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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  • What is truth?

    | Anonymous

    Hi, I'm Saul, an Immigrant from Mexico. I would like to share a little bit of my story growing up in the states. So lets start off back in 1990 when I first arrived here at the age of two alongside my family. Growing up here since the age of two had me believing that I had been born here. Of course, as I got older, little by little I…
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  • An undocumented student Interpretation on immigration

    | Yovany Diaz

    Here is a short story before I begin to interpolate undocumented views on immigration in America. My name is Yovany Diaz and I was brought to the United States when I was just 2 months old in 1991. I vaguely remember this time when we lived in Anaheim, California. Anaheim was the state my older brother Bryan was born and it was also the state my younger brother Valerio was…
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  • Chicano first

    | Anonymous

    My father told me when I was 4 years old that I wasn't Mexican and I wasn't American, but I was a Chicano. This was in the early 1970s after the murder of journalist Ruben Salazar by the LAPD. Now, as a father of two kids, I recognize the privilege that comes with being documented, but my anger comes with excluding undocumented students in the pipeline who are being shut…
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  • American by choice

    | Maria Comninou

    I consider myself a "real" American, although I was not born here. After I became a permanent resident, I made a rational choice to become an American. Unlike most, I do not owe my American citizenship to an accident of birth. I am not an "accidental" American. I chose to become an American citizen for two fundamental reasons: The written Bill of Rights; and The constitutional separation of church and…
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