Jacob Sugarman

Jacob Sugarman
Brooklyn, New York, USA
December 31
Open Salon Editor
Salon Open Media


Jacob Sugarman's Links

JUNE 29, 2012 11:04AM

Open Call: Your Immigration Stories

Rate: 9 Flag

As summer continues its slow, languorous march towards the Fourth of July, America suddenly--and rather improbably--has reason to celebrate. Yesterday morning, the Supreme Court voted to uphold the constitutionality of President Obama's health care reform, temporarily restoring our faith in humanity, if not our government institutions. For a certain class of people, however, civic victory arrived approximately two weeks ago when the president exercised his own legal authority to allow more than 800,000 illegal immigrants who have grown up in the United States to live and work in the country without fear of deportation.

Although I was born in Brooklyn and raised on the (less than) mean streets of Westchester County, their triumph felt like my own. By proxy, at least. Six years ago, my then-girlfriend immigrated to New York from Buenos Aires to live with me, but also to look for work. Several months later, we married and began the long process of naturalization--both tortuous and torturous in equal measure. While it’s unlikely she would have benefitted from Obama’s executive action, she is no stranger to the paranoia that comes with living, however temporarily, on an expired visa. Now more than a year removed from becoming a full-fledged citizen, her relationship with the United States, as well as her decision to leave her native Argentina, remain no less fraught, her employment prospects just as slim. 

No two immigration stories are alike, and on the eve of America's Independence Day, Open Salon wants to hear yours. Did you or someone you know make the choice to become a U.S. citizen? What kind of adversity did your family face when they first arrived?
Be sure to tag your posts "Immigration Open Call". We'll highlight the most relevant submissions both on Open Salon and the home site. Please note that by using the tag "Immigration Open Call," you're giving us permission to crosspost your piece in part or in its entirety on Salon.  

Your tags:

Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:


Type your comment below:
Jesus Christ, Jake! Plagiarize/steal ideas without credit much, dude?

At least give credit for the idea of an Immigration OC to where credit is due. Geez...

Poppi Iceland's Open call FROM YESTERDAY!

Excellent Open Call idea -- and congratulations to you and your wife!
I hope she finds she loves it here in America : )
...so gentle with the new guy ye are, Amy...

I missed Poppi's call too -- still a great Open Call idea!
(heading over to Poppi's...)
Although I don't really have any immigrant stories to share, this is an OC I can get behind. It should elicit many truly great essays.

I got scooped by my own publication! Great minds and all that jazz.
Yep, Poppi's already on the case with a wonderful story about her great-uncle.

As an editorial comment, I suggest you broaden the terms of your open call to include what it's like to emigrate to any country, not just the United States.

After all, you have a large readership outside the 50, you know, many of them up here, where we celebrate our independence on Sunday, July 1.

You're cool, Jake! Thanks for giving Poppi Iceland due credit for having the concept first.

Please delete my first comment if you would be so kind, as well.
My hubby was an immigrant from Burma, here on a student visa. He defended his doctoral thesis and became a US citizen the same month in 1990. I cried through the naturalization ceremony. He truly is an asset to America.
Thanks for this OC, Jake. It's crazy how you and Poppi Iceland think alike - and I'm glad of it: As an immigrant myself, I always appreciate it when someone focuses on us and lets us tell our stories - hopefully it humanizes us; maybe it will allow people who are against immigration to see things differently - at least for a while.
Hi - I wrote a post a week ago where I talked about my grandmother, who immigrated from Canada when she was six. The post is called "My Grandmother, the (Illegal?) Immigrant" Here is the link - I could also repost it with the title Open Call if need be, although it seems a little excessive.

Here is the link

My grandfather came here from Finland to escape charges for a relationship that didn't seem consensual with a questionably young woman/girl. Not a story anyone really wants to hear. But, a decent open call. You're really winning folks over fairly quickly. Good for you.
OS's own Trudge164 posted an amazing piece last year about his experience immigrating from Cuba as a young child, which was an EP and was also posted on Salon. It was in response to a completely different open call, but I really recommend reading it. " />
Sorry, that link didn't work.

Never mind, I re-posted with the tag open call. Hope you like it!
Remind me to never post any of my fashion designs here!!! Pffft! You want the bikinis, you gotta pay first!
If I get around to it, I'd love to share my story which may be not too different from your wife's. Otherwise I'll look forward to reading others' response. And wishing you both greater peace of mind.