The Nation’s newest contributing writer is hitting the immigration beat during a rabidly xenophobic election cycle. You can read her debate coverage here and here. She chatted with us over email.

When and why did you get into journalism?

In college, I realized I much preferred explaining and analyzing a conflict to mucking about in it as an activist or organizer. That was the beginning of it all.

How did you find your beat?

I started out at Colorlines, where I was assigned to cover enormous issue areas—including immigration.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in journalism since starting?

The pipeline that got me into the business has fallen away. Smaller papers and independent websites can’t always sustain internship programs, and they’re a crucial training ground for young reporters.

Something that will never change?

Readers’ hunger for news, new ideas, and smart analysis.

What’s special about The Nation to you?

Its 150-year commitment to the above!

What does Donald Trump mean to you?

He’s tragicomic political theater, but more troubling is that he speaks to a very real segment of society.

What are you most dreading about the election?

Correcting tired stereotypes and myths about immigrants and people of color.

What are you most excited to cover?

The work immigrant and emerging communities around the country are doing to engage in the election.

What’s the No. 1 thing you never want to hear again?

That undocumented immigrants should “get to the back of the line.”

And the No. 1 thing you wish every American knew about immigration?

Such that there even is a line to get in the back of, it’s a dysfunctional and broken one.