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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

Mei Yu Huang: “In China there are no elections…[don’t] take voting for granted.”

Mei Yu Huang first came to the United States from Taishan, China, on the coast of the South China Sea. This conversation was translated by Allen Wong. I came to the United States 22 years ago from Taishan, in Guangdong province. I came looking for a better life. I have three children. My second daughter […]

June 19, 2019

Noi: “As an American I Feel Free—Like I Can Be Myself.”

I was born in a small village in Surin province in Thailand. I first visited the United States 17 or 18 years ago because I fell in love with Bill and I wanted to be with him. We met in Bangkok where I worked as a cook in a hotel restaurant. After we met we […]

January 8, 2019

Ida Soon-ok Hart: “Growing up in America, I didn’t know that I wasn’t a citizen.”

In August 2017, I was driving through downtown Los Angeles and I saw signs at the Convention Center—Oath of Citizenship—with arrows pointing the directions for parking.  I felt a deep sadness that I had never finished my own citizenship process. I told myself not to be afraid and to try again—maybe I would qualify now […]

August 2, 2018

Maribel Hernandez: “I am doing this for my kids.”

My name is Maribel Hernandez and I’m originally from Mexico. My mom brought me to the United States when I was eight years old. I have two kids of my own now; my son is 12-years-old and my daughter is eight-years-old. I want to become a citizen to have more job opportunities. I am doing […]

July 30, 2018

Cesia Gonzalez: “You have to dream big!”

My name is Cesia Gonzalez and I was born in Honduras, but came to the United States from El Salvador in 2013. My husband and I wanted to give our children a better future. I have a ten-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter who was five months old when we arrived. The United States so […]

June 29, 2018

Emanuel Anzules: “I always tell my immigration story.”

My name is Emanuel Anzules and I’m from Lima, Peru. I have a fancy title—Mr. United States 2017—that I won in the national competition for men between the ages of 19 and 34. Men come from all parts of the country and convene in New Orleans, Louisiana over a weekend in August to battle it […]

June 27, 2018

Juan Carlos Gonzalez: “I feel like a member of the American tapestry, so why not become a citizen?”

My name is Juan Carlos Gonzalez and my parents brought me to the United States. First we migrated from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, where my brother and my sister were born. When I was in second grade, we returned to the Dominican Republic. Eventually I came back to the United States to attend […]

June 21, 2018

Eldy Montilla: “I am motivated to have a voice.”

My name is Eldy Montilla, I’m originally from Venezuela. My mother brought me to the United States when I was six years old and, back then, I didn’t want to come. Now I’m 33 years old and I realize the United States has given me a lot of opportunities that I probably wouldn’t have had […]

June 5, 2018