Click to play video Terry Greene Sterling on the people in her book 'Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone'

Recent Blog Entries

Thanks, South Central, for celebrating diversity, for uniting us instead of dividing us.
Up now on The Daily Beast, a travel story about my trip north of the Arctic Circle this January, to see things before they change.  
Mar 23 Arizona Immigration-Law Backer Woos Mexico
Many American Hispanics and Mexicans in Mexico see Arizona as a racist state, thanks to SB 1070.
Mar 18 Pew: Crossing border illegally more than once drives uptick in federal immigration crime
In 1992, 12 percent of sentenced federal offenders were unauthorized immigrants, the Pew Center reports today. Ten years later, 48 percent of sentenced federal offenders were unauthorized immigrants. The reason for the uptick:  more unauthorized immigrants who were caught crossing the border more than once have been sentenced to hard time – two years on […]
Dec 06 Luis Gutierrez, Immigration Reform and the Demographic Tsunami
Rep. Luis Gutierrez on 2014 immigration reform: “It will not be perfect, and it may not even be pretty.”
Nov 22 Shattered Dreams: Jan Brewer’s Arizona fails to investigate 6000 cases of child abuse
I’m not saying Juana could have prevented the massive CPS negligence, but with her education, heart and work ethic, she would have improved the culture at CPS, and would have helped the fragile, abused children who crossed her path.
About Terry
About Terry
Photo courtesy Arizona Highways Magazine

Journalist, author and public speaker Terry Greene Sterling has covered Arizona for over 25 years. During her 14 years as an investigative reporter for Phoenix New Times, she was named Arizona Journalist of the Year three different times. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post,  Rolling Stone, Slate, The National Journal, The Daily Beast, Newsweek,, High Country News,and Arizona Highways, among other publications. Terry has been honored with more than 50 journalism awards, including the 2010 James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, which she won with a Village Voice team of writers.

She likes to write about people who live right next door, in hidden worlds. She immersed herself in the closed communities of Arizona’s undocumented immigrants and their tormentors to write Illegal: Life and Death in Arizona’s Immigration War Zone. She wrote the book because no human being is illegal. Instead a human being is a human being, with character assets and character flaws, and each human being has a fascinating story. The book has been or is used as a textbook at Goucher College, Arizona State University and Marshall University. Deeply honored it  will be community read at South Central College in Minnesota.

Terry  is writer in residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, where she teaches narrative journalism.  She is a guest faculty member for the Poynter Institute. Follow her on Twitter at @tgsterling.  Reach her at

  1. Hi,

    I discovered you via Twitter and really appreciate your perspective and information you provide (plus great photos that make me homesick).

    I am a Latina raised in Tucson and Michigan, and I really really appreciate having a white ally who clearly cares about what is happening to immigrants, esp. on the southwestern border.

    As a Latina who grew up in the SW and married an Mexican national, I have experienced racism my whole life. To see a white person openly recognize it….that it exists and is wrong…well it is a balm to the wounds I endure and gives me hope that justice will prevail. I was so surprised to see the content of your site and the twitter posts that I actually had to do a double-take at first. Then I followed you!

  2. i finally got the chance to sit down and read a good hunk of this blog, and not surprisingly, it’s TERRIFIC and IMPORTANT and HONEST. terry is an amazing writer and reporter — you are in good hands, readers!

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