how they’ve impacted our communities—but also them personally.

Since Latino USA launched in 1993, immigration has been one of the topics that has shaped our reporting. From the policies implemented by the Clinton administration in the mid-90s, like Operation Gatekeeper or the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), to the more recent massive arrival of migrants to New York and protests against them, Latino USA has strived to document and inform accurately about how our communities live and are impacted by changing policies and attitudes around immigration. 

In this roundtable conversation, each of the experts reflected on the changes they have seen in their fields of work these three decades: Law, activism and journalism. “What I think is probably the biggest structural change I’ve seen over 30 years is that immigration is no longer just a federal issue. When I started at the ACLU working on immigration issues, we were almost exclusively focused on the federal government because that’s where immigration policy came from; that’s where immigration restrictions and legislation came from,” said ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt. 

Even though many things have been set back in these years, Natalia Aristizabal, organizer with Make the Road New York, still finds reasons to remain hopeful and keep striving for change. “We’re going to continue to fight for the people that are here because the people that are here undocumented have nowhere else to go. This is their home. And so we’re going to continue to organize to do everything humanly possible to pass a permanent solution.”

And as we’re looking back, we’re also looking to the future: What role will immigration play in the 2024 election year? Join us for this discussion.

Featured image by AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez.

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