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Home and the homeland: Chicago’s immigrants keep connecting

There’s more to home than where shoes come off and soup simmers. There’s the homeland – the place, the memory, the heritage – and the multiple meanings it has for immigrants.

Story Locator

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A Burundian survivor tells her story in Iowa

She alluded to great acts of violence, purposely avoiding details. She told of how she and her sister had survived by climbing a tree. They lived in the tree for days and when absolutely certain of safety, made their way to a refugee camp.

The Migration
Mozambican Monday: A ride on the deportation train

I decide to ride the deportation train to Mozambique, which runs every Monday. Each year, an average of 80,000 Mozambicans are deported [from South Africa].

Culture Shock
Ethel Benigno

Ethel Benigno immigrated to Chicago from Manila, Philippines in July 2009, to get to know a man whom she hadn’t…

Learning the Language
Homesick for a war zone

I tried to connect the kind of homesickness I felt away at camp, for example, to what we’d learned in school about starvation and violence in the Balkans, with its images of old women in their skirts and kerchiefs huddled against backdrops of bombed-out buildings.

Work, Jobs and Money
Back home for Venezuelans: It’s all politics

When Venezuelans living in the U.S. talk about home and the changes they’ve noticed since 1999, the year Hugo Chávez first took the office as president, more often than not, the conversation boils down to politics.

Problems with Papers
Being an American citizen isn’t quite enough

What started out as a simple trip to Mexico had turned into a three-hour nightmare on the border…The patrol took one look at my father’s dark skin and dull eyes and sent us off to the parking lot.

Family
Xiao xin!: Going from mint-green rice cooker to hot dog fried rice

My mother is teaching me how to cook rice for the first time, and though she has warned me multiple times (“xiao xin!”) to be mindful of the hot appliance, her words fall short of my distracted, adolescent ears. I hated being Taiwanese.

Fearing the Law
Desperate and alone: Unaccompanied minors traveling to the U.S. in record numbers seek legal aid

Privacy lawyer Sachi Jepson looked forward to working at an international law firm in Washington D.C. because of the firm’s…

Identity
Crimean Tatars cling to their roots

Tatar is merely a language of memory. Such harsh pragmatism seems out of place in a house built to reconstruct the past.

Good Question
Citizenship tests – how to prepare for one?

What do the stripes on the U.S. flag mean? For born American citizens who do not have to take the…

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