Reporter | Race and Immigration

Rao wrote for The Press of Atlantic City and The Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to Minnesota in January 2012. She previously covered the federal government for the Star Tribune.

New census data is the deepest look yet at Minnesota's racial and ethnic diversity

Community leaders and policymakers hope the new detail will help them better serve subgroups.

Through the eyes of a refugee: Minnesota State Fair inspires awe

Some Minnesotans are taking Ukrainian refugees to the fair this year for a taste of our state's traditions.

'I felt desperate': Journey from Ecuador to Minnesota marked by poverty, exploitation and hope

Fort Snelling immigration court sees 12-fold surge in Ecuadorian cases since 2018.

Two years later, a renewed push to help Afghan evacuees gain citizenship

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others have introduced legislation.

How far does Supreme Court decision on web design for gay couples reach in Minnesota?

Groups in the state are still parsing out the effects on Minnesota's law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations

Families, community call for independent investigation of crash that killed 5

Muslim leader says they want to know more about circumstances surrounding the collision.

Reckless drivers killed their loved ones. Families say such drivers aren't punished enough

The horror of Derrick Thompson's crash that killed five in Minneapolis has rekindled outrage over those who kill with vehicles.

After hitting pedestrian in California, Derrick Thompson complained he was charged too harshly

Depositions in a civil case show how Thompson's reckless driving left a wake of destruction long before the crash that killed five women in Minneapolis.

Results of federal investigation into Minneapolis police met with hope, skepticism

The question on many people's minds is whether the eventual consent decree will prompt meaningful change.

Record Minnesota immigration court backlog leads to long waits and frustration

With more than 23,300 pending cases, immigrants often wait years for a decision.