Selected Writing

For The Washington Post

Bob Menendez’s golden ruleMore than four decades ago, before his suicide, before all this, Mario Menendez had some advice for his son. Which is why the federally indicted senator says he’s a man of his word. (Jan. 23, 2024)

Francis Suarez’s after-partyThe best presidential participation trophy might not be to have gotten close to beating Trump, who is dominating in the polls despite facing legal peril, or even to have gotten your ideas out there, but rather to have gotten close to the front-runner in a different way. (Sept. 27, 2023)

The charmed lives of retired senators“After a while, you got to say enough. Enough! I’ve been to enough openings and enough meetings with constituents on everything from agriculture to housing to health to God knows what — yeah, that’s part of the job! When you’re 73, isn’t it time to just kind of move on and let somebody else take over?” (Sept. 26, 2023)

Vivek Ramaswamy and the irrepressible Model UN ‘power del’When Ukraine’s war with Russia came up in Fox News’s Aug. 23 GOP presidential primary debate, former kid diplomats found themselves back in the unsettling realm of their adolescent foreign policy debates, of strong egos in ill-fitting suits. (Sept. 4, 2023)

The former congresswoman whose party is targeting her son
“But it’s just never-ending, the onslaught of bills and the press conferences and the hateful words. It impacts me emotionally.” (July 24, 2023)

In the MAGA mirror, Trump’s legal peril looks like a personal threat
As Trump is arraigned in Miami, some supporters worry his prosecution means something (vaguely) sinister for them — even if they don’t have government documents stashed in their homes. (June 13, 2023)

The polite struggle to do something — anything — about Clarence Thomas“I respect him,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said of Chief Justice John Roberts. “I really think this is his court and he can make of it what he wishes.” (May 5, 2023)

The (almost) final day of drag in TennesseeTonight’s show is the fourth in two weeks that Yasmine has volunteered to perform in, as a protest against the law, driving to venues from her other job operating a forklift and other machinery at a warehouse near Knoxville. “Manly things,” she notes. (April 3, 2023)

For Politico Magazine

On the Run With George Santos
That’s what a donut is. Nothingness surrounded by nutritional nothingness. Ask George Santos a question, and the response will, too, leave you unsated. (Jan. 31, 2023)

Colombia’s First Black VP on Black Power, Climate Reparations and the Assassination Attempt on Her Life “That’s the history I come from — from that rebellious people who never accepted slavery. We’re not descendants of slaves. We’re descendants of free people who were enslaved.” (Jan. 20, 2023)
Read also in Spanish.

Inside the New Election Legal Industrial Complex It’s Friday evening, two weeks before the Georgia Senate runoff. Uzoma Nkwonta is several thousand feet in the air aboard an American Airlines flight heading back to D.C. — still in the navy suit and Calvin Klein loafers he wore to court that day — when he opens his laptop to discover his client, none other than Sen. Raphael Warnock, had won his lawsuit against the state of Georgia. (Dec. 21, 2022)

How Dobbs Triggered a ‘Vasectomy Revolution’ Inside a black trailer vinyl-wrapped with illustrations of cartoon sperm, the faint smell of burning flesh fills the enclosure. Here, in this unconventional operating room — situated in a Planned Parenthood parking lot — the doctor is trying, with mixed success, to get his patient to relax. (Dec. 2, 2022)

How ‘Dreamers’ Became America’s ‘Forever Children’ In some ways, official Washington’s thinking continues to be molded by the notion that, when it comes to the limited set of rights that undocumented people have, exceptions are reserved for the truly exceptional. “I wish that our people just got to be people — not extraordinary, exemplary,” says Jonathan Jayes-Green. “I wish our people every opportunity to be mediocre.” (Oct. 31, 2021)

How the Migrant Caravan Built Its Own Democracy
To hear President Donald Trump tell it, the caravan is nothing more than a “lawless” mob of potentially violent criminals. But dozens of phone interviews and WhatsApp conversations with advocacy groups and migrants, as well as social media updates from groups on the ground, show that the migrants have organized a surprisingly sophisticated ruling structure, complete with everything from a press shop to a department of public works. (Dec. 12, 2018)
Read also in Spanish.

For Vox

Why it’s so hard to rewrite a country’s constitution
Sometime between October 2020 and September 2022, the effort to amend Chile’s social contract unraveled. (Sept. 17, 2022)

The Supreme Court is keeping Trump’s promisesAfter deplaning on the tarmac of Joint Base Andrews on his last day in office, Donald Trump made a pledge to the crowd of supporters gathered there: “We will be back in some form.” (July 2, 2022)

The “natural-born citizen” ceiling
Immigrants who have lived abroad or grown up with stories of political chaos know that the most violent days always start out in an eerie quiet, as Jan. 6, 2021, did in Washington, DC. At one end of the National Mall, a Capitol police officer banged on the door of Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). (April 12, 2021)

Other Publications

Javier Zamora and the Canon of Undocumented Literature In a world that is not this world, I can walk into a bookstore and the memoirs about being undocumented and about the experiences of the migrant are not found in the “immigration” section. In such a world, perhaps an undocumented canon does not exist because no one is undocumented at all. (The NationOct. 31, 2022)

The Heaviest, Lightest ThingFor how often my community gets called “undocumented,” perhaps no one in this country possesses more documents, or clings to them more fiercely to prove their existence, than we do. I keep my papers in a yellow manila envelope. (The AtlanticJuly 5, 2021)