Two Journal staff members, Managing Editor Christine Tannous and News Editor Hanna Holthaus, covered a Webster trip over fall break to Donna, Texas. Students and faculty spent the week volunteering at an immigrant support center.
The trip opened their eyes to the issues facing those on the front lines of the immigration crisis. They interviewed women who spoke of the pain they felt when they could not see their families for decades. They saw volunteers cry after witnessing migrants’ struggles. They witnessed parents struggling to cope with their trauma while simultaneously trying to care for their children.
When they returned, they realized immigration is a larger topic than what they saw in Texas. Immigration affects everyone, regardless of who you are or where you come from.
Over the next two months, Journal staff members investigated immigration through the lens of St. Louis. They spoke to volunteers teaching immigrants how to read English. They interviewed professors who narrowly escaped war. They talked to business owners whose investments revitalized deteriorating neighborhoods.
According to the Migrant Policy Institute, 44 million immigrants lived in the U.S. as of 2016. In 2017, foreign-born residents comprised 15% of the population according to U.S. News. Immigrants make up a big part of the country, and the influence of migrants is unquestionable.
We want to thank those who spoke with us for giving us a better understanding of how immigration affects the city around us. Through this project, we hope to verbalize that importance and hope our readers gain the same understanding we did.