Author Archives: Elliot Margolies

Civil War in China Necessitates Escape

What was your family situation like where you were from? Respondent: My family was large and wealthy. My father was employed in a public office, which meant that he was in a position to provide for a large family.  What was your family situation like then when you came here? Respondent: My family faced a political tragedy as my father ... Read More »

Homesick But Found an Income (India)

Khushwinder (name changed for anonymity) was happy to talk about his life. He said “I am feeling like a celebrity doing this interview. Nobody has interviewed me before. I am feeling very special.” I was also happy to see him ready for this interview. Then I asked him how his family was and where he belonged from. He started talking ... Read More »

Refugee Family From Laos Start Grocery Store

My family had to flee Laos which at the time when it was a war torn country. At that time my father planned the best escape that he could under the circumstances. You see we were a family of five with three children under the age of four. None of the groups wanted to wait so long because no one ... Read More »

Meteorologist from India

  We arrived in lovely Laramie, Wyoming, so my father could obtain his Ph.D. in meteorology. Yes, we stayed there until the completion of his degree, and then we moved to greener pastures. Quite literally there was no green and Laramie. It was either frozen or dirty, thank you very much. Then we moved to Mexico. My father was a ... Read More »

Moscow to Michigan

How was life in Soviet Russia for my Mom? Life in Soviet Russia was not easy but they didn’t know how to live any other way. Everybody lived very simply; there was not much food to go around, clothing was all the same, nobody had excess clothing, and they lived in small apartments. After the fall of the Soviet Union, ... Read More »

Engineer with Hong Kong Roots at County Building Dept.

Tom Chiu is a first-generation immigrant who has lived in the Bay Area for more than 40 years. He is currently a resident of San Jose. Born and raised in Hong Kong, Chiu came to the U.S. on a F1 student Visa after graduating from high school.  Tom later graduated from San José State University. His career path has been ... Read More »

Hair Salon Owner Who Empowers Others (Mexico)

Herlinda Zavala’s story is one of passion and determination captured both in her personality and how she maintains her small business in cosmetology while also giving back to her community, family, and friends.  Zavala lives in San Jose, California and migrated to the United States from Zapotitlán Jalisco, Mexico at the age of ten with her family via a temporary ... Read More »

Community Organizer with Roots in Portugal

              Carlos Da Silva is a humble man who is proud of the work he and his family have done here in Santa Clara County, including actively supporting and contributing to the Portuguese community. As a nine-year-old child, Carlos came to the U.S. from Portugal with his parents in the 1950s.  In Portugal, Carlos’s family owned ... Read More »

Guatemalan Child Grows Up and Becomes County Prosecutor

Some folks become lawyers because it is a profession that runs in the family, others find their way into the legal field through a different path. Byron Abraham Suarez, Deputy District Attorney for the County of Santa Clara, remembers that he and his sister served as translators for their parents, like many immigrant children, both even trying to explain contracts and ... Read More »

“Brown Immigrant Girl Whose Presence Can’t Be Ignored”

            Teresa Marquez’s story is one of hope, inspiration and hard work. She has been with East Side Union High School District for twenty-six years. As Associate Superintendent of Educational Services at East Side Union High School District, she is the highest-ranking Latina in the District who paves the way for opportunities in the public education field for other ... Read More »