Tag Archives: San Francisco

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 »

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 »

La Venida (Guatemala)

It was very hot in there and we had to wait for 3 days inside this tank, not knowing when I would get to see the world. I was born in Guatemala, a little town called Chimaltenango, where farming is still the way to go. The only way of living is crops, with only my mother and my grandfather. I was ... Read More »

My Immigration

Gazing out to where the sun kisses the ocean, I slowly stepped into the shallow water, wanting its comfort one last time. I could see little fish swimming around my toes, schools of bright colors, many different shapes and sizes. The cool breeze gently tussled my hair. It felt nice. The familiar feeling of home. My name is Leali’ie’eiao Nofoaluma ... Read More »

Finding Gold Within; Leaving China When It Looked Safe To Go

My parents were afraid to file the paperwork necessary to immigrate because if anything went wrong, they could be severely punished by the government. “Where is all the gold?” I thought as my preconceptions about America were shattered and I dejectedly peered out the plane window at the end of my eighteen-hour flight to America from my hometown, Taishan, a ... Read More »

Rafa: An Ordinary Tale By No Standards

I’ll come to you in six more years and instead of a bike, I will have a car. Instead of a room, I will have a house, and instead of having to do odd jobs, I will speak English well enough to be a manager of some place. “My story is just like anyone else’s who came to this country ... Read More »

Ivan (John) and Sarahfina’s 10 year odyssey

My Grandma and Grandpa decided to leave Simbirsk, Russia and begin a new life in the United States. They started their emigration from Simbursk in Oct. 1900 traveling through Siberia to China. Eventually they left Harbin Manchuria China, with John (Ivan), their only surviving child, and made their way to Kobe, Japan. In March of 1910 – 10 years since ... Read More »

Carlo Baldassari

At fourteen, a  Renaissance man in the making embarked on a journey, which would mark the beginning of a new life. Carlo Baldassari was the eldest son in a family of seven children. He arrived upon the shores of Galveston and made his way to New York. In order to provide for himself, Baldassari sold brooms and possibly participated in ... Read More »

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