Category Archives: California

A Mother’s Wish

La iglesia y la plaza de Cocula, México

Many migrate for a chance at a better life. However, for my mother, this was not the case. She grew up in a small village in Jalisco, Mexico. She lived in a modest home with both parents, four sisters, and two brothers. Her father drove a Pepsi truck, and her mom ran a restaurant. My mother’s favorite place to go ... Read More »

Refugee From Civil War in El Salvador

Martin Baro – one of the clergy killed by soldiers at the University 1989 The university was surrounded by soldiers. We saw them take out the priests. Then shot them and we saw their blood stain the floor . Everything in their head was leaking out and their eyes still open. They were still breathing. I haven’t been able to ... Read More »

Myriam – “Walk of DREAMers”

Myriam was one of our featured storytellers at the “Walk of DREAMers” event in April 2017. She’s a high school student in Redwood City and an active member of the Dream Club there. She wonders about a classmate from the Republican Club who gives her pause. Read More »

From Aztec to Gringa

She had a lingering desire to go back, but she knew she had to stay to guarantee a secure and prosperous future for her children. During Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency, he made a statement about immigrants. He stated, “Remember, remember always that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists”(1932). This quote shows there ... Read More »

Escaping My Own Darkness

Orlando was one of the presenters at our “Walk of DREAMers” storytelling event on April 23, 2017. An excellent student who received a full scholarship to one the most prestigious universities in the country, he still fell victim to a deep depression. He was haunted by the difficult feelings and challenges that arise for many undocumented “Dreamers.” Below is his ... Read More »

Emanuelo (Italy)

My family’s most recent immigration story occurred so long ago that, when interviewed, my mother had to recount the number of “greats” that came before grandfather. My great-great-great grandfather, Emanuelo Oliva, was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1840, and immigrated to the United States with his family, including his three brothers. The family eventually made their way across the country to California, ... Read More »

Working Towards a Better Future

San Joaquín, Municipio de Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco

I was born on June 21, 1967 into a family of 13 who all crammed into a two bedroom house in San Joaquín, Municipio de Atotonilco el Alto, Jalisco. I was given the name Jose Luis Reynoso. I lived in un rancho[a ranch] called La Colonia where four other tiny houses recited on a large desert plane. Our house was ... Read More »

Americhina: The Immigration Story of Y. L. Chew

Photo of Y. L. Chew at her home in San Leandro, California, taken circa 2016.

Imagine a woman—40-years-old yet unmarried—in a country that does not recognize her hardships, a country only recently recognized by the United States. Imagine having lived there for her whole life, persecuted by nearly everyone around her, and known by no one in the journey that lies ahead of her. This was China in 1981, a year of great uncertainties and ... Read More »

Escaping Oppression

This is my great aunt currently.

Editor’s note: Slavery is an integral part of the American story and those who were forced to come to the US in chains, are no less immigrants than any other group. Not only was their freedom taken, but in many cases, their personal family history was lost. On this web site of immigration stories, we pick up their descendants’ story ... Read More »

The Success Through Struggles (Philippines)

“I cannot live like this anymore, we cannot live like this anymore, we have to do something about this,” I said to myself as I look at my struggling family. This marked the start of our pursuit of happiness in America. My name is Doris Perez, and I was born and raised in the Philippines. I met my husband here ... Read More »

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