Pulitzer Prize winner, journalist and author Sonia Nazario discussed both her career as a journalist and immigration issues in America, Tuesday evening at the University of Wisconsin.
Nazario focused on how her childhood experiences inspired her to become a journalist. She grew up in the Dirty War period in Argentina, a time when the military took control of the country from 1974 to 1983, she said.
“I realized that you cannot have a democracy that can flourish without a vibrant press that is willing to hold people in power accountable,” Nazario said.
Nazario said she has a clear goal when it comes to her work as a reporter, which is to be a truth-teller and tell stories that matter. She said she wants her readers to experience the story as if they’re on the frontline.
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In the past, Nazario has centered her writing on child poverty and drug addiction problems in the U.S. She then became an advocacy journalist where she has mainly focused on immigration and the issues faced by migrants.
“I think all of us need to have more [of an open heart] towards migrants these days,” Nazario said.
In her book “Enrique’s Journey,” Nazario told the story of a Honduran boy’s journey to reunite with his mother in the United States.
After her book was published, Nazario said she received many positive emails from students who had read her book. They told her that their perspectives on immigrants had changed.
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Nazario said she had been attacked both by the right and the left, and being an advocate has put both her credibility and career at risk.
Nazario encouraged individuals to take action against the issues that immigrants face.
“As a nation, I think that we can afford to take [immigrant children] in, we can afford this amount of compassion in this country,” Nazario said.