Immigration is a topic that has been central to the American experience – this country is often referred to as “a nation of immigrants”, despite the fact that the moniker was controversially removed from the mission statement of the United States Citizen and Immigration Services in January. Anti-immigrant sentiment has been common throughout our history, however. And recently, we have seen a resurgence of political and social controversy surrounding it.
Carolina Mulvey-Videla came face-to-face with this resurgence after hearing a coworker’s mean-spirited and pointed comments about deportation. The exchange caused Carolina to reflect on what an immigrant friend had told her and to remember what her own siblings had endured. Ultimately, Carolina realized that the problem was not getting any better, no matter how it may have seemed before.
Immigrants live complex lives: from moving an entire family to another country, to the adventures of assimilation into that new culture. Our second teller Brian Chiu recalls his family’s move from Taiwan to San Diego in the early 1980s. He quickly made friends and learned to speak both English and Spanish – even protecting his illegal Mexican immigrant friends from taunts in creative ways. It was only later, as a teen, that Brian realized he was also an illegal immigrant.
Was he able to overcome his illegal status, and stay in the U.S.? Listen to find out! You can hear Brian Chiu's full story here: