Feet in Two Worlds Coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election

"Immigrants, Immigration and the 2008 Election," a project from Feet in Two Worlds, produced reporting and analysis on the race for the White House by immigrant journalists covering immigrant communities. The project featured the work of journalists from a variety of ethnic media publications including El Diario/La Prensa in New York and La Opinión in Los Angeles.

The first of these reports featured La Opiniónjournalist Pilar Marrero in conversation with WNYC's Soterios Johnson about the Republican presidential candidate debate hosted by Univision in Miami on Sunday, December 9, 2007. The story aired on December 10, 2007, during Morning Edition on WNYC, New York Public Radio. You can listen to it online on WNYC's website.

Below, in chronological order, are several other radio pieces and podcasts produced in the series.

Photo: Lorenzo Morales 

Nationwide surge in citizenship applications and voter registration by Latino immigrants

With anti-immigrant sentiment growing across the country and some presidential candidates using increasingly tough rhetoric, a growing number of immigrants are responding by applying for US citizenship and registering to vote.

Pilar Marrero, a reporter with the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión in Los Angeles, reports for Feet in Two Worlds' 2008 election project on the reasons behind the surge and the potential political consequences. She explains how the Latino vote could be decisive in several key states as the number of Hispanic voters grows with every new naturalization ceremony.

Pilar's story aired on Friday, December 28, 2007 on Morning Edition on WNYC, New York Public Radio. You can listen to it online on the WNYC website.

Photo: YN Play City/Flickr CC

The view from the ethnic press: Feet in Two Worlds on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show

Listen to Feet in Two Worlds reporters in conversation with Brian Lehrer about issues important to their communities and how ethnic community media covers the presidential campaigns.

Lorenzo Morales of El Diario/La Prensa on 1/14/08
Ari Kagan of Vecherny New York on 1/15/08
Antoine Faisal of Aramica on 1/16/08
Lotus Chau of Sing Tao Daily on 1/17/08 
Jehangir Khattak of Defense Journal on 1/18/08

Caught between faith and immigration, Latino evangelicals split over who to support for president

Feet in Two Worlds reporter Lorenzo Morales of El Diario/La Prensa reports on the shifting political allegiances of Latino evangelicals in New York and across the country. Many evangelical Latino pastors in New York, some of them Democrats, are supporting Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee because of his opposition to legalized abortion and gay marriage.

But tough talk against illegal immigration by Huckabee and other Republican candidates is turning a growing number of Latino evangelical Christians away from the GOP. Defying the advice of their leaders, many rank and file Latino evangelicals say they will vote for Hillary Clinton because they believe she will help immigrants.

Lorenzo's piece aired Sunday, February 3, 2008 during Morning Edition on WNYC, New York Public Radio. Click here to listen to the story online.

Photo: El Diario/La Prensa

Latina voters gain influence in the 2008 election

Feet in Two Worlds journalist Martina Guzmán reports on the rising influence of Hispanic women in the 2008 election. Like soccer moms, blue-collar workers, and union members, Latinas are increasingly being courted by the Democratic presidential candidates. New York Senator Hillary Clinton, in particular, is making a significant effort to reach out to Latina voters, and a non-partisan group, the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, is conducting a voter registration drive aimed specifically at Latinas.

The growing importance of Hispanic women comes at a time when Latino voters—both men and women—have already demonstrated their pivotal role in primary elections in states such as California, Texas, and New Mexico. Latinas are especially important because Hispanic women vote in greater numbers than Hispanic men and their decisions about which candidate to support have considerable influence among their family members, friends, and neighbors.

Martina's story aired on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 during Morning Edition on WNYC, New York Public Radio. Click here to listen to the story online.

Photo: heartcorephotos/Flickr CC 

Pilar Marrero discusses attempts to woo Latino voters on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show

Pilar Marrero, a reporter with Los Angeles newspaper La Opinión, was featured on WNYC Radio's Brian Lehrer Show on July 17, 2008, where she discussed her recent Feet in Two Worlds blog post and the mixed responses of Latino voters and activists to the McCain and Obama campaigns' Spanish-language outreach efforts.

Click here to listen to the interview on the WNYC Web site.

Photo: Tom LeGro/Flickr 

Martina Guzmán profiles Palestinian-American state House candidate for WDET, Detroit Public Radio

Michigan's 12th House District is predominantly Latino, but it borders the largest concentrated Middle Eastern community in the United States. Arab American Rashida Tlaib, who grew up on the Latino side of the district, is running for state representative in a race that has nine candidates vying for the seat. 

Feet in Two Worlds journalist Martina Guzmán reports on how a Middle Eastern candidate contends politically in southwest Detroit. The story aired on August 5, 2008 on WDET, Detroit Public Radio. You can listen to it here.

This is the first collaboration between Feet in Two Worlds and WDET, our newest radio partner.

Candidates reach out to Latino voters

In an election year when Latinos are being recognized for their voting power, candidates are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their outreach and marketing. Feet in Two Worlds reporter Martina Guzmán reports on how candidates are crafting their messaging toward Latinos in the 2008 presidential election.

Martina's story aired August 18, 2009 on WNYCClick here to listen.

Feet in 2 Worlds covers the party conventions

Feet in Two Worlds covered the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, and featured reports by immigrant journalists from around the country who were in Denver and St. Paul for the big events. Our reporters blogged, produced podcasts and appeared on public radio with news and analysis.

Journalists whose work we featured include Pilar Marrero from La Opiniónin Los Angeles, Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska from the Polish Daily News in New York, and Aswini Anburajan. Our convention project was a collaboration with the New York Community Media Alliance.

Listen to Feet in Two Worlds reporters talk about the Democratic and Republican conventions on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC:

Antoine Faisal of Aramica on 8/25/08
Aswini Anburajan on 8/26/08
Pilar Marrero of La Opinión on 8/27/08
Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska of Polish Daily News on 8/28/08 
Ari Kagan of Vecherniy New York on 9/2/08 
Pilar Marrero and Aswini Anburajan on 9/4/08 

Feet in Two Worlds Town Hall on immigrant voters and the 2008 election

On Thursday, September 25, 2008, the Center for New York City Affairs brought together leading reporters, immigrant advocates, analysts and grassroots organizers in New York City for a lively discussion on the role of immigrant voters in this year's presidential race and the issues most important to them. Click here to learn more.

Feet in Two Worlds talks economy and the election on The Brian Lehrer Show

Pilar Marrero and Aswini Anburajan joined Brian Lehrer on Thursday, September 25, 2008, onWNYC, New York Public Radio to discuss the impact of mortgage foreclosures and the financial crisis on immigrants in the US. They also discussed how economic concerns may affect the election in battleground states like Nevada and Florida, which have large numbers of Latino voters. Click here to listen to the segment.

Photo: Michael Slatoff/Flickr CC 

Indian Americans gaining political clout

In a piece that aired on Marketplace on Friday, September 26, 2008, Feet in Two Worlds' Aswini Anburajan reports on the rising political influence of Indian Americans. During the presidential primaries, Indian American donors gave $5 million each to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and half a million dollars to John McCain. Now Indian American Democrats are seeking to expand their national presence with a political action committee, the Indian American Leadership Initiative.

Listen to the full story on the Marketplace Web site. Marketplace is a production ofAmerican Public Media, and airs on public radio stations nationwide.

Election fever skips many Latinos


Despite predictions of record turnout by Hispanic voters on November 4, Feet in Two Worlds' Diego Graglia reports that Latino voters may not be as excited about the presidential candidates as some people assume. 
Click here and here to read Diego's stories, which appeared in the New York Daily News on October 8, 2008. Click here for a photo slideshow of Latino voters across the country. 

Diego recently traveled from New York City to Mexico City, stopping along the way to talk to Latinos in small towns and big cities about the issues that matter to them. For more on La Ruta del Voto Latino/The Road to the Latino Vote visit www.newyorktomexico.com.

Photo: Diego Graglia

Pilar Marrero discusses campaign ads on PRI's The World

Pilar Marrero, of the Los Angeles paper La Opinión, appeared on Public Radio International's The World on October 22, 2008 to compare and contrast the Presidential candidates' Spanish-language and English-language campaign ads. Listen to the interview online

Chinese American families seek common ground over McCain and Obama

According to a recent survey, one third of Asian American voters still have not decided who to vote for in the presidential election. Yan Tai, a reporter for the Chinese-language daily World Journal and Feet in Two Worlds, says younger Chinese Americans are helping their parents overcome their ambivalence about the candidates. In an interview on PRI's The World on October 24, 2008, Yan talked about Chinese American families in which young people who support Barack Obama have convinced their more conservative immigrant parents to vote for the Democratic candidate. Click here to listen to the interview. 

Election day radio coverage from Feet in Two Worlds

On Election Day, the Feet in Two Worlds team spread out to polling places in immigrant and ethnic neighborhoods across the U.S. to report on how foreign-born voters experienced this historic day. 

On PRI's The World Aswini Anburajan talked about the reasons so many first-time immigrant voters showed up at the polls on November 4th in New York City. Click here to listen

Eduardo A. de Oliveira, a Brazilian-born reporter for New England Ethnic News, appeared on The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, New York Public Radio to describe the scene in the battleground state of New Hampshire. You can listen to that segment of the show here.

Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska reported from a polling site in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on The Brian Lehrer Show. Listen to the segment here.

Feet in Two Worlds Executive Producer John Rudolph and journalist Eduardo de Oliveira report for New Hampshire Public Radio's Word of Mouth show from Nashua's Ward One, which represents an area of town with a high Latino population. Click here to listen.

Pilar Marrero analyzes the Latino vote on PRI's The World

Pilar Marrero, columnist for La Opinión in Los Angeles and Feet in Two Worlds reporter, appeared PRI's nationally-syndicated radio show The World on November 6, 2008. She spoke with anchor Lisa Mullin about the impact of first-time Latino immigrant voters on the outcome of the presidential election. Pilar reported—among other data—that Latino turnout held constant and that the Latino vote in Florida is shifting away from the Republicans. You can listen to the segment on the show's website. 

Podcast Series: The 2008 Presidential Election From An Immigrant Perspective

Listen to our podcast series featuring news, analysis, and commentary from ethnic media journalists who covered the 2008 presidential campaign.

December 16, 2007
Could Latino Voters Tip the Scales in the Iowa Caucus?

Executive producer John Rudolph interviews El Diario/La Prensa reporter Lorenzo Morales on the Latino vote in Iowa, the challenges of reporting on the campaign trail and how the candidates respond to issues important to immigrant communities. Click here to listen. 

January 7, 2008
What happened to the debate over immigration among the Democratic candidates?

Feet in Two Worlds executive producer John Rudolph speaks with Pilar Marrero of the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión in Los Angeles and Aswini Anburajan, a Feet in Two Worlds reporter who works for NBC News/National Journal. Both are covering the Obama campaign. Click here to listen. 

January 11, 2008
Some presidential candidates face hurdles winning support from Russian and Pakistani immigrants

Feet in Two Worlds executive producer John Rudolph in conversation with Ari Kagan, senior editor of Vecherniy, New York (Evening Time New York), a Russian-language weekly and Jehangir Khattak, bureau chief of Defence Journal, and a contributor to Pakistan News and Dawn. Recorded in Durham, New Hampshire after the New Hampshire primary, Kagan and Khattak talk about how Russian and Pakistani voters are weighing the candidates' positions on tax cuts, Israel, Vladimir Putin and the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Their trip to New Hampshire was sponsored by the New York Community Media Alliance. Click here to listen.

January 22, 2008
Chinese immigrants and the campaign for the White House

Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are the favored presidential candidates in New York's Chinese community. Will Chinese immigrants support other candidates if Hillary or Rudy do not win their party's nomination? What campaign issues are most important to Chinese-Americans? Listen to Lotus Chau, chief reporter with the Chinese-language newspaper Sing Tao Daily in conversation with Feet in Two Worlds executive producer John Rudolph. Click here to listen.

January 31, 2008
Kennedy endorsement of Obama creates "the perfect storm of Irish-American reaction"

Peter McDermott, associate editor of the Irish Echo, speaks with executive producer John Rudolph about Irish-American reaction to the Kennedys' endorsement and the comparisons being drawn between Senator Obama and the late President John F. Kennedy. Peter also talks about Irish-American views of Senator John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate with Irish roots. Click here to listen. 

February 6, 2008
Latino voters weigh candidate positions on abortion, the war in Iraq and immigration

Executive producer John Rudolph speaks with Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, executive editor of El Diario/La Prensa, about key issues for Latino voters and his newspaper's efforts to present a more nuanced picture of the Latino electorate than that of mainstream media. Click here to listen.

February 15, 2008
Unease about Obama candidacy in some immigrant communities

Ari Kagan, senior editor of the Russian newspaper Vecherniy New York and Jehangir Khattak, a writer for Pakistan Newsand Defence Journal, discuss the challenges facing the Democratic senator from Illinois in his presidential campaign. Kagan and Khattak also talk about Senator Hillary Clinton's support among Pakistani and Russian immigrants. Click here to listen.

March 13, 2008
Barack Obama courts evangelical Latinos

Aswini Anburajan, campaign reporter for NBC News/National Journal, and Lorenzo Morales of El Diario/La Prensa, speak with executive producer John Rudolph about Obama's faith-based campaign strategy. They discuss his unique approach, its effectiveness and the issues that matter to evangelical Latino voters—many of which have little to do with church positions on abortion or same-sex marriage. Click here to listen.

March 17, 2008
Latino voters take center stage in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination

Latino voters were pivotal in Hillary Clinton's victories in Texas, California, and New Mexico. According to the Pew Hispanic Center, exit polls show that, "Latinos accounted for at least 30% of the total votes cast in the Democratic primary (in those states), and Clinton outpolled Sen. Barack Obama among Latinos by a ratio of about two-to-one." La Opiniónpolitical reporter Pilar Marrero analyzes this in a conversation with executive producer John Rudolph. They also discuss historical trends that gave Latino voters unprecedented clout at the ballot box in 2008. Click here to listen.

April 15, 2008
Latina voters gain influence in the 2008 election

Hispanic women are emerging as a sought-after voting bloc in the 2008 campaign. Latinas are especially important because Hispanic women vote in greater numbers than Hispanic men and their decisions about which candidate to support have considerable influence among their family members, friends, and neighbors. Feet in Two Worlds reporter Martina Guzmán—who visited Allentown, Pennsylvania, to report on grass-roots efforts to reach out to Latina voters before the Pennsylvania primary—speaks with FI2W executive producer John Rudolph. Click here to listen.

September 8, 2008
Asian elites weigh issues, history and race in the presidential contest

Asian voters have been called the, "new sleeping giant," of American politics. Asians make up about 5 per cent of the US population, and their numbers are growing rapidly. But according to a recent study by researchers at UCLA, political participation by Asian Americans is significantly lower than the national average. Executive producer John Rudolph interviews James S. Cheng, a strategy adviser to the Asian Americans for McCain Coalition. Click here to listen.

Podcast Series: La Ruta del Voto Latino/The Road to the Latino Vote

In August 2008, reporter Diego Graglia drove from New York City to Mexico City, talking to Latinos along the way about that year's historic presidential election. These podcasts feature interviews with Latinos from several states, where they talk about the issues that concern them and about Latino life in the areas where they reside. You can learn more about Diego's trip by visiting his blog NY-DF, La Ruta del Voto Latino.

August 6, 2008
Queens, NY: Getting Ecuadorean immigrants to focus on U.S. politics

At New York's Ecuadorean Independence Day Parade in Queens, representatives of Ecuadorean political parties drew lots of attention, not all of it positive. But at least one community leader at the parade was trying to get people to focus on the U.S. presidential election: Diego spoke to Francisco Moya, a delegate to the Democratic National Convention and, in fact, the first Ecuadoran to be a delegate to a major party convention in the U.S. Moya talks about the challenge of getting Ecuadorean immigrants, including those who are American citizens, to pay attention to U.S. politics. Click here to listen.

August 7, 2008
Manassas, VA.: The impact of a local immigration law

Manassas, in Virginia's Prince William County, had recently seen a crackdown on undocumented immigrants. Local authorities had passed a resolution allowing local law enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of people they suspected of committing a crime. Officers were also permitted to report undocumented immigrants to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation processing. Diego interviewed Teresita Jacinto, a spokeswoman for Mexicanos Sin Fronteras-Mexicans Without Borders, a local pro-immigrant group. Click here to listen

August 12, 2008
Siler City, NC: Rural Latinos face economic downturn

Diego visited small towns in North Carolina to find out what Latinos in rural areas thought about the presidential elections and what issues affected them the most. In the South, some of these towns have been changed radically by the arrival of Mexicans and Central Americans—from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador—who work in agriculture, manufacturing and construction. In Siler City, N.C., Diego spoke with Marcia Espínola, associate director of El Vínculo Hispano-The Hispanic Liaison, about what happened in that rural county after a poultry processing plant closed in June and left over 800 people out of a job. Click here to listen.

August 22, 2008
Kinston, NC: Rural workers not politically fervent

Latinos started settling in big numbers in the South about two decades ago. Since then they have changed the face of the region. Diego visited the small town of Kinston, N.C., where he met Juvencio Rocha Peralta. Born in Mexico, he was one of the first migrants to arrive in the area almost three decades ago, and is a longtime community activist in the rural Eastern part of the state. The conversation focused on issues that concern local Latinos in the 2008 presidential election. Click here to listen.

September 10, 2008
Milton, FL: What's left after an immigration raid

Restaurant owner Gerónimo Barragán saw ten of his employees arrested and deported in February, some to his native Mexico, others to Guatemala. Santa Rosa County, Florida authorities also went to other businesses, looking for people using stolen Social Security numbers. Since the raid, the already small Hispanic community in the Florida Panhandle town of Milton has all but disappeared. Barragán talks about the raid and his thoughts on the upcoming the election. A committed Baptist, Barragán supports President Bush and may not vote at all. Click here to listen. 

September 26, 2008
New Orleans, LA: Hispanics find a voice in the Crescent City

In New Orleans, Diego interviewed Diane Schnell, news and marketing director of the local Telemundo station, KGLA-TV 42, which had recently launched the city's first-ever Spanish-language newscast. Diane talks about how the Latino community is no longer an invisible market in New Orleans, and which presidential candidate is doing more to reach out to New Orleans' Latinos. Click here to listen.