Mary Sanchez

Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., with family roots in Mexico, Mary Sanchez brings an uncommon perspective to the issues that tend to divide Americans into groups of “us” and “them.” A reporter foremost, Sanchez has spent years covering immigration, schools and other volatile beats for The Kansas City Star.

Now an editorial columnist for the Star, Sanchez understands that Latinos in the United States — now the largest minority group in the country — make up a number of diverse and complex communities. Sanchez knows that commentary on immigration, culture and politics needs to reflect that fact — the one-size-fits-all approach no longer works.

Across the United States, some Latinos are prospering and gaining political power, while others are running up against a changing mood in the American public. Making sense of all these currents requires more than just retelling stories or sharing of thoughts. It requires a reporter’s instinct for discovering how issues play out on the street, at work and in the lives of ordinary people.

Mary Sanchez strives for this cross-cultural analysis in her writing. She pushes readers to an understanding of the issues from all sides, and provides an incisive, compelling voice to illuminate these issues in new ways.

Recent Work

Police Suicide Is the Toll of Unaddressed Post-Traumatic Stress Opinions
Police Suicide Is the Toll of Unaddressed Post-Traumatic Stress
February 15, 2019
by Mary Sanchez

The black silhouettes posted to BlueHelp.org are immediately recognizable as police officers. Nameless and faceless, each outline represents an officer who took his or her own life. Three police suicides are listed for February 11, the day that the Kansas City Police Department announced the death... Read More

Congress: Listen to Young People on Gun Violence Opinions
Congress: Listen to Young People on Gun Violence
February 8, 2019
by Mary Sanchez

President Donald Trump neglected to mention gun violence in his State of the Union address. The following day, the congressional stalemate over what to do about the killing and mayhem played out at a House Judicial Committee hearing on gun violence. Most of the news coverage... Read More

Trump Has Built His Wall Already Opinions
Trump Has Built His Wall Already
February 1, 2019
by Mary Sanchez

There are a lot of ways to build a wall, as Donald Trump can attest. Although it's quite possible that even the president doesn't fully grasp what a cadre of lawyers, policy makers and advisers are accomplishing on his behalf. He's simply too focused on his... Read More

Wall Is Irrelevant; There's So Much More We Could Do at the Border Opinions
Wall Is Irrelevant; There's So Much More We Could Do at the Border
December 21, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

Donald Trump should have realized that his presidential clout was weakening when a GoFundMe account became the leading source of funds for his long-desired "big, beautiful wall." The social media effort, started by an Iraq... Read More

Time for Republicans to Make Their Peace With LGBTQ Rights Opinions
Time for Republicans to Make Their Peace With LGBTQ Rights
December 14, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

Perhaps it was all those holiday wishes for "Peace on earth" and "Goodwill to mankind" that crept into the mind of retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. In his farewell address to Congress this week, the Utah Republican floated an... Read More

U.S. Bears Responsibility in Conditions That Created the 'Caravan' Opinions
U.S. Bears Responsibility in Conditions That Created the 'Caravan'
December 7, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder." Most Christmas seasons, the Bible passage from Isaiah prompts only the best of humanity to come forth with abundant blessings for the baby Jesus. Read More

Hate Crime Stats Leave Much to Be Desired, But What They Tell Is Disturbing Opinions
Hate Crime Stats Leave Much to Be Desired, But What They Tell Is Disturbing
November 16, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

When FBI released its report "Hate Crimes Statistics, 2017" earlier this week, Srinivas Kuchibhotla's name was nowhere to be seen. Yet his widow, Sunayana Dumala, knows his murder in Olathe, Kan., was a hate crime. She... Read More

President Trump Courts Midterm Votes With Absurd Questioning of Constitutional Right to Citizenship Opinions
President Trump Courts Midterm Votes With Absurd Questioning of Constitutional Right to Citizenship
November 2, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

President Donald Trump, in a pre-midterm snit, is obsessing over his fear of brown babies. It's not surprising. After all, this is a president who manages to label any group of Latino migrants as "very bad people." It was only... Read More

Independent Candidate in Kansas Underscores a Broken Political System Opinions
Independent Candidate in Kansas Underscores a Broken Political System
October 30, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

Kathleen Sebelius might as well be spitting into the Kansas wind. Don't try this. People who have stood against the blistering gales of the prairie can attest to the futility. And yet Sebelius, a former Kansas governor and U.S. secretary of health and... Read More

The GOP is Writing Off Young Women, and Will Suffer for It Opinions
The GOP is Writing Off Young Women, and Will Suffer for It
October 13, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

One deftly worded tweet. That's all it took for a 19-year-old college student to school GOP pooh-bah Mike Huckabee about voter demographics. Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, likes to let loose his stilted wit on Twitter, and the other day he chose to mock pop star... Read More

Here's Wishing Jason Kander Strength -- and a Speedy Return to Public Life Opinions
Here's Wishing Jason Kander Strength -- and a Speedy Return to Public Life
October 6, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

When Barack Obama was asked about the future of the Democratic party in a final White House interview, without hesitation he said one name: Missouri's Jason Kander. Obama likely recognized that Kander had the zest and charisma to enthrall voters, and that he could do so ... Read More

The Senate Judiciary Committee Sets a New Low Opinions
The Senate Judiciary Committee Sets a New Low
September 29, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

Hell hath no fury like an entitled man scorned. America met that man on Thursday, in all his caustic glory. He's federal Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, now well on his way to becoming the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. Read More

Is Senate Committee Equipped to Grasp Allegations Against Kavanaugh? Opinions
Is Senate Committee Equipped to Grasp Allegations Against Kavanaugh?
September 22, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

For all their well-learned politesse, the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have scarcely been able to conceal their determination to get Christine Blasey Ford out of their hair. Read More

Trump's detention policy: Fiscally exorbitant as well as morally bankrupt Opinions
Trump's detention policy: Fiscally exorbitant as well as morally bankrupt
September 15, 2018
by Mary Sanchez

President Trump's callous disregard for his fellow citizens is well known to people of a certain hue, shall we say. It was in full display this week in his insistence that only a few dozen Puerto Ricans died as a result of Hurricane Maria, whereas nearly 3,000 ... Read More

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