Tag Archives: San Francisco

Part of Diversity (Japan)

“United Airlines flight 1715 arriving from Tokyo just entered gate 23 at SFO International Terminal,” the overhead monotone voice echoed throughout the airport flooding with rushing people. I exited from gate 23 to walk upon what seemed to be a flawless reflection. It was transparent, but it had a fluent motion. Was it a waterfall? I never seen anything like ... Read More »

Family (China)

At first, I thought it was just a cold. He had all the signs of a cold – he coughed at night, he sneezed, had headaches, had a runny nose. I urged my husband to stay home for just a day. He worked as a waiter at the Golden Pheasant at night and ran a small pharmacy during the day. ... Read More »

Immigration Story of Ernesto Cruz (El Salvador)

“One of the reasons why I appreciate this school and why I would do anything for this school is because they changed my life. They made my American dream.” Ernesto Cruz is the girls’ soccer coach and campus supervisor at Palo Alto High School. Cruz has been at this school since 2004. Cruz was born in El Salvador. He grew ... Read More »

George Sid From China

As communism spread like wildfire across the vast land of China, my great grandfather made a decision. As soon as his father passed away he would pack up his family and take them to America. It was hard for  his first son, George, to leave Chung Sar, a small village he had been raised in outside of Hong Kong. Things ... Read More »

Sacrifice (Hong Kong)

I remember one day coming home with soot and dust covering the shoulders of my coat from the pollution. My son once asked me, “Why did you leave China with such a good job to come to America? You work much harder here than back in China.” In China, I was considered upper class. I had a high income, lived ... Read More »

Craig Gibbs (New Zealand)

Craig was the first of his family to move from New Zealand and live in another country. He knew it was risky, but he was looking for opportunities that he couldn’t find in rural New Zealand. So he packed up all his belongings, which fit into only two suitcases, and left his friends and family behind him on a 6,500 ... Read More »

Navy Family Finds California Hospitable (Cayman Islands)

I was born in 1943 in Louisiana. I lived in a small yet prosperous neighborhood of mostly black families, one or two Mexican families. No white people. Similarly to all the scary stories that were told to the white people about us blacks, we heard many stories about the white people that made us on edge. One chant they used ... 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 »

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 »

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