writing stories using multiple sources of information

You are to write a news story of 325 to 350 words based on the information below. There is a press
release followed by comments. Feel free to incorporate any contextual information you feel is
appropriate. You may also want to take a few minutes to conduct some online research on what other
local and state governments are doing with respect to undocumented immigrants. As you are no doubt
aware, immigration reform continues to be a topic of political controversy. Your research will provide
useful context for the story.
Today’s Date
Persons unable to provide proof of legal residency in the United States shall not be permitted to rent an
apartment, house or place of business within the City of Tustin, effective today. Landlords who violate
The Immigration Tenancy Regulation will be subject to a fine of $1,000 per each violation. Those
persons found residing in Tustin without legal immigration documentation shall be arrested and
transferred to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. This new city ordinance was
passed unanimously by the city council at Monday’s regular meeting.
Tustin is a diverse city and, in fact, has a Latino population of more than 30 percent. However, we have
an obligation to strongly support our nation’s immigration laws, particularly given the constant threat of
terrorism. All who live in Tustin should enjoy legal status. With this new municipal law we are confident
this goal will be considerably more attainable.
Some may say that this ordinance is anti-immigrant. It is not. It is pro-America and pro-law and order.
I realize that our action comes at a time when some in this country are calling for legalization of those
who came to the United States illegally. We are staunchly opposed to such flouting of the law.
Thank You.
Mayor Lou Bone
Reaction from the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California:
Tustin has acted illegally by overstepping its authority. Immigration law enforcement is a duty of the
federal government. Municipalities are not legally empowered to enforce federal law. It is also illegal to
deny apartment tenancy based on a person’s immigration status.
We will file suit tomorrow to have enforcement of this ordinance halted and eventually overturned. An
illegal act such as Tustin’s set a terrible precedent and must be halted.
Reaction from Latinos United, a Santa Ana-based pro-immigrant group:
This outrageous attack will not go unanswered. We cannot permit such blatant assaults on our people’s
human rights. Specifically, we are organizing a massive protest march in Tustin. We have issued calls to
immigrant groups from around the country and expect substantial participation in our protest.
Sadly, Orange County remains plagued by anti-American xenophobia. Criminalizing the undocumented is
immoral and rips apart our social fabric. America is better than such ugliness. Indeed, this heinous act is
at odds with the mood of the country, which. Americans recognize the need to bring millions of those in
this country out of the shadows and onto the path of citizenship
Jay Carney, White House spokesman, was asked about this at a today’s press briefing. Here’s what he
had to say:
President Obama is deeply disturbed by this unwarranted action. Not only does it encroach on the
federal government’s authority to enforce immigration law, but it has the potential of inflaming racial
friction. Thus, he calls on Tustin to immediately rescind this law. At the same time, he has director the
attorney general to explore the possibility of bringing suit to prevent enforcement of this clearly illegal
You also get this quote from “Genaro,” a Latino who says he is 32 and an undocumented immigrant:
I work in construction and gardening. The people who hire me know I do not have legal documents. So,
they break the law just like I did to get here. Who takes them to jail? Nobody arrests them. I don’t think
this law will be enforced either.
Santa Ana College student Luisa Torres, who you have interviewed for other stories, tells you this: Laws
like this are pathetic and dangerous, because they are doomed to fail, but do foment ‘us versus them’
mentality. As a society we should be working to bring people together not further divide them.
Next, you have this quote from Roger Jones, 48, a construction foreman:
How can you be against this law? If you believe that no one should be here without proper documents
then you have to be in favor of it. We are a nation of laws. Those people from Mexico don’t seem to get
Before you begin writing, focus on the lead. Don’t start with the day or place, but rather the effect of
the ordinance. Next, decide how best to describe the ordinance’s details. How should you treat the fact
that there is widespread opposition? Do you summarize it one paragraph and then note specifically who
has come out against the law? Where do you put President Obama’s opposition?
Finally, how will you incorporate the quotes?

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