I Am An Immigrant: United We Stand, United We Speak

06/02/2017 02:19 am ET Updated Jun 18, 2017
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send
Photographed by Kiron Chandy
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door” - The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, a sonnet engraved on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty

There is no way to talk about borders without dividing people (no pun intended). Talks of borders and walls have danced in and out of the news cycle for the past several months. Given the toxic political climate and hysteria rampant in most news today, we all need to hear a few phoenix stories right now. In honor of Immigrant Heritage Month in June, I am featuring 7 stories of young immigrants who have come to this country in pursuit of greener pastures. The purpose of this series is not to advance any position on immigration reform. Instead, it is meant to share real stories of people who have immigrated to this country. These are real stories intended to create a positive reminder of the influence of immigrants on the United States.

We need to hear stories of self-starters. We need to hear stories of those who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to seek life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We need to hear stories of how the American Dream is alive and well. And I would argue we need to hear them from those who are on the periphery, who do not often get to speak out. We need to hear these stories from those who came from the outside in and hold a mirror to who we are as a society; those who ultimately define what it means to be American.

For more uplifting stories of the American Dream in action, check out the podcast Community Voice.

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