Innovative Comics Journalism Piece Explores Immigration Debate
The Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE.org) in partnership with Cartoon Movement today publish a groundbreaking piece of comics journalism exploring what it means to be American through the story of one undocumented immigrant, brought to the U.S. as a child, unwillingly caught at the center of the debate.
Written by award-winning journalist and JJIE assistant editor, Ryan Schill, with art by Greg Scott, “Jessica Colotl: In the Eye of the Storm” follows Jessica from her arrest in 2010 following a routine traffic stop on her college campus, to her weeks in an Alabama detention center awaiting deportation. But while Jessica navigated her frightening new reality, the rest of the nation was locked in a heated discussion about the rights of undocumented immigrants.
Leonard Witt, publisher of JJIE.org and Youth Today, said, “We are all about reporting on youth justice issues; so, need to reach the crucial 13-to-25-year-old demographic. Comics journalism is the perfect medium for that audience. But I also know from reading work in that field, it’s a great way to inform folks of all ages. Read the Jessica Colotl piece, you will see what I mean.“
“The comics journalism form provided a wonderful opportunity to put a face to the immigration issue,” said Schill. “Whatever side you take, it’s important to remember we are talking about real people with real stories. Seeing Jessica’s story through her eyes adds a powerful new dimension to the debate.”
With President Obama’s recent policy change halting deportations of certain young undocumented immigrants, the comic provides a touchstone for a renewed debate about the DREAM Act, immigration and access to a college education.
To read “Jessica Colotl: In the Eye of the Storm”, click on either the English or Spanish version below.