Studio Akemi
MAC-4.png

Migrahack 2016

I participated in the Migrahack Chicago sprint in summer 2016. Sprint participants used data and storytelling tools to illuminate immigration issues. The event attracted journalists, designers, developers, immigrants rights attorneys and non-profit advocacy groups from across the country. We formed teams and created visual journalism projects. Together, we used the power of data visualization to tell stories.

A journalist and an immigrant rights advocate had a story they’d been wanting to tell. Jose Isaias Lara-Serrano, a migrant worker from Mexico arrived in New Orleans, LA after Hurricane Katrina to work in the construction industry. He along with many others helped rebuild the city after the storm. One day, Louisiana Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained him on his way to work. 

For the full experience, you can download the index.html file. Open it in your web browser.

MAC-1.png
The data amplifies one migrant's story

The data amplifies one migrant's story

We began our data narrative with a voice-over from his wife. she recounted the day ICE took him. We decided that this intimate recounting would serve as a portal to examine the strategic criminalization of immigrants over time by ICE on national, state, and local levels. By criminalizing re-entry for migrants that went back and forth between the United States and Mexico, ICE distorted Obama-era guidelines that advocated for focusing on violent criminals. Our amazing data journalist helped us dig into the public data and we discovered more than we expected.

MAC-3.png
MAC-4.png
MAC-5.png
MAC-6.png
Form & content

Form & content

The team went with a simple approach to the user interface because we knew we had compelling story backed up by data (and we were crunched for time). I put together the website on CartoDB’s Odyssey platform with help from my developer mentor who worked for the San Francisco Chronicle. Our journalists wrote the copy and our interactive charts allowed visitors to understand the dramatic shifts in immigration enforcement post-Katrina.

MAC-8.png
Journalism and advocacy

Journalism and advocacy

During the arch of the weekend, tension arose in one particular team between a journalist and immigrant rights advocates. They struggled to define what it is they were making. Was it a piece of journalism first or was it advocacy? Was there a mix? Our team, though, enjoyed our collaboration and the potential to help make a case for Jose.