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Jean Guerrero to join The Times as an Op-Ed columnist

A portrait of a person
Jean Guerrero has been a regular opinion contributor in recent months.
(Stacy Keck)

The following announcement was sent on behalf of Editorial Page Editor Sewell Chan and Op-Ed Editor Terry Tang:

We’re delighted to announce that Jean Guerrero, an award-winning journalist, essayist and author, is joining the Los Angeles Times as an opinion columnist. An authority on Latinos, immigration, the border, white identity politics and threats to democracy, Guerrero has been a regular opinion contributor in recent months.

Guerrero is the author, most recently, of “Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump and the White Nationalist Agenda,” a deeply researched biography of the Santa Monica-born architect of Trump’s immigration policies. Her first book, “Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir,” won a PEN Literary Award. Guerrero’s essay in Wired, “My Father Says He’s a ‘Targeted Individual.’ Maybe We All Are,” was included in “Best American Essays 2019.”

Guerrero was among the first reporters to document the Trump administration’s practice of systematically separating migrant families at the border. While she was an investigative border reporter for KPBS, the San Diego NPR and PBS affiliate, her story about a 1-year-old pulled from his father’s arms aired on “PBS NewsHour” months before the “zero tolerance” policy was announced.

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Her 2017 Emmy-winning series, “America’s Wall,” revealed the historical impact of border barriers before Trump’s wall: primarily, rerouting migrants into dangerous areas, such as the ocean and the desert, where thousands have died since the 1990s. For another series, “Death at the Border,” she hiked one of the busiest smuggling routes in Arizona, following a perilous search for lost migrants.

Guerrero has dedicated her career to the stories of outcasts and outsiders. During the Obama administration, she focused on the people behind his record-high deportations and their mental health struggles. She entered Tijuana’s storm drains to chronicle how hundreds were living, some killed during police raids, others forced into drug rehab centers without mental health evaluations. She followed a Somali refugee’s surgery as she sought to break the stigma around seeking medical help in the U.S. for complications from childhood genital mutilation. More recently, for the Daily Beast, she exposed the drug trafficking conviction of a Mexican MAGA conspiracy theorist.

Guerrero started her career as a commodities correspondent in Mexico City for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, covering women battling machismo, opium poppy farmers parting ways with the cartels, and indigenous land defenders killed while protesting multinational investments.

A native of San Diego, Guerrero is a graduate of USC’s journalism school and has a master of fine arts degree in nonfiction from Goucher College. She starts July 12.


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