View Full Version : Columbia Journalism Student working on Master's

11-15-2012, 10:02 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm a student at Columbia Journalism School working on a master's thesis on the affects of deportation on families. I'm interested in finding and speaking with families in the New York City area who are facing problems with deportation here in America. Whether a father or mother; wife or husband; grandmother or grandfather; aunt or uncle, I want examine what happens to families when they experience losing a loved one to deportation, or the fear they experience at the chance that a loved one may be deported. I want to become close with the family, and document their lives after their loved one is deported; leading up to it; or if they end up being able to stay.

I'd like to tell the story about what life is like after a family member is gone - who has to pay the bills after the person is gone if they were helping before? How does a family member explain to a child that they won't be seeing their aunt for a long time to come? I will be conducting interviews with families and taking photographs regularly throughout a period of a few months leading up to my deadline in March. I want to get as close to them as I can as to tell their story as accurately as I can. For example, if they are going through a deportation now, I'd like to sit in on the court hearings to see how they deal with things.

My interest in this story comes from my overall passion for immigrants and culture in America, and my own story of having my father deported earlier this year. My father is Mexican, and had lived in California more than half of his life. He was deported about 2-3 times, and he crossed the border back again that many times. He made mistakes when he was younger, got in trouble with the law here, and more than 25 years later those mistakes came back to him. When he was arrested here the for last time in April when Immigration came to my father's family's house early in the morning, he was taken to jail. At his court hearing, he was told that if he was caught here again, he'd be thrown in jail for an extended period time - he is never allowed to be here again.

So I have sympathy for those dealing with the threat of deportation or those in fear of
it since I have experienced it myself by way of my father.

Please, if you know anyone who may be willing to talk, please contact me as soon as you can: jdh2170@columbia.edu