“Everyone makes their own religion,” says Sadeq Khatami, an Iranian refugee who fled his homeland with his wife, Farzaha, and daughter Lale, after the family converted to Baha’i.
Khatami weaves two stories while he speaks of his quick exit: one that he tells his parents, of being one of the few Iranians to win a green card to the United States. The other story, Khatami’s reality, is about his search for religious freedom and struggles with negotiating a new culture in the United States.
“It’s really a long struggle out of the war, out of miserable conditions, you know? But it matters really very seriously that we do not really think about ourselves alone…”emphasized Reuben Koroma, lead singer of the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars.
There’s a divide among college-aged Lithuanians. Recent immigrants who left after Lithuania’s liberation see the world differently than Lithuanians who were born in America, and whose parents and grandparents left Lithuania after World War II. And it affects their college experience.
“We [in the United States] have one of the more punitive systems in the world… The sad thing is that a lot of the world is not very different from us [in the United States],” Tidwell Cullen says.
At 17, Shahad Alrais fled Iraq with her family. Despite her hardships, she’s now a typical American college student, in love with Chicago.
An audio timeline of three families’ experiences with U.S. immigration law, from arrest to detention to deportation.