Everybody’s story stops at the border. Except ours. 

A Detroit Public TV and Bridge Magazine collaboration for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative continues as reporters Bill Kubota and Chastity Pratt Dawsey head to Guanajuato, Mexico:

Pratt Dawsey and Kubota posted on FB Live from DTW airport yesterday, 9/24:

Posted by Chastity Pratt on Sunday, September 24, 2017

It all started in Southwest Detroit. As part of our Knight and Kellogg-funded “Roadshows,” Detroit Public TV’s One Detroit team spent three months scouring the area, talking with neighborhood organizations and key stakeholders who then led us to others who could help us tell a complicated and controversial story. 

Sixty people and organizations later, our team developed with our new partners a ninety-minute American Black Journal Roadshow broadcast live on Detroit Public Television that focused on issues critical to Southwest Detroit including immigration, environmental justice and education.

The night before our broadcast, Carine Saleh, a Dearborn attorney who agreed to be on our panel about immigration, contacted Detroit Journalism Cooperative’s regional editor. She informed him that her client, Maria Garcia Juarez, had been given orders to leave the United States by May 26th.  Because all legal avenues were nearly exhausted, Ms. Saleh was now resorting to media attention to help Maria’s cause.  Detroit Public TV and its DJC partner Bridge Magazine debated and investigated the merits of Maria’s story at a rapid pace, because both organizations realized they needed to capture the story in real time. 

On May 5th, we launched #21DaystoExile. Both organizations published the first installment of Maria’s story on Thursday, May 11th on Bridge and DPTV’s MiWeek program. New installments appeared throughout May on Bridge and MiWeekand our website. We last saw Maria on May 26th. Despite the legal wrangling of several immigration lawyers, Juarez accepted her fate and boarded a plane to Mexico.



For the next week, DJC members Chastity Pratt Dawsey (Bridge Magazine) and Bill Kubota (Detroit Public TV’s One Detroit) will continue coverage of this story right from Guanajuato where Maria currently resides, and will keep up with other immigration stories that surface.

Stay tuned to One Detroit and the Detroit Journalism Cooperative as the story continues.