Heidi K's Story

My father immigrated from Japan in the 1950s. He was the only one in his extended family to leave Japan and NOT return after a few years. He came here for the promise of a better life after having survived the fire bombings of WWII in Tokyo and seeing his country destroyed.

My mother is from Illinois and we lived in California. My father had a Green Card for over 40 years and became a citizen in the 90s when President Clinton changed the rules about social security: even if a person had been paying into Social Security for decades, they would not be able to receive Social Security payments unless they became a citizen. Many of my friends' immigrant parents became citizens during this time.

Having a parent who is an immigrant has enriched my life and helped me understand the experience of today's immigrants and refugees. The open doors and arms of America have always made our country better. I am horrified by the current administration's policies towards refugees and immigrants.