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Posts Tagged: immigration

Teju Cole Tweets 4,000-Word Essay

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Last week Teju Cole published a 4,000-word non-fiction essay on immigration, titled “A Piece of the Wall,” entirely on Twitter. BuzzFeed spoke with Cole about his decision to share the piece via the social media platform, the challenges in doing so, and his views on immigration reform:

I’m not getting my hopes up, but the point of writing about these things, and hoping they reach a big audience, has nothing to do with “innovation” or with “writing.” It’s about the hope that more and more people will have their conscience moved about the plight of other human beings.

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“I Am an Alien”

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Moving to the US as a person of color isn’t easy, even when you do everything completely above-board, come from a nation friendly with the US, and arrive with a respectable family in tow.

Toni Nealie discusses her experience coming to America from New Zealand in an essay for Guernica:

My iris is captured in a biometrics file with the U.S Immigration Service….My deep brown eyes, the eyes that have held the gaze of my beloved, the eyes that look like my mother’s, that my newborn sons searched for and struggled to focus on: these are now U.S territory.

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Pioneer Women

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My own mother bought our clothes at the mall. She didn’t allow pork in the house and mostly cooked curry. The saris she wore didn’t require needlework.

Growing up in Wyoming, Nina McConigley longed for an authentic pioneer life like she read about in the Little House on the Prairie books—and resented her mother, an immigrant from India, for not teaching her how to quilt or even bake cookies.

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“All Your Life is a Work of Art”

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The Atlantic has been hosting a series called “By Heart,” where authors discuss their favorite quotes in literature.

Edwidge Dandicat talks about her immigration experience and chooses a passage from a novel by Patricia Engels, which articulates that “trying to start a life in a strange land is an artistic feat of the highest order, one that ranks with (or perhaps above) our greatest cultural achievements.”

Dandicat says, “This brings art into the realm of what ordinary people do to in order to survive.

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“I Am One of Them”

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Crossing Over, a documentary by director Isabel Castro, follows three transgender women—all of them undocumented Mexican immigrants—as they seek asylum in the US.

“Although this started as a project to raise awareness about the complexities of immigration,” Castro told Buzzfeed, “it has grown into one that is trying to raise awareness about transphobia (both in Latin American cultures and in the United States.)”

For more details, including a beautiful trailer, check out the film’s website.

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The Faces of Immigration 100 Years Ago

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To celebrate the Senate’s approval of immigration-reform legislation, Buzzfeed has a collection of photos of immigrants who came through Ellis Island near the turn of the last century.

From a Romanian shepherd with an extremely intense hundred-yard stare to a group of women from the Caribbean island of Guadaloupe, there are some really compelling faces—and clothes—to check out.

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Over at the Splinter Generation

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“It starts to put the world in perspective. You start meeting real people. You meet moms, and you meet children, and you meet dads, and uncles, and grandpas, and you know, the people that I consider to be heroes. I mean these people are basically saying, “I refuse to raise my children in poverty, or I refuse to live in a situation where I can’t get a job that is dignified.

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