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Behind the Scenes: Teen writers describe what it's like to work at YCteen.
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Immigrant Issues (29 found)
Note: These stories are from YCteen and its sister publication, Represent, which is written by and for youth in foster care.
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Victor points out that likely presidential nominee Donald Trump plays on Americans' fear of ISIS in his attacks on immigrants. But he is an extremist who incites violence. (full text)
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The author's mother brought her to the country illegally, but when she enters foster care, she's eligible to get a green card. However, the process is incredibly long and frustrating. (full text)
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When Aniqa starts wearing the hijab her life changes in significant ways. “Having of my body covered helped me appreciate my inner self…I fell in love with my brains, my dreams, my goals,” she writes. (full text)
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Kristine is half-Japanese, half-white and is stared at in Japan. When she moves to New York, she's happy to find that nobody gives her a second glance. (full text)
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On Hande's last trip to Turkey, she sees Syrian refugees and realizes anyone could be driven from their home. She asks all countries to welcome refugees. (full text)
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When the writer and her family move from Vietnam to Manhattan, her mother begins taking her frustrations out on her. But the writer understands that her mother feels isolated and lonely. (full text)
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David is close with his grandmother until she moves back to Korea.
Then he gets distracted with his new American life in New York and loses touch with her. (full text)
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Carlos, who is from Honduras, recounts two assassination attempts on his father's life. (full text)
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Wensley never had a lot of friends even before he moved here from his home country of Haiti. But now, his accent and his shyness make it more difficult to connect. (full text)
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Aissata, an immigrant from Senegal, is stunned by her classmates’ ignorance about Africa. We do wear shoes, she writes, and don't have lions for pets. (full text)
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After the writer moves from Korea to the U.S., his once fun-loving dad struggles to adjust to his new life here, and becomes perpetually angry and demanding. (full text)
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Nhi’s first days in the U.S. are frustrating and unnerving. When she makes an effort to be social, her willingness to step outside her comfort zone is rewarded. (full text)
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At 16, Vanessa moves here from Mexico to escape persecution for being gay. She describes her journey from homelessness to foster care, and finally to stability and independence. (full text)
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Levaunna grew up in Jamaica and had only seen snow romanticized on TV. In New York, she discovers the wintry flakes aren't so magical in real life. (full text)
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Damia’s dream of becoming a lawyer, her worry about her English language skills, and her fear of criminals collide when she lands an internship at a District Attorney’s office. (full text)
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When David moves from Seoul, Korea to Flower Mound, Texas, he feels like he’s been transported to another planet. He describes his adjustment to America in vivid and humorous detail. (full text)
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Julieta Velazquez challenges common stereotypes about immigrants, questions the contention that immigrants are taking jobs from American citizens, and asks who really profits from illegal immigration. (full text)
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Orubba belongs to a family where the women are expected to cook, clean, and raise a family. But she longs to attend college. (full text)
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The recession of 2008-2011 is the latest setback for Marco’s father, an immigrant who hoped to find financial stability when he came to the U.S. 20 years ago. (full text)
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The writer, an illegal immigrant, scrambles to find a job that pays well and won’t ask for his Social Security number. (full text)
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When Zaineb arrives in the U.S. from Pakistan, she faces pressure to abandon her cultural beliefs. (full text)
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The Moon Festival celebration reminds Chun Lar of the family and traditions she’s left behind in China. (full text)
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At a high school for immigrants, Sandra feels comfortable enough to master English. (full text)
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Zeena slowly realizes that the abuse she gets from her parents isn’t just part of their culture—it’s wrong. (full text)
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Sue’s boyfriend tells her that if she were a “real” Korean girl, she would listen to him when he told her what to do. (full text)
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On the subway to Queens one day, Anna remembers taking the same ride when she was just eight years old and in America for only two months. She reflects back on what she has gained and lost as an immigrant from Korea, but as her ride ends she knows she's finally home. (full text)
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Edwidge describes the bewilderment, culture shock, and stereotypes she faces on arriving in the U.S. from Haiti at 12. She will later credit this essay with helping to inspire her novel Breath, Eyes, Memory, which became a New York Times bestseller. (full text)
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The author, who has a son, doesn't learn until she's 19 that she doesn't have a green card. She scrambles to get that before she ages out. (full text)
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The author, born biologically male, never doubts that she's truly female. She travels from Mexico to New York and from bullied boy to confident woman. (full text)

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