Applications now open for the Illinois Humanities Engagement Fellowship

We are seeking applicants for the Illinois Humanities Engagement Fellowship at the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting in Champaign, Ill. In collaboration with MCIR and Illinois Humanities staff, the Engagement Fellow will design, develop and implement an engagement program to be substantially integrated into MCIR’s reporting and editorial workflow. Deadline to apply is April 10.

The visa system: flaws, scandals and stories

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting hosted the “Covering the U.S. Visa System in Your Own Backyard” workshop April 10 – 12. Workshop events took place at Columbia College in Chicago, and speakers included veteran reporters and legal experts. Here’s a summary of the first workshop event.

Investigating U-visas and domestic violence visas

Each year, thousands of people are allowed to stay in the United States under special visas because they are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking or criminal activity. Nubia Willman, a staff attorney for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, spoke extensively about the U-visas and T-visas at this month’s Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting’s workshop, “Covering the U.S. visa system in your own backyard.”

Investigating work visas: H-1B, H-2A and H-2B

Miguel Keberlein Gutiérrez, supervisory attorney for the Illinois Migrant Legal Assistance Project, discussed the most common work visas in the United States during his session a Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting workshop on April 11. During his presentation, he also summarized one powerful example of system abuse when a migrant laborer died.

Finding, using data on visas and immigration

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting hosted a workshop on “Covering the U.S. Visa System in Your Own Backyard” this April. During one of the workshop sessions, Knight Chair and veteran investigative reporter Brant Houston highlighted key resources reporters can use to research stories. These are a few of the top tools.

Investigating student visas and diversity visas

Each year, thousands of students and exchange program participants enter into the United States under different visa categories. They are joined by tens of thousands who come to the country under diversity visas. Knight Chair Brant Houston discussed the programs and shared reporting tools during his Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting workshop session on April 11.

Investigating the EB-5 visa program

The EB-5 visa program, which has grown increasingly controversial due to its lack of quality oversight, basically gives foreigners looking to invest large sums of money in U.S. businesses a pay-to-play green card. Tim Novak, Chicago Sun-Times reporter, spoke about the program at a Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting workshop.