One of the biggest issues of the United States is the threat of deportation and determining whether an immigrant came here legally or illegally. What my article is about is the point of view of the immigrants that traveled to the US. My goal is to make sure you understand what immigrants went through to travel to the US and make sure that this country becomes a safe place to live.
The first story is from a man named Thomas Peterffy. Thomas Peterffy was born in the basement of a Budapest hospital on September 30, 1944. Peterffy planned on leaving Hungary to escape communism, and Peterffy came to the US, illegally. Peterffy moved into an apartment and his emotions when arriving to America was happiness, but a little fear. “It was a big deal to leave home and my culture and my language,” says Peterffy, “but I believed that in America, I could truly reap what I sowed and that the measure of a man was his ability and determination to succeed. This was a land of boundless opportunity.” Peterffy got a job as a draftsman in a surveying firm. By the late 1970s, Peterffy had saved $200,000 and founded a company that pioneered electronic stock trades, executing them before the exchanges were even digitized.
The next story is from Mary Green, who immigrated from Seoul, Korea to Chicago, Illinois in October 8, 1969. In January 1969, Green was abandoned in the doorway of an empty building in Seoul, Korea. After being found by a passerby, she was taken to a hospital and for four months, she was fighting infections. One day, however, Green gained a severe staph infection and was emigrated to America, where she was treated for the staph infection. Through her childhood, Green faced racism in America because of the Vietnam War and the distrust of Asians in America, but she was loved by her new family and still called America home.
Before I tell the next story, I just want to add that there was a site that I looked up that had more than one immigration story. I picked two out of (what I assumed to be) 25 immigration stories. The first one was from a woman named Marisela, from New York. Her story starts off with her and her family living in Guadalajara, Mexico. The neighborhood that she and her family lived in was very dangerous. After Marisela found out that her father was killed, her mother wanted to move to America because her mother wanted to live in a safer place and believed America would help them. Over the years of living in America, Marisela grew up to be a police officer in New York because she wanted to prevent crimes like what happened to her father. “I thank America for the opportunities,” Marisela says, “and will be forever grateful.”
The next story is from a man named Bahareh, who now lives in Chicago Illinois. He and his family absconded from the multisystemic injustices in Iran and immigrated to the US in hopes of extended opportunities and freedom. The one big quote from his story is this: “My experiences as an immigrant child growing up in the US helped me gain an appreciation for the gift of life. This is because my immigrant story is tied to so much loss and despair...pain and anguish that has yet to heal 30 years later. Through the years so many of my family members passed away, and I never got to see them again. I grew up here wishing that just for one holiday in my life I could have family around and feel the love that everyone else seemingly felt.”
The final story is not in first person, but it is important. It is about a German refugee, Walter Ade. Walter Ade was a German native who grew up in the Sudetenland during WW2. His father and his older brother served in the German army but were both casualties of the war. Walter’s mother encouraged him to emigrate to the US in 1949. Walter’s mother stayed behind, hoping her husband was still alive and held by the Soviets. Good new (in case you wanted to know) the husband was alive and was released by the Soviets. Walter emigrated to America and settled in Springfield.
After reading all those stories you probably want the moral of this article, don’t you? Well, the moral is this: our American creed is to make sure immigrants feel safe in this country. They came here for a better life. If we, as Americans, help each other, no matter the race or gender, then this country truly is America.
My Mother’s Immigration Story
To start things off, my mother (just like my father) was born in Poland. According to my mother, she emigrated in March 1998. Her reason for leaving Poland to live in America was because she married my father. I asked my mother how she felt about immigrating to the U.S. and what her expectations were. She replied that she was scared and that she didn’t know what to expect. I asked her if she currently missed Poland or not and she said she does.
Ade, Walter. 2017, https://www.illinois.gov/alplm/library/collections/oralhistory/ImmigrantStories/Pages/Ade,Walter.aspx. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017
Green, Mary. Coming to America Saved My Life: A People Editor’s Immigration Story. 2017, people.com/human-interest/coming-to-america-saved-my-life-a-people-staffers-immigration-story/. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017.
My Immigration Story. https://myimmigrationstory.com/. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017.
Peterffy, Thomas, editor. Immigrant Stories That Will Make You Believe In The American Dream Again. 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/monteburke/2016/10/04/6-immigrant-stories-that-will-make-you-believe-in-the-american-dream-again/#30a1c8138027. Accessed 8 Nov. 2017.