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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  • Faviola How I Define American

    | Faviola Tapia

    Even though I was born in America, people still treat me as an "illegal" alien so I am defining American for all Latinos who are being affected by the HB56 law in Alabama and by discrimination and racism. We deserve to be here in America as much as anybody else who works hard to better themselves as well as their country.
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  • NeverEnding Story

    | Anonymous

    Since before I was born my mother tried to leave Venezuela, her first option was Canada. But between one thing and another her idea wouldn't materialize until 2002. At the time, she had already sensed the debacle of socio-economics and politics in our home country, it was around 1980. Then, I was born in 1981 and grew in an environment of fear and paranoia, learning how to prevent from being…
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  • I am American

    | Terri Holley

    I was born in America as were my parents and grandparents, before and long ago my family came to America from Scotland and Ireland for a piece of the dream. Whether we are better off for having done so cannot be determined, but it is clear to me that MY America has lost it's way where immigration and corporate influence in government are concerned. Very strange behavior for a country…
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  • IN GOD WE TRUST , THE LOVE OF AMERICA

    | Anonymous

    I came here (02-21-1999) with a Visa (C9), and got married with kids. Anyways, my old lawyer in New Mexico got me a SS card and a work permit before I moved to Memphis and got a new lawyer, but he said he he doesn't think I can be an American Citizen because of my Visa, so I have to go back to Ghana. I know I'm not going anywhere,…
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  • A Child of German Immigrants

    | Kathleen Ruhl

    My family came to the U.S., from Germany, on the ships Winter Galley in 1738 and Molly in 1741. They came by way of Rotterdam, Holland to Deal, England, and arrived in Philadelphia, PA. I grew up in Union County, PA and many family members are living there. I just recently learned of my dad's side of the family ancestry through a family genealogy booklet that he gave to me…
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