immigration

Immigration Groups Continue To Pressure Rep. Wagner

Nov 25, 2013
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Pro-immigration reform groups are continuing to put pressure on Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-St. Louis County). About 15 people rallied Monday in Kirkwood, calling for her to address comprehensive immigration reform.

Several people spoke at the rally. Some shared stories of being separated from family members after deportation, while others spoke about not being able to leave the country for a loved one’s funeral.

Lawrence Nwachukwu heads Basilico Engineering, a firm in St. Louis. He said he’s been trying to get his siblings to legally emigrate from Nigeria.

Immigrants rally in Kirkwood to push for congressional passage of legislation.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - After 19 years in the United States, some of it as an undocumented Hispanic immigrant, Norma Andrade succeeded three weeks ago in completing the process to become a U.S. citizen.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - When Cileia Miranda-Yuen first came to St. Louis from Brazil in 1999 to pursue a master’s degree at Webster University, her initial reaction to the area was less than positive.

“The first year I was here, I couldn’t wait to find a way out,” said the 47-year-old Clayton resident. “I was really not happy. I didn’t feel embraced. I felt judged.”

NathanReed / Flickr

Earlier this year, St. Louis leaders launched the St. Louis Mosaic Project, an initiative to make the region the fastest growing metro area for immigrants by 2020.

According to Betsy Cohen, who is managing the project, the St. Louis community is making great strides.

The goal of the St. Louis Mosaic Ambassador Program is to make the area more welcoming to non-native people.

(Kate Essig/St. Louis Public Radio)

Nearly 100 activists rallied for immigration reform outside the federal courthouse in St. Louis this morning, calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to vote on a new immigration reform bill (HR 15.)

The bipartisan bill passed the Senate this summer and includes a pathway to citizenship and tougher border security, but has yet to be brought to a vote in the House. 

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Even though most of the political discussion in Congress is focused on fully funding the government, last Wednesday an immigration bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Saturday, a more than five mile interfaith “pilgrimage” from St. Cecilia Catholic Church in south St. Louis City to St. Alphonsus “Rock” Catholic Church in mid-town was aimed at returning immigration reform to the political forefront.

The march was one of 100 similar events held across the country.

Albrecht Dürer / Wikimedia Commons

The Archdiocese of St. Louis is urging pastors and deacons to preach this Sunday on the connection between Catholic social teachings and immigration reform.

Giovanni Madriz is Program Coordinator with the Office of Hispanic Ministry, and says the immigration reform package passed by the U.S. Senate is consistent with Catholic teachings. 

“The bottom line is that justice and mercy have to guide our approach to immigration reform," Madriz says.  "Those principles must be met, must be respected.  Comprehensive immigration reform will be just law, will be merciful.”   

Soccer scores with bringing people together

Sep 4, 2013
Beacon archive | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Moving to a new town or city can be a daunting experience for anybody; friends and family have often been left behind with little to no knowledge of where the path ahead may lead. So imagine the difficulty for those arriving from different countries; having to navigate a new language, traverse a new culture and in some cases learn how to drive on the opposite side of the road.

Local Uzbeks form group to support growing community

Aug 16, 2013
Anvar Zakirov
Ryan Schuessler | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: More than 100 Uzbek immigrants and their families gathered at a park in Olivette over the weekend to observe the Muslim holiday of Eid, a celebration to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The group couldn’t have asked for better weather. There were coolers overflowing with soda, a small pack of children manufacturing an elaborate sand castle, and tables of food, including plov — a national dish in Uzbekistan made of beef, rice and carrots.

(Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Comprehensive immigration reform is critical to sustaining the Midwest’s role as a global leader in agriculture.

That’s the message from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Vilsack told St. Louis Public Radio today that moving forward with the immigration reform plan recently passed by the U.S. Senate is key to retaining international talent that comes to this country to study in the plant sciences.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) says any immigration reform that clears the House will likely be done piece by piece.       

Shimkus echoes Republican leadership who continue to say there’s no way the comprehensive immigration package passed by the Senate will clear the Republican controlled chamber.

“These things can all be handled bit by bit and then you could pull them together later,” Shimkus says.  “But, you won’t see the House passing an overall immigration bill.”

(via Flickr/NathanReed)

Late last month regional leaders launched the St. Louis Mosaic Project, an initiative to make the region the fastest growing metro area for immigrants by 2020.

(Kristi Luther/St. Louis Public Radio)

Just one day before the Fourth of July, St. Louis welcomed more than 50 new United States citizens.

The group took the oath of citizenship during an annual naturalization ceremony in the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis. 

The immigrants came from 26 countries, including Vietnam, Nigeria, Nepal, Albania and Germany.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner of Missouri’s Second District was the guest speaker at the ceremony, which she said was her first.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

 Public officials, activists and religious leaders packed into World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park this afternoon to rally for immigration reform, calling on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to move forward with a plan that cleared the Senate last week.

St. Louis native Vin Ko runs a pick up soccer league in St. Louis that he said brings together everyone from CEO’s to new immigrants.

More than just potential economic benefits, he said the nation needs immigration reform because it’s the right thing to do.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

 Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) cut cake and scooped ice cream during a ceremony to celebrate the volunteers who helped restore and now staff the Amtrak station in downtown Kirkwood.

“We are celebrating the best of this community, which are the kind people who decided this train station is worth saving,” McCaskill said.  “It’s now recognized as one of the best train stations in the country.”

McCaskill also read a letter of thanks from Vice President, and vocal Amtrak supporter, Joe Biden.     

(via Flickr/NathanReed)

The St. Louis region needs more immigrants to help bolster the economy.

That was the message delivered by public officials and representatives from economic development agencies during the launch of St. Louis Mosaic Project on the same day comprehensive immigration reform cleared the U.S. Senate.   

(Official Portrait/via Wikimedia Commons)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) is unsure whether there are enough Democratic votes to pass a bipartisan plan to expand background checks before guns sales.  The Senate Majority Whip said he has yet to conduct a count. 

But as a guest on Fox News Sunday, he said moving the plan through the Senate would be a step in the right direction. 

Ben Moore

About 60,000 Bosnians live in St. Louis.  That’s estimated to be more Bosnians per capita than anywhere else in the world outside of Bosnia.

Bosnians settled in St. Louis during the 1990s, after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and ensuing war and genocide.  Bosnia, or Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of when Bosnians came to St. Louis and questions surrounding Bosnian cultural and national identities remain unresolved.

(via Flickr/NathanReed)

We need more immigrants to help expand the regional population and kick start economic growth.

Those were the findings of a study released last year by Saint Louis University professor Jack Strauss.

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