Define American

Using the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation around citizenship

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  • I am a DREAMER...well almost...

    | Anonymous

    Meet Gabriela. A DREAMER... well almost... She missed the age-at entry requirement by a couple of months.

    After reading her story, don't you think she more than deserves a shot too?

    "I, Gabriela Monico, hereby declare as follows: My name is Gabriela Monico. I am a resident of California. I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. I came to the United States in November 2005 on…

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  • Done Dreaming

    | Esmy Jimenez

    My name is Esmy Jimenez. I was raised in a small town in Washington State known for agriculture and friendly people. I graduated from the local high school as the Senior Class President. I was in National Honor Society and enrolled in all the AP classes my school provided. I even ran on the cross country team and (attempted) to play tennis. On weekends I worked for a catering company…
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  • No Papers Necessary.

    | Anonymous

    My name is Pat. My first "American" family member got to these shores in 1621. His name is William Claiborne and there is a plaque dedicated to him in the church at Jamestown. However, the other half of my family is Irish. The Irish side of my family, while I am not certain, very likely arrived here without any papers since they fled here during the famine. So, in…

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  • I am an American, but I live in the shadows...

    | Anonymous

    In 1998, I met my immigrant husband in Chicago while I was in AmeriCorps and going to school. By that time, he had been in the US for almost 10 years--he had earned his GED, learned English, and moved up from his original position as dishwasher to become a kitchen manager. We fell in love. In 2002, we got married in his hometown in Mexico. We were told that petitioning…
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  • I Teach Americans. So What?

    | Anonymous

    While sitting at a scholarship pageant, I remember how an idyllic teenage girl explained that her dream was to become a teacher. I was a cynical teen in those days and so I rolled my eyes as her sweet, but very breathy voice tinkled the words, "I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way." I had to chew on the sides of…
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  • What I'd take with me on my self-deportation

    | Theodre Seeber

    My Gun, my collection of Leatherman Knives, and a database of edible flora and fauna in my new homeland- That I would be conquoring. Oh, and an English-to-whatever dictionary, so I could talk to the locals. Funny, that's more than your average illegal brings with them today to America- because they're too stupid to prepare.
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  • We are all descendants of immigrants.

    | Jerry Moler

    My ancestors first came here in 1750 from Germany. If any American traces their ancestry they will find their family immigrated to this country from somewhere else including those we consider as American Indians. Their ancestors also came here from other lands. What we really need is a better, faster way for people to come here legally. America is the melting pot of the world. It is that which makes…
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  • American by water, blood, and desire

    | Janice Hallman

    Most of my ancestors came to American by 1700. So you could say they were American by crossing the waters of the ocean. My grandfather always said, when our ancestors came across the ocean, the other half were here to meet them. This half were the Cherokee people who intermarried with them. Then during the Revolutionary War, many of my ancestors were patriots who pledged their blood for life, liberty…
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  • American!

    | Anonymous

    How would I describe what American means.To me its an honor.Its a bunch of immagrants who found a land and decided to make a better life for them and their kids.So the tracks have been layed,and years later here we are decideing,whos American and who isnt.Being American isnt something u decide to be but whats inside you.To built a better life for yours and to help make our country stronger,by…
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  • Applause for Angry America

    | Dee DeVille

    I am inspired by the bravery and activism of our young people. OWS is an exciting and rebellious movement not unlike a small nation 237 or so years ago who rebelled against King George and England. The greed of the American oligarchy and denial of the American Dream will not stand. The Angry Americans (OWS) have withstood assault, pepper spray, jail and humiliation, but they will not stop. Truly American…
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