Valeria Fernández


Valeria Fernández is a recipient of the 2018 American Mosaic Journalism Prize awarded by the Heising-Simons Foundation for freelance journalists doing long-form narrative covering underrepresented or misrepresented communities. She has been reporting on Arizona’s immigrant community and the many angles and faces of the immigration debate for over 15 years. In 2004, the National Association of Hispanic Publications named Fernández “Latina Journalist of the Year." Fernández currently freelances for CNN Español, Radio Bilingue, PRI's Global Nation and The World, Al Jazeera English, Phoenix New Times, and The Guardian. Fernández co-directed and produced "Two Americans," a documentary that parallels the stories of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and a 9-year-old U.S. citizen whose parents were arrested by the sheriff’s deputies during a workplace immigration raid. The film won the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Arizona International Film Festival. It aired on Al Jazeera America in 2013 and was an official selection of the DOCSDF Mexican Film Festival. In 2014, Fernández co-directed six short documentaries along the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as part of the international web-documentary Connected Walls. In 2015, she was a producer and reporter for the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting on a project that cast light on the economic and social impacts of a mine spill in Northern Mexico that broadcast in PBS, San Diego. The multi-media project won an Arizona Press Club recognition for environmental reporting. As a fellow for the International Center for Journalists she published stories in 2017 for PRI's The World, and NPR’s Spanish podcast Radio Ambulante on human rights violations tied to the incarceration of Central-American youth in Mexico. In 2018 she was a fellow for the Adelante initiative of the International Women Media Foundation. She's covers issues at the intersection of trauma, deportation and migration.



| Valeria Fernández

The Mexican government says it will help people who are deported, but they often are left to make it on their own

Omar Blas Olvera visited Sea World, in Florida, with his wife Gloria and children, Esperanza and Angel, in May, 2017. The family lives separately for now, since Omar was deported from the US to Mexico…

| Valeria Fernández

Madre salvadoreña con traumas de violencia enfrenta corte de inmigración sin ayuda legal ni psicológica

En California por lo menos 17 mil salvadoreños esperan proceso en las cortes de inmigración. Algunos son migrantes que han huido la violencia para buscar asilo en Estados Unidos. Su primera cita con un juez…

| Valeria Fernández

She escaped violence in El Salvador, but there’s little time or resources to heal while seeking asylum in the US

Yocelyn’s 18-month-old has chickenpox. Her younger brother, who is 21, caught it too. “I take the kids to the doctor because they have Medi-Cal, but we have to put up with it if we get…

| Valeria Fernández

An American family finds their way in Mexico after deportation

Katerina Barron speaks with her mother Lucy Karrys at lunchtime in a local restaurant as her children Adero and Sedona play. Her family moved to Mexico in June 2017 after her husband was deported. Credit: Valeria…

| Valeria Fernández

He’s been deported twice. This third time, his family is leaving the US with him

Katerina Karrys Barron packed her two toddlers in the back seat of her gold Honda sedan and set course towards Mexico. She hadn’t slept all night, and it seemed like the months her husband was…