Weber Co. immigrants, Latinos on the wall, Venezuela, the World Cup

Sunday March 3, 2019

Ogden City Councilman Luis Lopez at a Weber County League of Women Voters discussion on immigration on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, at the Weber County library in Ogden. Other panelists, from left to right, are Arlene Anderson, Azenett Garza and Jonathan Bachison. By Tim Vandenack

Given the sizable population of Latinos here, many of them immigrants, I always try to put a focus on immigration issues and what’s happening with the segment.

It can be hard work. Not many Latinos are embedded in the traditional power structure so they aren’t always as accessible. But the population merits coverage and I do what I can. Here are a few articles:

Ogden-area immigrants in growing fear as debate about border wall intensifies, Jan. 16, 2019: The talk about building the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border is giving some in the Mexican, Mexican-American and immigrant communities in and around Ogden the jitters. Some are getting nervous.

“I think it’s worse,” said Luis Lopez, an Ogden City Council member. “It keeps getting worse and worse because there’s no hope.” Lopez and three others connected to the Latino population here spoke to the issue at a Weber County League of Women Voters gathering.

Venezuelans flee deteriorating nation, find new home in Utah, July 23, 2018: I’ve followed from afar the rising tension in Venezuela, rising concern with the authoritarian government there.

Then a naturalized U.S. citizen from Venezuela, now living in Ogden, called the Standard-Examiner, proposing an article about his dashed hopes of returning to Venezuela for a visit given the shaky situation there. He had wanted to attend the performance of a orchestral piece he composed. The call morphed into a story about the handful of Venezuelans in and around Ogden and Utah and their heartbreak over what’s happening in Venezuela.

Daniel Hernandez and wife Leanniz Chavez in their North Ogden home on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. They came to Utah from their native Venezuela in 2015, part of a growing number leaving the nation to escape increasing political and economic instability in the country. By Tim Vandenack

Centerville protestors target proposed Wyoming immigration jail serving Utah, July 13, 2018: Several protestors were arrested as they demonstrated outside the Centerville headquarters of a private company that runs three Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers. I saw the headlines, which didn’t really delve into the rationale for the action, got curious and tracked down some of those arrested for more details.

Turns out they were demonstrating to press the Centerville company, Management & Training Corp., to abandon its proposal for another ICE immigration detention center in Evanston, Wyoming. The facility, just 80 miles or so from Ogden, would serve Utah, potentially boding for an uptick in enforcement action in the area.

Utah’s immigration judges tough on asylum seekers, many from Central America, Feb. 25, 2019: The three federal immigration judges serving Utah have been pretty tough on immigrants seeking asylum, many from Central America.

Numbers compiled by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, show that. I learned of the database, thought it would make a relevant story as asylum-seekers are being debated nationally, and got some input from a pair of local immigration lawyers.

Ogden Mexicans, Mexican-Americans rooting for El Tri in World Cup play, July 1, 2018: The World Cup was held last summer and I thought it worth localizing. Mexico spectacularly defeated Germany, prompting a lot of excitement among the county’s backers, many in the Ogden area, and I turned it into a story about local Mexico fans and the attention they were paying to the tournament.

Ogden schools aiming to diversify staff to more closely reflect student body, Oct. 16, 2018: I was advised some locals active in the Latino community had arranged a meeting with Ogden Schools Superintendent Rich Nye to ask him about education. I jumped at the opportunity to attend.

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Filed under Immigration, Ogden, Uncategorized, Utah

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