Aug. 23, 2019
Best of the States
Foresight, persistence, sources put AP ahead on green card restrictions for legal immigrants
Few reporters were paying attention to a draft rule barring legal immigrants from getting green cards if they received benefits like Medicaid or food stamps – but AP’s Colleen Long was.
Long, AP’s Washington-based Homeland Security reporter, had spent months asking U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services when the final rules would be published, making them official. With a heads-up from sources, she was eventually able to get an advance briefing and interview, writing the story just before heading off on vacation. Then, as soon as the rule appeared, she alerted the Washington desk to move the story, giving AP a major beat over other news organizations. By the time the White House and Homeland Security held briefings, Long already had all the key details on the wire.
For her skilled source-building, persistence and meticulous reporting, Long wins this week’s Best of the States honors.