Define American

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

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ALL STORIES

  • 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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  • United States is where immigrant aren't accepted but tolerated

    | Irving Hernandez

    My name is Irving Hernandez and I lived 11 years illegally in United States. Graduated with a media degree and just like Vargas I done journalism together with people working in USA Today, Washington Post, Boston Globe through UNITY and sponsored by NAHJ. Unlike most stories supporting amnesty mine is more about educating to abide laws if you want to be taken seriously. What Vargas is promoting is amnesty and…
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  • Am I not American?

    | Anonymous

    I came to the US legally with a Working Visa as a professional. Two years later, I found myself unhappy. I was growing up as a professional and as a person as well. The principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” had gotten to me. I wanted to…
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  • Living in fear.

    | Anonymous

    Since I was thirteen, I've been neglected, sexually abused, and beaten by boyfriends. I was raped at sixteen and impregnated. The police and the state did nothing to help me in any of these situations, at all. I am unable to get health insurance because I can not identify who raped me...I was in an extremely abusive relationship when I met my fiance. He is only my fiance because we…
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  • Alabama Laws

    | Patrick Kinsley

    A song I wrote a few weeks ago.
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  • Another face of Immigration

    | Veronica Hoyos Leonard

    When I was a young girl in San Miguel Allende, Mexico we had a gardener with the name of Herminio, He loved to work the soil and take care of the plants. Herminio was shy, not very educated man and had a hard time expressing himself. But every year Herminio went to work in the “pizca” or crop harvest in California. Immigration caught him many times, and as soon as…
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