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Immigrant Issues (70 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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Melanie argues that gun control is the way to keep American's safe—not Trump's attempts to keep immigrants out of the country. (full text)
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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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The writer makes wise decisions on his perilous journey crossing borders, deserts, and rivers to reunite with his parents in New York City. (full text)
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When Chelsea moves to New York from China she doesn't understand any English. Still, she takes on the challenge of reading her favorite childhood novel in the new language. (full text)
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Jessica’s mom is strict and she resents it. But when her mother tells Jessica about her life in the poor countryside of China, she sees her, “for the first time as a human being, daughter, sister, and wife.”
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As Natalie learns more English, the gap between her and her Spanish-speaking parents widens. She finds ways to both honor them and stay connected to them. (full text)
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Book review of a collection of immigrant stories compiled by students from three international high schools in New York City. (full text)
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The writer feels negative attitudes toward immigrants has dramatically worsened since Trump was elected president. (full text)
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When Jessica begins taking shifts at her parents’ Chinese restaurant, she feels shame and resentment but she eventually appreciates the value of persistence and hard work that the job teachers her.
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The writer is abandoned by her mother in China, and must learn to accept her new life in the U.S. "It’s like I’m a towel that’s wet and heavy with depression, and writing and therapy are the two hands that twist and wring the water out," she writes. (full text)
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Christopher writes about the benefits of juggling work and school and how it puts you at an advantage when applying to colleges. (full text)
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Are protests an effective tool for change? Christina examines this while reporting on an action against the administration’s zero-tolerance policy, which caused the separation of over 2,500 children from their parents or guardians at the U.S.-Mexico border. (full text)
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When the writer moves here from the Dominican Republic, she feels isolated. She misses her friends and grandmother. Kids make fun of her, and her mom neglects her. It takes a dramatic act to get her mom’s attention. (full text)
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Atl reviews the novel, "The Go-Between," and interviews the author Veronica Chambers about how they both identify with the main character, who is an immigrant. (full text)
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The writer moved here from Mexico when she was 4, and now at 21, she feels proud to be living here. But our new president has made her afraid of being deported. (full text)
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Salenna comes from a Russian family, where there are strict feminine and masculine roles and traditions. One is that women don’t play cards. Baffled, she muses: “Is it because females back in Russia can’t count to 10?”
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Yazan, a 17-year-old Syrian with an easy smile, is currently living in a refugee camp in Greece, after fleeing his war torn city of Aleppo. (full text)
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Hande moves to Queens from Istanbul, Turkey and while struggling to learn English and fit in, she gets scoliosis, a serious back condition requiring surgery. Find out how she made “good out of bad.” (full text)
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"Not allowing people into our country who are in search of a better life, like my family, is inhumane," writes Melanie Mata, whose family immigrated from the Dominican Republic in the 1900s. (full text)
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Moving every few years is hard but moving to different countries where people speak different languages is even harder. Ruiwen figures out how to make and maintain friendships whether she’s in Germany, China, or New York. (full text)
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“Some people don’t want Syrian refugees to come here. But we need to help them,” writes Jaelyn. That 17-year-old Nujeen is also wheelchair-bound makes her journey from Syria to Germany even more dramatic. (full text)
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Teens write about their concerns and fears about President-elect Trump. (full text)
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Sabatine struggles to adjust to extreme culture change when she is uprooted from her home in Haiti at age 11. (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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The "Dream Team," a student group at Juana's school, lobbies for New York's DREAM Act, a bill that would help undocumented students get state financial aid for college. (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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The author, a Muslim girl from Africa, secretly disobeys her father's orders to wear the hijab, despite potentially drastic consequences. (full text)
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Whether it’s because they’re not documented, because their houses are illegally overcrowded, or just because they don’t like the idea of sharing personal information, many foreign born Americans will ignore this year’s census. (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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More unaccompanied minors than ever before are coming to the United States from other countries. Many end up in foster care, and this issue features their stories. (full text)
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Esther has to flee political violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo after her parents are killed. She travels across many countries to the U.S., where she finds refuge. (full text)
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Kaylee has worked with refugees for 12 years, helping connect them to families who can help them. Then she hears about Esther and decides to be her foster mom. (full text)
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JCCA's unaccompanied minors program gives asylum-seeking youth stability and care. Staff Dalia Johnson and Emmie Surinach share how they prepare young immigrants for life in the U.S. (full text)
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The writer makes wise decisions on his perilous journey crossing borders, deserts, and rivers to reunite with his parents in New York City. (full text)
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Juan goes to work at age 14 in Guatemala, but he can't make enough to support his family. He immigrates to the U.S. and ends up in foster care. (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 attends an International high school after immigrating from El Salvador. He speaks little English, but slowly makes friends from all over the world. (full text)
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A lawyer from Lawyers for Children explains what rights undocumented foster children have and different visas and other paths to citizenship for immigrant youth in care. (full text)
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The author immigrated from Africa and ended up in foster care. She learns English and the subway system and gets a job as a (compassionate) home health aide. (full text)
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Three therapists who have worked with recent immigrants write about what their clients have been through and what therapeutic approaches help them adjust to their new lives. (full text)
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Resources for immigrants to get help and volunteer opportunities to help immigrants (full text)
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Elvia Victorio works a lot, including as a professional photographer on the weekend. She shares pictures of the rodeos she shoots every Sunday, featuring other hard-working Hispanic immigrants. (full text)
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Sabatine, who's not in care, nonetheless has a traumatic upheaval when her family moves from Haiti to New York City. (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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The writer's mother leaves her with grandparents in Honduras and moves the U.S. to make a better life. When the writer joins her mother in New York at age 8, she feels little connection with her. (full text)
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Keily interviews an attorney about the legal rights of undocumented immigrants in foster care. (full text)

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