What to expect from the Pittsburgh's new immigrants project

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Today, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette begins an in-depth examination of Pittsburgh's recent immigrants -- the thousands of people from other countries who have flowed into the region over the past 40 years.

Our region has one of the lowest numbers of foreign-born immigrants in the United States during that period, but also one of the most highly educated, and it has been dominated by newcomers from India, China and elsewhere in Asia.

Tomorrow, we'll look at the historic immigration wave that reshaped Pittsburgh and America in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

For the remainder of the year, there will be periodic reports lifting up many aspects of our immigrant influx.

We will look at how ambitious immigrants have started new businesses here, the way that our universities and medical complexes have attracted residents from overseas, and the recent surge of some refugee groups, particularly from Bhutan and Somalia.

We'll examine the phenomenon of academic superachievers among the children of immigrants and the way international students have molded the culture at Carnegie Mellon University.

We'll also try to unravel the seemingly endless debate in Washington over immigration laws and policies, and we'll weigh the impact of immigrants in other cities in the United States and Canada

In early June, a parallel project called "Odysseys" will be launched on the Post-Gazette's website.

Overseen by assistant managing editor Mila Sanina and multimedia producer Steve Mellon, Odysseys aims to profile one person living in our region from each of the 193 countries that are members of the United Nations.

Combining stories, videos and photos, Odysseys will continue for the rest of the year. The project will seek help from the community in finding people from all of the U.N. member states.

Together, these two projects will shine a light on the growing diversity of our region -- a rejuvenation that will become increasingly important in the years to come.

Mark Roth: mroth@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1130 and on Twitter: @markomar.


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