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What is your personal experience with immigration?

Created: 06/17/20

Replies: 8

Posted Jun. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

What is your personal experience with immigration?

What is your personal experience with immigration? Do you know recent immigrants? How about your family - from what country did you or your relatives emigrate, and what was their journey like? How do you think the immigration experience has changed over the past century? In what ways has it stayed the same?

Posted Jun. 26, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 176

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

Living in the border state of Arizona, immigration is on the front burner of our local discussions a lot of the time. I do not personally reside that close to the border with Mexico, but I have read and heard much about the damage done by those immigrants who illegally cross the border and camp out on the ranches and private properties near the border, causing a lot of damage and even danger to the residents in the area. I have worked as a volunteer in the local literacy group, tutoring Spanish-speaking people in the area and working with one woman to assist her in obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Posted Jun. 27, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 04/03/19

Posts: 49

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

I grew up in NM which is also a border state with Mexico. I went to school with a lot of children from immigrant families. They would tell stories about the famine and violence in their home country. From my experience they were well behaved, most had jobs either before or after school and still managed to keep up with school work. It was sad to see them being discriminated against or bullied at school. I think the immigration experience has gotten worse over the past century. I understand following the law, but separating children from their families is inhumane. It has stayed the same in that the government has not come up with a solution to help both parties.

Posted Jun. 28, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 668

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

All four of my grandparents came to the US from Hungary just before WWII. They all struggled with language, but did learn English and communicated just fine, although everyone except one grandmother still reverted to their native tongue when discussing issues in-depth (or when they didn't want the kids to know what they were talking about!). I wish I'd learned more from them before they died about their experiences coming to this country.

As far as recent immigration, I don't have any personal experience, just what I've read in the papers or seen on TV. I still believe in my heart that allowing in immigrants strengthens our country, and that allowing others in helps our economy in the long run. And even if that wasn't the case, I think it's our duty to help others achieve a better life if we can.

Posted Jul. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 373

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

I don't really have personal experience. I have a friend who is an immigration lawyer and she has shared a lot regarding what immigrants go through and what type of help they need.

Posted Jul. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 160

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

My great grandfather immigrated to the US from Czechoslovakia in early 1900's to avoid transcription into the Hungarian army. Political borders were changing all the time in Czechoslovakia, which at times became part of Hungary and Austria. From the minute he landed in New York at Ellis Island, he considered himself an American. His wife and infant daughter followed him several months later. They went on to have several more children, all born in the US. My great grandparents both learned English but to different levels. My great grandfather could speak English very well, but was unable to read or write it. My great grandmother could read and write but struggled with English pronunciation and had a very heavy accent. She rarely spoke English because people had a hard time understanding her. The kids were often bullied and discriminated against. The family did not have an easy time but the pride of being an American made it all worth it to them. I don't have any personal experience with immigration, however.

Posted Jul. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 381

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

I frequently travel to Guaymas, Mexico as a volunteer. I have often seen migrants, making their way north, at stoplights. Many have signs asking for assistance, or they offer to wash windshields for a small amount in order to purchase food. Help primarily comes from individuals, who may pass food or drinks out of car windows. There are no organized shelters in Guaymas even though it is along the busy Pacific route. I am aware of the disappearances of family members, drug related murders, and ineffectiveness of the government in Mexico keeping people safe. I understand the reasons for wanting to seek asylum I have noticed changes at the border crossing. The wall is now covered with barbed wire as is the "Welcome to the United States" sign. It seems like agents are intentionally slowing crossing.

Prior to moving to the southwest, I taught in a Title I school in the midwest with a high number of children from Mexico and Central America. Many had just recently arrived in the United States and had family support in the area. I didn't receive any specific training regarding the special needs immigrant children might have. i remember the principal grumbling about test scores and teachers bemoaning the lack of English spoken in the homes.

I also have a friend who spent last summer in Deming, New Mexico helping migrants from Cuba, Mexico, Central and South America. They had been released from a detention center near the city. The community stepped up and provided shelter, meals, clothing, and activities for the children. The shelter helped locate family members in the States and arrange travel. I wasn't close enough to help in person, just through donations. The stories my friend shared were heartbreaking.

Posted Jul. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 184

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

In the past five years, I have met and become friends with a number of immigrants, especially from Turkey. The friendships began when I attended a Thanksgiving dinner at Raindrop Tulsa, the Turkish Cultural Center in Tulsa, OK. I began attending cooking classes and Ladies' Coffee Nights as well as joining the book club. Becoming friends with the young women there has become an important part of my life. Some friends and I meet each week with the young women to help them with their conversational English. We currently meet via Zoom, but we definitely want to continue our conversations, learning from one another. I have a great deal of empathy for my friends who have come to the US for a better life, one of freedom from oppression.

Posted Jul. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert

Join Date: 06/28/11

Posts: 71

RE: What is your personal experience with immigration?

My maternal (Sweden/Norway) and paternal (Germany) grandparents emigrated to the USA in the early 1900's. My parents were born and raised in a major city and even though we moved a few hours away from the city, I grew up with exposure to different cultures, foods and languages. Sadly, I did not learn the languages well enough to retain speaking them. One of my sisters is married to a wonderful man whose family emigrated from Venezuela.


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