Laura Brache


Laura Brache is a Report for America corps member who works with WFAE and La Noticia, a Spanish-language newspaper based in Charlotte, to cover immigration and deportation issues facing the Latino community. She also reports on the Charlotte immigration court, one of the toughest in the nation with the second highest deportation rate in the country in 2019.

Most recently, Brache worked as a production coordinator at her alma mater, the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She previously worked at WFMY News 2 in Greensboro, where she covered the Silent Sam statue controversy at UNC Chapel Hill and the campus shooting at UNC Charlotte. She is enrolled in Syracuse University’s online master’s program specializing in Journalism Innovation.

Marcial holds baby Sergio at home
Laura Brache/WFAE

Thirty-seven-year-old Marcial is at home and providing again for his family of six. We won’t say his last name because he’s worried about legal repercussions for what he’s about to share. The Guatemalan native spent more than a month in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, mostly at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.

Laura Brache / WFAE

Protests ramped up again in Charlotte over the weekend. One group, called Unity-In-Diversity, gathered Sunday afternoon at Romare Bearden Park demanding justice for Vanessa Guillén, a 20-year-old U.S. Army soldier who disappeared in April from Fort Hood in Texas and was found dead near the military base earlier this month.

USCIS building in Charlotte
Laura Brache / WFAE

It has been nearly a month since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The 5-to-4 vote was considered a win for DACA’s more than 800,000 recipients across the U.S. But there are still thousands of young undocumented immigrants left in limbo. 

Paolo Bompieri
Yoan Roussinov

Just as 23-year-old Paolo Bompieri began training for his last tennis season as a Queens University Royal, ICE announced international students have to leave the country if all their classes are online because of the pandemic.

Young man at a free COVID-19 testing event at Mecklenburg County's Valerie C. Woodard Center on June 27, 2020.
Laura Brache / WFAE

Ever since the coronavirus pandemic started, Vanessa Jacome has been worried. The Latina mother and wife from Charlotte knew her family’s chances of getting sick were as high as any other, but she still took every precaution possible.

New York Pastries and Pastelería staff.
Laura Brache / WFAE

Martin Rojas’ day starts at 6 a.m. when he wakes up and gets ready for another day working with his wife and business partner at his bakery New York Pastries and Pastelería on East Exmore Street in Charlotte.

Laura Brache / WFAE

In June 2005, Eduardo Rivera crossed the U.S. border with his mother to escape a life-threatening situation in Honduras. On Wednesday, the south Charlotte resident was one of many DACA recipients celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision rejecting the Trump administration’s attempt to end DACA.

Pax Ahimsa Gethen / Wikimedia Commons

Twenty-four-year-old Alejandro, who asked to not share his last name, is one of approximately 25,000 recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in North Carolina. His parents brought him to the United States from Mexico when he was 3 years old and, today, he’s a rising senior at UNC Charlotte, pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. 

Laura Brache / WFAE

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Charlotte officially reopened for employees last Thursday, but it wasn't until Tuesday before the agency resumed public services like naturalization ceremonies.