Kino Border Initiative

Cronkite School, NBCLX shine a light on Title 42’s impact on asylum seekers

Monday, May 2, 2022


Student reporters and faculty members from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication traveled to Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to visit a shelter run by the Kino Border Initiative (KBI) — a faith-based organization that provides humanitarian aid to migrants from southern Mexico and Central America.

At the shelter, student reporters Andrea Villalobos and Brenda Muñoz Murguia spoke with migrants who have been unable to file for asylum because of Title 42, a policy invoked by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in March 2020 to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

A woman from Michoacan, Mexico shared that she and her family have been waiting nearly a year to apply for asylum. Another woman said she and her children fled their home in Guerrero, Mexico after being threatened by a drug gang.

Thanks to a partnership between the Cronkite School and NBC, the Cronkite student reporters were able to share these same stories with NBCLX, a streaming news service that highlights local stories on complex issues.

During a live broadcast from the U.S.-Mexico Border, Villalobos told NBCLX Host Ashley Holt that the migrants’ stories “touched ” her heart. Villalobos and Holt also discussed the anticipated surge of illegal border crossings once Title 42 is lifted.

Cronkite faculty members believe collaborations like the one with NBC help advance the school’s mission to prepare college students for careers in news and media technology. And with more than 75 million monthly active users, platforms like NBCLX allow local stories – like the stories of the migrants at KBI – to reach larger audiences.

“We’re excited because NBCLX has such a wide reach, which is fantastic for our students. They’re committed to sharing quality stories in a fresh, innovative way. We hope to grow our partnership and share our content more widely on this platform,” said Christina Leonard, Executive Editor of Cronkite News.

Learn more about the NBCU partnership with the Cronkite School.

By Andrea Estrada