Shore, Elena

Elena Shore is an editor and Spanish-language media monitor with New America Media (

Immigrants’ Greatest Potential Ally -- American Women

By Elena Shore
New America Media

A new report by the Pew Hispanic Center documents a trend that reporters have been covering anecdotally for several years: we are now seeing net-zero immigration from Mexico to the United States.

The factors that may have contributed to this change – high U.S. unemployment, a Mexican economy that is recovering more rapidly, a low Mexican birthrate, and increased immigration enforcement – all point in one direction: The number of people moving to Mexico from the United States is equal to -- or greater than -- the number of people coming into the country from Mexico.

But with a record number of state and local laws cracking down on undocumented immigrants, this hardly means an end to the anti-immigrant sentiment that has taken root in America.

Marco Rubio’s Dream Act: The New ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’?

By Elena Shore
New America Media

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on Wednesday dismissed speculation that he could be the vice presidential nominee, but he is preparing to make another political play: he is about to release his version of the DREAM Act – one that would offer legal status without a pathway to citizenship for undocumented students. The move could be a game changer in immigration politics.

The federal DREAM Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for undocumented high school graduates who were enrolled in college or the military and met certain requirements, originally enjoyed bipartisan support. But things have changed.

A Trend Toward Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Choice Laws

By Elena Shore
New America Media

2011 saw a record number of laws restricting abortion in U.S. states. It also saw a record number of state anti-immigrant laws. Coincidence?

Maybe not.

In 2011, U.S. states enacted 135 new reproductive health provisions, 92 of them seeking to restrict abortion.

In 2000, 13 states were considered “hostile” to reproductive rights; by 2011, that number had doubled to 26 states, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Last year, more than half of women of reproductive age (15-44) were living in states that were hostile to abortion, up from less than one-third in 2000.

Advocates Launch Campaign to Get Anti-Trafficking Bill on State Ballot

By Elena Shore 
New America Media

Leah Albright-Byrd, a native San Franciscan who ran away from home at age 14 to escape a violent father, said she didn’t know she “was running into the arms of a trafficker.” 

“The trafficker told me, ‘You’re having sex anyway, you might as well get paid for it,’” said Albright-Byrd, who was trafficked in the Mission District, Las Vegas and online from the age of 14 to 18. “I was told, ‘Once a ho, always a ho,’ that that was my destiny.”

Now a college graduate and doctoral candidate who next month will celebrate her tenth year of freedom, Albright-Byrd says she is proud to call herself a survivor. 

Latino Orgs Defend Cecilia Muñoz, Amid Calls for Her Resignation

By Elena Shore
New America Media

A Latino radio host and blogger is calling for Cecilia Muñoz to resign from the White House for her defense of the administration’s deportation policies., the immigrant rights group that led the petition to get CNN’s Lou Dobbs off the air, is demanding that Muñoz denounce the Secure Communities program.

In response, a group of some of the nation’s leading immigrant advocacy organizations released a statement Monday in support of Muñoz.

The controversy may reveal a difference of opinion within the immigrant rights movement over which strategy to take when advocating for the rights of immigrants in the United States.

How Do Ethnic Media Say “Illegal Immigrant”?

By Elena Shore

Before publishing a story on immigration, every editor faces a question: What term should be used to describe an immigrant who is in the United States illegally?

The AP Stylebook states that the preferred term is “illegal immigrant” -- but that “illegal” should not be used as a noun. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists advocates the use of the term “undocumented immigrant” or “undocumented worker.” A campaign headed by the Applied Research Center and its news site ColorLines – called “Drop the ‘i’ Word” – considers “illegal” a slur and is calling on media outlets across the country to take a pledge to stop using the term.

Slow Flow of Immigrants Already Impacting California Farms?

By Elena Shore and Jonah Most

The number of immigrants illegally crossing into the United States from Mexico has declined according to a new study, and some California farmers are already seeing the effects on their crops.

“We’ve seen in the valley this year a reduction of labor that we haven’t seen for five or six years,” said Manuel Cunha, president of the Nisei Farmers League in Fresno, Calif.

“There could be crops that could go down as being damaged because they cannot be harvested fast enough. Many of the vegetables growing in the valley are going to be in competition for the labor as well,” he said. “You’re going to see rotting.”

The U.S.-Mexico Border Is Safer Than You Think

By Elena Shore

Crime along the U.S.-Mexico border has been cited to justify everything from Arizona’s new immigration law to Congress’ decision Tuesday to spend another $600 million on border enforcement. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has referred to “mayhem” and “headless bodies” found along the border, while Sen. John McCain said that the failure to secure the border “has led to violence -- the worst I have ever seen.” And when asked why they supported Arizona’s immigration law, SB 1070, many Americans cited security reasons and an increase in violent crime along the U.S. border.

But a new poll says that this is a myth. There has been no increase in violent crime on the U.S. side of the border. In fact, reports show that the U.S. border is getting safer.

California Candidates Scapegoat Immigrants, Ignore Blacks

By Elena Shore
New America Media

California voters are going to the polls for the primaries today, and San Francisco is embarking on the Secure Communities program, in which fingerprints collected at local jails are shared with immigration authorities. Both events are getting flak from Spanish-language media.

The GOP gubernatorial candidate’s race is getting “nasty,” according to an editorial last week in La Opinión, as Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner essentially compete to see who is more anti-immigrant.

“Demagoguery and bigotry have replaced reason,” the editorial argues. Editors of La Opinión write that they are “deeply upset” that the Republican race has been characterized by what they see as “the debasement of political debate and malice toward the undocumented,” and they call on voters not to forget how ugly things have gotten when they go to the polls in November.