Melissa Sanchez

Reporter

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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 Chicago with her husband, their two young children and two cats. She is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico and El Salvador, and she speaks Spanish.

Melissa Sanchez es una reportera de ProPublica. Se unió al equipo en 2017 y se enfoca en historias sobre inmigrantes y trabajadores de bajos ingresos. Sus reportajes examinando el sistema de multas de tránsito en Chicago impulsó grandes reformas, incluyendo nuevas leyes estatales que eliminaron la norma que suspendía las licencias de conducir por deudas de tráfico. Previamente Melissa trabajó para The Chicago Reporter, Catalyst Chicago, el Nuevo Herald en Miami y el Yakima Herald-Republic en el estado de Washington. Ha recibido varios premios locales y nacionales por sus reportajes. Vive en Chicago con su esposo, dos hijos pequeños y dos gatas malcriadas. Es hija de inmigrantes de México y de El Salvador y habla español.

Three City Sticker Tickets on the Same Car in 90 Minutes?

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.

Chicago Begins To Rethink How Bankruptcy Lawyers Get Paid

Judges are demanding that lawyers tell their clients that their other debts might not get paid, but their lawyers will.

Some States No Longer Suspend Driver’s Licenses for Unpaid Fines. Will Illinois Join Them?

Our analysis shows suspensions tied to ticket debt disproportionately affect motorists in largely black sections of Chicago and its suburbs.

She Owed $102,158.40 in Unpaid Tickets, but She’s Not in the Story

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.

How Chicago Ticket Debt Sends Black Motorists Into Bankruptcy

A cash-strapped city employs punitive measures to collect from cash-strapped black residents — and lawyers benefit.

The Many Roads to Bankruptcy

Here are some stories of Chicagoans driven into ticket debt.

When Is a Story Ready to Publish?

It's a tricky balance: more reporting versus the need to get the story out. And sometimes deadlines come and go.

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