Once Undocumented, Latino Journalist Wins Pulitzer Prize

This week, a Latino reporter for the Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer Prize, journalism’s most prestigious awards. Ruben Vives, 31, was awarded the Pulitzer gold medal for public service for a series of stories he produced with Jeff Gottlieb.  The men managed to uncover a corruption scandal through which politicians in Bell, a mostly Latino, working-class city in California, were paying themselves six-figure salaries and manipulating records. The journalists’ reporting led to criminal charges against current and former city officials, including former Bell city administrator Robert Rizzo.  The officials were charged with multiple felonies and ordered to stand trial.

Ironically enough, Vives was once undocumented.  The Guatemalan-born reporter was brought here as a child from Guatemala by his mother.  He was able to obtain a green card after his mother’s former employer contacted an attorney to help him navigate the tricky world of immigration law.  Vives went to college and eventually got a job working as a reporter assigned to cover the city of Bell.

It's just another example of the stories that can be told if the DREAM act were to pass, giving the same kind of chance Vives was lucky enough to receive to thousands of other young immigrants trying to follow their dreams. Who knows how many more Pulitzer or Nobel or Oscar winners we might lose?

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