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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  • Reshma Saujani Defines American

    | Anonymous

    Reshma Saujani is an Indian-American lawyer and political entrepreneur. She was the first Indian-American woman (and the first South Asian American woman) to run for Congress.
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  • My America

    | Anonymous

    MY DEFINITION OF AMERICA My mother brought me to America when I was in my teens, she wanted a better a life for me, more opportunities to succeed without repression. My husband’s ancestors came from Ireland and Italy. My grandmother always used to tell me, “Mija (child) cuando the vallas a los New Yores, (when you leave to New York) you are going to see wonders! There the buildings are…
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  • Borders

    | Anonymous

    The civilized world believes in good and equality. IMHO, there should be no borders for anyone. If God as we believe created heaven and earth then is man so arrogant to dictate borders. I need to know what others think.
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  • Chris Weitz - How I Define American

    | Anonymous

    I don't define American by a bloodline that reaches back to the Mayflower. The way that I define American is by being aware of the hard work that people have done to make this country great, understanding that I have not achieved success on my own, that the highways that I drive on, the house that I live in, the food that I eat is brought to me by people…
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  • Julie Erfle: What Makes Us American

    | Anonymous

    After my husband's death, many had hoped that I, a white, middle class woman, would heed the call for punitive and enforcement-only immigration policies. But that's a band-aid. One that fails to address the underlying problems, or offer any type of long term solutions. Instead it creates a wedge issue, one that encourages division, and fear, and myths, and shuts down the very dialogue that could bring about solutions. I…
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