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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  • Years of Uncertainty

    | grandeur narciso

    On behalf of all the legal or either undocumented long term contract workers here in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the days of uncertainties is approaching due to the reasons of same as the issues of undocumented worker in the mainland US. We as mostly legal contract workers here doesn't even get any fair and just treatment we deserved for the years we help build this entire community.…
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  • Why Mexican Nationals Choose Illegal Immigration Over Simply Following The Rules...

    | Doug DeWitt

    As a citizen of Austin, Texas, who works most of the year in New Mexico, I find myself in the midst of Mexicans... those of Mexican descent born here in the United States, the occasional Mexican foreign national who became a US citizen through the INS, and quite a few undocumented foreign nationals of Mexican descent as well. In the medical profession, my co-workers are largely older and conservative. Among…
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  • American, Americans

    | Anonymous

    I, like many children of the baby boomer generation were part of a great assimilation experiment; we were taught to speak only English and punished if we spoke Spanish or any other language in school. Consequently growing up in Denver Colorado became a confusing experience. At home my parents spoke English and Spanish, listened to music by Frank Sinatra, Perry Come and the Trio Los Panchos. We ate tortillas, beans…
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  • What America Means To Me

    | Anonymous

    Why is America special to me.? Because we have a country that is free of many things. Such as freedom of religion freedom to speech we are a free country which most countries may be envious of are Freedom. The importance of immigrant's is they bring new cultures to America which makes America so unique.
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  • The Citizen

    | Cody Souza

    I believe as an American, that anybody can be an American if they can contribute something to benefit the country, work hard to support themselves and be independent. I believe any and all people can be American, but sadly most do not. Others think that to be "American", you must have all these documents and papers and cards but all those things won't mean a thing if the person receiving…
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