Best of AP — Honorable Mention


AP finds a new way to explain an old but increasingly important policy: immigration parole

Refugees crowd a naval vessel docked at Vung Tau, a coastal town near Saigon on April 9, 1975. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 lets the president grant entry for humanitarian reasons and matters of public interest. Previous administrations have admitted large numbers of Hungarians, Vietnamese and Cubans. AP PHOTO / KIM KI SAM

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Writer Gisela Salomon profiled immigrants who benefited from four previous major waves of immigration parole — Hungary in 1956, Vietnam in 1975, Cuba in 1980 and Venezuela in 2023 — to show how the U.S. policy has evolved over seven decades. President Joe Biden has used parole authority to admit more than 1 million people to the United States, far more than any of his predecessors in 72 years. Parole was a major sticking point in Senate negotiations, which is when Salomon set out to explain its impact through the eyes of immigrants who benefited. She found two for a Jan. 18 story with Colleen Long in Washington, but was still determined to find one immigrant from four major waves of parole. After weeks of effort, she found a Hungarian who came to the U.S. in 1956, someone from Vietnam who came in 1975, a Cuban who arrived in 1980 and a Venezuelan who came last year. She secured photos for each vignette with an assist from Texas chief photographer Julio Cortez, and photo editor Kii Sato found archival images. It was the latest example of Salomon’s persistence and skill earning the trust of immigrants to share their personal stories.

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