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This is the final week of our immigration series. Thank you everyone for sticking with me through what has been some challenging content. Next week we will lighten it up, but first, let's hear some immigration stories from the USA.
Immigration in the USA forms a part of many political agendas in the USA, so we will hear more and more about it as the candidates for the next US President spend more time on the campaign trail. For this week, we bring you stories of immigrants to the USA in their own words.
Question to you: If you are living in the US, do you know anyone who is an immigrant? Has knowing them changed your perspective on immigration in any way?
I was deported after being legally in the USA for over fifty years and receiving social security. They took my S.S. away. I am 69 years old and had not visited my country in all that time. My sons are all U.S. Citizens and my mother too. I do not know anyone in my country. It’s been a nightmare. I was hoping the plane would crash. That’s how depressed I felt. I think it was an injustice to take my only source of income. I thought this was a just country.
Luis Eugenio
Dominican Republic
I came to the US on the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program. I have been here since July, 23, 2014 and my visa was for 1 month. Right in the middle of the fun I was having around the US with 35 Iraqi students and 10 Americans, my family called me and told me that they have left home and they are refugees. Now my village was taken over by ISIS and they are killing people for their religious beliefs and thousands of the young girls are now taken as sex slaves. So I applied for asylum in US before my visa expired and I did my interview 2 months ago. Now I’m just waiting for the letter to come and if they say yes then I’m safe here. If not then I might have to go back and I could be killed there.
Portland, OR
I was brought here when I was 2 years old. My dad came to New York a few years before but left my mom pregnant. Sadly, he couldn’t see me when I was a baby due to him being illegal. He sent for us when I was 2 1/2 years old. I crossed the border with my mom and granddad and my aunt. Back then it was easier than it is now. My mom told me she was lucky that I was a quiet baby so we had no trouble. When we came to new York I lived in my uncle’s house (who is a citizen) and I moved to new jersey 3 months later. I’m 15 now and I still get really upset because I want to be legal here. I want to help my parents out and get a good job and buy them their own house, but sadly I can’t. I want to study cosmetology or psychology but me being illegal I can’t.
New York
My husband is from Guyana, South America. He has been in the US for approximately 40 Yrs. He has 3 sons that are citizens, and 5 grandchildren. He has a wonderful job and we have a happy 18yr. marriage. We have been in the “green card” process for 18yrs. He has a minor criminal history and 1 felony arrest that happened 25 yrs. ago. Well he is currently in deportation jail in Greenfield, MA. I am at my wits end with this whole process. He has no family or friends in Guyana – what the heck is he going to do there! Now, I have no income, I can’t pay my rent, heating bill and will have to give up the car we are paying for. His case is simple – they can close his case because it is too old. All the case files don’t even exist anymore. He has been an upstanding “citizen” for over 25 yrs. We live like a “normal” couple – we pay our taxes and go by the book for everything! INS people are cruel, heartless and ready to put you on a plane to nowhere!
Meriden, CT
I went school in Canada and moved to Texas in 2010. At that time I was thinking it will be hard to settle in because of my race. However this was not the case. Within 3 months I got my first job and from there on I am just progressing. My family moved here in 2012. I would just like to thank the US for giving me an opportunity to pursue my dreams. Of course all countries have pros and cons but I still believe US is the land of opportunities. It has all the tools and resources you need to succeed. You don’t need to be rich to enjoy all the privileges this country has to offer. You can still live a beautiful life. People are so helpful here. You get the respect you deserve. I was not born here but I wish I did.
Thank you US for everything.
My father was heading to work when the immigration was waiting for him. They had a warrant for him. They took him even though he has been living here for 40+ years. Now he can’t see his newborn grandson, nor me or my brother including my little sister. My parents are divorced and who is she supposed to give her advice, give her that comfort that my father did. He paid all of his taxes and did everything by the books. I just can’t believe this is what we call justice in America. This isn’t the land of the free anymore. My father is my role model. He raised me and my older brother by himself. I just can’t believe how they can do this to an innocent man. He’s been in the immigration holding facilities for a year now!
Pasadena, TX
I’m 42 and live in Morocco with my deported husband. His visa had expired and he overstayed. He saved my life as I was divorcing an abusive husband of 20 years. I relocated and we married. He was taking care of me and my son. I was back in college. Until the day they found him. They deported him and left me homeless. I only had enough money to buy a ticket to his country as nobody would help me. We are now stuck here and making it but struggling. I say why would my country deport someone who was working and helped me a citizen make my life better. We are out of ways for me to come home and nobody to help us.
I am a U.S. and Canadian citizen and have lived here in the U.S. for over 9 years now. My boyfriend was brought to the U.S. (without papers) when he was 17. He came with his dad, leaving his mom and siblings behind in Mexico. He has never been back and has now lived in the U.S. for over 14 years. When they arrived at the border town in Mexico, they were kidnapped for ransom. Their kidnappers started to take them out to the desert (which many times means death.) Thankfully, however, he and his dad managed to escape and continue their journey. Despite having had that harrowing experience, my boyfriend explained that he and his dad had a rather easy crossing, not suffering nearly as much as many do. Anyway, we plan to get married soon, but our future is uncertain. In the beginning of this year, he got pulled over for driving with a suspended license. Instead of just being given the standard fine, he was also given a court date. Before I met him, I had a very different perspective over illegal immigration. I was very “by the books” and not very understanding of what immigrants go through. But now I have a lot of respect for all immigrants; they are so determined and work so hard and are willing to suffer everything in order to provide a better life for their families. His story and his perspective have helped me broaden my perspective and have a greater compassion for others.
No city given
I came here when I was 3 years old. I’m currently 16. Everyone else in my family that is here with me is legal. Everyone but me. I’m close to finishing high school… too close. I love America, this is my home, but this is no way to live. I didn’t choose to be here, they did… and now I’ll have to deal with the consequences. I just want to go to college, study medicine and save lives. Is that too much to ask for? I just want to belong here, I want to be an American citizen.
Lost Dreamer
Somewhere within America
I came to America from United Kingdom London in 2005 for a holiday. I was 18 years old at the time I got a 3 months visa waiver, I had no plans staying over my visa but faith had its own plans. I meet guy and we married in 2007. We continued living together till we went to a lawyer and advised me to go back to England as that’s the only way for my hubby to apply a petition for me. Meanwhile we took his advice I came back to UK so when he tried to process for me the petition we found out that I have ban for 10 years as I overstayed my visa more than 1 year.
I was brought here when I was 10 years old. I am now 28yrs old. I went to elementary, middle and high school. I have three daughters with my fiance. He is a U.S citizen born in California. He wants to apply for my residency here, but we are scared that because I was brought here illegally they could send me back to El Salvador. I have been working as a Medical Assistant for 8 yrs and started taking courses at a local college to get my nursing degree. We want to get marry but we don’t know if USCIS will sent me back.
Wheaton, MD
I’m married a wonderful citizen American for 8 years, live together for 10 years, but we are living out of states since 2004 due to visa denied. The reason is ” sham divorce for immigration” from consulate officer…for 10 years my husband never go back to USA and I’m so scared to go to US consulate to interview for visa (for any kind of visa). I just feel so sorry for my husband. He could not see his parents for longtime… because we love each other so much no matter what we stay…but still…feel so sad and don’t know what to do next.
Ho Chi Minh City
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