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.
Mientras pasan los meses en albergues de Chicago, menores migrantes contemplan fugarse y hasta suicidarse
Documentos internos revelan la desesperación y el tedio en una de las más grandes redes de refugios para menores en la nación.
Yes, but you wouldn’t know it if we relied solely on the agency paid to protect thousands of unaccompanied immigrant children in Illinois.
Internal documents reveal despair and tedium in one of the nation’s largest shelter networks for unaccompanied minors.
For the first time, the city’s database, which tracks more than 28 million parking and vehicle compliance tickets, is easily available to the public.
Seven weeks after the city pledged to address the issue, drivers are still on the hook — and now Chicago’s ticketing practices are becoming an issue in the mayor’s race.
Informes revelan supervisión “laxa,” actividad sexual en centros de acogida de niños inmigrantes en Chicago
Documentos recientemente obtenidos aportan detalles sobre incidentes preocupantes, incluyendo a menores teniendo relaciones sexuales en una sala de televisión y la huida de dos niñas durante una excursión a un museo.
We’re Writing About Problems at the Immigrant Shelters Housing Children and Teens — in English and Español
“Lax” supervision at Heartland shelters contributed to runaways, sexual activity and alleged inappropriate relationships.
Records Reveal “Lax” Supervision, Sexual Activity at Chicago-Area Shelters Housing Immigrant Children
Newly obtained documents provide details on troubling incidents, including children having sex in a TV room and two girls running away on a museum field trip.
“Ocultos a Plena Vista”: Cientos de Migrantes Menores son Albergados en una Red Opaca de Refugios en Illinois
Documentos y entrevistas revelan acusaciones de abusos, amenazas y relaciones inapropiadas.
“Hidden in Plain Sight”: Hundreds of Immigrant Children and Teens Housed in Opaque Network of Chicago-Area Shelters
Documents and interviews reveal allegations of abuse, threats and inappropriate relationships.
Chicago Hiked the Cost of Vehicle City Sticker Violations to Boost Revenue. But It’s Driven More Low-Income, Black Motorists Into Debt.
Now, a former official regrets the move and wants the city to revisit it. Some policies, she said, are “terrible.”
We heard from you about how ticket debt, especially from $200 city sticker citations, has affected you. And we would like your help as we continue our reporting.
Chicago has issued 20,000 duplicate city sticker tickets since 2007. City officials are now looking at whether this violates a city ordinance and say motorists might be in for a refund.
Judges are demanding that lawyers tell their clients that their other debts might not get paid, but their lawyers will.
Our analysis shows suspensions tied to ticket debt disproportionately affect motorists in largely black sections of Chicago and its suburbs.
Still, we want to tell you a little bit about her, and about some of the other people we interviewed, because they helped inform our ticket debt investigation.
A cash-strapped city employs punitive measures to collect from cash-strapped black residents — and lawyers benefit.
Here are some stories of Chicagoans driven into ticket debt.
It's a tricky balance: more reporting versus the need to get the story out. And sometimes deadlines come and go.