Define American

Transcending politics through a new conversation

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  • I am American

    | Anonymous

    I come from parents who are natives of Mexico. I come from a father with a 3rd grade education and a mother with a diploma from a Catholic Convent, though my parents both were living in the United States when they met. They started a life together in one of Los Angeles County's many immigrant enclaves, and I was meant to be an American born success story.


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  • Exiled in Queretaro, Mexico

    | Anonymous

    Querétaro, Mexico Oct. 11, 2011 My name is Nicole Salgado, and I'm an ecologist, educator, and activist originally from upstate New York. I met my husband in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2001, after which my life was changed forever. Because of his immigration record, my husband had what is considered the permanent bar.

    We wanted to make things right, but our options were limited. Our lives…

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  • American, Dutch, or German?

    | Anonymous

    When I was 3 years old, my mother met my father in Berlin, Germany while he was based at Tempelhof. My mother was a Dutch citizen but a Permanent Resident of the US from previous US marriages. My father was a US Army Soldier. He is and always will be the most amazing man in my life. After knowing me and my family (1 brother, 1 sister), he decided…

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  • Torn Apart: United by Love, Divided by Law

    | Judy Rickard

    I am American. My wife is not. We are a lesbian couple, a lesbian binational couple. We suffer from DOMA, Defense of Marriage Act, and its effect on the U.S. immigration laws because my spouse is a legal stranger based on current law. We have had to be torn apart. I have had to take early retirement to be with my wife. I have had to leave behind aging…

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  • Nazry’s story: A changed life that deserves a second chance

    | Hope Mustakim

    My name is Hope Mustakim and my husband is Nazry Mustakim. He is a native of Singapore and has been a U.S. resident alien since moving here in 1992 at the age of 13. To make a long story short, Nazry was recently and unexpectedly detained on March 30, 2011 at our home in Waco, TX. The ICE agents said that his prior drug charge in 2005 violated the…

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