Digging Deeper

Last Updated by OneDetroit on

Marias Video Diary

We asked Maria to share her thoughts. This is the first installment of her video diary, as she counts down her days to her departure.

Maria's Diary - Video Playlist



Maria Garcia Juarez of Southwest Detroit is scheduled for departure to Mexico next week. Her flight leaves Friday May 26. A one-way ticket. She’s being deported. Detroit Public Television’s #OneDetroit has been following her story since she learned she had three weeks – 21 days to leave the country. She’s an undocumented immigrant who came into the country at just eight months old. Now she’s 23, with a year-and-a-half old son and a husband sick with leukemia.

As a juvenile, Juarez committed some crimes, had been addicted to drugs. But she grew up in Salinas, California, where gangs and crime are a way of life. These past few years she’s conducted herself like a model citizen while taking care of her son and husband, both U.S. citizens.

This week Juarez purchased her airline ticket while meeting with immigration attorneys one more time.

Bridge Magazine’s Chastity Pratt Dawsey files this update for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative and#OneDetroit, as Juarez considers the few options she has left. DPTV’s Jordan Wingrove edited this story which was produced by Bill Kubota and Scott McCartney.


Week 1


Week 2


Week 3



21 Days to Exile

A Detroit Public TV and Bridge Magazine collaboration for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative

It all started in Southwest Detroit. As part of our Knight and Kellogg-funded “Roadshows”, Detroit Public TV’s One Detroit team spent three months scouring the area, talking with neighborhood organizations and key stakeholders who then led us to others who could help us tell a complicated and controversial story. 

Sixty people and organizations later, our team developed with our new partners a ninety-minute American Black Journal Roadshow broadcast live on Detroit Public Television that focused on issues critical to Southwest Detroit including immigration, environmental justice and education.

Engagement. Partners. Collaboration.

The night before our broadcast, Carine Saleh, a Dearborn attorney who agreed to be on our panel about immigration, contacted Detroit Journalism Cooperative’s regional editor, Scott McCartney. She informed him that her client, Maria Garcia Juarez, had been given orders to leave the United States by May 26th.  Because all legal avenues were nearly exhausted, Ms. Saleh was now resorting to media attention to help Maria’s cause.  Detroit Public TV and its DJC partner Bridge Magazine debated and investigated the merits of Maria’s story at a rapid pace, because both organizations realized they needed to capture the story in real time. 

On May 5th, we launched #21DaystoExile. Both organizations published the first installment of Maria’s story on Thursday, May 11th on Bridge and DPTV’s MiWeek program. New installments are scheduled for May 18th on MiWeek and May 25th on Bridge and MiWeek.

Maria’s situation is complex and intriguing. Her past as a juvenile offender in California, which triggered her deportation, makes for a case that’s not so clear-cut.

Since she came to Michigan five years ago, she got married to an American citizen, she has been employed; she’s been a student, and she’s now raising an 18-month old son.

And then tragedy struck. Her husband discovered recently that he has leukemia. Because her son has health issues, she is afraid to travel to Mexico with him for fear that care there will be inadequate.

One Detroit and Bridge embarked on this three-week storytelling project precisely because Maria’s story is many-layered and raises dozens of  questions that we felt would foster a robust public conversation. 

Questions like this: What is the immigration process like? How does deporting a person play out? Then there are the existential questions: How long does one have to be in the U.S. before being considered truly American? 

#21DaystoExile was never meant to be a targeted indictment of the system, and it is definitely not a Trump vs. Obama polemic (even in light of Washington Posts recent article). Instead, 21 Days is a real-world example of deportation playing out in real time, where both sides of the immigration debate have the space to make valid points. It is an immersive, journalistic experience into the world of immigration and deportation, where viewers can follow the case online with video explainers, raw interviews, case documentation, video diaries and much more.

Along with its coverage of Maria’s story, the Detroit Journalism Cooperative will take a look at other issues concerning immigration here in Detroit. We’ll look the numbers: How many are being deported? Are they dangerous? What’s different now than years past? What rights do immigrants have? We’ve heard stories from people in Southwest Detroit that there is a new fear of government related immigration status. We’ll be telling some of those stories too.



This has yet to be determined. But on May 26th, Maria Garcia Juarez has a decision to make.  It is her choice: whether to get on a plane bound for a country that she hasn’t visited since she was eight months old - a country where she knows no one - which would force her to  leave  behind her infant son and sick husband; or whether to  let authorities arrest her and deport her to the place of their choosing.

Whatever Maria decides, Detroit Public TV and Bridge Magazine - as part of the Detroit Journalism Cooperative - will be there, following the story, adding to the conversation, and illuminating and informing our audience, whatever the results may be.

Laws Explained

Asylum - B.png









Constitution Free Zone - B.png








Crimigration - B.png







Voluntary Departure - B.png









Ice_Border Patrol Rules B.png











Inside The Interviews 

#OneDetroit producers have spent several hours collecting interviews concerning Maria Garcia Juarez’s deportation case. Some of the comments have appeared on Detroit Public Television’s MiWeek program hosted by Christy McDonald and on DPTV’s One Detroit, Detroit Journalism Cooperative and Bridge Magazine websites. Included here are some extended interview segments of interest to those more interested in Juarez’s story.


Erick Orozco- Husband


Jocelyne Garcia - Sister


Corine Saleh - Lawyer


One Detroit - Four million people. One story.

Maria's Story

Recent Posts

Latest News

5/28/17: Detroit Small Business Investment / Cinetopia Film Festival

Last Updated by American Black Journal Editor on

JPMorgan Chase invests more than $2.5 million in the development of small businesses in Detroit. Episode 4532.

Read More

5/25/17: Mackinac Policy Conference / Maria's Story

Last Updated by MiWeek Editor on

Christy talks with Detroit Regional Chamber President & CEO Sandy Baruah about this year's Mackinac Policy Conference. Episode 605.

Read More

21 Days to Exile: A Detroit Public TV and Bridge Magazine collaboration for the Detroit Journalism Cooperative

Posted by Ed Moore on

Engagement. Partners. Collaboration. Impact. This is the way it’s supposed to work. Those four critical components guide the Detroit Journalism Cooperative (DJC) and #OneDetroit. And they are all playing out over three weeks in May in…

Read More

Support Detroit Public TV’s coverage of news throughout the city of Detroit and beyond with One Detroit.


Sponsored in part by

Masco Corporation Foundation


Connect With Us
Facebook    Twitter    Instagram    Pinterest    Flickr    YouTube

Sign up for DPTV eNews
Search TV Schedule
Find your favorite episodes, programs or movies Back to the TV Schedule Grid
CURRENT PROVIDER: | Change Provider Print TV Schedule

DPTV WORLD Channel 56.2

Detroit Public TV Create Channel 56.3

DPTV Media - Shop - Detroit Public TV's Entertainment Label Visit DPTVMedia.org

WRCJ 90.9 FM - Classical Days - Jazzy Nights - A service of Detroit Public Schools and DPTV

Image - Protect My Public Media