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Date
January 28, 2013

Coming to America

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Migration is the movement of people to new places — it has occurred for hundreds of years as people move across the globe from their native land to other countries. Immigration, which is the movement of foreigners into a new country, like the U.S., is very common.

In 2010, the U.S. reached its highest amount of legal and illegal immigrants ever — 40 million people, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.

However, when people immigrate illegally, it’s often controversial. Watch the videos below to learn more about the ongoing debate. You can also read stories from teens who have immigrated to find out what it was like for them.

 

Immigration

Get the facts on U.S. immigration and the DREAM Act.

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A few days after we immigrated to the United States, my dad got a job and we moved to Effingham, Ill. I began my junior year at Effingham High School and soon began to feel uncomfortable. I was doing well academically, but I missed everybody back home and I didn't have any friends.

Effingham was a small town and I was the only Indian in my school. There was no one to help me socially. I didn't even know about the dances or games happening around me. I focused on academics.

We were assigned to make posters for our math class. I made mine on an Indian mathematician named Aryabhatta. My teachers and other students liked the poster. They liked how I was trying to bring a different cultural perspective to class. That's when I realized I could use my Indian identity to participate more.

Up next: Being different is good

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My different background started to be a good thing. I was able to bring up varied cultural comparisons in class. While learning about "Civil Disobedience" in English, I made connections between Mahatma Gandhi and Henry David Thoreau. In public speaking, I talked about the Taj Mahal and Ayurvedic medicine. On costume day, I dressed in traditional Indian clothes.

When our school celebrated foreign language week, it was the first time that we ever had a welcome sign in Hindi on the school doors.

All of this helped me become more confident in class. Prom was another story.

Up next: Dance floor lessons

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I was shy in the beginning of the school year, but by the end of the year my friends convinced me to go to the prom. I was anxious. I didn't know what to expect and was nervous that I might make a fool of myself.

As the music started, I started to dance. I left my shyness at the door and started to be myself. I acted confidently and didn't embarrass anyone. Going to prom helped me change the way I think about myself.

All these events and experiences-- from setting foot in Effingham to that first poster in math class to the dance floor at prom-- helped me to become more confident. I may not do well in everything I try, but I know now that I certainly will be able to change, evolve and adapt to any situation at any time.

Up next: Mexico to America-- Read Rafael Padron's story

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A bi-partisan commission proposed immigration reforms that could work on both sides of the ailse.

Luma Mufleh started a soccer team and school for young refugees.

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With immigrations laws in flux around the country, fall harvests are at risk.

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What's happening at schools with the new law in place.

Images from both sides of the Mexico and U.S. Borders.

Images from both sides of the Mexico and U.S. Borders.

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Teens are speaking out over a law targeting Mexican-American studies classes.

The US uses drones to watch border illegal activity from the sky.

Steven Fabian reports on a project at the University of Arizona.

A debate over the cost of college for students in Texas us heating up.

Why some are't going back to class this year.

Jessica Kumari investigates the controversial immigration bill.

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The latest news on immigration policies and issues in the U.S.

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