Melissa Sanchez is a reporter at ProPublica. She joined ProPublica in 2017 and is focused on immigrants and low-wage workers. Her work here examining Chicago’s punitive ticketing and debt collection system helped prompt major reforms, including changes to state law and an end to driver’s license suspensions over ticket debt. She previously worked for The Chicago Reporter, Catalyst Chicago, el Nuevo Herald in Miami and the Yakima (Wash.) Herald-Republic, and has received numerous local and national awards for her reporting. She lives in a 1926 brick bungalow on Chicago’s Northwest Side with her husband, their two young children and two cats. She speaks Spanish.
Immigrant Children Sent to Chicago Shelters Are Traumatized and Sick, in Some Instances With Chicken Pox or Tuberculosis
Hundreds of children are being detained in shelters run by Heartland Human Care Services, which says it has made changes since allegations that children were neglected and mistreated.
A federal appeals court said the city’s aggressive legal strategy, aimed at discouraging motorists with unpaid ticket debt from filing under Chapter 13, violated the basic protections of bankruptcy, and the city was doing so mostly to generate revenue.
Por generaciones, la agencia de Illinois para el bienestar infantil ha fracasado a la hora de atender adecuadamente a las familias de habla hispana cuyos niños tiene bajo su cuidado.
For generations, Illinois’ child welfare agency has failed to adequately serve Spanish-speaking families with children in its care.
Task Force on Tickets and Debt Suggests Reforms but Needs Chicago’s Mayor and City Council to Finish the Work
A report from the Chicago Fines, Fees & Access Collaborative responded to many of the problems ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ Chicago revealed.
Después de la controversia, Heartland va a cerrar cuatro albergues para jóvenes inmigrantes en Illinois
Al mismo tiempo, otro operador de albergues está intentando expandir su presencia en Chicago.
At the same time, another shelter operator is trying to expand its footprint in Chicago.
Proposals from the 14 candidates range from studying ticketing enforcement disparities to overhauling payment plans.
We’ve collected data on 54 million tickets issued over the past two decades in the city. Search for your address and compare your ward with others, and see how Chicago’s reliance on ticketing affects motorists across the city.
The group is part of an effort to make vehicle ticketing less unfair.
Chicago Throws Out 23,000 Duplicate Tickets Issued Since 1992 to Motorists Who Didn’t Have Vehicle Stickers
The move is the city’s latest effort to reform its troubled ticketing and debt collection practices.
The changes signal a growing acknowledgement that the city’s reliance on fines and fees to generate revenue has come at a significant cost for some residents.
The proposal, the latest in a series of reforms aiming to respond to growing public pressure, would make it easier for motorists to avoid having their driver’s licenses suspended.
The proposal is intended to discourage drivers from filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but it does nothing to change onerous payment plans for motorists who don’t file at all.
Chicago Alderman Proposes Reining in Ticket Penalties That Drove Thousands of Black Motorists Into Debt
The proposal would cap late penalties and create community service alternatives to some fines.
It helps showcase our work and add context and value to our stories. It’s also a good way to get pizza from us.
Anna Valencia proposed creating city sticker options so low-income drivers can afford to be in compliance and avoid costly tickets.
A conversation with Chicago journalist Jackie Serrato about bottom-up reporting, building trust and covering local arrests by ICE.
Documentos confidenciales revelan detalles sobre los problemas para encontrar a los padres y las experiencias traumáticas durante la política de tolerancia cero de la administración Trump.
Confidential records reveal details about struggles to find parents and traumatic experiences during the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance crackdown.