Read stories from the new Americans our network has helped, our partners and volunteers working on the ground, and the New Americans Campaign.

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Claudia Morales: The judge was an immigrant as well. Her story was very similar to mine.

I am originally from Santiago, Chile, and I have lived in the United States for almost 19 years. My mom had two siblings that were already living in the United States and they convinced my parents to move here. They thought there would be better opportunities for my sister and me. So after my grandparents […]

March 30, 2020

Chinyere Melville: “It’s an indescribable feeling. I saw grown men cry.”

I’m originally from Trinidad and Tobago. I came here when I was 19 years old to go to college, but wasn’t able to finish my degree at the time. In 2012 I got my green card through marriage and became eligible for citizenship three years later. But I did not actually make an appointment to […]

February 24, 2020

Julie Garner-Pringle: At the citizenship test, “I was so nervous I actually stumbled as I read the English sentence even though it’s my first language!”

I’m originally from Winnipeg, Canada. I have a teaching degree, so I first went to Hungary to teach English, and then to Egypt where I met and married my now ex-husband. Our sons were born in Egypt and, 20 years ago, we decided it was time to leave there to raise our kids. My ex’s […]

February 12, 2020

Zulema Chavero: “I have the opportunity to vote for people who represent my values.”

The United States seemed as though it was another universe, I never thought that I was ever going to come here. I was born in Mexico. I was really happy there. I studied law and I wanted to be a lawyer. But after I finished college, I met my husband who is an American citizen […]

January 10, 2020

Luis Paulino: “When I became a U.S. citizen I just felt complete. I found a voice that I never had.”

I was born in the Dominican Republic, that beautiful Caribbean island. In 2006 my father obtained his green card and we decided to migrate to the United States in search of better opportunities; in search of the American dream. My parents particularly wanted a better education for my younger siblings and myself. Building a platform […]

December 16, 2019

Eric Holzapfel: “My Citizenship Story Came Full Circle”

I came to the United States first with my mom when I was 4 years old. She came to study education for 6 or 7 months, and wanted to open a language academy in Ecuador for people to learn English. As my mom was finishing her education there was a financial crisis in Ecuador, so […]

October 31, 2019

Fikile Ryder: “I Fell in Love with the Goal of Keeping Families Together”

My name is Fikile Ryder, I was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. I first came to the United States in August of 2003. I came with a temporary work visa because I got offered a job to work in Virginia with a child who had autism. I didn’t have permanent status, so when my visa ended […]

October 23, 2019

John Jabez Ledres: “When I check off my candidate on the ballot, that is when I will feel the power of citizenship”

My name is John Jabez Ledres. I was born in Cebu City, in the Philippines. My mother was a dentist as well as a tutor and my father was a CEO for a nonprofit. They had really good jobs but even so they saw that there was not a lot of opportunity in the Philippines, […]

October 7, 2019

Jorge Salles Díaz: “I Want to Make Immigrants Feel Like They Belong”

Jorge Salles Díaz is project coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) in Nashville, a New Americans Campaign affiliate. Jorge is a 2018 graduate of Vanderbilt University and this July 25, he became a United States Citizen. We caught up with Jorge just hours after he took his citizenship oath. It wasn’t […]

August 14, 2019

Cathleen Farrell: “Hey That’s Our Flag!”

Cathleen Farrell is the director of communications of the National Immigration Forum. She is a native of Canada, and moved to the United States with her two Colombian-born daughters 19 years ago. I was living and working in Bogota, Colombia, and I moved to Miami Beach, Florida in 2000, on an H-1B visa to help […]

July 1, 2019