Remember the case we told you about here in July? It is the horrible story of an 8-year-old Liberian refugee girl being raped by neighborhood boys (also Liberians) and then if that wasn’t traumatic enough for the child, her parents blamed her. Ultimately, social services removed her from the home and later the parents were arrested on various child abuse charges.
But, as interesting and as thorough as this article is, the more incredible thing for me was to see the amount of work the reporter, Daniel Gonzalez, put into the report!
For this story, reporter Daniel González reviewed hundreds of pages of court documents and police records and attended several juvenile-court hearings. The dialog in the story was adapted from police records and transcripts of interviews conducted by police. He also drew from numerous reports about sexual violence and Liberian refugees as well as from conversations with experts named in those studies.
In addition, González interviewed more than a dozen Liberian refugees and immigrants living in the Phoenix area, refugee resettlement workers and rape experts in Phoenix and Liberian consular officials in Chicago. And he talked with residents and managers of the apartment complex where the girl lived.
There was a little touch of political correctness in this article, but all in all it was very informative. Maybe there is hope afterall for the return of good old-fashioned investigative reporting.
I do have one question though about the story. My understanding is that not all Liberians are here under the Refugee Resettlement Program but are here in a special category—Temporary Protected Status—making their continued residency here even more tenuous.
Now, Mr. Gonzalez, maybe you would like to do some work on that van crash near Tucson that killed Burundian refugees last summer.