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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  • How I Define American

    | Denise Waldron

    My definition of "American" is someone who transforms adversity into achievement. I do not know anyone more skilled in this endeavor than undocumented immigrants. That is why I sing extra loud "home of the brave" whenever I have the occasion to sing the American Anthem. I am showing respect for them. When we can say, "America is the home of the free," it will be because of their contribution.
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  • The Lady that sees angels

    | Margaret Boardman

    Lorna Byrne, a lady from Ireland, that has seen angel and talked to them all her life, said that the Angels told her God brought all the people from all nations here to America for a reason. She is on You Tube. She told the interviewers that America is special and is meant to be a leader in the world. She said the angels here are even very different from…
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  • Sen. Harry Reid Defines American

    | Anonymous

    Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid of Nevada describes what he thinks of when asked to define “American”: “My wife’s father: born in Russia. My mother in law – extraction: Lithuanian. My grandmother from England. So when we hear all this talk about immigration, and it’s not good for the country, well, it’s been good for me. And I think it’s good for the country... it sets us apart from any…
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  • Free, Equal, Self-Determination

    | Bill Combs

    The Founders created the definition of an American as one "endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights," with a government instituted to protect those equal and individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our Nation has not always lived up to these goals, with, for example, our ignominious treatment of the country's blacks and native Americans. What makes an American unique in the world though, is…
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  • My rich immigrant background

    | Tina Rizkallah

    On my father's side I am a 3rd generation American. My great-parents immigrated from Italy in 1903. On my mother's side, our family came from Spain, through Mexico, then settled in the Provincia de Nueva Mexico in the Kingdom of New Spain - what is now know as the State of New Mexico, during the Reconquista. We've been here since before there even was a United States of America! I…
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