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Arizona Republic panel to discuss child immigration crisis

July 15, 2014

Five veteran journalists from The Arizona Republic will explore issues surrounding the child immigration crisis during a special online panel discussion at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University next week.

The Cronkite School is partnering with The Arizona Republic to host “Reporters on the Ground: The Child Immigration Crisis” from noon to 1 p.m., July 23. The online, interactive discussion features Arizona Republic staff who contributed to a weeklong series of stories examining the recent wave of unaccompanied migrant children seeking asylum in the United States.

The event will be streamed live online on’s home page. The public is encouraged to participate in the discussion at or on Twitter, using the hashtag #immigrantchildren.

Republic opinion writer Linda Valdez will moderate the conversation, featuring reporters Bob Ortega and Daniel Gonzalez, and photographers Michael Chow and David Wallace. The panelists will share their experiences covering the crisis.

As part of the in-depth series “Pipeline of Children,” the Republic sent reporters and photographers to Central America and the U.S. border from Texas to Nogales, Arizona, to share the stories of children hoping to escape violence and bleak futures in search of a better life.

According to The Arizona Republic, approximately 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended in the U.S. in the past eight months – already 18,000 more than in 2013. More than 70 percent are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, three of the countries with the highest murder rates in the world.

“We’re excited to partner with The Arizona Republic to host this discussion,” said Kristin Gilger, Cronkite School associate dean. “At the Cronkite School, we teach coverage of immigration and border issues as part of our Latino specialization, so this is an important topic for us, as it is for all Arizonans.”

The Republic project also includes a story written and reported by Cronkite student Emilie Eaton, who was part of a depth reporting class this spring that traveled to Chiapas, Mexico. The Cronkite Borderlands Initiative, supported by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and Adelaida and Barry Severson, offers students multimedia depth reporting training and the opportunity to learn about critical immigration and border issues.

“Reporters on the Ground: The Child Immigration Crisis” is presented by The Arizona Republic and the Cronkite School in partnership with Valle del Sol, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Valley Leadership.

To view The Republic’s “Pipeline of Children” series and learn more about the ongoing immigration crisis, visit