This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Elisabeth Ponsot

Associate web producer

Crossing the line at the border: Dying to get back

While the number of illegal crossings at the border has plummeted dramatically — roughly half the number than during peak years — just as many people are dying. Meaning for those coming into the country illegally, it is now more deadly, more lethal, than at any time in recent U.S. immigration history. For years the age […]


Searching for answers

Gladys Dominguez is the 19-year-old daughter of Alfonso Martinez Sanchez, a father of five American children who lived in the United States for more than 20 years. After being deported from Vista, California, Alfonso tried to return to his family in the U.S. three times, but was repeatedly stopped by Border Patrol agents and deported […]


Video: Echoes of a shooting

On December 14, 1992, exactly 20 years before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a student went on a sudden rampage at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts. The gunfire killed a beloved student, Galen Gibson, and professor, Ñacuñán Sáez, and wounded four others. PBS Need to Know sat down with survivors of […]


Kidnapping victims lived in ‘dungeon-like’ environment

From PBS NewsHour in Washington: Details have emerged about the specific ordeal endured by three women held captive in a Cleveland home for 10 years. Ray Suarez talks with Peter Krouse of The Cleveland Plain Dealer about the “dungeon-like” conditions, the charges against suspect Ariel Castro and reports of neighbors trying to report Castro to […]

Currently unemployed?

[poll id=”79″]


The admission arms race

by Marian Wang | April 23, 2013 As college-bound students weigh their options, they often look to the various statistics that universities trumpet 2014 things like the high number of applications, high test scores, and low acceptance rate. But students may want to consider yet another piece of info: the ways in which schools can […]


Restoring the Rockaways

Nestled along a residential stretch of Seagirt Boulevard in Far Rockaway, the Seagirt Boulevard Community Garden has been a green fixture in this Queens neighborhood for over two decades. A photograph of the space from 2009 reveals row after row of neatly planted greens, herbs and flowers — some held up toward the sun by […]


Could the Boston attack impact U.S.-Russia relations?

by Guest Blogger for James M. Lindsay, Council on Foreign Relations The two Boston Marathon bombing suspects have reportedly been identified as Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. While their link to Chechnya remains unclear—the brothers lived in Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan and have been residents in the United States for some time—it has thrown a […]


Home-grown terrorism

by Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica | April 19, 2013, 4:31 p.m. As an eighth-grader in a Cambridge public school, suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was quiet, friendly, spoke good English and seemed at home in his adopted country. While hundreds of police officers pursued the 19-year-old during a nationally-televised rampage across Boston Friday, a former […]