Reporters on the Job

For Love of Which Country? The Monitor's Peter Ford, English by birth but French by adoption since his marriage to a Frenchwoman (or perhaps since his first taste of Camembert), realized Wednesday just how far he has traveled from his native roots.

"When Jacques Rogge announced that London would host the 2012 Olympic Games (see story), I was as disappointed as everyone else in the crowd waiting for the news outside the Paris town hall," says Peter. "It only occurred to me later that I could equally be happy that London had won."

Meanwhile, he notes, the Parisian municipal authorities have a mountain of depressing work ahead of them, dismantling all the "Paris 2012" flags, banners, posters, and illuminations that have adorned buildings from the Eiffel Tower to local libraries in recent months, not to mention every single municipal vehicle.

"Having lost three bids in 20 years, I don't think Paris will try to host the Games again anytime soon," Peter says.

On the Road Again: For her story on repatriating illegal Mexican immigrants (see story), staff writer Danna Harman went to the airport hangar in Mexico City where the migrants fly in, and then traveled on the buses that take them to other local stations, where they can catch a bus home. "The whole process is very respectful. Many of the immigration officials there know very well what they've gone through," says Danna. "One of the officials told me he had been in the US illegally for 13 years - now he is on the other side of the coin."

Nonetheless, she says, it is a bleak moment for many - and one that is exacerbated by misunderstandings. "When asked in the US where they're from, they often say Mexico, rather than naming their home state. So they're dropped in Mexico City - and those who live much further away have no ticket to get home. They are reduced to begging for a peso here, a peso there."

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

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