South Texas correspondent
Sandra Sanchez has been an award-winning newspaper journalist for the past 30 years — including many years covering the Southwest border and immigration for USA TODAY — and twice served as a Pulitzer Prize jurist.
She began her career in her hometown of Washington, D.C., working for The Washington Post where she wrote a weekly Small Business column after graduating from The American University. Her first full-time reporting job was with the News-Press in Fort Myers, Florida, before she was hired back to the D.C.-area as a researcher for USA TODAY. When the (first) Persian Gulf War broke out in 1990, she moved up to rewrite reporter specializing in breaking news. In 1994 she moved to Austin as USA TODAY’s Southwest correspondent. During her tenure with the nation’s largest newspaper, she covered the Los Angeles riots, Oklahoma City bombing, Hurricane Hugo, and many immigration stories from Arizona to Brownsville, Texas.
After her second son’s birth in 1997, Sanchez took a desk job as assistant national editor for the Austin American-Statesman where she helped direct 9/11 coverage. In 2002, her family relocated to Waco, where she wrote a history book for a local college. By 2006, she was hired as a weekly columnist and assistant opinion editor for the Waco Tribune-Herald.
She was the opinion editor for The Monitor newspaper in McAllen, Texas, from 2013-2018 during the initial surge of migrants on the Southwest border. Her immigration editorials were part of the newspaper’s 2014 Texas Associated Press Managing Editors “Community Service Award.” In 2016 she was named Texas APME second-place “Star Opinion Writer of the Year,” and three-times won the “Outstanding Columnist” School Bell Award by the Texas State Teachers Association/National Education Association.
She is passionate about border and immigration issues and loves living on the border as a correspondent for Nexstar Media Group’s Border Report. Her husband, Carlos Sanchez, is a former journalist who works for Hidalgo County and they have three children (none journalists) and three devoted dogs.