[Question:] "There are communities in rural American like Lexington [Nebraska] and, I think, Grand Island to a certain extent, Schuyler to a certain extent, Madison where there have been immigration, there has been an immigrant flow coming into the community. Tell me about how that changes the community."
     "Well, it changes the community. Probably the biggest impact would be on our schools and our housing. I know in the Madison area – just because the superintendent was at Bradshaw went to Madison and he was there just when the influx came – and they had families living in cars. And I mean it was very difficult. Their enrollment almost flip-flopped as far as number of immigrants and the normal – I shouldn't say normal – the white population. So I mean that changed. It changed the environment of the town and the community."
     [Question:] "For good, for bad?"
     "Oh, I think there are always good things. I remember being part of the education committee visiting Lexington. And we heard from their student council, and I was very impressed. Probably nine out of the 12 members were immigrant students, and they loved living in rural Nebraska. They came from California and all areas. They were just so impressed. They had such a really good spirit of wanting to learn and becoming involved and participate. So that was a pleasant [experience]. And I know that the faculty at Lexington found it a real challenge. Some of them said they went other places to teach and came back because they liked the challenge of dealing with [diversity]."
     [Question:] "What were the challenges?"
     "Well I imagine the language is always a challenge. The cultural, learning about the different culture. I think probably just rewarding as a teacher just to see how, you know, you can help influence a young person's life."

Elaine Stuhr – Immigration


Excerpts from Elaine Stuhr’s Interview:

Beginning Farmers
Farm Strike Movement
The Bust of the 80s
Anyone Can Lobby
Women & WIFE
Raising Kids for Export
Environmental Laws & Agriculture