For many Chicago immigrants, the American dream is one of being in two places at once, living here and staking a claim to the future of the country they don’t have to leave behind.
“The first week, every day I was crying,” Telile Yoseph says. “The way I grew up and the way it was — there was so much change, so much poverty.”
Lily Ayman once wrote a series of textbooks used by all the school children in Iran. After the Islamic Revolution, she was forced to relocate and start a new mission in America–spreading Persian culture to those abroad.
Achille Ngoma has been interviewed twice since coming to the United States from the Congo. Both times, a college stu¬dent has asked the questions and crafted a story from his responses. Both times, Achille has ached to be the one asking the questions.
Many, like Jonathan Dugger, come seeking money or fame that they could never find in their home country. For some, the move pays off.
A birthday blessing: An abused woman’s journey to receive her U Visa by Kalyn Kahler [This story was re-published on…
DACA recipient Sofia Rivera is setting off on a path that Victor Martell has walked before her. Martell, a Salvadoran living and working in Chicago, was granted Temporary Protected Status 11 years ago, and he still feels in limbo.
She had entered the United States on a Polish passport, which was a forgery, or as she called it – “false papers” – created so she could survive in Poland during the war.
This is the worst displacement crisis in the Western Hemisphere and it’s not being given very much attention
“If someone tells me you can’t do something, I automatically will do it. You don’t want me to stay here, I will stay here,” says Happie Datt, a young student who despite the “limbo” of bureaucracy worked her way toward citizenship. “If I want to live in this country, I want to live it fully, not half way there.”
No matter where they were from or where they were going, immigrants all came to know Ellis Island as the “Gateway to America.”