I Am an Immigrant

People Power Revolution EDSA 1986 (Philippine News)

People Power Revolution EDSA 1986 (Philippine News)

My grandmother immigrated to the United States from the Philippines in the 1960's. After lawfully becoming a citizen, she petitioned to have her grown sons join her. My dad, the younger one, was already married with children so the claim process, immigration quotas, and delays extended the wait until 1985.

In the midst of the People Power demonstrations that eventually toppled the dictator of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, we got on a plane with our most prized possessions (my Lego collection) to pursue the American Dream. 


It's 2017 and the American Dream is under attack from the inside. The Trojan horse of a supposedly conservative president has instead unleashed a dangerous, narcissistic demagogue and an administration hell-bent on turning it into a fantasy for the wealthy few and a nightmare for the rest. 

Women's March 2017, Washington DC ( Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

Women's March 2017, Washington DC (Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

I am a first-generation immigrant who has, by any reasonable measure, achieved the American Dream. It's the promise that anyone has a chance to succeed through the uniquely American combination of individualism, freedom, diversity, equality, democracy, confidence, optimism, opportunity, and luck. I stand with those fighting to keep the American Dream alive for all. 

People Power has worked before. It will work again because it really is the only thing that ever has.